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Paris MOU gears up for Labor convention inspections

Port state control agencies in Paris MOU countries are getting set to include the requirements of the Maritime Labor Convention, 2006 (MLC) in their inspection criteria.
A Paris MoU committee has adopted the amendments to the Paris Memorandum needed to make the MLC requirements officially subject to port state control, including the possibility for more detailed inspections, expanded inspections and the possibility of detention in serious cases of non-compliance or where hazardous conditions exist.
The MLC applies to all ships engaged in commercial activities. International certification is required for all ships of 500 GT and over making international voyages. The requirements of the MLC have to be implemented on board at the entry into force date.
The ILO (International Labor Organization) has adopted a resolution requesting port states to allow ships to continue to operate without the Maritime Labor Certificate (and Declaration of Maritime Labor Compliance) required by the convention during a period of one year after August 20,2013. ILO invited the member States to take a pragmatic approach in this respect during the first year.
The Paris MOU has agreed new guidelines for port state control officers to implement the practical issues of the new convention in the inspection regime.
Only members of the Paris MoU who have ratified the MLC on or before August 20, 2012 are entitled to conduct PSC inspections from August 20, 2013. As a result the following twelve member States will start enforce the MLC: Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation, Spain and Sweden. Members of the Paris MoU who have ratified the MLC after August 20, 2012 will first be entitled to conduct PSC inspections 12 months after the date of their ratification. For these members enforcement of the Merchant Shipping Convention (ILO 147) and the protocol of 1996 to the Merchant Shipping Convention (ILO P147) will initially prevail.
Ships from non-ratifying States should not receive any more favourable treatment than ships from States that have ratified the Convention. Under these circumstances, the ship will receive a more detailed inspection to ensure compliance with the MLC.

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