As shipping moves rapidly into the data era with electronic record-keeping and data exchange, it is incumbent on leading flag administrations to increase their ability to provide relevant information to shipowners and managers in a real-time, transparent, and convenient way.
Not all flags are making the necessary investment in technology or in their own intellectual outsourced partners, but Liberia most certainly is. It has put in place a cutting-edge system that will support the exchange of data between the Liberian Registry, recognized organizations (ROs), shipowners and managers.
The data exchange system will ultimately benefit shipowners and operators as all data related to their vessels will be accumulated and securely managed in Liberia’s WayPoint system. The systems’ users will then have real-time and immediate access to data on all statutory certifications, regardless of whether they are issued by flag, class or ROs. This includes IACS PR17 reports which provide early indications of possible Safety Management System failures. This will help owners and operators avoid their vessels being unduly delayed, as well as facilitating and promoting transparency in Port State Control inspections, in the long-run providing savings in time, effort and - most importantly - cost.
The Liberian Registry believes that its role is to work together with its partners to add value by providing critical and time-sensitive intervention and response capabilities. It has always taken the lead in providing value to shipowners and managers via technology, global representation and service provision. This is evidenced by Liberia’s Detention Prevention Programme, SEA System, and WayPoint. The Registry has also leveraged the country’s extensive diplomatic channels to deliver preferential fees in major port countries such as China, a significant value enhancement for shipowners seeking competitive charter hires. Liberia is proud that, over time, many of its initiatives have been adopted by other reputable flag states.
Liberian Registry CCO Alfonso Castillero says, “We continue to invest heavily in technology as the digital era requires us to do, because our clients and their ships are our number one concern. Shipowners whose vessels fly the Liberian flag can rest assured that the fees they pay annually are reinvested into the products and services that directly support them and which allow them to operate as safely and efficiently as possible.”