ILO 188 For Fishermen - How to Comply

Work in Fishing Convention (ILO 188)

The International Labour Organization’s Work in Fishing Convention ILO 188 came into force in the UK in December 2018.
ILO 188 entitles all fishermen to written terms and conditions of employment (a fisherman’s work agreement), decent accommodation and foodmedical careregulated working timerepatriationsocial protection and health and safety on board
Dave Fenner, Head of Fishing Safety at the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, said,
"Many fishing vessel owners are already doing much of what is required in these new regulations but to make sure you can comply with all the new regulations and in advance of your next fishing vessel inspection, we want to offer guidance on how you can meet the regulations and find the information you need."

The regulations cover three things: Safety, Terms and Conditions for everyone working on the vessel and Health. For most owners, the priority is to check the new standards for Safety at Work and the Terms & Conditions for workers because these requirements are in force now.

The MCA has published the guidance you need to comply with ILO 188 and the links to the guidance are shown below and you can also e-mail questions about ILO188 to 

A check list of compliance is provided here to help you. The following lists highlight the main requirements you need to check to comply with ILO 188.  

Make sure you have done the following:
Discussed and written a formal risk assessment for your vessel
Checked the Marine Guidance Notes below:

If after doing a written risk assessment on your vessel you can’t discount the possibility of a Man Overboardthen you must wear a Personal Flotation Device on deck.

Terms & Conditions for Fishermen
Make sure you have done the following:
Written a fisherman’s work agreement for all the fishermen on your vessel
Checked the Marine Guidance Notes below:

See some examples of fishermen's work agreements here. Model agreements.
Make sure you have done the following:

Checked you have your certificate of medical fitness available in advance of the required date. For most vessels under 24 metres and fishing inshore waters, medical fitness certificates will not be required until 2023, but it depends on where and how long you are out fishing.
Checked the Marine Guidance Notes below:

If you are not getting your entitlements under the legislation, you have the right to complain to the MCA who will investigate. See MGN 589 below and complaints can be made directly to an MCA surveyor or a welfare organisation such as the Fishermen’s Missionor e-mail

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