Liberia: Offshore Business Sectors
This page was last updated on 24 January 2020.
The Liberian registry is open to any ship owner in the world. To enter the Liberian registry, a vessel must be owned by a Liberian legal entity (corporation, etc.), be less than 20 years old and must meet high safety standards.
The Republic of Liberia recognizes the following classification societies for conducting surveys and issuing statutory certificates of its behalf:
- American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
- Bureau Veritas (BV)
- China Classification Society (CCS)
- Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
- Germanischer Lloyd (GL)
- Indian Register of Shipping
- Korean Register of Shipping (KRS)
- Lloyd's Register of Shipping (LR)
- Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (NK)
- Polski Rejestr Statkow
- Registro Italiano Navale (RINA)
- Russian Maritime Register of Shipping
All of the above listed class societies are full members of International Association of Classification Societies (IACS). The Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Maritime Affairs maintains continuous contact with these recognized class societies.
The application for registration is a two-sided single page document. The following supporting documents are also required:
- Proof of Ownership: demonstrated by the bill of sale transferring title to the present owner, or for a new building a builder's certificate or master carpenter's certificate.
- Authority of Agent or Officer: This document is usually submitted in the form of a power of attorney, or secretary's certificate of corporate resolutions, authorizing one or more named persons to act for or on behalf of the owner in making application for registration of the vessel and to perform all acts necessary to accomplish the registration.
- Oath of Owner: If the vessel owner is not an incorporated company, it should also submit an oath of a managing owner or part owner (or agent of owner, managing owner or part owner).
- Confirmation of Class: a certificate of confirmation of class for an existing vessel, or a Certificate of Seaworthiness, or an interim certificate of class for a newbuilding, dated not more than ten (10) days prior to registration, must be submitted at time of registration.
- Statement or affidavit: this statement or affidavit needs to be submitted in addition to the confirmation of class and is given by the classification society with which the vessel is classed at the date of registry. Such statement must indicate:
- all conditions of classification, outstanding classification recommendations and/or outstanding deficiencies;
- the relevant statutory certificates, which the Society is prepared to issue on behalf of the Administration when all statutory surveys have been satisfactorily carried out;
- the current status of all classification and relevant statutory surveys setting forth the dates of completion of each; and
- to the extent known by the Society, any reasons why the vessel is presently not fit to proceed to sea prior to the completion of outstanding matters as noted above.
Vessels that are at least 15 years old must also submit copies of the reports of the most recent surveys. Vessels older than 20 years may be granted a waiver for registration on application by the owner accompanied by an advice from the vessel's classification society confirming that the vessel is in class and that the society is willing to issue all statutory certificates to the vessel.
A vessel registered in the Republic of Liberia may only be owned or bareboat registered by one of the following:
- a corporation formed under the Business Corporation Act;
- a company formed under the Registered Business Company Act;
- a limited partnership formed under the Partnership Act;
- a limited liability company formed under the Limited Liability Company Act;
- a foreign maritime entity (a legal entity formed and existing in another jurisdiction and registered in Liberia for the purpose of owning a ship) qualified to own a vessel as provided in Chapter 13 of the Business Corporation Act, and Sections 51(6)(c) of the Maritime Law.