Merchant Shipping
(Maritime Labour Convention) Bill

Bill No. 27/2013

Read the first time on 11th November 2013.
An Act to give effect to the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, to make provisions generally for matters connected therewith, and to make related amendments to certain other written laws.
Be it enacted by the President with the advice and consent of the Parliament of Singapore, as follows:
Short title and commencement
1.  This Act may be cited as the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) Act 2013 and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.
2.—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Authority” means the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore established under the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act (Cap. 170A);
“collective agreement” —
(a)in relation to a collective agreement governed by the Industrial Relations Act (Cap. 136), has the same meaning as in that Act; and
(b)in relation to a collective agreement not governed by the Industrial Relations Act, means a similar agreement governed by the law of a territory outside Singapore;
“Convention” means the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 adopted by the International Labour Organization at Geneva on 23rd February 2006 and, where the context shall admit or require, includes the Regulations, and the Standards in Part A of the Code, of the Convention;
“court”, in relation to any proceedings, includes any court having jurisdiction in the matter to which the proceedings relate;
“Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance” means the declaration referred to in section 50;
“Director” means the Director of Marine appointed under section 4 of the Merchant Shipping Act (Cap. 179) and includes the Deputy Director of Marine appointed under that Act;
“gross rate of pay” means the total amount of money including allowances to which a seafarer is entitled under his seafarer’s employment agreement either for working for a period of time, that is, for one hour, one day, one week, one month or for such other period as may be stated or implied in his seafarer’s employment agreement, or for each completed piece or task of work but does not include —
(a)additional payments by way of overtime payments;
(b)additional payments by way of bonus payments or annual wage supplements;
(c)any sum paid to the seafarer to reimburse him for special expenses incurred by him in the course of his employment;
(d)productivity incentive payments; and
(e)travelling, food or housing allowances;
“gross tonnage”, in relation to a ship, means its gross tonnage calculated in accordance with the regulations in Annex 1 of the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969 and any amendment thereto which has come into force and has been accepted by the Government, or any successor Convention accepted by the Government;
“hours of rest” means a period during which the seafarer is free to dispose of his own time and movements, and does not include any short breaks and any intervals allowed during hours of work for rest and meals;
“inspector” means a person who —
(a)is a surveyor of ships; or
(b)is appointed in writing by the Director to be an inspector for the purposes of this Act;
“Maritime Labour Certificate” means the certificate referred to in section 52;
“master” includes every person, except a pilot, having command or charge of a ship;
“medical fitness certificate” means a certificate attesting to a person’s fitness to perform the duties which that person will carry out at sea and which is issued by a qualified medical practitioner (whether or not subject to restrictions or conditions);
“other relevant written law” means other written law implementing requirements of the Convention as specified in the First Schedule;
“Port Master” means the Port Master appointed under section 15 of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Act and includes any Deputy Port Master appointed under that section;
“qualified medical practitioner” means a person who —
(a)is a duly qualified medical practitioner under the Medical Registration Act (Cap. 174); or
(b)possesses such other qualification as may be approved by the Director;
“Recognised Organisation” means any organisation appointed by the Director under section 5(1) of the Merchant Shipping Act, or the Merchant Shipping (Authorised Organisations) Regulations (Cap. 179, Rg 18) or any regulations made under section 116 of the Merchant Shipping Act, and authorised by the Director to —
(a)survey and inspect Singapore ships for the purposes of the requirements of the Convention or this Act;
(b)issue Maritime Labour Certificates and Declarations of Maritime Labour Compliance in respect of Singapore ships; or
(c)perform the functions referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b);
“requirements of the Convention” refers to the requirements in the Articles, the Regulations and Part A of the Code, of the Convention;
“seafarer” means any person, including the master, who is employed or engaged or works in any capacity on board a ship, but does not include —
(a)a pilot;
(b)a port worker;
(c)a person temporarily employed on the ship during the period it is in port; and
(d)a person specified in an Order made by the Authority, with the approval of the Minister, declaring the categories of persons not to be regarded as seafarers;
“seafarer recruitment and placement service” means any person, company, institution, agency or other organisation which is engaged in recruiting seafarers on behalf of shipowners or placing seafarers with shipowners;
“seafarer’s employment agreement” means a contract of employment and articles of agreement in writing made between a person employed as a seafarer on a ship and the person employing him;
“ship” has the same meaning as in the Merchant Shipping Act, but does not include —
(a)any vessel which navigates exclusively in inland waters or waters within, or closely adjacent to, sheltered waters or areas where the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (Port) Regulations (Cap. 170A, Rg 7) apply;
(b)any warship or naval auxiliary;
(c)any ship engaged in fishing or in similar pursuits;
(d)any ship of traditional build such as dhows and junks;
(e)any ship that is intended to be operated without any seafarer on board; and
(f)any ship specified in an Order made by the Authority, with the approval of the Minister, declaring the categories of ships to be excluded from the application of this Act;
“shipowner”, in relation to a ship, means the owner, and includes the registered owner, or in the absence of registration, the person owning the ship or any other person such as the ship manager, agent or bareboat charterer, who has assumed the responsibility for the operation of the ship from the owner and who, on assuming such responsibility, has agreed to take over the duties and responsibilities imposed on shipowners in accordance with the Convention, regardless of whether any other organisation or persons fulfil certain of the duties or responsibilities on behalf of the shipowner;
“Singapore ship” has the same meaning as in the Merchant Shipping Act;
“STCW Code” means the Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code adopted by the 1995 Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 and any amendment thereto which has come into force and has been accepted by the Government;
“surveyor of ships” means a person appointed as a surveyor of ships under section 5 of the Merchant Shipping Act;
“young seafarer” means any seafarer who is 16 years of age or above and below 18 years of age.
(2)  References in this Act —
(a)to a failure to do any act or thing include references to a refusal or neglect to do that act or thing;
(b)to going to sea include, in the case of a Singapore ship, references to going to sea from any country outside Singapore; and
(c)to a death occurring on a ship include references to a death occurring in a ship’s boat or life raft and to being lost from a ship, ship’s boat or life raft.
(3)  For the purposes of this Act —
(a)a seafarer is discharged from a ship when his employment on that ship is terminated;
(b)a seafarer discharged from a ship in any country and left there shall be deemed to be left behind in that country notwithstanding that the ship also remains there; and
(c)a ship shall be deemed to have gone to sea if it has got under way for any purpose except for the purpose of moving the ship from one berth or place in a port to another berth or place in the port.