The United Kingdom's Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) has published welcome guidance concerning the application of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) to small charter yachts.
The guidelines have been published as Marine Guidance Note (MGN) 490 titled "Maritime Labour Convention: Application to small vessels of less than 200GT that are ordinarily engaged in commercial activities".
The following guide helps to summarise the requirements of MGN 490 and highlight how Oceanskies can help yacht owners with full MLC compliance for their yacht.
The UK MCA has interpreted “all ships ordinarily engaged in commercial activities” to mean all vessels that are not pleasure vessels.
This means that all charter yachts certified under the MCA’s Small Commercial Vessel Codes of Practice have to comply with the MLC.
About MGN 490
MGN 490 takes the requirements of the MLC and applies it specifically to small vessels of less than 200GT. It is a prime example of how the UK flag state takes a proactive step in tailoring international law to meet the requirements of a particular category of vessel, in this case particularly the small yacht engaged in charter activity, that would otherwise have difficulty in complying with the full weight of legislation without specific interpretation.
A copy of MGN 490 can be downloaded on the following link:
MGN 490 - Maritime Labour Convention - less than 200GT
In summary MGN 490 provides guidance on the following:
The MCA will authorise its recognised Small Commercial Vessel Certifying Authorities to carry out the required MLC inspections on vessels that they certify under the UK small commercial vessel codes of practice as part of their normal survey regime.
The MLC requires each vessel to be inspected at least every 36 months. This fits with the renewal/intermediate survey regime applied to all small commercial vessels certified under the UK small commercial vessel codes of practice, so it is anticipated that such a yacht will receive an inspection at each initial/renewal and intermediate survey.
Although vessels under 500GT do not need to carry a Maritime Labour Certificate on board Oceanskies will on behalf of their client vessels be requesting a certificate from the MCA to ease Port State Control in foreign countries.
It should be noted that clause 6.1.6 of MGN 490 encourages yacht owners to provide various following documents to the Small Commercial Vessel Certifying Authority to demonstrate their compliance with the requirements under United Kingdom legislation implementing the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006:
Oceanskies is able to help yacht owners with the implementation of the systems required not only for a yacht to be in position to be furnished with the aforementioned documentation but also issued with the appropriate certification.
Oceanskies Crew Limited
A key requirement of MLC is that all crew working onboard charter yachts regardless of their size must be employed by a licensed seafarer recruitment and placement company.
Oceanskies is the holder of a Statement of Compliance by Lloyd’s Register meaning that it is fully compliant with standard A1.4 and guidelines B1.4 of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (“MLC”).
This means that we can further assist the owners of charter yachts by employing their crew through our unique dedicated offshore crew employment vehicle based on the Channel Island of Guernsey.
The vehicle is known as ‘Oceanskies Crew Limited’ (“OCL”), a Guernsey based limited liability company.
OCL has been established on a clean sheet basis to operate from its inception within the requirements of the MLC environment.
The yacht owner will usually enter into a contract with OCL for the provision of crew employment and payroll services for their yacht.
In cases where a third party yacht manager is involved it is possible to have a tripartite agreement clearly apportioning responsibility between the manager and OCL so that the employment and payroll services can easily be dovetailed into the vessel’s existing management structure.
The yacht owner and/or yacht manager funds OCL on a monthly standing order to cover each crew member’s salary plus costs.
The key advantages of the Ocenaskies crew employment service are as follows:
Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information concerning MLC or to request a free no obligation quotation from Oceanskies to provide a complete MLC compliant support and documentation system for your yacht and/or our fully MLC compliant crew employment and payroll service.
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