The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has selected the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) as the first foreign recognised organisation (RO) authorised for maritime labour inspection.

ABS provides classification and technical services to the global marine and offshore industries.

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) is an international labour organisation convention established in 2006, and includes 16 articles containing general provisions, which consists of five titles that outline specific provisions grouped by standard.

"As an RO, we will be able to offer an even wider range of services to our customers here."

The MLC, which was ratified in August 2013, also includes minimum requirements for seafarers to work on a ship; conditions of employment; accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering; and health protection, medical care, welfare and social security protection.

ABS Japan pacific division vice-president Akira Akiyama said: "As an RO, we will be able to offer an even wider range of services to our customers here."

It is reported that the law requires ships, excluding fishing vessels and noncommercial vessels, of more than 500t and engaged in international voyages to go through maritime labour inspection by the state or a RO to verify that living and working conditions meet MLC requirements, and that valid certificates are being carried onboard.

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By GlobalData

With the latest recognition, ABS will be able to provide this service to the shipowners.

Recently, ABS has completed a project with a group of Greek shipowners to support preparations for implementing the European Union’s monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) regulation for CO2 emissions.

The regulation allows companies to understand how they will be affected and what steps need to be taken to achieve and demonstrate compliance.