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Liberia: Double Tax Treaties

Other International Agreements

Liberia has signed Tax Information Exchange Agreements in force with Australia, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Greenland, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. A further five Agreements are not yet in force. These are with Ghana, Iceland, Poland, Portugal and South Africa.

Liberia is a party to a number of international environmental agreements, including those relating to: Biodiversity, Climate Change Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83 and Tropical Timber 94. Agreements signed, but not ratified, include the Environmental Modification and Marine Life Conservation agreements.

In February, 2004, the governments of Liberia and the United States signed a landmark co-operation agreement covering measures to suppress the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and associated delivery systems and materials carried on vessels. The Liberian Registry is the first ship registry to put in place the Proliferation Security Initiative, which is designed to prohibit the international spread of illegal weapons of mass destruction. The US-Liberia accord underlines both the position of the Liberian Registry at the cutting edge of measures to improve international security at sea and the international importance of the Registry. The agreement also provides US protection to the quality ships flying the Liberian flag.

As specified in the accord, enforcement action may only be taken against 'suspect vessels' as categorised in the agreement, and establishes rapid communication and co-operation, which may lead to authorised boarding and search in international waters by law enforcement officers. It does not, however, grant ‘free gangway’ to enforcement boarding teams without the prerequisite flag co-operation.

Representatives of the Liberian Registry on behalf of Liberia worked with US State Department officials to draft the PSI Boarding Agreement, which will now serve as a model for other flag states.

A spokesman for the US State Department said, "This is a tangible example of non-proliferation co-operation, as advocated by President Bush. Liberia has the world's second largest ship registry, and this agreement sends a strong signal to perpetrators that the United States and Liberia will not allow the use of their vessels for the transport or transfer of items of proliferation concern. The conclusion of this ship boarding agreement is an important step in further strengthening the Proliferation Security Initiative and the mechanisms that we have at our disposal to prohibit WMD-related cargoes." Liberian International Shipping and Corporate Registry (LISCR) ceo Yoram Cohen says, "We applaud the initiative of the UN-backed National Transitional Government of Liberia. This agreement demonstrates the commitment of the Liberian Registry to transparency, and the confidence we have in the high quality of the owners who use the Liberian Registry. With this accord, the US and its allies can feel more secure, and our ships can feel more secure under the US security umbrella. It puts the world on notice - Liberian ships are not available for terrorist activities. LISCR is proud of its small part in facilitating agreement between the two governments and in the trust that has been placed in it as the Competent Authority in the administration of the practical arrangements for international co-operation."

At a practical level, each request to board and search a vessel must be accompanied by, among other things, an explanation of the basis for suspecting the vessel of being involved in the proliferation of WMD. If consent to board is given by LISCR, as agent for Liberia, and evidence of the proliferation of WMD is found, US officers are authorised to detain the vessel, as well as items and persons on board, pending instructions from the flag state authority as to the appropriate course of action to be taken thereafter.

 

 

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