The Administrator was informed that strict border control measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 had created difficulties for operators to organize crew changes and to bring seafarers back when their employment contracts expired. As a result, some sailors employed by RMI flag ships may exceed the service time provided for in their Seafarers` Employment Contracts (AES). Some CSP authorities require that these crew members be repatriated prior to the vessel`s departure. Similar considerations should be taken into account by seafarers with shorter contracts, which have exceeded their initial contracts by 50%. Shipowners, managers and crew agencies are also responsible for anticipating and preparing for the dismissal of sailors and crews under the current circumstances. Every sailor has the right to health protection, medical care, social protection measures and other forms of social protection. The rules of the MLC state: – Every sailor has the right to safe employment, in accordance with the safety standards of working conditions and repatriation of crew members, and recently stated that travel restrictions and quarantine measures will be put in place worldwide to limit the spread of COVID-19, to have an impact on the working conditions of seafarers. Given that the shipping industry focuses on the processing of seafarers` employment contracts, the administration indicated that it dealt with these contractual and repatriation issues on a case-by-case basis. All seafarers are entitled to fair terms of employment The administrator is informed that strict behavioural control measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have made it more difficult for operators to organise personnel changes and bring seafarers back when their employment contracts expire. As a result, some sailors employed by RMI flag ships may exceed the service time set out in their Sea Employment Contracts (SEA). Prior to the establishment of the MTC, most flag states required “occupancy agreements” defining the main conditions of employment. The flag state had to approve the crew agreements before they were implemented by the ship, but a document was sufficient for the entire crew, signed by individuals when the vessel was boarded and disembarked.

With the introduction of the MLC, all that has changed. The MLC sets minimum requirements for almost every aspect of seafarers` working conditions – in fact, a “Bill of Rights.” In addition, when the MLC came into force, the dedications of ships under the Red Ensign flags became obsolete. Therefore, any sailor working on a commercial yacht must now have a seaman contract authorized by the Flag State (SEA). Given that the marine industry focuses on the processing of seafarers` employment contracts, the administration has indicated that it has addressed these contract and repatriation issues on a case-by-case basis. With respect to the crew in particular, the MTC must have a clearly written and enforceable contract for each crew member in each flag state, not through a general occupancy agreement.

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