Lloyd’s Register signed a contract on Friday February 19, 2010 with V.Ships to provide services to help ensure that V.Ships is able to secure certification for the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) new maritime labour convention, MLC, 2006 – expected to come into force in early 2012.

Matt Dunlop, Chief Operating Officer Ship Management, V.Ships, explained why preparing for the new ILO convention is so important: “We are committed to the continued wellbeing of the seafarers that sail in all our ships. We welcome the MLC, 2006 and the minimum standards it will require across the industry. It is important that adequate standards for seafarers’ terms of employment - their accommodation, their recreation, catering, health and medical care, their welfare and social conditions - are all protected by convention.

“We want to be able to demonstrate that we are leading the way in preparing for this convention and how seriously we take the safeguarding of seafarers’ working conditions. If we look after our people we know that they will look after our ships.”

Lloyd's Register was approached by V.Ships’ Ship Management Division to complete an ILO gap analysis, identifying any areas for development, as well as training and certification services for all V.Ship Ship Management entities, providing a unified and global approach to managing MLC, 2006 compliance.

Tom Boardley, Lloyd’s Register’s Marine Director commenting in Glasgow said: “V.Ships and Lloyd’s Register have established a very high degree of trust as the platform from which we can deliver the high, and consistent, levels of service that the world’s biggest shipmanager needs. We have worked very hard to get to grips with the requirements of the MLC and we are very pleased to have been rewarded with this significant contract.”

Lloyd’s Register has now completed more than 100 MLC, 2006 trial inspections worldwide and has more than 45 trained ILO qualified inspectors able to provide MLC, 2006 services – a number that will grow as further inspectors are trained. These inspections have been carried out on the full range of ship types from the largest cruise liners to small coastal vessels and with this experience Lloyd’s Register can greatly assist companies in their preparation for the implementation of the MLC, 2006 and provide a full range of MLC related services, including certification.

Lloyd’s Register works closely with V.Ships on a global basis, providing classification and ISM/ISPS services to many of its managed ships and, more recently, increasing number of consultancy services. A significant recent project was an environmental culture evaluation report (MARPOL I) project where, over a year, Lloyd’s Register identified and reported on systemic issues that may threaten V.Ships' environmental performance.

In this new project, V.Ships, supported by Lloyd’s Register, will benefit from the smooth implementation of MLC, 2006 well ahead of the regulatory entry-into-force.