Malta ratified the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention in January 2013 and transposed it into the Merchant Shipping Rules under the auspices of the Merchant Shipping Directorate in August of that year.
Malta has signed bilateral agreements with over 34 Maritime Administrations worldwide. It recognises certificates of competence that meet the relevant criteria of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers.
Seafarers are certified by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen after the applicant completes a set of training courses followed by exams.
Requirements for seafarers and shipmasters
Once a seafarer is certified, they or their employer can apply for a Maltese Seaman’s Record Book on their behalf against a fee of EUR60. The application also requires qualification documents entered into the book and documentary evidence of basic training certificates.
The applicant would also require a statement by a shipmaster or their employer on an official form or letterhead paper. This is to show that they will be working on a Maltese Registered vessel.
The last figures released by the Maltese authorities show that 262,087 applications from overseas seafarers serve on Maltese flagged vessels.
The Maltese Law is also in accordance with the International Maritime Organisation’s stipulations regarding the competency of seafarers. All seafarers must be suitably qualified to fulfil their roles aboard ships to maintain operations onboard safely.
While able seamen can have overseas qualifications, electro-technical roles require an endorsement by the Maltese Authorities.
Following international law, the shipmaster must draw up a contract of employment to cover all of the crew, who must agree to it. The contract should include the following:
- Personal details of all crew members
- The time when the seafarer is expected to be aboard or to commence work
- The role of each seafarer
- The wage they will be paid
- The leave they will be entitled to
The master must also stipulate the nature of the voyage, the expected duration, and the destinations involved.
The agreement must also include disciplinary measures for any transgressions. There should also be a list of all minors on board the vessel, along with their date of birth.
A seafarer must provide the shipmaster with a declaration by a recognised medical practitioner, certifying that they are fit to carry out their duties.