According to clarification given by Nautilus International, the three changes relate to the following points:
- account is to be taken of the latest version of the guidance on eliminating shipboard harassment and bullying (which is jointly published by ICS and ITF).
- in addition to the various health and safety matters which the MLC requires should be taken into account, there is added 'harassment and bullying'.
- to the list of matters which should be considered for investigation in a health and safety context, there is added 'problems arising from harassment and bullying'.
Bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, is an abuse of human rights and living on a ship offers limited alternative to avoid it.
These changes should help to improve safety onboard, as well as enhancing seafarers' welfare, a subject which has had much attention recently in the form of seminars and discussions. Although the changes are to the non-mandatory Code B of the MLC, flag states must give due consideration to implementing them, Nautilus advised.
A further amendment has been made to mandatory Standard A5.1.3, whereby flag states may extend the validity of a Maritime Labour Certificate (which is otherwise limited to a maximum period of validity of five years) by up to a further five months. This will apply where a ship has successfully completed an MLC renewal inspection, but a new certificate cannot immediately be issued and made available onboard.
Find out the MLC amendments 2016 herebelow: