Voluntary IMO Audit Scheme

The Liberian Registry completed a successful external audit in March 2007 under the International Maritime Organization's Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) without a single non-conformity recorded against the operation of the registry.

The IMO Audit Scheme is intended to provide IMO member States with a comprehensive and objective assessment of how effectively they administer and implement IMO mandatory instruments identified in image resolution A.973(24). It is intended that the audit results be systematically fed back into the regulatory process at IMO to help make measurable improvements in the effectiveness of the international regulatory framework of shipping.

The Liberian Registry found the entire audit process to be an extremely valuable exercise, particularly the conduct of an internal audit of the registry's processes in preparing for the IMO audit.  The Liberian Registry was also very impressed with the professionalism and the broad and relevant experience of the audit team.  The audit was conducted in a spirit of enthusiastic cooperation between the registry staff and the experienced IMO auditors throughout the preparation, interviews, discussions, demonstrations and reviews which the scheme calls for.

Having confirmed that Liberia had come through the audit with no non-conformities, the IMO team made three observations summarized as follows:

  • To make the promulgation of changes and amendments to IMO instruments more efficient;
  • To better document the oversight activities of Recognized Organizations; and
  • To document to a higher degree of detail the training and individual capabilities of the hundreds of surveyors who make up Liberia's worldwide network of nautical inspectors, auditors and casualty investigators.

With respect to the observations, Liberia believes that achieving a more efficient promulgation of changes and amendments to IMO instruments is a challenge for the entire industry. And, while Liberia has a very robust and dynamic program for overseeing the classification societies that have been delegated certain actions, Liberia agrees that the program's formal documentation could be improved.  Finally, Liberia recognizes that improved and more detailed documentation of the capabilities and qualifications of our surveyors will improve our ability to respond to the needs of the Registry's shipowners and operators.

While the audit scheme does not require disclosure of the audit results, the Liberian Registry believes that transparency plays an important role in the process and has therefore decided to publish both the full audit report, including areas of positive development, areas for further development and the action plan for the follow-up on the auditors’ observations. By doing so, Liberia hopes it will provide useful information to other member States and encourage other member States to take advantage of the opportunity and volunteer to be audited at the earliest opportunity.

Use the links below to view the results of the audit and the Corrective Action Plans proposed by the administration.

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