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Shipping needs to retain its ‘integrity’ says LISCR

Shipping needs to retain its ‘integrity’ says LISCR
In a worrying sign of the times a majority of maritime executives believe that integrity is “routinely compromised” in shipping deals, according to a live audience poll carried at the CMA Shipping 2016 conference this week.

The poll took place during a presentation by LISCR (Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry), in which chief executive Scott Bergeron spoke of the need for “integrity, regard for the value of people, a commitment to technological innovation and an understanding of the value of customer service” in shipping operations.

Bergeron highlighted the fact that the plight of seafarers has worsened since the onset of the economic downturn. “It is not uncommon that wage payments are delayed and crew changes are prolonged beyond reason,” he said. “Even worse, there are an increasing number of cases of crew abandonment.”

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Abandonment of Seafarers Database, which in early 2014 listed around 160 abandoned crews, currently stands at almost 200. But the list is by no means definitive, documenting only one of many definitions of the term: for example, the 35 crew of private maritime security company armoury vessel the Seaman Guard Ohio, sentenced to five years of hard labour in India, are not included.

Other ways companies must demonstrate the value they place on staff include compliance with minimum safe manning regulations. “The integrity of the Liberian Registry is tested regularly,” said Bergeron. 

“It is usually easy to say ‘Yes’ to a client, because nobody wants to hear complaints or suffer the potential consequences of failing to agree to a request,” he continued. “The difficult part comes when you need to say ‘No’. When the customer proposes an unreasonable risk, we need to have the confidence of our convictions.”