Seafarers hours of work and rest

STCW regulation VIII/1 (Fitness for duty) provides that each Administration shall, for the purpose of preventing fatigue:

  1. establish and enforce rest periods for watchkeeping personnel and those whose duties involve designated safety, security and prevention of pollution duties in accordance with the provisions of section A-VIII/1 of the STCW Code; and
  2. require that watch systems are so arranged that the efficiency of all watchkeeping personnel is not impaired by fatigue and that duties are so organized that the first watch at the commencement of a voyage and subsequent relieving watches are sufficiently rested and otherwise fit for duty.

Guidelines for the development of tables of seafarers’ shipboard working arrangements and formats of records of seafarers’ hours of work or hours of rest 

Jointly developed by IMO and ILO in 1999, these Guidelines are intended to assist competent authorities to develop tables of shipboard working arrangements and records of seafarers’ hours of work or hours of rest as required by the Seafarers’ Hours of Work and the Manning of Ships Convention, 1996 (No.180). They also take into account the provisions on establishment of rest periods for watchkeeping personnel contained in the 1978 STCW Convention.

The Guidelines provide guidance on the development of a table of shipboard working arrangements , guidance for formats of the records of seafarers’ hours of work or their hours of rest and related model formats.

In 2001, IMO approved Guidance on fatigue mitigation and management (MSC/Circ.1014) which has been recently superseded by the Guidelines on fatigue (MSC.1/Circ.1598) approved by MSC in 2018.