Liberia Welcomes MLC Code; Trains Inspectors
THE Liberian Registry has welcomed ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) and has reinforced its role as a world leader in maritime safety and seafarer welfare by further strengthening its team of flag state inspectors qualified to undertake MLC 2006 inspections.
Following recent ratification by Russia and the Philippines, MLC 2006 is set to enter into force in 2013. Liberia was the first country to ratify MLC 2006, and has consistently led the way in pushing for swift overall ratification. Scott Bergeron, CEO of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, says, “Liberia is proud of its reputation for upholding the highest standards of crew welfare, and believes that the introduction of MLC 2006 will create a better connection between the people at sea and their management ashore. It will bring a new level of openness and communication that will help eliminate many of the frustrations and insecurities that seafarers experience in their relationships with shipowners, managers and crewing agents.
Everything should be transparent, open and, ultimately, audited.”
Meanwhile, Liberia is continuing to prepare for the introduction of the convention, by training its personnel thoroughly and well ahead of implementation. Following a successful five-day training course at Southampton in the UK this month, 35 new MLC inspectors were certified, bringing to a record 135 the number of qualified MLC inspectors ready to conduct compliance and enforcement duties on behalf of the Liberian Registry.
Attendees of the Southampton course heard a presentation by The Rev Canon Peters, who last year was presented with an honorary master’s licence by Liberia, in recognition of the generous and continued support he has provided in connection with Liberia’s MLC 2006 inspector training courses. The Rev Canon Peters says, “I am delighted to be involved in Liberia’s industry-leading initiatives in relation to MLC compliance, by imparting practical knowledge and understanding on crew welfare issues. Liberia understands the importance of these issues, and has taken timely action to protect and improve the interests of seafarers.”
Liberia also completed the successful training at Southampton of an additional 24 ISM-ISPS auditors. Liberia was a leading proponent in the implementation and ratification of ISM, and it was the first ship registry to combine audits for the ISM and ISPS codes, thereby saving owners time and money while achieving swift compliance. The Liberian Registry has an unrivalled team of auditors and inspectors, which it continues to augment, and it remains committed to ensuring that the Liberian flag is fully compliant.