Organization Convention (No. 166) concerning the Repatriation of Seafarers
(Geneva, 9 October 1987)
THE GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL
HAVING BEEN CONVENED in Geneva by the
Governing Body of the International Labour Office and having met at its
Seventy-fourth Session on 24 September 1987, and
NOTING that since the adoption of the
Repatriation of Seamen Convention, 1926, and of the Repatriation (Ship
Masters and Apprentices) Recommendation, 1926, developments in the shipping
industry have made it necessary to revise the Convention to incorporate
appropriate elements of the Recommendation, and
NOTING further that considerable progress
has been made through national legislation and practice in providing for
the repatriation of seafarers in various matters not covered by the Repatriation
of Seamen Convention, 1926, and
CONSIDERING that further action by
means of a new international instrument as regards certain additional aspects
of the repatriation of seafarers would accordingly be desirable taking
into account the widespread growth in employment of non-national seafarers
in the shipping industry, and
HAVING DECIDED upon the adoption of
certain proposals with regard to the Revision of the Repatriation of Seamen
Convention, 1926 (No. 23), and of the Repatriation (Ship Masters and Apprentices)
Recommendation, 1926 (No. 27), which is the fifth item on the agenda of
the session, and
HAVING DETERMINED that these proposals
shall take the form of an international Convention,
ADOPTS this ninth day of October of
the year one thousand nine hundred and eighty-seven the following Convention
which may be cited as the Repatriation of Seafarers Convention (Revised),
PART I. SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS
1. This Convention applies to every seagoing
ship whether publicly or privately owned which is registered in the territory
of any Member for which the Convention is in force and which is ordinarily
engaged in commercial maritime navigation and to the owners and seafarers
of such ships.
2. To the extent it deems practicable, after
consultation with the representative organisations of fishing vessel owners
and fishermen, the competent authority shall apply the provisions of this
Convention to commercial maritime fishing.
3. In the event of doubt as to whether or
not any ships are to be regarded as engaged in commercial maritime navigation
or commercial maritime fishing for the purpose of this Convention, the
question shall be determined by the competent authority after consultation
with the organisations of shipowners, seafarers and fishermen concerned.
4. For the purpose of this Convention the
term "seafarer" means any person who is employed in any capacity on board
a seagoing ship to which this Convention applies.
PART II. ENTITLEMENTS
1. A seafarer shall be entitled to repatriation
in the following circumstances:
(a) if an engagement for a specific period
or for a specific voyage expires abroad;
(b) upon the expiry of the period of notice
given in accordance with the provisions of the articles of agreement or
the seafarer's contract of employment;
(c) in the event of illness or injury or other
medical condition which requires his or her repatriation when found medically
fit to travel;
(d) in the event of shipwreck;
(e) in the event of the shipowner not being
able to continue to fulfil his or her legal or contractual obligations
as an employer of the seafarer by reason of bankruptcy, sale of ship, change
of ship's registration or any other similar reason;
(f) in the event of a ship being bound for
a war zone, as defined by national laws or regulations or collective agreements,
to which the seafarer does not consent to go;
(g) in the event of termination or interruption
of employment in accordance with any industrial award or collective agreement,
or termination of employment for any other similar reason.
2. National laws or regulations or collective
agreements shall prescribe the maximum duration of service periods on board
following which a seafarer is entitled to repatriation; such periods shall
be less than 12 months. In determining the maximum periods, account shall
be taken of factors affecting the seafarers' working environment. Each
Member shall seek, wherever possible, to reduce these periods in the light
of technological changes and developments and may be guided by any recommendations
made on the matter by the Joint Maritime Commission.
PART III. DESTINATION
1. Each Member for which this Convention is
in force shall prescribe by national laws or regulations the destinations
to which seafarers may be repatriated.
2. The destinations so prescribed shall include
the place at which the seafarer agreed to enter into the engagement, the
place stipulated by collective agreement, the seafarer's country of residence
or such other place as may be mutually agreed at the time of engagement.
The seafarer shall have the right to choose from among the prescribed destinations
the place to which he or she is to be repatriated.
PART IV. ARRANGEMENTS FOR REPATRIATION
1. It shall be the responsibility of the shipowner
to arrange for repatriation by appropriate and expeditious means. The normal
mode of transport shall be by air.
2. The cost of repatriation shall be borne
by the shipowner.
3. Where repatriation has taken place as a
result of a seafarer being found, in accordance with national laws or regulations
or collective agreements, to be in serious default of his or her employment
obligations, nothing in this Convention shall prejudice the right of recovery
from the seafarer of repatriation costs or part thereof in accordance with
national laws or regulations or collective agreements.
4. The cost to be borne by the shipowner shall
(a) passage to the destination selected for
repatriation in accordance with Article 3 above;
(b) accommodation and food from the moment
the seafarer leaves the ship until he or she reaches the repatriation destination;
(c) pay and allowances from the moment he
or she leaves the ship until he or she reaches the repatriation destination,
if provided for by national laws or regulations or collective agreements;
(d) transportation of 30 kg of the seafarer's
personal luggage to the repatriation destination;
(e) medical treatment when necessary until
the seafarer is medically fit to travel to the repatriation destination.
5. The shipowner shall not require the seafarer
to make an advance payment towards the cost of repatriation at the beginning
of his or her employment, nor shall the shipowner recover the cost of repatriation
from the seafarer's wages or other entitlements except as provided for
in paragraph 3 above.
6. National laws or regulations shall not
prejudice any right of the shipowner to recover the cost of repatriation
of seafarers not employed by the shipowner from their employer.
If a shipowner fails to make arrangements
for or to meet the cost of repatriation of a seafarer who is entitled to
be repatriated -
(a) the competent authority of the Member
in whose territory the ship is registered shall arrange for and meet the
cost of the repatriation of the seafarer concerned; if it fails to do so,
the State from which the seafarer is to be repatriated or the State of
which he or she is a national may arrange for his or her repatriation and
recover the cost from the Member in whose territory the ship is registered;
(b) costs incurred in repatriating the seafarer
shall be recoverable from the shipowner by the Member in whose territory
the ship is registered;
(c) the expenses of repatriation shall in
no case be a charge upon the seafarer, except as provided for in paragraph
3 of Article 4 above.
PART V. OTHER ARRANGEMENTS
Seafarers who are to be repatriated shall
be able to obtain their passport and other identity documents for the purpose
Time spent awaiting repatriation and repatriation
travel time shall not be deducted from paid leave accrued to the seafarer.
A seafarer shall be deemed to have been duly
repatriated when he or she is landed at a destination prescribed pursuant
to Article 3 above, or when the seafarer does not claim his or her entitlement
to repatriation within a reasonable period of time to be defined by national
laws or regulations or collective agreements.
The provisions of this Convention in so far
as they are not otherwise made effective by means of collective agreements
or in such other manner as may be appropriate under national conditions
shall be given effect by national laws or regulations.
Each Member shall facilitate the repatriation
of seafarers serving on ships which call at its ports or pass through its
territorial or internal waters, as well as their replacement on board.
The competent authority of each Member shall
ensure by means of adequate supervision that the owners of ships registered
in its territory comply with the provisions of the Convention, and shall
provide relevant information to the International Labour Office.
The text of this Convention shall be available
in an appropriate language to the crew members of every ship which is registered
in the territory of any Member for which it is in force.
PART VI. FINAL PROVISIONS
This Convention revises the Repatriation of
Seamen Convention, 1926.
The formal ratifications of this Convention
shall be communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour
Office for registration.
1. This Convention shall be binding only upon
those Members of the International Labour Organisation whose ratifications
have been registered with the Director-General of the International Labour
2. It shall come into force twelve months
after the date on which the ratifications of two Members have been registered
with the Director-General of the International Labour Office.
3. Thereafter, this Convention shall come
into force for any Member twelve months after the date on which its ratification
has been registered.
1. A Member which has ratified this Convention
may denounce it after the expiration of ten years from the date on which
the Convention first comes into force, by an act communicated to the Director-General
of the International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation
shall not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
2. Each Member which has ratified this Convention
and which does not, within the year following the expiration of the period
of ten years mentioned in the preceding paragraph, exercise the right of
denunciation provided for in this Article, will be bound for another period
of ten years and, thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration
of each period of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.
1. The Director-General of the International
Labour Office shall notify all Members of the International Labour Organisation
of the registration of all ratifications and denunciations communicated
to him by the Members of the Organisation.
2. When notifying the members of the Organisation
of the registration of the second ratification communicated to him, the
Director-General of the International Labour Office shall draw the attention
of the Members of the Organisation to the date upon which the Convention
will come into force.
The Director-General of the International
Labour Office shall communicate to the Secretary-General of the United
Nations for registration in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter
of the United Nations full particulars of all ratifications and acts of
denunciation registered by him in accordance with the provisions of the
At such times as it may consider necessary
the Governing Body of the International Labour Office shall present to
the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and shall
examine the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the
question of its revision in whole or in part.
1. Should the Conference adopt a new Convention
revising this Convention in whole or in part, then, unless the new Convention
otherwise provides -
(a) the ratification by a Member of the new
revising Convention shall ipso jure involve the immediate denunciation
of this Convention, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 16 above,
if and when the new revising Convention shall have come into force;
(b) as from the date when the new revising
Convention comes into force this Convention shall cease to be open to ratification
by the Members.
2. This Convention shall in any case remain
in force in its actual form and content for those Members which have ratified
it but have not ratified the revising Convention.
The English and French versions of the text
of this Convention are equally authoritative.