The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, Regulation 5.1.5 requires an Onboard Complaint
Procedure to be established and made available to each seafarer onboard the ship. The convention also provides seafarers with the right to complain directly to the Master, and
where they consider necessary, to appropriate external authorities. These external authorities may be the shipowner and the competent authorities in the flag State, the port
State, or the seafarer’s country of residence. In addition, Onboard Complaint Procedure should contain the contact information of relevant external authorities as designated by the
flag State for handling of seafarer complaints.
MLC, 2006 Guidelines for flag State Inspections, Para 63, clearly specifies that it is the responsibility of the flag State to receive, investigate and take appropriate enforcement action for seafarer complaints. Accordingly, a flag State is expected to have in place procedures for receiving and responding to such complaints and ensuring the necessary confidentiality. A Recognized Organization may in some circumstances be specifically authorized by the flag State to carry out an inspection following a particular seafarer complaint. However, the responsibility for resolution of a complaint remains with the flag State.
Where a vessel is inspected under the MLC, 2006 by a Recognized Organization (RO) on behalf of the flag State, a seafarer or seafarer representative may contact the RO to register
a seafarer complaint.
- Verbal Complaints
- Written Complaints
1. Complaint received during a MLC Inspection
2. Complaint received by the RO other than during a MLC inspection