On 9 January 2013, the Government of Finland deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). Finland is the 33rd ILO Member State and the 11th 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 shipowners. Finland has under its flag vessels totalling 1.5 million gross tons representing 0.15 per cent of the world tonnage of ships, and the port of Helsinki is among the busiest ports in the Baltic Sea with the value of its cargo traffic standing approximately one-third of all Finnish foreign trade.
In transmitting the instrument of ratification, Ms Päivi Kairamo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations in Geneva, stated: "The ILO Maritime Labour Convention is of crucial importance for the whole maritime industry and for all seafarers worldwide. The Convention prevents social dumping by updating and consolidating most of the ILO minimum standards concerning, inter alia, seafarers' working conditions, accommodation, health care and social protection. By doing so, it also creates a level playing field for the maritime sector worldwide. The ratification process has demanded a substantive redrafting of legislation both in Finland and also in the European Union. This work has been performed in an exceptionally good and constructive cooperation with and between our Finnish and European social partners - in the same spirit as the Maritime Labour Convention was prepared and adopted by the three ILO constituents at the Maritime Labour Conference in 2006."
The Maritime Labour Convention will enter into force on 20 August 2013.
ILO press release: http://www.ilo.org