Yoram Cohen, CEO of the Liberia International Ship & Corporate Registry
, has described as "completely unfounded, unsubstantiated and untrue" allegations made by International Registries Inc
. on May 11, 2000, pursuant to the filing of a lawsuit against LISCR in the Supreme Court of New York
. "The allegations," says Cohen, "will trigger a massive counter-suit by LISCR against IRI.
"LISCR is a private company operated and fully owned from the United States
by U.S. nationals, completely independent of the Liberian government
," says Cohen. "It complies fully with all aspects of U.S. regulatory law
. Since assuming control of the Liberian Registry on January 1, 2000, LISCR has made significant gains in both its ship registration and corporate registration activities. Its ship registration business is currently growing at an equivalent rate of four million gross tons a year - a sure sign that it is providing shipowners with the service they require.
"I can only conclude that IRI's filing of this lawsuit is a desperate and miserable attempt to cause damage to the Liberian Registry, which IRI lost because of a clear conflict of interest by managing another small, fledgling registry. LISCR's capacity to provide superior service to its clients, and to the maritime industry, will not be affected in any way by this series of events."
Meanwhile, Richard Deely, General Secretary of the Liberian Shipowner's Council
(LSC), has issued a statement in response to the announcement of the filing of the IRI lawsuit, confirming, "The LSC regrets that IRI has taken such a confrontational approach with LISCR on what should be a straightforward contractual matter.
"Our organization worked closely with everyone involved during the last two years to ensure a seamless transition to LISCR's management, so that shipowners' interests were protected. LISCR's administration and management of Liberia's ship and corporate registries has been rated as excellent by the owners we represent. Early on, LISCR satisfied
the LSC that its funding and organization was consistent with the long-term interests of shipowners in the Liberian Register. This legal action is not in the best interests of shipowners, and LSC calls on both parties to resolve their differences quickly and amicably."