B4. What ships does the MLC, 2006 apply to?

The MLC, 2006 defines a ship in Article II, paragraph (1)(i) as “a ship other than one which navigates exclusively in inland waters or waters within, or closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where port regulations apply” [see B6.]. The MLC, 2006 applies to all ships as so defined, whether publicly or privately owned, that are ordinarily engaged in commercial activities except (see Article II, paragraph 4):

■ ships engaged in fishing or in similar pursuits;

■ ships of traditional build, such as dhows and junks;

■ warships or naval auxiliaries.

The MLC, 2006 recognizes (Article II, paragraph 5) that there may be situations where there is doubt as to whether it applies to a ship or particular category of ships. In the event of doubt, the national competent authority [see A25.] must make a determination on the question after consultation with the shipowners’ and seafarers’ organizations concerned. Information about any national determinations that have been made must be communicated to the Director-General of the ILO 41 .

Questions about the workers and the ships covered by the MLC, 2006