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December 1, 2003

Liberia issues first ISPS sercurity audit certificate

The Liberian Registry says it has issued its first security audit certificate under the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code. After a thorough inspection and audit of security procedures, the certificate was awarded by an Antwerp-based auditor employed by the Liberian Registry to a 1993-built, 22,000 dwt bulk carrier operated by Lubeck-based international shipowner Oldendorff Carriers.

Oldendorff Carriers is a subsidiary of Egon Oldendorff, which has chosen the Liberian Registry to conduct security audits on its Liberian-flag ships. It owns or operates about 200 vessels with a deadweight capacity of more than 8m tons and an average age of ten years.

Earlier this year, the Liberian Registry elected to conduct its own ship security plan approvals for the entire Liberian-flag fleet, rather than delegating the task. It contracted with leading international security specialists to train its own network of inspectors, based at key locations in Europe, the U.S. and the Far East, to perform verification audits under the ISPS Code for shipowners, operators and managers.

The Liberian Registry' says that, to date, 85 plan approvals have been issued, and security plans have been received for almost fifteen per cent of the entire fleet. Pini Shwartz, Director of Maritime Security for the Liberian Registry, says, "Thanks to a lot of hard work, and lengthy discussions with company security officers, the security audit program is on course to meet the targeted implementation dates."

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