The record of the Registry as detailed below demonstrates why the world’s leading shipowners choose Liberia.
Top Registry – The Registry is rated one of the top open registries in the world by the Paris MOU. The best performing registries – which include the Liberian Registry – are on the “White List.” Mid-ranking registries are grouped on the “Grey List.” The poorest performing registries are placed on the “Black List.” The 2010 Annual Report of the Paris MOU on Port State Control shows the Liberian Registry to be one of the best-performing open registries on the prestigious White List, having outperformed a number of national registers including Norway, France, and Denmark. The Registry also appears on the 2010 "White List" from the Tokyo MOU.
The Registry has been admitted to the US Coast Guard's QUALSHIP program for 2011/2012, providing further independent verification of its commitment to the highest standards of safety and quality.
First in Safety – Vessel safety is a top priority for the Registry. Liberia has a worldwide network of specialty trained nautical inspectors who can perform so called “Harmonized” Audits to ensure vessel compliance with both the International Safety Management (ISM) and International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Codes.
Concerned about continuing disasters and the loss of life on bulk carriers, the Registry developed an innovative safety initiative to detect and remedy potential problems before they become life threatening. Bulk carriers, due to their design and nature of service, are subject to extreme stresses on their steel structures and are susceptible to corrosion and mechanical damage. In the initiative, the Registry analyzed every aspect of its flagged bulk carriers, from safety measures to compliance with international conventions and codes. A matrix was created with important indicators of a vessel’s overall condition, such as structural deterioration and inadequate maintenance of a ship’s coatings. Any shortcomings in vessel safety were communicated to shipowners and, when necessary, additional inspections and maintenance procedures were mandated.
First in Security – The Registry is at the forefront of new security measures. It pioneered the shipboard security manual that has been adopted throughout the world and it has been recognized as a world leader in the implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s International Ship & Port Security Code. The Registry has pioneered safeguards to eliminate fraudulent applications for crew certification and to reduce the illegal duplication of crew documentation. To further enhance security, the registry developed the world’s first biometric identity card for seafarers. These steps significantly improve security and are immensely helpful for shipowners and immigration authorities. The Registry has also expanded its computer system to file and maintain electronic documents, and it is enhancing relations with maritime colleges and flag administrations that issue certificates to further combat fraud and speed up the documentation process.
Leading on the Environment – Liberia was the first major flag state to ratify MARPOL Annex VI, an international convention to prevent air pollution from ships. The treaty limits the discharge of nitrous and sulfur oxide emissions from marine diesel engines, as well as bans the release of ozone depleting gases. Having a large share of the world fleet, Liberia’s endorsement brought the tonnage ratification up sharply, which allowed for the requisite full ratification by 15 International Maritime Organization (IMO) members and flags, representing 50 percent of the world tonnage.
Seafarers’ Welfare – An often-overlooked aspect of international shipping is the welfare of the seafarers serving onboard ships. The well-being of seafarers serving on Liberian registered ships is an important concern of the Registry. Liberia has enacted and enforces the International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions that protect the rights of seafarers. Seafarers can bring claims through the courts in any appropriate jurisdiction (including the U.S.), and are not limited to the courts in Liberia.
The Liberian Registry has taken additional steps to uphold the rights of seafarers enacting repatriation requirements into its maritime laws and enforcing its provisions to protect seafarers, including mandatory P&I insurance coverage to ensure that owners are in a position to honor their obligations in respect to crew repatriation. More than two-thirds of the ships in the Liberian Registry operate with an International Transportation Federation (ITF) approved Collective Bargaining Agreement and provide significant contributions to the ITF welfare fund.