Master's Guide to Shipboard Disciplinary Procedures Code of Conduct for the Merchant Navy

The UK Chamber has published its updated Master’s Guide to Shipboard Disciplinary Procedures. First published in 1993, the guide has proven itself to be a vital tool for Masters and Officers when interpreting the Code of Conduct for the Merchant Navy. The new edition brings the guidelines up to date with recent developments and is a must-have reference point for ships’ bridges across the world. 

The Code of Conduct for the Merchant Navy is a well-established document, setting out principles aimed at ensuring high standards of discipline on board merchant ships and hence promoting the well-being of the seafarers working on them. It is agreed between shipowners and seafarers’ representatives and approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The code is widely used across the shipping industry – it has been adopted by many employers of seafarers for use on ships registered in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, and it may be referred to in Seafarer Employment Agreements. Disciplinary procedures form a key element of following the code and can raise major issues, especially when a seafarer has committed a breach serious enough to warrant dismissal from the ship.

The Code of Conduct has recently undergone a comprehensive revision to ensure that it remained up-to-date and relevant, which in turn led the UK Chamber of Shipping to review and revise its Guide. The recommendations set out are not designed to be definitive but give advice on good practice on how investigations and hearings should be conducted on board.

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