Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC)

Looking after seafarers.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is responsible for ensuring the conditions and welfare of seafarers are supported and strengthened.

Introduction to Maritime Labour Convention, 2006

The MLC, 2006 is an international convention developed under the International Labour Organization. It consolidates a number of existing labour conventions, while introducing modern standards relating to the working and living conditions of seafarers at sea.

Watch our five minute video about AMSA's involvement with the MLC, 2006.


The above four minute video [mp4MP4: 34Mb] and a two minute video [mp4MP4: 14.5Mb] is also available to download.

Application of the Maritime Labour Convention

The application of the MLC, 2006 is set out in Article II, sections 4 and 6 of the Convention. Essentially, the MLC, 2006 applies to all commercial vessels whether publicly or privately owned. However, the Convention does not apply to fishing vessels, vessels of traditional builds (such as dhows and junks), warships or naval auxiliaries or vessels not ordinarily engaged in commercial activities.

The main body of the MLC, 2006 (the regulations and the code) is grouped into five main subject areas referred to as ‘Titles’.

Title 1 – Minimum requirements for seafarers to work on vessels
Title 2 – Conditions of employment
Title 3 – Accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering
Title 4 – Health Protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection
Title 5 – Compliance and enforcement

AMSA is the competent authority responsible for regulation of the Convention and its requirements in Australia.

A list of countries that have ratified the Convention after 20 August 2012 can be found at the following International Labour Organization (ILO) website.

Research survey

The publication A Survey of the health, stress and fatigue of Australian Seafarers examines the health and lifestyle behaviours of a large sample of the Australian seafaring population. It also examines levels of stress reported by seafarers, and attempts to explore those factors which most contribute to work stress in the maritime industry.

Please note: This survey is no longer in print. This document is intended for research purposes. Please be mindful that this publication was produced in 1997 and may contain outdated information.

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