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Transport Canada intends to enforce MLC rules on crew changes

Transport Canada has issued a Ship Safety Bulletin stating it will be enforcing the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) provisions on duration of contract and repatriation. The statement underlines that a seafarer that has completed 11 months onboard, he or she has the right to get off and be repatriated at the owner’s expense.

“Issues of fatigue and mental health of seafarers may have deteriorated to a point that they may endanger health and safety,” Transport Canada noted in the release. Foreign vessels in Canadian waters operating without a valid seafarer employment agreement for all crew members will be subject to enforcement action such as detention and/or a fine. Australia issued a similar statement in December.