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Ship survey

Danish Maritime Authority

MLC surveys

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) ensures that your conditions of employment are in order - from the conclusion of the employment contract, over the right to repatriation to occupational health and social security.

Ships covered by the MLC

All Danish ships irrespective of size. They are divided into two groups:

1) Ships that must be surveyed and issued with certificates:

  • Cargo and passenger ships with a gross tonnage of or above 500 engaged on international voyages

2) Ships that are only required to be surveyed (but which can be voluntarily certified)

  • Cargo and passenger ships with a gross tonnage of or above 500 exclusively engaged on domestic voyages

  • Cargo and passenger ships with a gross tonnage below 500

Manned barges will also be covered by the regulations following a specific assessment. Fishing vessels are not covered.

How to get started with certification?

How can the shipowner get started with the certification/inspection?

The classification societies (ROs) inspect all classed cargo vessels:

  • Contact the ship's classification society for an MLC survey and certification

  • Forward an application to the Danish Maritime Authority to be issued with a DMLC, part I

The Danish Maritime Authority surveys all passenger ships and unclassed cargo ships:

  • Contact the Danish Maritime Authority by email cfs@dma.dk for an MLC survey and certification

Forward the following:

  • Ship's name, IMO no. or call sign

  • Draft DMLC, Part II

  • Documents referred to in the DMLC, Part II

  • Documentation of the ship's exemptions, if any, as regards accommodation spaces and recreational facilities

  • Company procedure for considering complaints on board

  • If the documents below are of relevance to the ship concerned, they are also forwarded to the Danish Maritime Authority before the survey:

  • Random checks of the seafarers' table of working hours or hours of rest

  • Documentation if recruitment or placement services are used

  • Drawings of the accommodation in case of new-buildings or if major repairs have been made after 20 August 2013

  • Documented payroll showing how often the seafarer receives his pay

  • Table showing the arrangement of the work on board

  • Standard format of the seafarer's employment agreement, if relevant and used by the company

In connection with the survey, a ship surveyor will embark and check whether the ship has implemented the MLC requirements. If everything is in order, an MLC certificate will be issued.

An MLC survey covers 16 items

  1. Minimum age

  2. Medical certification

  3. Qualifications of seafarers

  4. Seafarers' employment agreements

  5. Use of any licensed or certified or regulated private recruitment and placement services

  6. Hours of work or rest

  7. Manning levels for the ship

  8. Accommodation

  9. On-board recreational facilities

  10. Food and catering

  11. Health and safety and accident prevention

  12. On-board medical care

  13. On-board complaint procedures

  14. Payment of wages

  15. Financial security for repatriation

  16. Financial security relating to shipowners’ liability

How often must a ship be surveyed?

How often is a ship required to be surveyed and certified?

Ships that are to be surveyed and certified (including voluntary certification) must be subject to the following:

  • An initial survey

  • An intermediate survey between the second and third anniversary date for the issue of the certificate

  • A renewal survey at a maximum of five-year intervals

Ships that are to be surveyed only once must be subject to the following:

  • An initial survey

  • A renewal survey at intervals of a maximum of three years

The survey is in general held together with ISM/SMC audits or in connection with the first existing survey in the areas of construction, equipment or hull.

For ships that are not in use, the Danish Maritime Authority can permit that periodical surveys are completely or partly omitted.

Following major repairs and/or conversions that change the accommodation spaces significantly, a complete or partial survey is to be held.

Read more on Conditions of employment if you would like to know more about seafarers' rights, including conditions of employment, social security and complaints about the working and living conditions.


DDK 885,00 pr. hour for time spent on surveys and case consideration.

Written by: Danish Maritime Authority Updated 15.03.2021