Recruitment and placement services

Read about the requirements for recruitment and placement services under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

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The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) came into force in New Zealand on 9 March 2017. Recruitment and Placement Services that are based in New Zealand now must meet the standards in the Convention.


Operating as a Private Seafarer Recruitment and Placement Services

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) requires that companies who operate as Private Seafarer Recruitment and Placement Services (RPS) meet the standards outlined within the Convention when placing seafarers aboard ships.

An RPS provider is defined in the convention as a company whose primary purpose is the recruitment and placement of seafarers or which recruit and place a significant number of seafarers.

A person intending to obtain employment as a seafarer must not be charged a fee for placement by an RPS provider. However, any person who requires assistance in obtaining documentation necessary to gain employment on a vessel may be charged a reasonable fee, limited to the following documents:

  • Certificate of medical fitness
  • seafarer’s qualification
  • National seafarers’ record book
  • Passport
  • travel documents (other than a visa)

An RPS provider is required to verify qualifications and documentation for each seafarer for whom it provides services, including that the seafarer:

  • is qualified to carry out the duties for which they are employed
  • holds all necessary documentation required
  • has a Seafarers’ employment agreement that is in accordance with the requirements of the relevant legislation that applies to them.

An RPS provider must keep the following records for all persons recruited or placed on a vessel:

  • the seafarers’ qualifications
  • the seafarers’ record of employment with that service provider
  • personal data relevant to that persons employment
  • medical data relevant to that persons employment

When placing a seafarer on board a vessel, the RPS provider must, to the extent practicable, ensure that the owner of a vessel is insured to protect seafarers against stranding.

Related information:

Maritime Labour Convention

Visit the ILO website
for the Convention’s full text.
Read more

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