History of Liberia's Maritime Program
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History of Liberia's Maritime Program

The Liberian Registry, established in 1948 by former U.S. Secretary of State Edward Stettinius, is recognized as one of the foremost open ship and corporate registries. During the past 60 years, the country's commitment to safe shipping has remained steadfast.

The Liberian Registry is a sovereign maritime jurisdiction responsible for the registration, regulatory enforcement, and safety of ocean-going ships. The Registry establishes identification details for ships and records legally enforceable documents, such as mortgages and bills of sale. 

The Registry is also responsible for the enforcement of maritime treaties, including Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); and the Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). The Ship Registry runs in parallel with the Liberian Corporate Registry, which performs the same functions as the corporate registration service of any other government. 

Since its inception, the Liberian Registry has been operated from the United States. This further strengthens the U.S.-Liberia alliance and provides the Registry the ability to participate in the international arena with key industry institutions such as the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Liberian Registry has seen tremendous growth supported by first-rate shipowners throughout its long history. It is also one of the few open ship registries with an independent association of shipowners, known as the Liberian Shipowners’ Council, a member of the International Chamber of Shipping.