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June 13, 2002

LISCR pledges security cooperation with U.S.
LISCR, the U.S. company that manages the Liberian Registry, has pledged its cooperation to improve security measures for ships visiting U.S. ports. LISCR also identified security measures it has already implemented as a leading ship registry.

Addressing the Special Oversight Panel on the Merchant Marine of the House Armed Services Committee, Yoram Cohen, CEO of LISCR said, "We stand ready to assist the Coast Guard or other U.S. agencies in any way we can.."

"Ships entering U.S. waters pose a potential threat to national security," said Cohen."The Coast Guard has identified the critical issues of concern: who are the crew and who has the control of the ship - who can communicate with the ship effectively; who knows where the ship has been and how the ship functions. The Coast Guard officer receiving details from a ship approaching U.S. waters wants to know 'How can I cross-check the accuracy of this information?'"

If the ship is Liberian flagged, said Cohen, LISCR has the data, and the Coast Guard can have real-time access to it. "This will minimize unnecessary delay or bureaucracy for Liberian flagged ships."

"LISCR has set out to be an innovator and product leader in terms of service to clients and compliance with international obligation. We are now in a position to provide practical help to U.S. authorities, help which those authorities may want to consider requesting from other jurisdictions."

LISCR has invested considerable resources to create a digitized database of seafarers and their qualifications. "LISCR has the largest electronic record of multi-national seafarers in the world," said Cohen. "We are now taking the next step in seafarer identification and are in the process of introducing biometric identification measures for seafarers. The system will allow remote data checking prior to a seafarer joining a ship's crew and at periodic intervals thereafter."

He noted that the Liberian Registry had also taken the initiative in advance of any other registry to develop a comprehensive security manual for ship operators. This had been made available to the International Maritime Organization at its recent maritime security conference. The manual will be distributed as an advisory document to all Liberian flagged ships in advance of any international requirement."

"As a US company," Cohen told the hearing, "we pledge our support to improve security measures and stand ready to assist the Coast Guard or other US agencies in any way we can."

Almost 1,800 vessels of 55 million gt currently fly the Liberian flag.

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