Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003

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Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003
ILO Convention
Date of adoptionJune 19, 2003
Date in forceFebruary 9, 2005
PreviousSafety and Health in Agriculture Convention, 2001
NextMaritime Labour Convention, 2006

Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (Revised), 2003 (C185) is an International Labour Organization Convention.

It was established in 1958, with the preamble stating:

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Ninety-first Session on 3 June 2003, and Mindful of the continuing threat to the security of passengers and crews and the safety of ships, to the national interest of States and to individuals, and

Mindful also of the core mandate of the Organization, which is to promote decent conditions of work, and

Considering that, given the global nature of the shipping industry, seafarers need special protection, and

Recognizing the principles embodied in the Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention, 1958, concerning the facilitation of entry by seafarers into the territory of Members, for the purposes of shore leave, transit, transfer or repatriation, and..


This Convention revised Convention C108 Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention, 1958


As of December 2016, the convention has been ratified by 33 states.

Differences between the C185 and C108 Seafarers' Identity Document Conventions[edit]

The main difference between C185 and C108 is the use of biometric data as a reliable means of identification. The successful application of the C185 required two main requirements:

1. the application of the necessary biometric technology;
2. the establishment of an appropriate infrastructure to control, manufacture and secure the production process of identifiers.

The requirements set out in the Convention have proved to be feasible.

E-passports and e-official travel documents have been used internationally since their introduction in 2006. By 2018, more than 100 countries have already issued e-documents, which predicts the likelihood that these countries will ratify C185.[1]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "ILO Convention 185 on seafar ention 185 on seafarers' identity document thir ers' identity document thirteen years after entering into force: analysing implementation challenges and future outlook". World Maritime University. Retrieved 2021-01-07.