“We Delisted Sanctioned Vessels” -Commissioner Lenn Eugene Nagbe

The Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Mr. Lenn Eugene Nagbe has said that his agency had since effectuated the delisting of vessels carrying the Liberian flags, including the Maritime Corporation based in Dubai, far before they were ever sanctioned by the United States Government through the Office of Foreign Assets Control(OFAC) of the United States Treasury Department in keeping with the Registry’s stringent, world class sanction compliance mechanism.

Speaking during an interview with the OK 99.5 FM Conversation program, Mr. Nagbe said OFAC sanctions is not a blemish on the impeccable record of the Registry, but the swift de-listing of the affected entities is “testimony to the effectiveness of our sanction compliance regime which is second to none in the world”. He said what OFAC has been doing in effect was updating its records of those vessels that have been sanctioned by the US Government and were also delisted by the Liberian government

“Let me tell you the context on how it works. As the second largest registry in the world, we register ships and other related corporations. Our cooperation with the relevant institutions like the UN, the US Government, is good. Our records with these institutions and other relevant stakeholders are good to the extent that we are cited as the best in the world. When there is an issue or procedure, if a vessel is found wanting for any nefarious activity, we delist such vessel”, he said.

He said some months ago, the UN blacklisted 80 vessels for nefarious activities and because the Liberian system has a functional and world class mechanism, it was easier for the vessels to be detected and they were stopped from being registered within the Liberian registry.

He said Liberia remains committed to ensuring it maintains its high record of compliance with international protocols and laws on Maritime governance. It, therefore, urges all ships flying the Liberia flag and institutions on its Registry to conduct themselves in line with established industry rules and procedures.

“We run the second-largest, fastest-growing and best registry in the world, there will be some bad apples in the program like in other competing registries but what is important is that we are recognized by the various sanction regimes as having the best preventative and remedial system in place,” Commissioner Nagbe said.

He added that the Liberian program maintains an excellent relationship with its U.S. counterparts and they both have cooperated in several areas, including counterterrorism.

The Liberian Registry has a world-class compliance system that is devoted to preventing and addressing any and all potential violations of the United Nations and United States sanctions regimes. The compliance program is a reference point for U.S. authorities and global security agencies.

The Maritime Boss also discussed the present status of Liberia despite it being the second largest maritime nation next only to Panama and said it is unfortunate that the country has been outside of the decision making process at the International Maritime Organization. He said Liberia lost a seat on the council in 2019 because the country did not properly present herself for consideration on the council but that the government is taking steps to right the errors of the past.

Mr. Nagbe said Liberia makes an annual contribution of $6m to the IMO as its membership obligation and had told the Secretary General of IMO that Liberia cannot continue to be paying such a huge contribution at the time it is exerting very little influence at the institution. He said that in the coming 2022/23 year, Liberia will once again return to the mainstream leadership role at IMO.

Comments are closed.