The Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA), as Designated Authority, has issued an administrative regulation to reinvigorate the implementation of the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL-Convention) at all seaports in Liberia. The notice was issued on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.
According to the Commissioner and CEO of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, the regulation seeks to increase efficiency at the various ports of Liberia particularly to reduce turnaround time that is hurting the Liberian Government’s ambition to operate a 24-hour port.
“As a designated authority, we started having conversations and realized that the turn around time at the Port of Monrovia and the Port of Buchanan was slow. And when this is the case, it has impact on cost and these costs are passed down to the consumers,” Commissioner Nagbe stressed.
He added that this is why the Liberia Maritime Authority decided to formulate a policy that would ensure the reduction in turnaround time. “We identified all of the problems. Some of the problems were on our, the Boarding Party, side while others were structural issues,” he said.
He reconned that whatever the case of a problem, it is still the Government’s responsibility to fix it.
“We thought the relevant international instrument, the FAL Convention and adding a marine notice would be the first step in this direction. So we convened again all of the stakeholders: National Port Authority, Liberia Revenue Authority, Liberia Drugs Enforcement Agency, Liberia Immigration Service, the Ministry of Health along with other relevant stakeholders to work around improving the situation, the LiMA Boss mentioned.
Commissioner Nagbe believes that when this is achieved, there is a slew of things that would be achieved and underpin economic growth through increase revenue generation.
“We cannot continue giving excuses to the people of Liberia. We have to fix things. Some of these problems are causing the hike in prices of goods. This is not a small problem. We will review the implementation of this notice after three months and seek to digitize the work of the boarding party.
He pointed out that this is a small step but a lot is being done to improve the operation of the ports across Liberia. “The impact will be felt by the consuming public, Commissioner Nagbe emphasized.
The Convention was signed in the presence of port operators, who are to provide daily ship schedules to enable members of the boarding party to prepare for boarding party inspection.
Mr. Jonathan Graham, head of APM Terminals, in brief remarks, thanked the government for the “massive” step taken to modernize.
“This is a big step forward. We are extremely happy today and we are going to work with you, especially in the area of compliance,” stated Graham.
Mr. Thomas Doe-Nah, Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority, said the signing of the agreement means Liberia is on the right path to development.
Mr. Bill Twehway, Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), stated that the issuance of the Notice is an outcome of concerted efforts by relevant arms of government with the singular interest of the nation.