Update Aug 2002 C

Warning on work convention

Section: Special Report-Maritime Law
Release Date: Tuesday August 27 2002

A new convention covering work and rest for seafarers has just come into force which have a "significant impact upon employers" according to Neil Northmore of Bond Pearce.

The Seafarers Hours of Work and the Manning of Ships Convention, came into force on August 8. EU member states must also comply with a separate seafarers' directive which is designed to regulate their work and rest periods.

The convention aims to promote the health and safety of workers, improve maritime safety and protect the environment, Mr Northmore explains. It establishes limits that apply to all seafarers concerning hours of work or rest on board ship and "gives ratifying states a choice of stipulating either daily and weekly limits of work or rest period". It stipulates a maximum of 14 hours work per day and 72 hours per week for seafarers on board ship, or minimum rest periods of 10 hours daily and 77 hours weekly.

Ratifying states will be able to inspect any ship calling at its ports to check compliance with the working time limits and ships that do not comply can be detained.

The Seafarers Directive meanwhile, had a deadline for implementation of June 30, 2002.

The UK has draft legislation in place to incorporate the directive and it is expected this will be enacted next month.
The draft regulations will apply to seafarers employed on board seagoing UK ships. Rights to inspect and detain a ship will be enforceable against a ship from another state.

Reproduced by kind permission of Lloyd's List