2. General duties and responsibilities
2.1. General duties of the competent authority of flag States
2.1.1. The competent authority should, on the basis of an assessment of safety and
health hazards and in consultation with shipowners' and seafarers' organizations, adopt
national laws or regulations to ensure the safety and health of seafarers working on
2.1.2. A practical application of these national laws or regulations should be
provided through technical standards or codes of practice, or by other appropriate
2.1.3. In giving effect to paragraphs 2.1.1 and 2.1.2 above, the competent
authority should have due regard to the relevant standards adopted by recognized
international organizations in the field of maritime safety.1
2.1.4. The competent authority should provide appropriate inspection services to
enforce or administer the application of the provisions of national laws and regulations
and should provide the necessary resources for the accomplishment of their task, or
satisfy itself that appropriate inspection and enforcement are carried out.2
2.1.5. The inspection and survey of ships should normally be carried out by the
competent authority.3 If inspection and survey are delegated to classification societies
and other bodies, the competent authority should ensure that its international
obligations4 are fulfilled and that national laws and regulations are enforced.
2.1.6. The measures to be taken to ensure organized cooperation between
shipowners and seafarers to promote safety and health on board ship should be
1 These include, from the International Labour Organization, the Merchant Shipping (Minimum
Standards) Convention, 1976 (No. 147); the Prevention of Accidents (Seafarers) Convention, 1970
(No. 134); the Prevention of Accidents (Seafarers) Recommendation, 1970 (No. 142); and from the
International Maritime Organization, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974
(SOLAS); the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for
Seafarers, 1978 (STCW); the International Convention on Loadlines, 1966 (ICL); the Convention on the
International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREG) and any subsequent revisions
of the above instruments.
2 For guidance on inspections in accordance with Convention No. 147, the ILO publication
Inspection of labour conditions on board ship: Guide-lines for procedure should be followed. In
accordance with Article 2 of Convention No. 134, the competent authority in each maritime country shall
take the necessary measures to ensure that occupational accidents are adequately reported and
investigated, and comprehensive statistics on such accidents kept and analysed. Use may also be made of
the IMO/ILO Guidelines for the investigation of accidents where fatigue may have been a contributing
factor, where appropriate.
3 See also the Labour Inspection (Seamen) Recommendation, 1926 (No. 28).
4 Guidelines for the Authorization of Organizations Acting on Behalf of the Administration, IMO
Resolution A.739(18), 1993, and subsequent related resolutions should be followed.