More than 1.5 million seafarers working and living on ships involved in international trade can benefit from the new seafarers’ identity document, which allows them to travel without a visa to join their ships and to disembark in ports. Access to shore facilities and shore leave are vital elements of their general well-being and, therefore, to the achievement of safer shipping and cleaner oceans.
The amended version of the Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003 (No. 185), entered into force on 08 June 2017, incorporating the latest standards adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The issuance of the new seafarers’ identity document, with technology similar to the one currently used in electronic passports, will contribute strongly to facilitating access to shore leave, transfer and transit for seafarers while enhancing security in ports and borders through the use of a secure and internationally recognized document.
In this context, the ILO welcomes the recent ratification of Convention No. 185 by Montenegro and Sri Lanka which brings to 32 the number of member States that have ratified this important instrument. In doing so, Montenegro and Sri Lanka have demonstrated their commitment to decent working and living conditions for seafarers and have paved the way for many more ratifications of this instrument that is of crucial importance for the maritime sector.