Maritime Rules Part 52

Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)

Current version of Part 52

Part 52 gives effect to various Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) requirements not covered elsewhere in New Zealand law.

The MLC sets out minimum standards for the health, safety and welfare of seafarers in areas such as:

  • conditions of employment
  • accommodation
  • recreational facilities
  • food and catering
  • health protection
  • medical care
  • welfare and social protection issues

Ship-owners are required to ensure that seafarers meet the hours of work and rest required by the MLC. These requirements will only apply to seafarers not covered by STCW Regulation A-VIII/1 (which is given effect in Part 31).

The MLC considers almost every aspect of work and life onboard, including:

  • minimum age
  • medical certification
  • qualifications of seafarers
  • seafarers’ employment agreements
  • use of licensed or regulated private recruitment and placement services
  • hours of work and rest
  • crewing levels
  • accommodation, food and catering
  • on-board recreational facilities
  • health and safety and accident prevention
  • on-board medical care
  • on-board complaints procedures and
  • payment of wages

Part 52 implements requirements in relation to Maritime Labour Certificates, interim Maritime Labour Certificates and Declarations of Maritime Labour Compliance. It also covers the flag state inspection regime for these ships.

This rule applies to:

  • New Zealand ships over 200 gross tonnage operating outside the inshore limits, excluding fishing vessels.

Part 52 sets the requirements for visiting foreign flagged ships. Provisions applicable to foreign flagged ships are separated into requirements for foreign flagged ships over 500 gross tonnage registered in member states, and requirements for all other foreign ships.

Maritime Rules Part 52 [PDF: 266kB, 17 pages]

Part 51 prescribes the crew accommodation standards for certain New Zealand commercial ships operating in offshore limits and the unlimited area.

The standards, which give effect to International Labour Organisation crew accommodation conventions and recommendations, cover all those areas of a ship that crew occupy or use outside the ship’s workspaces, including:

  • the sleeping and recreation rooms
  • galleys
  • laundries
  • sanitary accommodation (baths, showers, WCs)
  • drying rooms
  • store rooms.

Part 51 also sets minimum standards for heating, ventilation and, for new ships of 1600 tonnes or more, sound insulation of bulkheads and decks.

Crew accommodation requirements for ships not covered by Part 51 are found in Parts 40A, 40C, 40D and 40.

History of Part 52



This part was amended by Maritime Rules (International Omnibus) Amendments 2020 on 31 March 2021.

Maritime Rules (International Omnibus) Amendments 2020 [PDF: 424kB, 9 pages]


New part comes into force

Part 52 entered into force on 9 March 2017.



This Part was amended by Maritime Rules Various Amendments 2016, in November 2016.

Maritime Rules Various Amendments 2016 [PDF: 241kB, 10 pages]


New part signed

Part 52 was signed into law by the Transport Minister on 1 December 2015.

Part 52: Original rule [PDF: 769kB, 22 paged]