JANUARY 28, 2019 — Liberia is now the second largest ship registry in the world in gross tonnage terms, pushing the Marshall Islands into third place, according to the January 2019 Clarksons World Fleet Monitor. The top spot continues to be held by Panama.
“This is about quality of service, not discounted rates,” says Alfonso Castillero, CCO of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the U.S.-based manager of the Liberian Registry. “The Liberian fleet was the fastest growing major open flag in both the shipping and offshore sectors in 2018, and currently has a growth rate of 8.0% – more than twice that of most other open flags. There are a number of reasons for this, not least a growing recognition on the part of major shipowners and managers that Liberia, more than any other flag state, is able to combine increased safety and efficiency with reduced costs.”
Castillero says that owners and managers have also been shifting their fleets to Liberia because of the available under an agreement on port dues with the People’s Republic of China. This agreement, which was recently renewed, can result in savings to owners of millions of dollars, he says.
“Compared to other flags,” adds Castillero, “the detention rate for Liberian-flag ships was down significantly in key jurisdictions in 2018, especially in areas like China, where other flags experienced an increase in their detention rates. This was due in no small part to the success of Liberia’s complimentary Detention Prevention Program, the first of its kind developed by a flag state.”
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