ILO has issued a main guidance respectively for PSCOs who are responsible for conducting MLC inspections onboard vessels; the MELCBS/2008/12 Guidelines is a six chapters document which analyses each article of the Convention, providing examples for guidance. Paris MoU and AMSA are two regions which appear to conduct thoroughly PSC inspections with respect to MLC implementation.
The Paris MoU since 2014 has included a special section in its annual PSC report related to MLC results; during the first years of implementation, an escalation of deficiencies related to MLC has been observed in the region. The top MLC related detainable deficiencies identified in Paris MoU are Wages; Sanitary Facilities; Records of seafarers' daily hours of work or rest; Seafarers' Employment Agreement (SEA) and Cleanliness of Engine Room (Table 1)
Several detentions and bans have been recorded in AMSA due to MLC deficiencies during last 5 years. AMSA has issued the ’Guide to the implementation of the MLC in Australia’ which includes guidance on MLC items. A comparison of the 2015 and 2016 results indicates a slight improvement with respect to number of MLC deficiencies and deficiencies per inspection. Detainable deficiencies are relatively static over the two years suggesting consistency in the PSC inspections.
Avoiding detention due to MLC deficiency
If one of the following examples is noticed onboard by the PSCO, it is highly possible that the vessel will be detained. Therefore, operators are advised to pay particular attention to these items and refer accordingly to the standards and articles of MLC in order to avoid any alleged breaches with respect to the living and working conditions on board vessels.