MLC surveys

​​​​​​​​​​​The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) ensures that your conditions of employment are in order - from the conclusion of the employment contract, over the right to repatriation to occupational health and social security.

What does the MLC mean to you and your ship?

  • Ships that must be surveyed and issued with certificates:
    • Cargo and passenger ships with a gross tonnage of or above 500 engaged on international voyages
  • Ships that are only required to be surveyed (but which can be voluntarily certified):
    • Cargo and passenger ships with a gross tonnage of or above 500 exclusively engaged on domestic voyages
    • Cargo and passenger ships with a gross tonnage below 500

Manned barges will also be covered by the regulations following a specific assessment. Fishing vessels are not covered.

The classification societies (ROs) inspect all classed cargo vessels:

  • Contact the ship's classification society for an MLC survey and certification
  • Forward an application to the Danish Maritime Authority to be issued with a DMLC, part I

The Danish Maritime Authority surveys all passenger ships and unclassed cargo ships:

  • Contact the Danish Maritime Authority by email cfs@dma.dk for an MLC survey and certification
    Forward the following:
    • Ship's name, IMO no. or call sign
    • Draft DMLC, Part II
    • Documents referred to in the DMLC, Part II
    • Documentation of the ship's exemptions, if any, as regards accommodation spaces and recreational facilities
    • Company procedure for considering complaints on board
  • If the documents below are of relevance to the ship concerned, they are also forwarded to the Danish Maritime Authority before the survey:
    • Random checks of the seafarers' table of working hours or hours of rest
    • Documentation if recruitment or placement services are used
    • Drawings of the accommodation in case of new-buildings or if major repairs have been made after 20 August 2013
    • Documented payroll showing how often the seafarer receives his pay
    • Table showing the arrangement of the work on board
    • Standard format of the seafarer's employment agreement, if relevant and used by the company

In connection with the survey, a ship surveyor will embark and check whether the sh​ip has implemented the MLC requirements. If everything is in order, an MLC certificate will be issued.

Read more about the MLC certificate 

Ships that are not to be MLC certified will have their survey report state instead that they have been surveyed in accordance with the MLC.

Ships that are to be surveyed and certified (including voluntary certification) must be subject to the following:

  • An initial survey
  • An intermediate survey between the second and third anniversary date for the issue of the certificate
  • A renewal survey at a maximum of five-year intervals

Ships that are to be surveyed only once must be subject to the following:

  • An initial survey
  • A renewal survey at intervals of a maximum of three years

The survey is in general held together with ISM/SMC audits or in connection with the first existing survey in the areas of construction, equipment or hull.

For ships that are not in use, the Danish Maritime Authority can permit that periodical surveys are completely or partly omitted.
 
Following major repairs and/or conversions that change the accommodation spaces significantly, a complete or partial survey is to be held.
 
Read more on Conditions of employment (MLC)  if you would like to know more about seafarers' rights, including conditions of employment, social security and complaints about the working and living conditions.

An MLC survey covers 16 items

The minimum age required of seafarers working on Danish ships is the one stipulated in the MLC, i.e. 16 years. For the protection of seafarers between the age of 16 and 18 years, special regulations have been laid down on hours of rest, night work, etc., that are mentioned below.

Act on seafarers' conditions of employment, etc., section 4, Regulations on minimum age

Ship's cooks prescribed in the ship's minimum safe manning document must not be below the age of 18.

Act on the manning of ships, section 8, ship's cooks

Hours of rest

Regulations on prohibition against night work, etc. for young persons below the age of 18

A seafarer below the age of 18 must have at least a 12-hour period of rest during a 24-hour working day. A seafarer below the age of 18 must not work during the period from 20.00 to 06.00 hours, and this period determines the concept of a night. However, the master can require that seafarers below the age of 18 work when it is necessary in consideration of the immediate safety of the ship, those on board or the cargo or to assist other ships or persons in distress at sea.

For watchkeeping seafarers below the age of 18, the 12-hour period of rest can be divided into a maximum of two periods, one of which must have a duration of at least 8 hours and fall between 20.00 and 06.00 hours.

However, the prohibition against night work does not apply if any other placement is necessary as part of a vocational training programme, a maritime training programme approved by the Danish Maritime Authority or similar training of at least 2 years' duration leading to professional qualification.

Order on seafarers' hours of rest

Occupational health in ships

Seafarers below the age of 18 must not carry out work that is harmful to health. Chapter I, part B, describes work that is considered harmful to young seafarers' health. This includes, for example, work using certain technical equipment.

Young seafarers must not be exposed to noise or vibrations that may present a risk to their health. In addition, work is prohibited in for example surroundings that, due to extremely high or extremely low temperatures, may present a risk to the safety of young seafarers, just as young seafarers must not work with or in any other way be exposed to the effects of harmful substances and materials.

A seafarer below the age of 18 can, however, carry out certain types of risky work to the extent that it is necessary to complete certain types of training. As regards work after the completion of the training programme, the same exemptions apply to the extent that they are necessary for the young person's employment and on the condition that he or she is still below the age of 18.

Notice A from the Danish Maritime Authority, chapter I, section B, Young people's work on board ships

In order to work on board a ship, seafarers must make a valid health certificate available documenting that the seafarer has been found fit for ship service, if relevant with certain limitations, through the special medical examination of seafarers and fishermen.

When the seafarer signs on, he or she must make their health certificate available to the master for as long as the seafarer serves on board.

Order on medical examinations of seafarers and fishermen

The health certificate must be issued by an authority, which has implemented The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and ratified The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC).

For certificates issued in Denmark, The Danish Maritime Authority determines the form and contents of the certificate and it is in both Danish and English. The certificate is based on a medical examination of the seafarer.

Read more about medical examinations

Maritime medical practitioners

In Denmark, only maritime medical practitioners appointed by the Danish Maritime Authority who have been assigned a special maritime medical practitioner’s number must carry out medical examinations. In Greenland, a duly qualified physician can carry out the medical examination.

List of approved medical practitioners

The maritime medical practitioner uses the digital medical certificate prescribed by the Danish Maritime Authority laying down, inter alia, the scope of the medical examination and whether the seafarer is fit for lookout duty. The maritime medical practitioner must transfer the result of the medical examination by application of a digital platform. The health certificate may be issued through automatic data processing based on the result of the medical examination.

Period of validity

For seafarers of 18 years of age or older, the medical examination and thus also the health certificate has a validity of 2 years, calculated from the date of the examination, whereas the medical examination for seafarers below the age of 18 has a validity of 1 year. However, the examining medical practitioner can limit the medical examination and thus the period of validity of the health certificate. If the period of validity of the health certificate expires during a ship's voyage, the certificate remains valid until its first call at a port where it is possible to carry out the examination without unnecessary delay, however no more than 3 months from the date of expiry.

Complaints

The decision by the maritime medical practitioner that a seafarer is unfit for ship service or fit with limitations and the subsequent endorsement of the health certificate can be brought in writing before the special Danish Shipping Tribunal, which has inter alia maritime medical knowledge. The Danish Shipping Tribunal is a Danish independent public authority. As regards complaints about decisions about the importance of a seafarer's sight and hearing for the work on board, the Danish Maritime Authority is the complaint authority.

Read more about complaints about medical examinations

Requirements for seafarers' qualifications are primarily regulated through the act on the manning of ships and the act on the maritime training programmes. A number of regulations have been issued pursuant to the two acts mentioned above, and those regulations fully consider the requirements of regulation 1.3.

Act on the manning of ships

Act on the maritime training programmes (only available in Danish)

Denmark ratified the STCW Convention in 1981. Thus, ship's officers holding both Danish and foreign certificates of competency are certified in accordance with the STCW Convention, as amended. Similarly, other seafarers must be instructed about personal safety in accordance with the STCW Convention before the service is started on board.

 

A written employment contract must be concluded between the seafarer and the shipowner or the employer or the one who has assumed the responsibilities of the shipowner or the employer. The contract must be concluded no later than at the start of the employment; and for ship-employed seafarers no later than at the start of the ser­vice on board. The seafarer must have a chance of going through the employment contract and seeking advice about its terms before signing it.

The seafarer must receive a copy of the employment contract signed by the shipowner/employer or the one who has assumed the responsibilities of the shipowner or the employer. There is no requirement for a special form of the seafarer's employment contract.
 
The employment contract must contain information about all conditions of importance to the employment as they are stipulated in the order issued by the Danish Maritime Authority. When the seafarer or the employer terminates the employment, the date hereof as well as how the employment has been terminated must be given in writing.

Order on the shipowner's obligation to conclude a written contract with the seafarer about the conditions of employment

As regards some of the information about the employment, the shipowner's information obligation is considered met if the employment contract refers to acts, administrative provisions or collective agreements pertaining to the relevant conditions.
 
If a collective agreement constitutes the entire or parts of the seafarer's employment contract, the shipowner must ensure that a copy of this collective agreement is available on board. As regards ships engaged on international voyages, only the parts of or the collective agreements subject to port State control inspections must be available in English.

The seafarer must bring along or, before the ship's departure, procure a copy of the employment agreement for the master, who must keep it on board for as long as the employee serves on board. The seafarer's signature must be evident from the copy when it is handed over on board. As regards ships engaged on international voyages, an English copy of any standard form used must also be available on board.

The master must ensure that a copy of the act and the provisions issued pursuant hereof is available on board in Danish and English and is available to the seafarers.

Act on seafarers' conditions of employment, etc., section 74

Discharge books are issued by the Danish Maritime Authority in accordance with ILO Convention no. 108 on seafarers' identity documents (1958) to persons who are Danish citizens and have turned 16 years of age.

Order on discharge books

Upon request, the master must confirm the employment relationship through an endorsement in the relevant person's discharge book or in another manner, for example through a special declaration (declaration on seagoing service).

A filled in discharge book or a written declaration from the master is to be considered sufficient recording of the seafarer's employment to be in compliance with Standard A2.1, paragraph 1e.

Able-bodied seafarers must be given or give 7 days' notice unless otherwise agreed by contract or by collective agreement. The seafarer can have a shorter notice than the shipowner, but not the other way around.
 
Ship's officers must in general be given or give 3 months' notice if the officer is engaged through an open-ended contract. However, the shipowner's notice cannot be less than 1 month during the first year. If the officer is en­gaged on a time contract, the notice will typically be shorter and in general either 1 month or 7 days. Just as is the case for able-bodied seafarers, shorter notice cannot be agreed for the shipowner than for the officer.

By the seafarer

The act contains a number of provisions entitling the seafarer to terminate the contract without notice (resigna­tion). For example in cases where the ship is unseaworthy, is to call at a port with a virulent epidemic or no longer flies the Danish flag. In each individual case, certain conditions must be met that are described in more detail in the individual provisions of the act. Thus, the regulation of Standard A.2.1, paragraph 6, is met.

By the shipowner

Furthermore, the act contains provisions entitling the shipowner/master to terminate the seafarer's employment without notice in case of, for example, incompetence, missing the ship, gross neglect by the seafarer, repeated disobedience, violent behaviour or drunkenness on board, etc. Thus, the regulation in Standard A.2.1, paragraph 6, is met.

Special regulations apply to the master meeting the requirements of Standard A.2.1, paragraph 6.

Act on seafarers' conditions of employment, etc., sections 5, 37, 47 etc., provisions on notice of termination and on resignation/dismissal

Private recruitment and placement services for seafarers, the primary purpose of which is to recruit or place seafar­ers or which recruit or place a considerable number of seafarers must be operated in Denmark only if they are certified for this purpose by the Danish Maritime Authority.

Act on seafarers' conditions of employment, etc., sections 8a-8e, Provisions on the recruiting and placing of seafarers

Shipowners using such Danish private recruitment and placement services must ensure that the relevant services hold a valid certificate issued by the Danish Maritime Authority. The certificate is normally valid for 5 years.

List of certified recruitment and placement services in Denmark

Shipowners using private recruitment and placement services for seafarers in countries that have ratified the MLC or ILO Convention no. 179 on the recruitment and placement of seafarers (1996) must ensure that the rele­vant services hold a certificate or a licence documenting that they are operated in accordance with the require­ments of the relevant convention.

If the relevant country does not issue such certificates or licences to private recruitment or placement services, the shipowners must procure any other type of official confirmation that the relevant services are operated in ac­cordance with the requirements of one of the conventions mentioned above.

Shipowners using private recruitment and placement services for seafarers in countries that have not ratified the MLC or ILO Convention no. 179 must be able to document that the relevant services meet the requirements for recruitment and placement services stipulated in the relevant conventions.

The Danish Maritime Authority can approve a shipowner's use of a private recruitment and placement service for seafarers in a country that has not ratified the MLC or ILO Convention no. 179. The approval is granted for a limited period of time that is normally 5 years.

Order on the activities of private recruitment and placement services

 

The MLC and EU law make it possible to choose between regulating seafarers' hours of work or their hours of rest. Denmark has chosen solely to regulate seafarers' hours of rest.

Hours of rest per 24 hours and per week

The seafarer must have at least 10 hours of rest during a 24-hour working day, at least 6 hours of which must be consecutive. The 10 hours must be divided into a maximum of two periods of rest, and there must be a maximum of 14 hours between the periods of rest. Absence from work counts as rest only if it has a duration of at least 1 hour. A seafarer's total hours of rest in a week must amount to at least 77 hours. All periods of rest are included.

A working day is a 24-hour period commencing the first time the seafarer starts to work during a calendar day. A week is a consecutive period of 7 days. The Danish Maritime Authority can permit that the daily and weekly hours of rest are calculated within the calendar day (00.00-24.00 hours). A copy of the permit must be available on board.

Exemptions in case of recorded collective agreements

Watchkeeping seafarers or seafarers working on ships engaged on short voyages (such as ferry crossings) can be entitled to shorter periods of rest. However, this presupposes that a collective agreement has been concluded providing compensation in the form of more sparetime, compensation time or the like. The agreement must also take appropriate account of the seafarer's health and safety. The special collective agreement must not be used until it has been recorded by the Danish Maritime Authority. The recorded agreement must be available on board.

Exemptions in special cases

Seafarers on call must have a compensating period of rest if the normal period of rest is interrupted due to work and if such interruption without compensation of the employee means that the requirement for the rest hours of the 24-hour working day cannot be met.

Employees on call must have total hours of rest during the 24-hour working day of at least 10 hours. One of the periods of rest must amount to at least 6 hours.

Musters, fire and rescue drills and other prescribed drills must be carried out so that they interfere as little as possible with the seafarers' periods of rest and do not lead to fatigue. The total hours of rest during a 24-hour working day for a seafarer, irrespective of interruption, must be of at least 10 hours. One of the periods of rest must amount to at least 6 hours.

Exemptions can be granted from the provisions on hours of rest in unforeseen emergencies, for example when it is necessary for the immediate safety of the ship, those on board or the cargo or to assist other ships or persons in distress at sea. The decision is made by the master and, as soon as it is practicable, he or she must make sure that the seafarer has a sufficient period of rest.

Posters and recording of hours of rest

In an easily accessible place on board, a record must be posted with information about each function on board and about the employees’ periods of work at sea and in port, including watchkeeping periods for watchkeeping employees The seafarer's periods of rest must be recorded on a special rest hour form on an ongoing basis. The Danish Maritime Authority has issued forms of watchkeeping and rest hours in a standardised format. The forms are available as annexes to the order on hours of rest. If a shipping company wants an other format, this must be approved by the Danish Maritime Authority. The rest hour form must be kept in duplicate.

Order on seafarers' hours of rest.pdf

The master or a person authorised by him and the seafarer must sign the hours of rest form every month. At suit able intervals and when the service on board terminates, the seafarer must receive a signed copy of the rest hour form. The ship's copy must be kept on board for 6 months after the termination of the ship service.

The Danish Maritime Authority can permit that seafarers' rest hour data are recorded and kept electronically on board.

The act on the manning of ships prescribes that, on all ships, there must be a master and in addition the crew necessary in consideration of the safety of human lives at sea.

Act on the manning of ships

Minimum safe manning document

Passenger ships, irrespective of size, cargo ships with a gross tonnage of or above 20 and cargo ships with a gross tonnage below 20 engaged on international voyages must hold a certificate issued by the Danish Maritime Authority containing the minimum safe manning. It is issued in consideration of IMO resolution A.1047(27) on the manning of ships.
 
The minimum safe manning is established for each individual ship in consideration of the ship's type, arrange­ment, equipment, use and trade area so that the size and composition of the crew makes it possible to carry out all tasks of importance to the safety of the ship and those on board, including:

  • maintenance of a safe bridge and engine watch;
  • operation and maintenance of life-saving appliances;
  • operation and maintenance of damage control, fire-extinguishing and communication equipment;
  • other maintenance and cleaning of a safety-related nature;
  • mooring operations;
  • food and health conditions.

In addition, the following must be taken into consideration when determining the minimum safe manning:

  • the watchkeeping arrangements on board;
  • shift work;
  • the actual working hours of each individual crew member;
  • the provisions on rest hours in force; and
  • the use of general purpose crews.

 

Read more about minimum safe manning documents

Complaint

During a period of 4 weeks from the issue of a minimum safe manning document, the shipping company or the seafarer organisations have a possibility of bringing a minimum safe manning document before the Danish Ship­ping Tribunal, which will take the final administrative decision on the composition of the crew.

Read more about the Danish Ship­ping Tribunal

 

Requirements for accommodation are regulated in Order on accommodation and recreational facilities in merchant ships. The order applies to vessels built on or after 1 July 2018.

Previous regulation on accommodation and recreational facilities continue to apply to existing ships, unless ships built before 1 July 2018 choose to use the mentioned Order as an alternative to the rules that otherwise apply to that ship. Previous provisions on accommodation only apply to vessels whose keels are laid or which are at a similar stage of construction on or after 20 August 2013, when the MLC enters into force.

Order on accommodation and recreational facilities in merchant ships

For ships constructed before 20 August 2013, the requirements for ship construction and equipment specified in ILO Convention No. 92 on Accommodation of Crews (revised) and ILO Convention No. 133 on Accommodation of Crews (Supplementary Provisions) will continue to apply if they were in effect prior to that date according to laws and practices.

Order on accommodation and recreational facilities in merchant ships fully implements the requirements in MLC, regulation 3.1.

Exemptions and equivalents

Any exemptions or equivalent solutions in relation to Order on accommodation and recreational facilities in merchant ships or previous regulation must be documented on board, so that it is possible to verify compliance with the regulation during an inspection in a manner that is easy for the surveyor.

Requirements for on-board recreational facilities are regulated in Order on accommodation and recreational facilities in merchant ships. The order applies to vessels built on or after 1 July 2018.


Previous regulation on accommodation continue to apply to existing ships, unless ships built before 1 July 2018 choose to use the mentioned Order as an alternative to the rules that otherwise apply to that ship. Previous provisions on accommodation apply to vessels whose keels are laid or which are at a similar stage of construction on or after 20 August 2013, when the MLC enters into force.

Order on accommodation and recreational facilities in merchant ships

For ships constructed before 20 August 2013, the requirements for ship construction and equipment specified in ILO Convention No. 92 on Accommodation of Crews (revised) and ILO Convention No. 133 on Accommodation of Crews Supplementary Provisions) will continue to apply if they were in effect prior to that date according to laws and practices.

Order on accommodation and recreational facilities in merchant ships fully implements the requirements in MLC, regulation 3.1.

Exemptions and equivalents

Any exemptions or equivalent solutions in relation to Order on accommodation and recreational facilities in merchant ships or previous regulation must be documented on board, so that it is possible to verify compliance with the regulations during an inspection in a manner that is easy for the surveyor.

The food must be composed in such a manner that account is taken of the necessary content of proteins, fat and carbohydrates as well as of vitamins, minerals and salts. The food must be as varied as possible and appear ap­petizing. The composition of the food must be adjusted to the climatic conditions. Fresh or deep-frozen raw materials must be used insofar as possible.

The food must be cooked and served under appropriate conditions of hygiene.

Drinking water must be of sufficient quality and available in ample supplies in relation to the size of the crew on board.

The food must be distributed on three main meals and one or more snacks between meals.

The food must be offered in such quantities that everyone on board can get enough to eat.

The composition of the food must be adjusted to the seafarers' religious beliefs and cultural background.

The food must be free of charge to the seafarer during the period of service. However, it can be agreed between the parties that the right to free food can be met through the payment of compensating board-wages when the seafarer does not sleep on board.

Order on food in Danish ships

Persons signing on for a position on a Danish merchant ship involving this person's handling of articles of food on board and not having a certificate of competency as a ship's cook must be able to document competences within self-monitoring of procedures concerning the treatment of articles of food, including critical items to be checked and monitoring procedures, general microbiology, including foodborne diseases, and hygienic princi­ples, including cleaning, personal hygiene and the handling and storage of articles of food.

The competences can be acquired either as part of a training programme or through a certificate training pro­gramme in food hygiene the contents of which is decided by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration where a certificate is acquired upon completion, or through training on board a ship of at least 7 days' duration where, among other things, e-learning is used.

The master is responsible for the persons handling articles of food on board having documentation of the above-mentioned competences.

Order on the hygienic competences of seafarers handling food on board ships

A cook prescribed in the minimum safe manning document of a ship must hold a Danish certificate as a ship's cook. Nobody younger than 18 years must serve as a ship's cook.

In ships registered in the Danish International Ship Register no Danish certificate as a ship's cook is required. Persons can serve in prescribed positions as ship's cooks if they can document apprenticeship in the cooking pro­fession of 48 months, hereof at least 24 months in seagoing ships, or satisfactory completion of a cook's training programme with the relevant contents from a recognised training centre supplemented by service as a cook on board a seagoing ship for at least 5 months. The documentation must be accompanied by an endorse­ment by the Danish Maritime Authority confirming that the holder can serve as a prescribed cook.

Act on the safe manning of ships

Order on the qualification requirements of cooks not holding a Danish certificate of competence as a ship's cook on board merchant ships registered in the Danish International Register of Shipping

Persons who have acquired the right to work as a prescribed cook on board Danish ships in accordance with regulations in force before the entry into force of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention retain this right.

(Notice B, chapter II-3, regulation 11.6) and (Notice D, chapter II-3, regulation 11.6)

Order on Notice B from the Danish Maritime Authority, technical regulation on the construction and equipment, etc. of ships

Order on Notice D from the Danish Maritime Authority, technical regulation on the construction and equipment, etc. of passenger ships on domestic voyages

Suitable and sufficient possibilities of storing provisions as well as refrigerating and freezing arrangements must be available for easily perishable articles of food.

(Notice B, chapter II-3, regulation 20.2) and (Notice D, chapter II-3, regulation 17.2)

It shall be ensured that the drinking water on board (which is used for human purposes) is of a satisfactory quality suitable for the intended purpose. It shall be possible to prove this through regular analyses assessed against international standards.

(Notice B, chapter II-3, regulation 11.5 and 19) and (Notice D, chapter II-3, regulation 11.5 and 20)

Accommodation spaces (including the galley) must be kept clean and proper. Cleaning must take place on a daily basis. They must be used only for goods or stores belonging to the one(s) for whom the room is intended.

Accommodation spaces must be disinfected to the extent necessary following every contagious disease on board.

Accommodation spaces in which vermin are found must be cleaned and disinfected immediately.

The master or the one whom he or she has entrusted with this task must, together with one or more crew mem­bers, inspect all accommodation spaces at intervals of no more than one week.

The result hereof must be entered in the ship's logbook if one is available or otherwise in the annexed file.

The Danish regulations on occupational health apply to all work carried out on board ships and prescribe that the obligations rest with the shipowners, masters, foremen and other persons carrying out work on board.

The regu­lations implement EU directives on the health and safety of employees during work, including pregnant employ­ees, employees who have just given birth or who are breast-feeding. The regulations concern the planning and arrangement of the work, the performance of the work, training and instructions, control of occupational health, general preventive principles as well as occupational health effects (physical, biological and chemical ones). In addition, there are special regulations on young persons' work on board ships, including certain types of work that must not be carried out by young persons below the age of 18.

Act on safety at sea

Notice A from the Danish Maritime Authority, occupational health in ships

The planning and arrangement of the work presupposes that a workplace assessment is made which must be available in writing to the extent that it is of special importance to health and safety during work. The workplace assessment must, inter alia, be made in consideration of the best possible prevention of accidents or occupational injuries.

The master of any ship must report occupational accidents and incidents of poisoning that have occurred on board the ship if the accident or the poisoning has lead to incapacity for work for one day or more in addition to the day of the incident or if the injured person has not been able to carry out his or her usual work on board for one day or more in addition to the day of the injury.

In merchant ships with a fixed manning of 5 or more persons, a safety organisation must be established.

The members of a safety group must have completed a course in occupational health approved by the Danish Maritime Authority.

The members of the safety organisation must strive to solve health- and safety-related problems on board.

The safety group must check that the working conditions and the work are arranged and carried out in a manner that is appropriate in terms of health and safety.

Order on safety work in merchant ships (Occupational health in ships)

Sea Health & Welfare has been established the task of which is to further both the physical and mental health and safety of the employees, to prevent occupational health injuries, including occupational accidents, occupational diseases and attrition among those employed on Danish merchant ships and to support the safety organisations of the ships. The tasks of Sea Health & Welfare are, inter alia, to identify and assess the occupational health problems of the merchant fleet in cooperation with the shipping company and the safety organisation, to present proposals for improving the conditions of health and safety on board merchant ships and to contribute to the collection and revision of statistical material on the conditions of health and safety on merchant ships. Sea Health & Welfare is headed by a board on which shipowners and seafarers are equally represented.

Order on the Danish Maritime Occupational Health and Welfare Board and the Danish Maritime Occupational Health Service (in Danish)

Read more about Sea Health & Welfare

Pursuant to the act on safety investigations of marine accidents, a Maritime Accident Investigation Board has been established, which investigates very serious accidents at sea. Other occupational accidents are investigated by the Danish Maritime Authority.

Act on safety investigations of marine accidents

Read more about the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board

All in all, the regulations ensure the seafarer free medical treatment, medicine, etc. during the service on board and during stays in foreign ports.

The special health insurance scheme for seafarers includes treatment services corresponding to those applicable in Denmark, but adjusted to the special conditions at sea. During the service on board, the seafarer also has a possibility of receiving financial subsidies from the State for certain types of acute dental treatments.

Act on seafarers' conditions of employment, etc. section 27

Order on seafarers' right to care

Order on a special health insurance scheme for seafarers

Order on Notice A from the Danish Maritime Authority, technical regulation on occupational health in ships, chapter A IXB, Examinations, medical treatment and ship's medicine

Medical treatment, etc.

The regulations on medical treatment and ship's medicine apply to seafarers on board all ships with the exception of ships engaged in voyages of no more than half an hour's duration at sea and towboats and other ships navi­gating port areas. Similarly, the regulations on occupational health apply to all commercial work carried out on board new as well as existing Danish ships.

The regulations ensure that, in consideration of a ship's trade area, a ship's medicine chest is on board with the prescribed equipment, guidelines and medicine and that the master and another seafarer has completed a medical examiner training programme meeting, inter alia, the requirements of the STCW Convention hereon.

The medical treatment on board must be arranged and carried out in accordance with the instructions given in the medical book authorised by the Danish Maritime Authority.

Through Radio Medical Denmark, professional assistance for both Danish and foreign ships free of charge is ensured 24 hours a day.

The ship's medical records, containing information about examinations, ordination from Radio Medical, treat­ment and the supply of medicaments, are confidential and handed over to the seafarer when he or she signs off. A copy of the record must be kept on board for a year, and subsequently the copy must be destroyed.

The Danish Maritime Occupational Health and Welfare Board publishes information and training material about job satisfaction, health prevention and accident prevention for seafarers.

Health service on board ships

A medical practitioner must be available on board if the number of persons on board exceeds 100. However, this is conditional upon the ship being engaged in voyages abroad of more than three days' duration.

Order on Notice B from the Danish Maritime Authority, technical regulation on the construction and equipment, etc. of ships​

Order on Notice D from the Danish Maritime Authority, technical regulation on the construction and equipment, etc. of passenger ships on domestic voyages​​

Requirements for the medical treatment on board are stipulated in chapter II-3 of Notice B and Notice D, respec­tively.

Notice B applies to new cargo ships with a length (L) of or above 15 metres or with scantlings of or above 100 and to passenger ships engaged in international voyages.

Notice D applies to all new passenger ships engaged in domestic voyages.

The provision on medical treatment on board in Notice B is found in chapter II-3 and describes the requirements for a separate sickness bay where one is required.

However, instead of a sickness bay a treatment room can be established that must be appropriately equipped, including a washbasin and an acute treatment place when each member of the crew has his or her own cabin with associated toilet and shower.

Exemptions and equivalents

Any exemptions or equivalent solutions in relation to chapter II-3 must, however, be documented on board so that it is possible to verify compliance with the regulations during an inspection in a manner that is easy for the surveyor.

The shipowner is responsible that a written procedure is drawn up for the treatment of employee complaints. It must be stipulated in the complaint procedure that complaints must be given to the seafarer's superior.

The complaint procedure must ensure that the complaint is promoted without any groundless delay to provide the employee with a reasonable possibility of bringing the complaint further.

The complaint procedure drawn up must contain protective measures against the risk of personal persecution.

The procedure must at all times entitle the plaintiff to be accompanied or represented during the complaint proce­dure.

All complaints and decisions related to the complaints must be recorded on board and the plaintiff must receive a copy.

All employees must, as an addition to their employment contracts, be furnished with a copy of the procedures on complaints on board the ship.

Moreover, reference is made to the order that must be available on board the ship and can be found on our webpage.

Order on complaints on board Danish ships

Send a complaint about working and living conditions

Danish law does not regulate the amount of wages and allowances to be paid to a seafarer and any adjustments hereof. Normally, this will be decided by collective agreement between the two sides of industry or by an individual agreement between the seafarer and the employer.

Seafarers' wages

According to law, a seafarer is entitled to wages during the work, and it is earned on an ongoing basis though the amount of wages is normally fixed at an amount per month.

Wages normally mean basic wages and increments. To this can be added other types of allowances for special service or for especially hard and burdensome work or the like.

Information about wages and allowances must be stated in the seafarer's employment contract or through refer­ence to a collective agreement.

Wages run from the time agreed by the parties, however not later than from the time when the seafarer starts serving on board or as otherwise stipulated in section 21 of the act.

Payment of wages and monthly statements

The seafarer's wages must be paid at intervals of no more than 1 month.

The seafarer can require the wages earned paid in cash only when the ship is in port and, while in the same coun­try, not more frequently than every seventh day.

Cash payment can be required in the local currency used in the port where the ship is berthed and the exchange rate of the day must be used. The seafarer can also choose to have the wages paid as a special authorisation of payment by the shipping company.

According to the law, the seafarer must receive a monthly account of the wages earned including allowances, the wages paid and the rate of exchange used if the payment is made in another currency than the one agreed upon.

Transfer of seafarers' wages

According to the law, a seafarer can require his or her wages paid as monthly allotments to a specific person. However, payment cannot be required according to more than three parallel allotment notes. A seafarer can re­quire all wages or parts hereof transferred to one or more financial institutions in Denmark or abroad.

Prohibition against set-offs in wages

Without the seafarer's consent, deductions can be made from wages only of amounts for covering liability to pay compensation claims incurred during the service, in addition to such amounts as the shipowner is ordered to withhold pursuant to statutory provisions. Deductions must be made from wages paid to the seafarer rather than from wages paid as allotments unless the seafarer decides otherwise.

Parts of the requirements covered by Regulation 2.5, Standard A2.5.2 are covered by the act on the Employees' Guarantee Fund (Lønmodtagernes Garantifond (LG)), which is a statutory scheme covering masters and seafarers on board Danish ships if the general requirements of the act are met. The coverage of the Fund is independent on whether the employer has paid the mandatory contribution.

Parts of the requirements covered by Regulation 2.5 are, furthermore, covered by the following Danish public social security schemes covering masters and seafarers on board Danish ships: the health insurance scheme for seafarers as well as the sickness benefit and maternity/paternity benefit schemes for seafarers.

The owner of a Danish ship is required to take out insurance or provide other similar security meeting the requirements of Standard A2.5.2. Requirements covered by the LG or the above mentioned public social security schemes can, however, be exempted from the insurance or other similar security.

Proof of financial security under Standard A2.5.2 is, therefore, as regards Danish ships, constituted partly by a declaration from an insurance company or another provider of a guarantee that meets annex A2.1 of the Convention. If this declaration makes reservations as regards requirements covered by the LG or the above mentioned social security schemes, attached declarations from LG and the Danish Maritime Authority must also be carried on board the ship.

Order on insurance or other security for covering shipowner's liability towards the seafarers and the master in case of breach of the employment relationship

 

Seafarers on board Danish ships are covered by the Danish act on industrial injury insurance on an equal footing with persons working in Denmark.

For confirmation of the protection of the seafarers and the master pursuant to the act on industrial injury insurance, attached declaration shall be available to the seafarers on board the ship. The declaration shall be in the working language of the ship or in English. If the ship is engaged in international trade, it shall be in English or a translation to English shall be attached.​

Order on the posting of a declaration on protection of seafarers and the master under the act on industrial injury insurance

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