To enable each Member to implement its responsibilities under this Convention regarding international cooperation in the implementation and enforcement of the Convention standards on foreign ships.
Inspections in Port
- Every foreign ship calling, in the normal course of its business or for operational reasons, in the port of a Member may be the subject of inspection in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article V for the purpose of reviewing compliance with the requirements of this Convention (including seafarers’ rights) relating to the working and living conditions of seafarers on the ship.
- Each Member shall accept the maritime labour certificate and the declaration of maritime labour compliance required under Regulation 5.1.3 as prima facie evidence of compliance with the requirements of this Convention (including seafarers’ rights). Accordingly, the inspection in its ports shall, except in the circumstances specified in the Code, be limited to a review of the certificate and declaration.
- Inspections in a port shall be carried out by authorized officers in accordance with the provisions of the Code and other applicable international arrangements governing port State control inspections in the Member. Any such inspection shall be limited to verifying that the matter inspected is in conformity with the relevant requirements set out in the Articles and Regulations of this Convention and in Part A only of the Code.
- Inspections that may be carried out in accordance with this Regulation shall be based on an effective port State inspection and monitoring system to help ensure that the working and living conditions for seafarers on ships entering a port of the Member concerned meet the requirements of this Convention (including seafarers’ rights).
- Information about the system referred to in paragraph 4 of this Regulation, including the method used for assessing its effectiveness, shall be included in the Member’s reports pursuant to article 22 of the Constitution.
Standard A5.2.1 – Inspections in port
- Where an authorized officer, having come on board to carry out an inspection and requested, where applicable, the maritime labour certificate and the declaration of maritime labour compliance, finds that:
- the required documents are not produced or maintained or are falsely maintained or that the documents produced do not contain the information required by this Convention or are otherwise invalid; or
- there are clear grounds for believing that the working and living conditions on the ship do not conform to the requirements of this Convention; or
- there are reasonable grounds to believe that the ship has changed flag for the purpose of avoiding compliance with this Convention; or
- There is a complaint alleging that specific working and living conditions on the ship do not conform to the requirements of this Convention; a more detailed inspection may be carried out to ascertain the working and living conditions on board the ship. Such inspection shall in any case be carried out where the working and living conditions believed or alleged to be defective could constitute a clear hazard to the safety, health or security of seafarers or where the authorized officer has grounds to believe that any deficiencies constitute a serious breach of the requirements of this Convention (including seafarers’ rights).
- Where a more detailed inspection is carried out on a foreign ship in the port of a Member by authorized officers in the circumstances set out in subparagraph (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph 1 of this Standard, it shall in principle cover the matters listed in Appendix A5-III.
- In the case of a complaint under paragraph 1(d) of this Standard, the inspection shall generally be limited to matters within the scope of the complaint, although a complaint, or its investigation, may provide clear grounds for a detailed inspection in accordance with paragraph 1(b) of this Standard. For the purpose of paragraph 1(d) of this Standard, complaint means information submitted by a seafarer, a professional body, an association, a trade union or, generally, any person with an interest in the safety of the ship, including an interest in safety or health hazards to seafarers on board.
- Where, following a more detailed inspection, the working and living conditions on the ship are found not to conform to the requirements of this Convention, the authorized officer shall forthwith bring the deficiencies to the attention of the master of the ship, with required deadlines for their rectification. In the event that such deficiencies are considered by the authorized officer to be significant, or if they relate to a complaint made in accordance with paragraph 3 of this Standard, the authorized officer shall bring the deficiencies to the attention of the appropriate seafarers’ and ship-owners organizations in the Member in which the inspection is carried out, and may:
- notify a representative of the flag State;
- Provide the competent authorities of the next port of call with the relevant information.
- The Member in which the inspection is carried out shall have the right to transmit a copy of the officer’s report, which must be accompanied by any reply received from the competent authorities of the flag State within the prescribed deadline, to the Director-General of the International Labour Office with a view to such action as may be considered appropriate and expedient in order to ensure that a record is kept of such information and that it is brought to the attention of parties which might be interested in availing themselves of relevant recourse procedures.
- Where, following a more detailed inspection by an authorized officer, the ship is found not to conform to the requirements of this Convention and:
- the conditions on board are clearly hazardous to the safety, health or security of seafarers; or
- the non-conformity constitutes a serious or repeated breach of the requirements of this Convention (including seafarers’ rights); the authorized officer shall take steps to ensure that the ship shall not proceed to sea until any non-conformities that fall within the scope of subparagraph (a) or (b) of this paragraph have been rectified, or until the authorized officer has accepted a plan of action to rectify such non-conformities and is satisfied that the plan will be implemented in an expeditious manner. If the ship is prevented from sailing, the authorized officer shall forthwith notify the flag State accordingly and invite a representative of the flag State to be present, if possible, requesting the flag State to reply within a prescribed deadline. The authorized officer shall also inform forthwith the appropriate ship-owners and seafarers’ organizations in the port State in which the inspection was carried out.
- Each Member shall ensure that its authorized officers are given guidance, of the kind indicated in Part B of the Code, as to the kinds of circumstances justifying detention of a ship under paragraph 6 of this Standard.
- When implementing their responsibilities under this Standard, each Member shall make all possible efforts to avoid a ship being unduly detained or delayed. If a ship is found to be unduly detained or delayed, compensation shall be paid for any loss or damage suffered. The burden of proof in each case shall be on the complainant.
Read More: MLC – 2006