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Just over a year has passed since the Maritime Labour Convention, MLC, entered into force on 20 August 2013. According to the safety officer and ship inspector at the Swedish Transport Agency, Mikael H. Andersson, a handful of ships visiting Sweden were banned on the grounds of breaching the MLC.
”Above all, these were due to unpaid or incorrect salaries,” he says. ”On one ship we boarded, the master exacted a ”tax” from the crew which he then put in his own pocket. On another ship, a couple of the crew had been working for too long. On that occasion, however, the situation could be solved without a ban.”
”They had been on board for 14 months in a row and I told the master that he had to send them home immediately, which he did. According to the MLC, you are not allowed to work for more than twelve months in a row,” says Mikael H. Andersson.
Ships whose flag state has not ratified the Convention do not need to have an MLC certificate on board. On the other hand, they can be inspected in accordance with the requirements of the Convention if they stop at a port whose flag state has ratified the MLC. Virtually all Swedish ships covered by the MLC were certified by 20 August this year. So far 64 countries, representing 80% of the global merchant fleet, have ratified the convention.
Linda Sundgren

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