US Coast Guard Team in Liberia to Appraise Continual Liberia’s Port Security Compliance

On the morning of December 7, 2023, the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA), as Designated Authority of Liberia’s International Port Security Program held a meeting with a delegation from the United States Coast Guard to mark the end of a weeklong ISPS assessment visit that was aimed at examining the enforcement of Anti-Terrorism Measures at Liberia’s port facilities. This was a follow-up visit. The team was here in October 2022.

The International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code) is a comprehensive set of measures designed to enhance the security of ships and port facilities globally. It was developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. It insists that all international ports formulate detailed security systems and programs at all levels of their establishments – and guarantee the provision of strict security level data to ships that fly their flags. The ISPS Code applies to seagoing vessels on international voyages, including cruise ships, tankers, and cargo ships of 500 GT and above.

In remarks, Deputy Commissioner, Charles Gono welcomed the US team on behalf of Commissioner Eugene Lenn Nage, and underscored the critical consideration that Liberia gives to the ISP measures. He expressed Liberia’s profound gratitude to the government and people of the United States for their assistance, and assured the delegation that Liberia and all its flagged ships will continue to do all it takes to comply with the requirements of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.

Director Simeon Cheah, the head of Maritime Security at LiMA, remarked that he and his staff learned tremendously during the week of assessment. He praised the US Coast Guard for their continued support and reassured them that their suggestions would be carried out.

For his part, the leader of the American Team, LCDR Janson S. Haynes, thanked the Liberia Maritime Authority for their assessment process. He congratulated Liberia for the superb work being done – and added that apart from a few minor snags, the country was living up to its commitments, and has much to be proud of. He suggested that Liberia should now consider implementing cyber security systems for its ports and related facilities.

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