In May 2016, the Danish Parliament adopted amendments to the act on seafarers' conditions of employment. The amendments require shipowners to take out insurance or provide other guarantee ensuring the availability of means for covering abandoned seafarers' repatriation and subsistence as well as outstanding wage claims and other remuneration. However, wage claims are covered only to the extent that they are not covered by the Employees' Guarantee Fund (LG).
By 17 January 2017, at the latest, shipowners must have taken out the new insurances or provided other similar guarantee of the above claims. The amendments do not apply to fishing vessels or recreational craft.
Chief Ship Surveyor Martin John from the Danish Maritime Authority:
"Now, seafarers will get improved security for having their expenses for repatriation and outstanding wages and other remuneration covered if they are abandoned by their employer."
The insurances do not cover a number of benefits, including health insurance benefits for which the seafarers can be refunded by the public authorities.
The regulations enter into force on 1 January 2017
A certificate issued by the insurance company as proof that insurance has been taken out as well as declarations from the LG, the Labour Market Insurance and the Danish Maritime Authority must be available to the seafarers.
In the future, it will be evident from ships' so-called MLC certificates that insurance has been taken out or that a guarantee has been provided for the above-mentioned claims, and future surveys will also include this aspect.