Maritime Labour Complaints Procedure

A global instrument as the "fourth"pillar of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping, together with the key Conventions of the IMO


ILO's Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) aims to provide decent conditions of work for all seafarers. Maritime Labour Convention covers a wide range of subjects, and aims to be globally applicable, easily understandable, readily updatable and uniformly enforced. It consolidates and updates many of the international labour standards related to the Maritime sector adopted over the last 80 years and is set to become the fourth pillar of the international regulatory regime of maritime industry along with SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW Conventions.


For Sierra Leonean vessels the implementation of this Convention is on a voluntary basis, until such a time when the Convention is ratified by the Government of Sierra Leone. Owners of vessels calling ports of any of Member State to the Convention are encouraged voluntary compliance considering the "no more favourable treatment" clause. The Convention requires all vessels of 500 GT and above engaged on international voyages to hold a valid "Maritime Labour Certificate". Vessels less than 500 GT shall be inspected for compliance with MLC at intervals not more than 3 years. The Convention in general does not apply to fishing vessels, traditional build vessels such as dhows and junks and vessels operating exclusively in inland waters or, waters within, or closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where port regulations apply.

Applicability to Seafarers

MLC 2006 is applicable to any person engaged or working in any capacity on board a ship for which the Convention applies. Exclusions can be granted for certain crew on a case by case basis considering the duration of the stay on board of the persons concerned; the frequency of periods of work spent on board; the location of the person's principal place of work; the purpose of the person's work on board; the protection that would normally be available to the persons concerned with regard to their labour and social conditions to ensure they are comparable to that provided for under the Convention.

Request for such exclusions shall be made at the time that the DMLC Part I is submitted.

Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance, Part I (DMLC Part I)

SLMARAD has drafted a standard format of DMLC part I based on the minimum requirements of the MLC 2006.

Owners who wish to voluntarily comply with MLC, 2006 should request for a DMLC Part I from SLMARAD through their Registration Officers (RegOff's). SLMARAD will be issuing a ship specific DMLC Part I.


For any complaints raised by the seafarers under Title 5 of the Convention should be communicated to SLMARAD through

Owners should provide all seafarers working on a Sierra Leonean ship with a copy of the on-board complaint procedures applicable on the ship that should include the above mentioned e-mail address together with the full contact details of SLMARAD.

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