Liberia trials class and statutory e-certificates on ClassNK ships
Having initiated the practice of issuing electronic statutory certificates such as Minimum Safe Manning, Civil Liability Convention and Registration Certificates for several years, the Liberian Registry has now started trials on ships classed by Japanese classification society ClassNK for the statutory certificates that it issues on behalf of Liberia. The new e-certificates will have a two-fold benefit for owners and operators. They will significantly reduce the administrative burden associated with handling and managing traditional paper certificates, while facilitating the onboard retrieval of certificated data.
The Liberian Registry began issuing electronic certificates in respect of regulatory compliance in a format developed in accordance with the updated Guidelines for the Use of Electronic Certificates issued by the IMO. Once again, it provided an industry lead in this respect, as it has done now with the extension of the e-certificate initiative to include class requirements.
Scott Bergeron, CEO of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, says, “Liberia’s intention is always to make regulatory compliance easier and more cost-effective for shipowners and operators. Look at what we have been doing for years in terms of harmonizing ISM and ISPS audits, for example.
“Starting to move towards a system based on the use of e-certificates which can be verified online is the logical next step in the technological transformation of ship registration, and indeed of shipping generally. It will also help to reduce the incidence of fraud and manipulated data. Gone are the days when certain ship registers could allegedly operate successfully out of a back office with little more than a telephone and a fax machine. By contrast, the Liberian Registry’s industry-leading position is based on investment in technology and highly qualified, experienced staff, enabling shipowners and operators to meet their commercial and regulatory obligations.”
“We are delighted that ClassNK chose to co-operate with Liberia in trialing this important initiative embracing both statutory and class requirements on Liberian-flag ships.”
The Liberian Registry has long been considered the world’s most technologically advanced maritime administration. It has a long-established track record of combining the highest standards of safety for vessels and crews with the highest levels of responsive service to owners. Moreover, it has a well-deserved reputation for supporting international legislation designed to maintain and improve the safety and effectiveness of the shipping industry and protection of the marine environment.