Today sees important new rules come into force on crew abandonment.
Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) shipowners must have insurance to assist the seafarers on board vessels if they are abandoned.
All ships, to which the convention applies, whose flag states have ratified the MLC must have the insurance certificate onboard and on show in English.
The insurance will cover seafarers for up to four months outstanding wages and entitlements in line with their employment agreement or CBA.
The insurance must also cover reasonable expenses such as repatriation, food, clothing where necessary, accommodation, drinking water, essential fuel for survival on board and any necessary medical care. It will apply from the moment of abandonment to the time of arrival back home.
Insurers the International Group of P&I clubs have set up 24 hour emergency helplines. The details will be on that insurance certificate that must be publicly visible.
ITF president Paddy Crumlin said: “From tomorrow the mechanisms will be in place for a huge change that will finally treat the running sore of crew abandonment. At last the fundamental idea that those who send seafarers to sea have a responsibility for them is enshrined in regulation.”
ITF general secretary Steve Cotton commented: “These new provisions are deeply significant, and a worthy addition to the hugely significant MLC itself. All parties must now work together to ensure that they are put into action, and address those areas in the world where there’s an absence of MLC ratification.”