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Liberia says flag states must be proactive in difficult market conditions

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Alfonso Castillero

Alfonso Castillero

The Liberian Registry says that, in today’s challenging shipping markets, flag states must be proactive in the best interests of shipowners, operators and managers, rather than simply fulfilling their traditional role as certification bodies.

Alfonso Castillero, Vice-President of the Liberian Registry, told a recent Liberian Port State Control seminar in Tokyo, “In the current difficult market conditions, flag states can no longer afford to regard themselves as mere factories for issuing registration certificates. It is necessary to evolve and to embrace new challenges. Shipping registers need to combine quality and innovation with tradition, experience, reputation and flexibility.”

Mr Castillero was speaking at a Port State Control (PSC) seminar organised by the Liberian Registry. The objective of the seminar, which was attended by representatives of the Australian Maritime Safety Agency (AMSA), was to promote among clients of the Liberian Registry a clear understanding of the Port State Control process in Australia, so that owners, operators, and managers can achieve full compliance with – and facilitate efficient inspections under – Australia’s PSC regime.

Benson Peretti, Managing Director of the Liberian Registry’s Singapore office, outlined for the seminar the Liberian Registry’s PSC results for the year to date, showing a major reduction in detentions in China, Australia, and the United States, thanks in large part to the free compliance assistance programmes being implemented by Liberia to help owners ensure full compliance, and reduce the incidence of PSC detentions worldwide.

Takeshi Okamoto, General Manager of LISCR Japan, meanwhile, explained how and why the Liberian Registry is leading the global campaign to seek an extension to the implementation date for the Ballast Water Management Convention.

The seminar was attended by over one hundred industry professionals, including Liberian flag clients and potential clients looking to switch flags or register new vessels under the Liberian flag. The mood of the seminar was summed up by the chief executive of one leading Japanese shipowner who emphasised, “We must comply with all international regulations, and that is why we need a flag that will always stand beside us.”

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