The MCA is the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in the United Kingdom, the government body responsible for implementing the maritime safety policy in Britain and internationally and also the training and certification of UK seafarers. They are a member of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and they follow the criteria laid down by them. The equivalent’s in other countries would be AMSA (Australia), SAMSA (South Africa), US Coastguard (USA), for example.


The Professional Yachting Association is your voice in the industry and are well worth joining and supporting. They are a non-profit making Association who work tirelessly representing the yachting industry lobbying various authorities to improve this industry. For the full history of the PYA click HERE. The PYA have offices worldwide from the Med to the Caribbean, USA and Australasia.


GEPY (Groupement des Equipages Professionnels du Yachting) is the French equivalent of the PYA.

MLC (Maritime Labour Convention) 2006


The International Labour Organisation’s Maritime Labour Convention 2006 is a human right’s act which provides comprehensive rights and protection for seafarers. It aims to achieve both decent work and working conditions for seafarers and also to secure economic interests for quality shipowners. This new labour standard consolidates and updates more than 68 international labour standards related to the maritime sector.

You can download a copy of Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006 HERE.
It is available in several different languages.
For the list of ratifying countries see HERE.

MLC applies to all the registered commercial vessels regardless of the flag state they belong to. This will also include leisure and commercial yachts, which are engaged on international voyages besides a few exceptions as stated in their circular discussing application of MLC on types of vessels. Vessels must be over 500 GRT to carry the MLC certificate. For vessels under 500 GRT, guidelines recommend the vessels to be voluntarily complying with the convention and as documented by the flag states.

Please note that working on a yacht whose flagstate is a country which has not ratified the MLC 2006 means that there is a risk that your seafarer employment agreement (SEA) may not be MLC 2006 compliant and you won’t necessarily have the protection afforded by MLC 2006. For a full explanation of these risks, click HERE