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 To ensure that seafarers have access to good quality food and drinking water provided under regulated hygienic conditions


  1. Each Member shall ensure that ships that fly its flag carry on board and serve food and drinking water of appropriate quality, nutritional value and quantity that adequately covers the requirements of the ship and takes into account the differing cultural and religious backgrounds.


  1. Seafarers on board a ship shall be provided with food free of charge during the period of engagement.


  1. Seafarers employed as ships’ cooks with responsibility for food preparation must be trained and qualified for their position on board ship.



Standard A3.2 – Food and catering


  1. Each Member shall adopt laws and regulations or other measures to provide minimum standards for the quantity and quality of food and drinking water and for the catering standards that apply to meals provided to seafarers on ships that fly its flag, and shall undertake educational activities to promote awareness and implementation of the standards referred to in this paragraph.


  1. Each Member shall ensure that ships that fly its flag meet the following minimum standards:


  • food and drinking water supplies, having regard to the number of seafarers on board, their religious requirements and cultural practices as they pertain to food, and the duration and nature of the voyage, shall be suitable in respect of quantity, nutritional value, quality and variety;


  • the organization and equipment of the catering department shall be such as to permit the provision to the seafarers of adequate, varied and nutritious meals prepared and served in hygienic conditions; and


  • Catering staff shall be properly trained or instructed for their positions.


  1. Ship-owners shall ensure that seafarers who are engaged as ships’ cooks are trained, qualified and found competent for the position in accordance with requirements set out in the laws and regulations of the Member concerned.


  1. The requirements under paragraph 3 of this Standard shall include a completion of a training course approved or recognized by the competent authority, which covers practical cookery, food and personal hygiene, food storage, stock control, and environmental protection and catering health and safety.


  1. On ships operating with a prescribed manning of less than ten which, by virtue of the size of the crew or the trading pattern, may not be required by the competent authority to carry a fully qualified cook, anyone processing food in the galley shall be trained or instructed in areas including food and personal hygiene as well as handling and storage of food on board ship.


  1. In circumstances of exceptional necessity, the competent authority may issue a dispensation permitting a non-fully qualified cook to serve in a specified ship for a specified limited period, until the next convenient port of call or for a period not exceeding one month, provided that the person to whom the dispensation is issued is trained or instructed in areas including food and personal hygiene as well as handling and storage of food on board ship.


  1. In accordance with the ongoing compliance procedures under Title 5, the competent authority shall require that frequent documented inspections be carried out on board ships, by or under the authority of the master, with respect to:


  • supplies of food and drinking water;


  • all spaces and equipment used for the storage and handling of food and drinking water; and


  • Galley and other equipment for the preparation and service of meals.


  1. No seafarer under the age of 18 shall be employed or engaged or work as a ship’s cook.



Read More: MLC – 2006

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