Viadrina Logo
Jura Logo
Foto Logo

Article Comparison - Maritime Labour Convention - The Regulations and the Code

Regulation 5.1.4
Inspection and enforcement

1. Each Member shall verify, through an effective and coordinated system of regular inspections, monitoring and other control measures, that ships that fly its flag comply with the requirements of this Convention as implemented in national laws and regulations.

2. Detailed requirements regarding the inspection and enforcement system referred to in paragraph 1 of this Regulation are set out in Part A of the Code.

Standard A5.1.4 - Inspection and enforcement

1. Each Member shall maintain a system of inspection of the conditions for seafarers on ships that fly its flag which shall include verification that the measures relating to working and living conditions as set out in the declaration of maritime labour compliance, where applicable, are being followed, and that the requirements of this Convention are met.

2. The competent authority shall appoint a sufficient number of qualified inspectors to fulfil its responsibilities under paragraph 1 of this Standard. Where recognized organizations have been authorized to carry out inspections, the Member shall require that personnel carrying out the inspection are qualified to undertake these duties and shall provide them with the necessary legal authority to perform their duties.

3. Adequate provision shall be made to ensure that the inspectors have the training, competence, terms of reference, powers, status and independence necessary or desirable so as to enable them to carry out the verification and ensure the compliance referred to in paragraph 1 of this Standard.

4. Inspections shall take place at the intervals required by Standard A5.1.3, where applicable. The interval shall in no case exceed three years.

5. If a Member receives a complaint which it does not consider manifestly unfounded or obtains evidence that a ship that flies its flag does not conform to the requirements of this Convention or that there are serious deficiencies in the implementation of the measures set out in the declaration of maritime labour compliance, the Member shall take the steps necessary to investigate the matter and ensure that action is taken to remedy any deficiencies found.

6. Adequate rules shall be provided and effectively enforced by each Member in order to guarantee that inspectors have the status and conditions of service to ensure that they are independent of changes of government and of improper external influences.

7. Inspectors, issued with clear guidelines as to the tasks to be performed and provided with proper credentials, shall be empowered:

(a) to board a ship that flies the Member's flag;

(b) to carry out any examination, test or inquiry which they may consider necessary in order to satisfy themselves that the standards are being strictly observed; and

(c) to require that any deficiency is remedied and, where they have grounds to believe that deficiencies constitute a serious breach of the requirements of this Convention (including seafarers' rights), or represent a significant danger to seafarers' safety, health or security, to prohibit a ship from leaving port until necessary actions are taken.

8. Any action taken pursuant to paragraph 7(c) of this Standard shall be subject to any right of appeal to a judicial or administrative authority.

9. Inspectors shall have the discretion to give advice instead of instituting or recommending proceedings when there is no clear breach of the requirements of this Convention that endangers the safety, health or security of the seafarers concerned and where there is no prior history of similar breaches.

10. Inspectors shall treat as confidential the source of any grievance or complaint alleging a danger or deficiency in relation to seafarers' working and living conditions or a violation of laws and regulations and give no intimation to the shipowner, the shipowner's representative or the operator of the ship that an inspection was made as a consequence of such a grievance or complaint.

11. Inspectors shall not be entrusted with duties which might, because of their number or nature, interfere with effective inspection or prejudice in any way their authority or impartiality in their relations with shipowners, seafarers or other interested parties. In particular, inspectors shall:

(a) be prohibited from having any direct or indirect interest in any operation which they are called upon to inspect; and

(b) subject to appropriate sanctions or disciplinary measures, not reveal, even after leaving service, any commercial secrets or confidential working processes or information of a personal nature which may come to their knowledge in the course of their duties.

12. Inspectors shall submit a report of each inspection to the competent authority. One copy of the report in English or in the working language of the ship shall be furnished to the master of the ship and another copy shall be posted on the ship's notice board for the information of the seafarers and, upon request, sent to their representatives.

13. The competent authority of each Member shall maintain records of inspections of the conditions for seafarers on ships that fly its flag. It shall publish an annual report on inspection activities within a reasonable time, not exceeding six months, after the end of the year.

14. In the case of an investigation pursuant to a major incident, the report shall be submitted to the competent authority as soon as practicable, but not later than one month following the conclusion of the investigation.

15. When an inspection is conducted or when measures are taken under this Standard, all reasonable efforts shall be made to avoid a ship being unreasonably detained or delayed.

16. Compensation shall be payable in accordance with national laws and regulations for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the wrongful exercise of the inspectors' powers. The burden of proof in each case shall be on the complainant.

17. Adequate penalties and other corrective measures for breaches of the requirements of this Convention (including seafarers' rights) and for obstructing inspectors in the performance of their duties shall be provided for and effectively enforced by each Member.

Guideline B5.1.4 - Inspection and enforcement

1. The competent authority and any other service or authority wholly or partly concerned with the inspection of seafarers' working and living conditions should have the resources necessary to fulfil their functions. In particular:

(a) each Member should take the necessary measures so that duly qualified technical experts and specialists may be called upon, as needed, to assist in the work of inspectors; and

(b) inspectors should be provided with conveniently situated premises, equipment and means of transport adequate for the efficient performance of their duties.

2. The competent authority should develop a compliance and enforcement policy to ensure consistency and otherwise guide inspection and enforcement activities related to this Convention. Copies of this policy should be provided to all inspectors and relevant law-enforcement officials and should be made available to the public and shipowners and seafarers.

3. The competent authority should establish simple procedures to enable it to receive information in confidence concerning possible breaches of the requirements of this Convention (including seafarers' rights) presented by seafarers directly or by representatives of the seafarers, and permit inspectors to investigate such matters promptly, including:

(a) enabling masters, seafarers or representatives of the seafarers to request an inspection when they consider it necessary; and

(b) supplying technical information and advice to shipowners and seafarers and organizations concerned as to the most effective means of complying with the requirements of this Convention and of bringing about a continual improvement in seafarers' on-board conditions.

4. Inspectors should be fully trained and sufficient in numbers to secure the efficient discharge of their duties with due regard to:

(a) the importance of the duties which the inspectors have to perform, in particular the number, nature and size of ships subject to inspection and the number and complexity of the legal provisions to be enforced;

(b) the resources placed at the disposal of the inspectors; and

(c) the practical conditions under which inspections must be carried out in order to be effective.

5. Subject to any conditions for recruitment to the public service which may be prescribed by national laws and regulations, inspectors should have qualifications and adequate training to perform their duties and where possible should have a maritime education or experience as a seafarer. They should have adequate knowledge of seafarers' working and living conditions and of the English language.

6. Measures should be taken to provide inspectors with appropriate further training during their employment.

7. All inspectors should have a clear understanding of the circumstances in which an inspection should be carried out, the scope of the inspection to be carried out in the various circumstances referred to and the general method of inspection.

8. Inspectors provided with proper credentials under the national law should at a minimum be empowered:

(a) to board ships freely and without previous notice; however, when commencing the ship inspection, inspectors should provide notification of their presence to the master or person in charge and, where appropriate, to the seafarers or their representatives;

(b) to question the master, seafarer or any other person, including the shipowner or the shipowner's representative, on any matter concerning the application of the requirements under laws and regulations, in the presence of any witness that the person may have requested;

(c) to require the production of any books, log books, registers, certificates or other documents or information directly related to matters subject to inspection, in order to verify compliance with the national laws and regulations implementing this Convention;

(d) to enforce the posting of notices required under the national laws and regulations implementing this Convention;

(e) to take or remove, for the purpose of analysis, samples of products, cargo, drinking water, provisions, materials and substances used or handled;

(f) following an inspection, to bring immediately to the attention of the shipowner, the operator of the ship or the master, deficiencies which may affect the health and safety of those on board ship;

(g) to alert the competent authority and, if applicable, the recognized organization to any deficiency or abuse not specifically covered by existing laws or regulations and submit proposals to them for the improvement of the laws or regulations; and

(h) to notify the competent authority of any occupational injuries or diseases affecting seafarers in such cases and in such manner as may be prescribed by laws and regulations.

9. When a sample referred to in paragraph 8(e) of this Guideline is being taken or removed, the shipowner or the shipowner's representative, and where appropriate a seafarer, should be notified or should be present at the time the sample is taken or removed. The quantity of such a sample should be properly recorded by the inspector.

10. The annual report published by the competent authority of each Member, in respect of ships that fly its flag, should contain:

(a) a list of laws and regulations in force relevant to seafarers' working and living conditions and any amendments which have come into effect during the year;

(b) details of the organization of the system of inspection;

(c) statistics of ships or other premises subject to inspection and of ships and other premises actually inspected;

(d) statistics on all seafarers subject to its national laws and regulations;

(e) statistics and information on violations of legislation, penalties imposed and cases of detention of ships; and

(f) statistics on reported occupational injuries and diseases affecting seafarers.