United Kingdom promises support

to tackle the spread of illegal shipping fleets


06 Tuesday 2024


Important discussions were held at The Embassy with two Foreign Commonwealth Development Office officials and a Liberia Maritime expert concerning the rise of ‘dark fleets’, safety and security of shipping vessels and the impact on International trade across the high sea.


The threat of illegal shipping fleets, known as ‘dark fleet’ vessels on the high seas has been identified as a growing risk to the operation of maritime trade and transportation.

As a leading maritime nation,  Liberia recognises the importance of maritime trade, which accounts for 80% of goods transported worldwide. The Liberian Maritime Authority and the United Kingdom authorities understand the increasing threat of illegal shipping networks and the importance of taking measures and actions to displace them is crucial.

The United Kingdom has offered to provide technical support and crucial information to strengthen Liberia’s response-ability. Emphasising: strategic lead towards tracking and detection of illegal fleets as well as assisting in training and development.

Robert Kneeling and Beth Davies, Policy advisors at the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office of the UK, recounted the importance of building on Liberia and the United Kingdom’s bilateral and multilateral engagements to address such crucial demand.

Her Excellency, Gurly Gibson-Schwarz, Liberia’s Ambassador accredited to London, United Kingdom highlighted the importance of the continuing engagement with the United Kingdom on several key issues and the importance to both countries.

She thanked the UK for supporting Liberia’s recent election to a seat in Category ‘A’ on the IMO Council.

This collaboration will help maintain the reputation of a strong registry and the global shipping industry: benefiting both the UK and Liberia through the sharing of best practices and information.” The Liberian Ambassador, H.E. Gibson Schwarz asserted.

She stressed that Liberia will consistently comply with IMO conventions and protocols; and is determined to strive for maritime safety as the utmost priority.

As the largest ship registry with over 5,000 vessels, Liberia is committed to collaborating with the United Kingdom on a multilateral level to reduce the number of shadow fleets that threaten the safety and security of seafarers and the environment.

The Acting Head of Liberia’s Permanent Mission to the IMO, Dr Harry Conway, also emphasised the importance of Integrity and detailed procedures, actions and inspections that continue to drive the Liberian Maritime program.