Senate Ratified Proposed Maritime Amendment
The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has ratified the First Amendment to the Extended and Restated Agency Agreement between the Republic of Liberia And the International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR, LLC).
The Senate’s ratification was triggered by a report from the committee on Maritime submitted to Plenary on Thursday, November 18, 2021. The committee in its report recommended the full endorsement of members of the Upper House to have the instrument ratified.
According to a release from the Liberian Senate, the Maritime committee which is chaired by Senator Jonathan L. Kaipay of Grand Bassa County indicated in the report that the objective of the ratification seeks to increase the share of revenue of the Liberia Maritime Authority from 25 percent to 30 percent. The ratification which according to the Commissioner-General of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Leen Eugene Nagbe if approved will, inter alia, facilitate the return of Liberia to the Council of the International Maritime Organization.
The Committee in its report at the same time indicated that the Liberian Registry has contributed immensely to the economy as a source of employment and has served as a significant factor to the national budget. Additionally, the Senate’s Maritime Committee noted in its report that the amendment will provide for structural adjustment in program operations to allow for an increase in net revenue transmitted annually to the consolidated fund account of the government of Liberia.
President George Weah on October 28, 2021, requested the Liberian Senate to consider ratifying the first amendment to the extended and restated agency agreement between the Republic of Liberia and the Liberia International Ship and Corporate Registry. Based on the President’s request, the Senate Committee on Maritime on Wednesday, October 17, 2021, conducted a public hearing, and the Commissioner-General of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Leen Eugene Nagbe presented the case of his institution to members of the relevant committee and informed them that Liberia has the second-highest registry in the World, but, regrettably, the Country is currently not on the International Maritime Council.
Commissioner Nagbe disclosed that in 2019, Liberia lost her chances on the Council, but assured the Committee that if the proposed amendment is ratified the Maritime Authority will ensure that the country regains its status on the Council.
He noted that presently, Liberia is receiving 25 percent fees from the shipping industry. In the proposed amendment, he revealed that the Liberia Maritime Authority has negotiated 30%, from its partner, which he said will create opportunities for more Liberians to be represented on ships that are flying the Liberian flag.