ILO Recruitment and Placement of Seafarers Convention, 1996
1. For the purpose of this Convention:
(a) the termcompetent authority means the minister, designated official, government department or other authority having power to issue regulations, orders or other instructions having the force of law in respect of the recruitment and placement of seafarers;
(b) the termrecruitment and placement service means any person, company, institution, agency or other organization, in the public or the private sector, which is engaged in recruiting seafarers on behalf of employers or placing seafarers with employers;
(c) the termshipowner means the owner of the ship or any other organization or person, such as the manager, agent or bareboat charterer, who has assumed the responsibility for operation of the ship from the shipowner and who on assuming such responsibilities has agreed to take over all the attendant duties and responsibilities;
(d) the termseafarer means any person who fulfils the conditions to be employed or engaged in any capacity on board a seagoing ship other than a government ship used for military or non-commercial purposes.
2. To the extent it deems practicable, after consultation with the representative organizations of fishing-vessel owners and fishermen or those of owners of maritime mobile offshore units and seafarers serving on such units, as the case may be, the competent authority may apply the provisions of the Convention to fishermen or to seafarers serving on maritime mobile offshore units.
1. Nothing in the provisions of this Convention shall be deemed to:
(a) prevent a Member from maintaining a free public recruitment and placement service for seafarers in the framework of a policy to meet the needs of seafarers and shipowners, whether it forms part of or is coordinated with a public employment service for all workers and employers;
(b) impose on a Member the obligation to establish a system for the operation of private recruitment and placement services.
2. Where private recruitment and placement services have been or are to be established, they shall be operated within the territory of a Member only in conformity with a system of licensing or certification or other form of regulation. This system shall be established, maintained, modified or changed only after consultation with representative organizations of shipowners and seafarers. Undue proliferation of such private recruitment and placement services shall not be encouraged.
3. Nothing in this Convention shall affect the right of a Member to apply its laws and regulations to ships flying its flag in relation to the recruitment and placement of seafarers.
Nothing in this Convention shall in any manner prejudice the ability of a seafarer to exercise basic human rights, including trade union rights.
1. A Member shall, by means of national laws or applicable regulations:
(a) ensure that no fees or other charges for recruitment or for providing employment to seafarers are borne directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, by the seafarer; for this purpose, costs of the national statutory medical examination, certificates, a personal travel document and the national seafarer's book shall not be deemed to be "fees or other charges for recruitment";
(b) determine whether and under which conditions recruitment and placement services may place or recruit seafarers abroad;
(c) specify, with due regard to the right to privacy and the need to protect confidentiality, the conditions under which seafarers' personal data may be processed by recruitment and placement services including the collection, storage, combination and communication of such data to third parties;
(d) determine the conditions under which the licence, certificate or similar authorization of a recruitment and placement service may be suspended or withdrawn in case of violation of relevant laws and regulations; and
(e) specify, where a regulatory system other than a system of licensing or certification exists, the conditions under which recruitment and placement services can operate, as well as sanctions applicable in case of violation of these conditions.
2. A Member shall ensure that the competent authority:
(a) closely supervise all recruitment and placement services;
(b) grant or renew the licence, certificate, or similar authorization only after having verified that the recruitment and placement service concerned meets the requirements of national laws and regulations;
(c) require that the management and staff of recruitment and placement services for seafarers should be adequately trained persons having relevant knowledge of the maritime industry;
(d) prohibit recruitment and placement services from using means, mechanisms or lists intended to prevent or deter seafarers from gaining employment;
(e) require that recruitment and placement services adopt measures to ensure, as far as practicable, that the employer has the means to protect seafarers from being stranded in a foreign port; and
(f) ensure that a system of protection, by way of insurance or an equivalent appropriate measure, is established to compensate seafarers for monetary loss that they may incur as a result of the failure of a recruitment and placement service to meet its obligations to them.
1. All recruitment and placement services shall maintain a register of all seafarers recruited or placed through them, to be available for inspection by the competent authority.
2. All recruitment and placement services shall ensure that:
(a) any seafarer recruited or placed by them is qualified and holds the documents necessary for the job concerned;
(b) contracts of employment and articles of agreement are in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and collective agreements;
(c) seafarers are informed of their rights and duties under their contracts of employment and the articles of agreement prior to or in the process of engagement; and
(d) proper arrangements are made for seafarers to examine their contracts of employment and the articles of agreement before and after they are signed and for them to receive a copy of the contract of employment.
3. Nothing in paragraph 2 above shall be understood as diminishing the obligations and responsibilities of the shipowner or the master.
1. The competent authority shall ensure that adequate machinery and procedures exist for the investigation, if necessary, of complaints concerning the activities of recruitment and placement services, involving, as appropriate, representatives of shipowners and seafarers.
2. All recruitment and placement services shall examine and respond to any complaint concerning their activities and shall advise the competent authority of any unresolved complaint.
3. Where complaints concerning working or living conditions on board ships are brought to the attention of the recruitment and placement services, they shall forward such complaints to the appropriate authority.
4. Nothing in this Convention shall prevent the seafarer from bringing any complaint directly to the appropriate authority.
This Convention revises the Placing of Seamen Convention, 1920.
The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration.
1. This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International Labour Organization whose ratifications have been registered with the Director-General.
2. It shall come into force twelve months after the date on which the ratifications of two Members have been registered with the Director-General.
3. Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member twelve months after the date on which its ratification has been registered.
4. The ratification by a Member of this Convention shall, as from the date it has come into force, constitute an act of immediate denunciation of the Placing of Seamen Convention, 1920.
1. A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after the expiration of ten years from the date on which the Convention first comes into force, by an act communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation shall not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
2. Each Member which has ratified this Convention and which does not, within the year following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned in the preceding paragraph, exercise the right of denunciation provided for in this Article, will be bound for another period of ten years and, thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration of each period of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.
1. The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall notify all Members of the International Labour Organization of the registration of all ratifications and denunciations communicated by the Members of the Organization.
2. When notifying the Members of the Organization of the registration of the second ratification, the Director-General shall draw the attention of the Members of the Organization to the date upon which the Convention shall come into force.
The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for registration in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, full particulars of all ratifications and acts of denunciation registered by the Director-General in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Articles.
At such times as it may consider necessary, the Governing Body of the International Labour Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and shall examine the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the question of its revision in whole or in part.
1. Should the Conference adopt a new Convention revising this Convention in whole or in part, then, unless the new Convention otherwise provides -
(a) the ratification by a Member of the new revising Convention shall ipso jure involve the immediate denunciation of this Convention, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 10 above, if and when the new revising Convention shall have come into force;
(b) as from the date when the new revising Convention comes into force, this Convention shall cease to be open to ratification by the Members.
2. This Convention shall in any case remain in force in its actual form and content for those Members which have ratified it but have not ratified the revising Convention.
The English and French versions of the text of this Convention are equally authoritative.
You may also be interested in:
The UK P&I Club recently held the 16th in our series of Live Webinars, this time in collaboration with the Mission to Seafarers which focussed on Crew Health matters and in particular mental wellbeing.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has recently published Coronavirus (COVID-19): Roadmap for Vaccination of International Seafarers setting out procedures for all stakeholders to facilitate crew inoculation during the pandemic.
ICS publishes COVID-19 Legal, Liability and Insurance Issues arising from Vaccination of Seafarers
This Guidance addresses legal, liability and insurance issues that could potentially arise for shipowners from or in connection with vaccinations of crew for coronavirus (COVID-19).