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Liberia says shipping does not need new regulations

26 June 2014

The Liberian Registry has called on shipping regulators to ensure the effective implementation of existing rules to protect human life, safety and the environment, rather than creating new rules and regulations instead.

Scott Bergeron, CEO of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry, the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, says, "It is the job of ship registries and other regulators to ensure the effective, efficient and practical implementation of rules and regulations. Unfortunately, the entire industry does not operate in this way. There are other regulators who are not enforcing the rules effectively and this is really troublesome because the result of ineffective implementation is yet more regulation. I think the industry already has enough regulations, and creating new ones just as a political or public reaction to accidents is very short-sighted."

Bergeron describes as "critical and appropriate" the decision of IMO to choose ‘International Conventions - Effective Implementation' as the theme for World Maritime Day 2014. He says, "The ISM Code should be the last regulation from IMO, because every new requirement, whether political, environmental or safety-related, could be incorporated into ISM. We don't need new conventions. We don't need new regulations. What we need is for everything to be encapsulated in a single operating concept such as the ISM Code. And we need improved management and effective implementation and enforcement of provisions such as ISM. If all the measures needed to protect safety and the environment are in that one code, and if that code is effectively implemented and enforced, there will be no need for new regulations as a knee-jerk reaction to individual or collective incidents.

"Liberia applauds IMO and calls on other flag states to work together with Liberia to achieve effective implementation of existing regulations. Too much time, too much energy and too much expense has been wasted on new regulations. Let's focus on the ones we have, and make sure they are working properly, rather than creating new ones."