Preparation Needed For Mlc

October 14, 2010 12:00 am

14 October 2010

A special Videotel presentation in Athens makes it clear why getting ready for the MLC is so important.

The Maritime Labour Convention could be a matter of a few months away from ratification but owners, managers, ships’ masters and flag States are still not fully aware of their obligations and could fall foul of port state control inspectors once the convention has entered into force 12
months later, delegates attending a seminar hosted by the leading marine training specialist Videotel were told.
The seminar, which was held at the Athens Golf Club, was attended by representatives from more than 60 Greek shipowning companies. They were told in no uncertain terms that while their flag State may not have ratified the MLC once it comes into force, their ships will be subject to
inspection by port state control inspectors as if it had.
David Dearsley, past Secretary General of employers association IMEC and a consultant to Videotel, warned that seemingly small issues such as not having all the necessary documentation in correct order for your crew’s contracts could get a ship owner and his vessel into serious
problems with the port state control inspectors.
“The inspector will know there are 15 things he should be looking for in your shipboard employment contracts. And he will come on board to see them. If the master does not have them all together in the way the Convention wants them, then the ship could have problems. And that is
just one example,” he warned delegates.
Mr Dearsley added: “So where do owners and managers go for help? Your flag state is the first point of contact but many of them still haven’t worked out where they are going. Class? Yes, they are commercialising the regulation beyond what would be normally reasonable because class can’t give you a Certificate of Compliance until the flag States have stated what their regulations are.”
Videotel has produced a DVD as well as a comprehensive CBT program on the Maritime Labour Convention. It sets out to fully train those responsible in an owners, managers, flag State’s or on board operation as to what is expected of them.
Stephen Bond, Videotel Deputy Chairman, said: “The CBT has five modules: a general introduction; a module for ship managers; one for masters, one for manning agents and one for those responsible for the MLC in member states. There is a short test at the end of each module
and another test once the entire course has been completed. The CBT contains the full text of the Convention and gives guidance as to what flag and port state control inspectors should and will be looking for. It is a crucial training aid for what will become a cornerstone Convention.”