Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) shipowners must have insurance to assist the seafarers on board vessels if they are abandoned.
All ships, to which the convention applies, whose flag states have ratified the MLC must have the insurance certificate on board and on show in English. (You can check who has ratified here)
If you think that you are in danger of abandonment, don’t wait. If your ship owner doesn’t respond, contact the insurance company (helpline numbers are below).
Abandonment occurs when the ship owner:
- fails to cover the cost of the seafarer’s repatriation; or
- has left the seafarer without the necessary maintenance and support; or
- has otherwise unilaterally severed their ties with the seafarer including failure to pay contractual wages for a period of at least two months
The insurance will cover you for up to four months outstanding wages and entitlements in line with your employment agreement or CBA – so don’t leave it too late. If you wait six months to apply, you’ll only get four months backpay.
The insurance must also cover reasonable expenses such as repatriation, food, clothing where necessary, accommodation, drinking water, essential fuel for survival on board and any necessary medical care. It will apply from the moment of abandonment to the time of arrival back home.
Insurers the International Group of P&I Clubs have set up 24 hour emergency helplines. The details will be on that insurance certificate that must be publicly visible. Check it now. If you think it isn’t real or you feel you are in danger of being abandoned, use the helpline number now.
IG of P&I Clubs:
- The Swedish Club - Swedish.email@example.com Tel 00 46 31 151 328
- UK P&I Club - firstname.lastname@example.org Tel +44 (0) 20 7283 4646 *
- Skuld - MLC@skuld.com Tel 0047 22 00 22 00 0047 952 92 200
- Britannia - MLC@triley.co.uk Tel 00 44 (0)207 407 3588
- Steamship Mutual - email@example.com Tel 00 44 (0) 247 9490
- Gard - firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 0047 90524100
- The London P&I Club - MLC@londonpandi.com Tel 00 44 (0) 20 7772 8000
- West of England - MLC@westpandi.com Tel +44 7795 116602
- North - MLCEnquiryTeam@nepia.com Tel 00 44 (0) 1912325221
- Shipowners - email@example.com
- The Standard - firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 0044 79 3211 3573
- The American Club - email@example.com Tel + 001 212 847 4500
- The Japan Ship Owners’ Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association - firstname.lastname@example.org Tel +81 3 3662 7221
See here for further information about abandonment, or contact the SeafarerHelp team.