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Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) for Shipowners

The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) established minimum working and living standards for seafarers. The UK ratified the MLC and it came into force on 14 August 2014.  

You can find full details of UK requirements on the GOV.UK MLC guidance page.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has the following documents available for use on UK Flagged vessels:

Seafarer Employment Agreement (SEA) 

The MLC introduced a requirement for every seafarer employed on a vessel to which the MLC applies, to have a legally enforceable Seafarer Employment Agreement (SEA).  

A recommended format of the Seafarer Employment for UK ships can be found on GOV.UK: Model format for a Seafarer Employment Agreement.

This format is not mandatory, but the information it contains must be included in any SEA. It’s also important to note that:

  • Shipowners are responsible for ensuring that all seafarers working on their ships have a compliant Seafarer Employment Agreement.
  • The MCA does not produce pre-printed SEAs nor will it pre-approve them.  
  • Inspection of an SEA forms part of the MLC inspection.  

Guidance on the UK requirements for SEAs is given in MGN 477 (M) amendment 4.

Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance (DMLC)

Ships of 500 GT and over, that either operate internationally or in a foreign port require a Maritime Labour Certificate, which the Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance (DMLC) is part of.

A DMLC comprises the following two parts:

  • The DMLC Part 1 is issued by the assigned Customer Service Manager (CSM) or attending surveyor, taking account of the specific provisions applying to the ship. You can see a sample of the UK DMLC Part 1 on GOV.UK.
  •  The DMLC Part 2 should be completed by the shipowner.

Supplementary documents

Confidential Medical report form (MSF 4155) to facilitate proper medical treatment ashore.  

Occupational Disease report form (MSF 4159) for use when a seafarer is diagnosed by a medical practitioner with an occupational disease listed in MSN 1850 (M).