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Isle of Man leads the way on MLC

Business

One of the hot topics in the superyacht industry is the ILO Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) and how it will affect builders, owners, managers and crew. The Isle of Man’s Ship Registry is at the forefront of the industry in the implementation and interpretation of the MLC. The work that the registry is doing is of immense practical benefit to all those involved in superyachts.

In August the Registry entered into a new tripartite declaration designed to improve the living and working conditions of all seafarers on Isle of Man-registered ships. This formalises the important work carried out in a tripartite forum between the Isle of Man Government, the Isle of Man Shipping Association and the seafarers’ representative unions, which has been in place for many years. The “Declaration of Principles”, originally agreed and signed in 2003, has been revised to bring it up to date with international developments. Additionally, the Declaration recognises the importance of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) and demonstrates how the Isle of Man is working towards its adoption. The MLC, which is expected to enter into force in 2012, will be the new standard enforced globally to cover the rights of seafarers.

Robert Tobin, Director of Döhle Yachts and Chairman of the Isle of Man Yacht Forum, has this to say: “For the yacht industry the Convention is something we should all be thinking about. It is extremely complex and entirely new for an industry where vessel design is, by its very nature, unique and where crew employment terms and conditions are varied and inconsistent. Having the expertise and advice of the Isle of Man Ship Registry, who have a dedicated team working on this, is invaluable to us. The Isle of Man Registry and members of the Forum are in a position to offer advice and guidance on the complexities of the Convention. We, the Ship Registry, and other members of the Forum will be at the Monaco Yacht Show and will be delighted to discuss the MLC and its implications.”

Dick Welsh, Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry, commented: “The Isle of Man Ship Registry is working hard on MLC. The tripartite relationship, which has been developed over many years in the Isle of Man, is invaluable in our work on the new convention. It is a forum by which we can consult on draft policies and regulations, which gives the ship owners and the unions a real chance to shape the future for seafarers.

“We have a dedicated team of seven working towards the MLCs implementation and a great deal of this work is in considering what it actually means in practical terms for builders, operators, managers, crewing agencies, and of course the crew themselves. We have published several consultative documents and newsletters (which are available on our website) to keep everyone up-to-date on the Convention’s progress, interpretation and implementation. We will have one of our dedicated specialists on our stand in Monaco this year and expect him to be very busy.

“As well as having one of the most respected ship registries the Isle of Man is at the forefront of superyacht administration. Professionals based in the Island established the Isle of Man Yacht Forum whose members offer yacht owners and managers the facility to register and manage vessels from one of the most respected and progressive international business centres, providing truly global solutions for the industry's needs. Solutions that are specifically tailored to the client’s needs and will not be exclusive to Isle of Man structures and registration.

“Even through the troubled financial waters of the last few years the Isle of Man’s economy has weathered well. Our work on the MLC is just one example of how we adapt to changes and will continue to provide solutions for clients from all over the world.”

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