Liberia has been re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organisation for 2012-2013 for the first time since 1997. Liberia’s Commissioner for Maritime Affairs, Binyah Kesselly, says, “It is very gratifying to see Liberia returned to its rightful place at IMO. As a country, and as an integral part of the international shipping industry, Liberia has made enormous strides forward in recent years. It has also been a consistent and committed member of IMO, and a proactive supporter of initiatives to improve safety and seafarers’ welfare. It has earned the right to reclaim its place on the IMO Council.”
The Liberian-flag fleet currently comprises 3,750 ships aggregating more than 124m gross tons, easily making Liberia the second-largest ship registry in the world. It is also the fastest growing fleet, having more than doubled in size in the last ten years as the registry has pursued a policy of planned, controlled expansion involving quality shipowners and quality ships.
Liberia features on the White List of all Port State Control Memorandums of Understanding, worldwide. It is rated as a low-risk flag by the Paris MoU, and is included in the current US Coast Guard Qualship 21 programme.
Over the past six years, following the democratic election of Africa’s first female Head of State, Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia has overcome many of the economic and political problems which have blighted its past. Under the Presidency of Madame Johnson Sirleaf, who this year was awarded the Nobel Peace prize, the country has achieved quantum leaps in terms of political stability, economic growth and prosperity. Reforms have been introduced to help reduce corruption, increase transparency, and strengthen the rule of law, thereby making Liberia an attractive option for foreign investment.
Liberia is White-Listed by the OECD following its signature of the requisite number of Tax Information Exchange Agreements, and was recognised by the World Bank as one of the ten most improved business performers in 2010.