On 18th January 2013, the Government of Malta, through its Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, H.E. John Paul Grech, deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). Malta becomes the 34th ILO Member State and the 12th EU Member State to ratify this landmark Convention, which sets out decent working and living conditions for seafarers while creating conditions of fair competition for ship-owners.

In transmitting the instrument of ratification, H.E. Dr. Grech stated that Malta, being a small archipelagic State in the Mediterranean, has traditionally regarded the shipping sector as vital for its economic development and is proud to have the largest ship register in the EU and the 7th largest register among the States parties to the Maritime Labour Convention. As a major player in the global shipping industry constantly seeking to improve the efficiency of its shipping services in a highly competitive environment, Malta hails the forthcoming entry into force of the Convention and stands confidently ready to implement its provisions in the interest of the Maltese flag, responsible operators and above all the men and women working on board Maltese vessels.

In receiving the instrument of ratification, the Director General of ILO, Mr. Guy Ryder welcomed Malta among the States parties to the MLC, 2006 and expressed his satisfaction that with Malta’s ratification, two-thirds of the world’s merchant fleet are now formally bound by the Convention, an extraordinary coverage some seven months before the entry into force of the Convention in August of this year.

With Malta’s ratification, 34 ILO members representing 68.2% of the world gross tonnage of ships have now ratified the MLC 2006. The said Convention will enter into force on 20th August 2013, that is 12 months after the date on which it was ratified by 30 Members with a total share in the world gross tonnage of ships of at least 33%.

For further information on this topic kindly contact Dr. Jotham Scerri Diacono.