Home Governance Maritime Signs MOU For Audit…Calls For Stakeholders Cooperation

Maritime Signs MOU For Audit…Calls For Stakeholders Cooperation

by News Manager

By: E. Geedahgar Garsuah

MONROVIA: In preparation for the upcoming International Maritime Organization (IMO) audit later this year, the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA), has reached a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU), with key players in the maritime sector.

The MOU was signed at the climax of a one-day high-level meeting of stakeholders of the maritime sector on Liberia’s preparedness for the IMO mandatory audit.
As captured in the MOU’s Executive Summary, the agreement seeks to ensure stakeholders’ compliance as it relates to reporting the outcome of the meeting which is also aimed at the establishment of the National Maritime Committee (NMC) and the adaptation of the National Maritime Strategy (NMS).

Accordingly, signatories to the MOU include the Ministry of National Defense with emphasis on the Liberia Coast Guards, the Ministry of Justice including all security apparatuses under its authority, the National Port Authority (NPA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Others are the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA), the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), the Ministry of Transport (MoT), and as well as other government’s entities that are involved with activities relating to Liberia’s maritime sector.

According to the Liberia Maritime Authority, paragraphs one and two of the ten-paragraph MOU states: “Having ratified SOLAS, MARPOL, COLREG, LOADING, STOW and ITC as amended and accepted to be audited through IMO member states audit scheme to assess the effectiveness of Liberia’s implementation and endorsement of these convention,; and “Noting that the IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code) calls for member states to develop an overall strategy to meet its international obligations and responsibilities as a flag, port, and coastal state.”

The LiMA stated in the MOU that ”Recognizing that the Liberia Maritime Authority is the principal government agency for implementation of the IMO instrument, and that enforcement of these instruments requires multi-agency efforts, and the different roles needed to be played by each government agency; and “Recalling that the Liberia Maritime Authority Act calls for collaboration, coordination, and consultation with the Ministry of National Defense, (specifically the Coast Guard), the Ministry of Justice, (Police, Immigration, and other relevant law enforcement), the Ministry of Finance (Custom), the National Port Authority (the NPA), and the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture, the National Oil Company of Liberia, the Ministry of Transport and other government agencies engaged in activities related to the maritime sector which exist or may be established in the future, with the view to working together to promote the country’s social, and economic development associated with or growing out of the national maritime, and marine related programs and activities.”

The MOU also indicated that “Desiring to create a single coherent framework and structure for cooperation and collaboration among all entities and institutions of the maritime sector of Liberia, and
“Mindful of our position as a major ship registry, which requires us to ensure effective enforcement of international maritime sector of Liberia, and “Emphasizing the need to establish an institutional framework in the form of National Maritime Committee to monitor and assess that the strategy ensures effective implementation and enforcement relevant international mandatory instruments, and continuously review the strategy to achieve, maintain and improve the overall organization performance and capability as a flag, port and coastal state, and
“Stressing the importance of the Audit and the urgency to take immediate action to establish the National Maritime Committee and adopt the National Maritime Strategy, and
“Urging all stakeholders to allocate the needed resources to invest in systems, equipment, and infrastructure and build human capacity to implement and enforce international conventions to which Liberia is party to accord the due respect to the IMSAS Consultant and provide the support needed to help each entity achieve it Audit goals.”
LiMA MOU continued: “Having exhaustively discussed the agenda items which include the establishment of the National Maritime Committee and the adoption of the National Maritime Strategy of Liberia, we commit our respective to fully cooperate and collaborate in preparing Liberia for the IMO Mandatory Audit Scheme.”

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