Liberia Focus: 70 years of quality operation

Celebrating 70 years in business is a true cause for celebration in any industry let alone international ship registry, because longevity is a badge of honour that is only awarded to businesses that are in it for the long haul, and survive because of the quality services they provide.

And Liberia is no exception to this point. According to Scott Bergeron, CEO of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, reaching the 70-year milestone shows the Liberian Maritime Programme has what it takes to survive.

“Whether it is in our industry or in general, something that is 70 years old is not regularly seen,” he said.

“Some people question the structure of the Liberian registry and ask how it is possible to work with a West African country while the programme is run out of the US.

“Well the programme is global and we have more European staff than most European flags. When you look at the inherent structure of the programme, it has been designed to provide this global service with a long-term view. The way I look at it holistically, it shows this programme has survived the test of time and that it continues to outperform its competitors,” he added.

And while the Liberian flag has used the past seven decades to uphold Liberia’s status as one of the shipping industry’s highest quality international ship registers, LISCR is keen to look to the future and invest in technological innovation to continually enhance the delivery of service for
its clients.

“Our strategy for the future is based on working together with the Registry’s clients to develop innovative techniques that will assist and support ship owners and managers and expand Liberia’s maritime competence. Technical innovations at the registry have saved ship owners significant time and money within a flexible system which keeps Liberian-flag ships operating safely and efficiently,” he said.

But Mr Bergeron sees the embracing of digitalisation as a necessary tool in the battle to reduce ship owners’ expenses during these very difficult economic times. “Electronic certification, for example, accelerates the vessel registration process because certificates can be safely delivered without delay to even the most remote locations,” he stressed.

“It provides additional operational efficiency, reduces delay and eliminates courier fees. And because a Liberian Registry representative does not need to attend on the ground, it does result in savings for Liberian flag ship owners.”

The Liberian Registry has undertaken a programme to digitise over 70 years of documentation, and is committed to using technological developments and expertise to the advantage of its clients.

“We are continually striving to improve the Registry in any way we can,” said Mr Bergeron, “with a key objective being to further improve our safety and quality key performance indicators.

“We are committed to ensuring that the Registry continues to advance its technical competence so it has the ability to ensure proper regulatory oversight of all statutory matters, including those that have been – in some cases, blindly – delegated to Classification Societies and Recognised Organisations.

“Moreover, it is our intention to ensure that the Registry is effectively involved in the IMO’s Goal-Based Standards and the resulting Common Structural Rules. We understand and recognise the vital role played by the IMO in effectively regulating standards in the international shipping industry, and we continue to work towards expanding Liberia’s leadership role at the IMO,” he added. l

The Registry recently launched an innovative, award-winning software product designed to replace traditional paper oil record books (ORB) and to facilitate correct ORB entries into an efficient electronic format.

Over the past 12 months, Liberia’s electronic oil record book (ε-ORB), developed in association with Cyprus-based Prevention at Sea, won four prestigious awards for innovation:  the Lloyd’s List Intelligence Innovation Award, which seeks to set a benchmark for excellence while rewarding boundary-challenging innovative ideas and concepts; the Innovation Marine Environment Protection Award from the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA); the Tanker Shipping & Trade 2017 Technical Innovation Award; and the  Lloyd’s List North America Maritime Services Award. 

The ε-ORB is a Lloyd’s Register-certified maritime software application designed to replace the traditional paper oil record book and to establish software transparency, credibility and traceability. Following highly productive and encouraging meetings with leading international shipping organisations, including the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, US Coast Guard, AMSA, Paris MoU, EMSA, INTERTANKO, Intercargo, OCIMF and numerous port and flag states, the Liberian Registry has pushed ahead with moves to expedite the smooth introduction of ε-ORB throughout the fleet registered under its flag.

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