Recent report from the United States Coast Guard announced that it was removing the conditions of entry on vessels arriving in the country from the West African Nation of Liberia into US waters, which had been in place since May 2, 2005 due to the fact that the country had been found to be one of the countries not maintaining effective counter-terrorism measures at its Ports. However, according to the report from the US Coast Guard, recent assessments conducted in 2018 by their organization helped determine that Liberia was actively working on maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures in its Maritime operations.
“The Republic of Liberia is removed from the list of the Countries Affected in paragraph B of the Port Security Advisory. Therefore, effective immediately, actions required in paragraphs C and D of this Port Security Advisory are no longer required for vessels arriving in the United States after visiting ports in the Republic of Liberia,” – U.S. Coast Guard Port Security Advisory (2-20) stated
This decision has saved vessels arriving from Liberia the embarrassment of special security measures upon arrival in the US.
In an interview with a local tabloid in Liberia, Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) Lenn Eugene Nagbe emphasized the commitment of the Liberian government to remain compliant with stipulated U.S. counter-terrorism measures and other international protocols governing maritime security.
US Ambassador McCarthy thanked the Liberian government for helping fight terrorism and sanctions violation. He urged the authorities to continue to take positive steps that would ensure they are complaint with local and international sanctions.
The removal of Liberia from such list of countries for its effective implementation of anti-terrorism measures is the direct result of the judicious work of Global Tracking and Maritime Solutions Holdings (GTMS Holdings), a maritime company that is known for its prudent work in Cargo Tracking of potential terrorism activities and other illicit products at sea amongst others.
In 2018, the government of Liberia selected GTMS Holdings to become the Exclusive General Managing Agent with the License to implement the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) system in the country’s Maritime/Ports system and ensure full compliance in this regard. The CTN is a system that requires Advanced Data Declaration and the full integrity of the data from Shippers (imports & Exports)/Freight Forwarders before Cargo arrives in a country. This system does not only pre-inform Ports of expected cargo and all other security measures but helps them better prepare to scrutinize cargo entering the nation’s ports as required by the ISPS Code Part B of the SOLAS Convention.
GTMS Holdings, a UK Based company which was first established in 2014 and has created an effective and efficient cargo tracking system virtually interlinking all major ports to a central global database system using a SAAS and physical architecture employing the latest technology, infrastructure and human capacity.
This company was also responsible for the successful introduction and implementation of the CTN System in neighbouring Sierra Leone as the Exclusive General Managing Agent from 2014 to 2019. It comes as no surprise that they have been able to play such a pivotal role in helping the national port of Liberia meet its International Compliance.
We were able to speak with the CEO of GTMS Holdings, Sahr William Ngegba, a dynamic entrepreneur of African-British descent with vast experience in the Global Shipping and Logistics industry spanning over 23 years and he told us this;
“This is great news for not only Liberia but for West Africa as a whole. The potential and future of shipping and maritime industry in Africa is unimaginable. What the world is seeing today is an acceleration of digital industrialization. For Africa to take advantage of this new wave of global industrialization, there is an urgent necessity for our ports to be fully compliance to meet the opportunities of global trade and such industrial revolution. What has happened to Liberia ports does not only tremendously help Liberia in global compliance but will help reduce freight rates, insurance cost usually levied on Ports that are classified within such list and so much more. Such classification is the security aspect to meet in relation for all global ports not just the United States”.
He further stated, “Thanks to the quantum leap in Industrial digitalisation, we have never been so busy as a company even in the advent of such global pandemic. At the moment, we now have six offices in all the continents and within the next 12 months we will be opening a further 8 offices in Africa alone and investing tens of millions of dollars, creating thousands of direct employment in Africa, UK and China”.