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Commission welcomes agreement by Transport Ministers on directives ensuring decent working conditions for seafarers.

Date: 11/12/2012

The European Commission welcomes the agreement adopted on two proposals relating to the enforcement of the International Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) of 2006 in theTransport Council.  Approved as "General Approach", the agreement has its origins in the two proposals submitted by the Commission last 23 March 2012.  These new Directives will guarantee important social benefits for the seafarers, and are essential to support the growth and the prosperity of the maritime industry in Europe.
The EU Commissioner responsible for transport, Vice-President Siim Kallas, stated: "Today's agreement is a step in the right direction on monitoring the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention in the European Union. The two Directives are set to become precious instruments to help ensure decent working conditions for seafarers worldwide and to achieve a global level-playing field for shipping in this field."

The port state proposal intends to enforce the MLC by means of port State control. Compliance with the MLC would therefore be checked and enforced in all EU ports on ships flying any flag in the same way as for any other maritime convention. This will be the most efficient means to ensure a global level-paying field for the shipping industry also with respect to seafarers' working conditions. The flag state proposal aims at requiring Member States to monitor the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention from ship's flying their own flag.
After the "General Approach" the two Directives will be considered in first reading by the European Parliament -in January or February 2013 regarding Directive on Port State control, and in February or March 2013 regarding Directive on Flag State responsibilities.

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