As of 18/01/17 the 2014 amendments to the Maritime Labour convention 2006, entered into force. The changes provide more stringent financial security requirements in respect of crew repatriation, abandonment, and for compensation in cases of death or disability due to occupational injury, illness, or hazards. Ships that are now registered under the Maltese flag are now required to carry appropriate certification and other evidence to prove that a financial security system which protects the seafarers working on board, is in place.
This new change in legislation not only ensures that ship owners and managers are more regulated in terms of their responsibilities, but that the families of sea farers are more protected in the case of a serious accident or death.
Foreign ships that enter the port of states that are party to the MLC, will be inspected by port State control to ensure that they are fully compliant with the provisions. Failure to adhere, or incomplete documentation will result in the authorities immediate taking action against the ship.
It is hoped that these new requirements will also help prevent situations where seafarers are stranded in ports for long periods of time in cases where ship-owners might abandon their crews without paying wages or even repatriating them to their home countries. Now, any claims arising from such a situation will be expedited under the financial security system and any outstanding claims to seafarers of their families will be expedited as well.
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