Pursuant to the Ship Labour Act, the Norwegian Maritime Authority may carry out supervision of the right to shore leave. These concerns are dealt with in accordance with the NMA's procedures, and the relevant shipping companies have been contacted. Since we are currently in a transitional period, where most restrictions related to COVID-19 are gone, but the rate of infection still fluctuates, the NMA would like to remind the industry of the shore leave rules.

Important to seafarers

Shore leave is a key part of the working environment, health and safety of seafarers. The main rule is foiund in section 9-4 of the Ship Labour Act, which implements the corresponding international rule of MLC regulation 2.4 paragraph 2. The rule entitles those who work on board to go ashore during their free time while the ship is in port. If the circumstances or conditions of the ship make it necessary for the seafarers to stay on board, exemptions can be granted from this main rule. The term "circumstances or conditions of the ship" mainly includes circumstances or conditions such as the safety of those on board, the ship or cargo, necessary work or intended voyage or move.

Subject of supervision

The Ship Labour Act must be interpreted as meaning that the shipping company must grant shore leave to seafarers unless the company can refer to a specific risk assessment indicating that shore leave must be denied due to the "circumstances or conditions of the ship". Therefore, the NMA will demand to see any such risk assessments when carrying out supervision. We require continous risk assessments related to all calling ports of the vessel.