Vessel Registration Training Program

(April 23, 2010) The training and development of Liberians interested in the maritime profession is paramount, especially as Liberia transitions into a leading maritime nation. Within this framework, the Bureau of Maritime Affairs requested Deputy Commissioner Victor Dougba of the Vessel Registration Department in New York, to conduct a two-week training exercise of five BMA employees – Grace Vaye, Gboimah Genebeyan, Abbas Lakis, Momodu Lynch, and Nya Gbaintor – from April 12 – 23, 2010 at the Bureau of Maritime Affairs.

The major objectives of the exercise were to help participants:

1. Understand registration and documentation process of non-conventional vessels governed by the Liberian Pleasure and Small Watercraft Regime;

2. Assume the responsibility of registration and documenting non-conventional vessels from BMA Headquarters in Monrovia;

3. Launch the Pleasure and Small Watercraft program in Monrovia; and Understand the new Act which was passed into law on September 14, 2009, dealing with pleasure yachts, fishing vessels and domestic and commercial vessels under 500 gross tons which were previously governed by various sections of Chapter 11 of the Liberian Code of Laws (the Liberian Maritime Law)

Methodology of the Training Exercise:

Lectures were based on registration procedures, ranging from the initial request from a would-be client who wishes to register his/her vessel with the program. Participants were instructed to handle each situation, as well as, advise would-be clients on how to go about registration requirements.

The issue of the granting of provisional certificate of registration was discussed at length during the first week of the training exercise because it is the most important document issued upon review of a client’s request for registration of his vessel. Each participant was drilled thoroughly with the aid of a projector. Upon completion of the lecture and hand-on approach exercise on issuance of a provisional certificate of registration, a case of a request from a client to register his vessel was given each participant to handle and make a 15-minute oral presentation thereafter.

In conjunction with the issuance of a provisional certificate of registration, participants were lectured on the preparation of the MONEY SHEET, which usually accompanies the response to a client’s letter after the particulars of a vessel are presented. The MONEY SHEET is usually a breakdown of fees for each category of vessels paid at the initial registration or a representation of fees of all subsequent requests.

The first week of the training exercise was climaxed following the lecture on the preparation of provisional certificate and Money Sheet. Participants were asked to give a report in order to evaluate the first week’s activities. The report highlighted succinct accounts of their understanding of legal regime of the program, working maritime definitions mainly used in the preparation of various certificates, tonnage tax calculation and admeasurements, vessel registration process – issuance of provisional certificate.

The second week of activities began with lecture on the issuance of Permanent Certificate of Registration. Several variables, having direct link to its preparation including the checklist, vessel file, outstanding obligation or pending matters were reviewed. Each participant was required to issue a permanent certificate based on the case of the former vessel which was previously issued a provisional certificate, given several problems the owner/vessel had encountered after a provisional certificate was issued. Bo Oral and hand-on practical presentations were given by each participant. This was followed by lecture and hand-on examples on the issuance of certificates of transfer, cancellation and deletion.

The latter part of the second week concentrated on the issuance of License of competence, normally based upon examination and equivalence and each participant was drilled in the process and completed a practical exercise on the issuance of License of competence.

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