Maritime Labour Convention

The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) is a comprehensive international labour convention that safeguards the well-being and working conditions of seafarers on board ships. The MLC was adopted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and is commonly viewed as the “fourth pillar” of the international regulatory regime for quality shipping (besides SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW).

Singapore ratified the MLC on 14 June 2011, becoming the first Asian country to do so. Our ratification of the MLC is part of Singapore’s commitment to seafarers who perform a crucial function for the shipping industry.

The MLC came into force on 20 August 2013. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) chairs a Tripartite Working Group to achieve tripartite agreement on the MLC provisions for Singapore. The Tripartite Working Group consists of:

  • Government agencies, including MPA and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM);

  • Unions, including Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU) and Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS); and

  • The shipping industry and employers, including the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) and the Singapore Maritime Employers Federation (SMEF)

Singapore’s national legislation on the MLC can be found in the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) Act and Regulations.

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