70 Years and counting, The Liberian Registry Keeps the Flying Higher

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Monrovia, Liberia- Liberia’s Shipping Registry is rated by Clarksons World Fleet Monitor July 2018 as the fastest growing open shipping registry in the world as it celebrates its 70th anniversary this month, August.

This means Liberia’s is the fastest growing gross tonnage at 3.6% which is doubled Marshall Island’s 1.6% and Panama’s 0%.

This growth is not just in the over 4,200 vessels flying the Liberian flag but the long established track record of combining the highest standards of safety for vessels and crew with the highest levels of responsive and innovative service to owners.

Moreover, Liberia’s shipping registry has a well-deserved reputation for supporting international legislation designed to maintain and improve the safety and effectiveness of the shipping industry and protection of the marine environment.

The Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. James F. Kollie is elated that “these are momentous times for Liberia and its shipping services.”

According to him, these feats are being brought to bear when just last year, the country was re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – a position it has held continuously since 2012.

The LiMA Boss stressed that the recognition solidifies Liberia’s position as a leading and widely respected maritime nation and decision-maker at the UN agency charged with the responsibility of regulating the international shipping industry.

“This year, on National Flag Day, the Liberian flag celebrates 171 years of existence. The Liberian Registry, meanwhile, is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, and it does so in a position of great strength,” Liberia Maritime Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. James F. Kollie says.

Dr. James F. Kollie, Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Liberia Maritime Authority

Being the fastest growing flagged ship registry in the industry did not come as a walk in the park but through dedication, hardwork and committment to excellence. This has led to the introduction of innovative strategies and policy frameworks in line with international best practices aimed at providing ship owners and operators with adequate solutions.

“Liberia understands the difficulties which ship owners face, and develops practical, problem-solving solutions to enhance their operations. One such Industry-leading innovation is the  development of an Electronic Oil Record Book (ε-ORB), a Marine Environmental Awareness and Ship & Cyber Security computer-based training program, and sophisticated Ship Newbuild Services,” the Liberia Maritime Authority CEO indicated.

He states that the Liberian Shipping Registry is also progressively upgrading its state-of-the-art web-based client interface system, WayPoint, which enables shipowners and operators to gain instant access to a vast range of information, including their fleet details, their certificates, and their inspection schedules.

“Meanwhile, the Liberian Registry continues to expand its global outreach, most recently opening new offices in Asia in Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao, Tianjin (China) and Taipei (Taiwan) to meet the demands of the growing market in Asia.” Dr. Kollie noted.

Already, Liberia has the second largest market-share of 12% of world fleet recorded in 2017 with more than 400 inspectors and auditors, 260,000 active seafarers, 180 fulltime employees who are rendering services on a 24/7 basis.

Liberia Maritime Authority Commissioner has assured that Liberia will continue to develop new and innovative solutions for the industry, providing the level of quality service which ship registries are meant to offer and the shipping industry needs and deserves, and which the Liberian nation can be justifiably proud of.

Nonetheless, sustaining the registry’s competitiveness in the industry, the government seeks to maintain a competitive advantage by signing MOU’s and Agreements with its international partners. One such agreements was the renewal of Liberia, China Agreement on Maritime Transport which provides the Liberian fleet major cost advantages at Chinese ports relative to Panama and Marshall Islands. Another such agreement is the renewal of bilateral agreements with India and Brazil for recognition of mortgages and favourable port tariffs.

The Liberia Maritime Authority has also updated the Liberia’s Maritime and Corporate Laws to maintain Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) compliance is a major requirement that would enable Liberia remain a “white-listed” jurisdiction that places the registry in favourable position with major financial institutions that finance Liberian flagged vessels.

According to him, these feats are being brought to bear when just last year, the country was re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – a position it has held continuously since 2012.