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Question Listing for Vessel Registration
Question: How do I apply for registration?
Answer: The Application for Registration is a two-sided single page document. The registration process begins with the submission of this application with the following supporting documents:
  1. Proof of Ownership may be demonstrated by one of the following:
    1. Existing Vessel: Proof of ownership is usually the Bill of Sale transferring title to the present owner. Three (3) copies of same must be submitted.
    2. Newbuilding: a Builder's Certificate or Master Carpenter's Certificate must be submitted in triplicate.

    Please Note: Proof of ownership of a vessel must be submitted when the ship is registered or reregistered in Liberia, even where there has not been a change of ownership. If the Bill of Sale, Builder's Certificate or Master Carpenter's Certificate is to be recorded, then two (2) duly executed and acknowledged originals must be submitted.

  2. Authority of Agent or Officer: This document is usually submitted in the form of a Power of Attorney, or Secretary's Certificate of Corporate Resolutions, authorizing one or more named persons to act for or on behalf of the owner in making application for registration of the vessel and to perform all acts necessary to accomplish the registration.
  3. Oath of Owner: If the vessel owner is not an incorporated company, it should also submit an oath of a Managing Owner or Part Owner (or Agent of Owner, Managing Owner or Part Owner).
  4. Confirmation of Class: A Certificate of Confirmation of Class for an existing vessel, or a Certificate of Seaworthiness, or an Interim Certificate of Class for a newbuilding, dated not more than ten (10) days prior to registration, must be submitted at time of registration.
  5. Statement or Affidavit: This Statement or Affidavit needs to be submitted in addition to the confirmation of class and is given by the Classification Society with which the vessel is classed at the date of registry. Such statement must indicate:

    (a) all conditions of classification, outstanding classification recommendations and/or outstanding deficiencies;

    (b) the relevant statutory certificates, which the Society is prepared to issue on behalf of the Administration when all statutory surveys have been satisfactorily carried out;

    (c) the current status of all classification and relevant statutory surveys setting forth the dates of completion of each; and

    (d) to the extent known by the Society, any reasons why the vessel is presently not fit to proceed to sea prior to the completion of outstandings as noted above.

    6.Survey Reports: Vessels that are 15 years of age or older must also submit copies of the reports of the following most recent surveys:

    (a) Classification Special Survey, Hull;
    (b) Classification Special Survey, Machinery and Electrical Equipment;
    (c) Classification Drydocking Survey or Underwater Examination in Lieu of Drydocking;
    (d) Load Line Survey;
    (e) Safety Construction Survey;
    (f) Safety Radio Survey;
    (g) Safety Equipment Survey; and
    (h) International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) Survey.
Question: What vessels are eligible for registration and is there an age restriction on vessels entering the Liberian Registry?
Answer: Seagoing vessels of more than 500 net tons, engaged in foreign trade are eligible for registration in Liberia (see Maritime Law ' 51 (2)).

Vessels should be not more than 20 years of age at the time of registration; however, vessels older than 20 years may be granted a waiver for registration on application by owner accompanied by an advice from the vessel's Classification Society confirming that the vessel is in class and that the Society is willing to issue all statutory certificates to the vessel.

Registration applications for vessels 15 years of age or older must be submitted with a Status Report of the vessel's Special Survey for review by Marine Safety.

Question: How do I make arrangements for the registration of a vessel in Liberia?
Answer: Arrangements for vessel registration can be coordinated through any LISCR office, wherever located. The recordation of mortgages, bills of sale and other instruments needs to take place at the New York office of LISCR. Registration and Mortgage recordation require adequate advance notice, usually forty-eight (48) hours (two business days). This advance notice is necessary in order to ensure that the documents issued to the parties concerned can be prepared in a timely manner.

Vessel registrations may also be accomplished at many ports throughout the world. Such registration may be arranged by contacting the New York office at least one (1) week prior to the anticipated closing date. This time is necessary to ensure the availability of a nautical inspector affiliated with LISCR. Additional fees and charges will be added for the services of a nautical inspector in connection with the registration.

Question: Where can I obtain the required forms to register a vessel in Liberia?
Answer: Forms required for application to register a vessel in Liberia may be obtained from any LISCR office. The forms are also available on this web site.
Question: What fees are required to register a Liberian Flag vessel?
Answer: Please use the Tonnage Tax Calculator on this website to determine annual tonnage tax fees and registration fees.
Question: How can registration fees be paid?
Answer: All remittances are payable in United States Dollars by check or bank draft drawn on a bank or branch of a bank in the United States. Checks may be sent to Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), 8619 Westwood Center Dr., Suite 300, Vienna, Virginia 22182, USA or any of the LISCR Regional Offices. Checks for initial registration and annual tonnage taxes should be made payable to LISCR, LLC.

For wire transfer instructions, please contact:

Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR)
Vessel Registration
99 Park Ave., Suite 1830
New York, New York 10016-1601 USA
Telephone: (212) 697-3434
Telefax: (212) 697-5655

Question: Can I use faxes to register a vessel in Liberia?
Answer: Application forms and related documents may, upon special application be transmitted by facsimile to any LISCR office. Such facsimiles will be temporarily accepted upon an undertaking, which must be sent along with the facsimile, that the original forms will be delivered in due course, and not later than five (5) business days after their facsimile transmittal to any LISCR Regional office.
Question: When are the registration fees and tonnage tax due to be paid?
Answer: Where a ship is to be registered upon transfer from a foreign flag, or is a newbuilding, both registration fees and the first year's Liberian tonnage taxes and annual fees are payable prior to registration.Payment by check or bank draft is payable in United States Dollars, drawn on a bank located in the United States or the U.S. branch of an international bank. The check should be made payable to Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry LLC. For wire transfer instructions, please contact:

Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR)
Vessel Registration
99 Park Ave., Suite 1830
New York, New York 10016-1601 USA
Telephone: (212) 697-3434
Telefax: (212) 697-5655

For the required fees, please check or recent pricing index as described in the Tonnage Tax Calculator. The fee schedule provided by the registration office in New York will set forth in detail the fees and charges payable at registration.

Annual tonnage taxes become due and owing in full on January 1 of a given year. Where ownership of a vessel is to be transferred shortly after the commencement of a calendar year, the buyer and seller should take particular care, in advance of the closing, to provide for payment of those taxes.

Question: What are the rights or benefits of ownership when a vessel is registered under the Liberian Flag?
Answer: The rights and benefits of ownership, like the nationality of the ship itself, depend upon international recognition of their validity under Liberian law. In addition, the international legal requirements incidental to proof of title, and therefore the marketability of the ship, require registration of ownership in accordance with established national law. The procedure by which this status is achieved in Liberia is described in the RLM 100 and applies both to registration and to bareboat registration. A copy of the Liberian Associations Law, consisting of Part I (Business Corporation Act), Part II (Not-For-Profit Corporations), Part III (Partnerships) and Part IV (Other Forms of Associations) is available upon request from any office of Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry.

According to Liberian Maritime Law, a vessel registered in the Republic of Liberia may only be owned or bareboat registered by one of the following:

  1. a corporation formed under the Business Corporation Act;
  2. a partnership formed under the Partnership Act, or is otherwise qualified to own a vessel under Liberian law;
  3. a limited liability company formed under the Limited Liability Company Act
  4. an association formed under Part IV of the Associations Law, or
  5. a Foreign Maritime Entity qualified to own a vessel as provided in Chapter 13 of the Business Corporation Act.

The ownership requirements according to Liberian Maritime Law, may be waived by the Maritime Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner.

Question: What takes place during the closing of a vessel?
Answer: The registration of a vessel in Liberia, as well as the drafting, signing and recording of mortgages and related instruments may be less time-consuming if the parties prepare their own agreed agenda or checklist of documents and work assignments beforehand.

A checklist of documents regularly includes: the necessary corporate good standing certificates; opinions of counsel; corporate resolutions; checks for payment of all fees and expenses; all required vessel classification certificates, including survey reports, closing details, including scheduled telephone and facsimile communication; arrangements for change of name of the vessel; payment of taxes, fees and expenses in connection with the deregistration of the vessel from its previous registry; proof that the vessel is free and clear of all liens and encumbrances, proof that the vessel is canceled from the previous registry, the protocol of delivery and acceptance, the bill of sale or builders certificate and, if possible, the approximate date and time of the registration of the ship in Liberia, and the recordation of mortgages and other instruments, if any.

Question: Who can authenticate, acknowledge or show proof of due execution of oath on a document for registration?
Answer: Some of the forms and documents required for vessel registration or recordation of a preferred ship mortgage (or related instrument) under the laws of Liberia must either be authenticated or acknowledged.A formal authentication, acknowledgment, proof of due execution or oath, may be made by or before any one of the following persons in accordance with Chapter V, Section 2(B) of the RLM 100 and Section 15 of the Maritime Law:
  1. a Notary Public or other officer authorized to administer oaths and to take acknowledgments by the law of the country in which the documents are executed;
  2. a Special Agent, which includes personnel available in the New York, London, Piraeus, Hong Kong, Vienna, VA or Tokyo offices of LISCR;
  3. a Deputy Commissioner of Maritime Affairs of the Republic of Liberia;
  4. a Liberian Consul, Vice-Consul or Honorary Consul, or
  5. an Apostille taken in accordance with the provisions of the Hague Convention by a State party to that Convention.

Please refer to Chapter V, Section 2(B), of the RLM 100, which explains the nature of an acknowledgment and Annex, "Sample Forms of Acknowledgment." If obtaining an authentication or an oath presents a problem, please contact any LISCR office.