LISCR Offers Security Support to Congress

Thursday, June 13, 2002
LISCR, the company which manages the Liberian Registry, has pledged its full support to the US Congress to improve security measures for ships visiting US 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 Armed Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives today, Yoram Cohen, CEO of LISCR said, "We stand ready to assist the Coast Guard or other U.S. agencies in any way we can. I hope I have shown you that our particular open register can make a very positive contribution to national security." Statistics show that the U.S. depends on open registry vessels for its international trade. Cohen explained "For the U.S. to survive as a competitive player in international commerce and meet the need for increased homeland security, the authorities will need to adopt positive policies towards open registers." He said "The Liberian Register in this respect is a substantial asset, and can be a standard setter for the US." Cohen explained, "Ships entering US waters pose a potential threat to national security. 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 US waters wants to know 'How can I cross-check the accuracy of this information?'" If the ship is Liberian flagged, Cohen explained, 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 US 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. 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." "We are proud to say that in keeping with tradition, the Liberian Registry has also taken the initiative in advance of any other registry to develop a comprehensive security manual for ship operators. This has been made available to the International Maritime Organization at its recent conference. The manual will be distributed as an advisory document to all Liberian flagged ships in advance of any international requirement." "Our resources and our commitment are significant in terms of information and monitoring available to US authorities. Our commitment to standards is important to attract reputable ship operators and their strategic ships to the Registry. As a US company, 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."
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