Maritime Curse – LISCR Collecting Millions, Government Receiving Less

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Liberia’s resources continue to benefit few private individuals and a handful of elite public officials while more than 90 percent of the population live in poverty amidst national riches.

Once a leading iron ore exporter, the country has little or nothing to show in relation to infrastructure and human development to match against the billions generated from the extractive industry.

Its booming maritime industry is being operated for decades as business as usual. The industry in the past and present generates millions of United States dollars but a very meager amount is reported in the country’s national budget.

Currently the West African nation is the second largest maritime nation behind Panama. The Liberian-flag fleet currently comprises 4,170 ships aggregating more than 150m gross tons, representing 12% of the global ocean going fleet.

But in contrast, the company managing the maritime programs ( Liberia Ship and Corporate Registry) collects more money and shares little with government, according to figures in the national budget.

Between LISCR and the government it is impossible to know due to preference for secrecy how much is actually generated annually and shared. But with the help US laws and disclosure regulation institution like the New Democrat can access the data as reported.

In every six months, Liberia raises not less than US$30million in maritime revenue as detailed in US documents. For the six months period ending April 2017, FARA’s document states “LISCR collected taxes and fees with respect to Liberia’s maritime and corporate programs amounting to $43,640,404.00. There is no known evidence that this revenue inflow was captured in the country’s national budget.

The US Attorney General report to Congress on the Administration of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, shows that between October 2016 and April 30, 2017, the Liberian government generated US$123million via its maritime program.

But for fiscal years 2015/16 and 2016/17, the Liberian government disclosed US$18million. This means a whopping US$105million may have landed in private pockets.

US authorities were recording these transactions at a time when ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was making a case that the country was in a dismal financial position to the extent that her administration could not adequately finance the 2017 elections.

FARA Files:

LISCR, LLC #5490
8619 Westwood Center Drive Suite 300 Vienna, VA 22182
Government of the Republic of Liberia
Nature of Services: Maritime Support Services
The registrant collected taxes and fees with respect to the maritime and corporate programs of the foreign principal and disbursed those receipts either to the foreign principal or for the purpose provided under the legislation.
$38,406,102.00 for the six month period ending October 31, 2016

LISCR, LLC #5490
8619 Westwood Center Drive Suite 300 Vienna, VA 22182
Government of the Republic of Liberia
Nature of Services: Maritime Support Services
The registrant collected taxes and fees with respect to the maritime and corporate programs of the foreign principal and disbursed those receipts either to the foreign principal or for the purpose provided under the legislation.
$41,080,767.00 for the six month period ending April 30, 2016

LISCR, LLC #5490
8619 Westwood Center Drive Suite 300 Vienna, VA 22182
Government of the Republic of Liberia
Nature of Services: Maritime Support Services
The registrant collected taxes and fees with respect to the maritime and corporate programs of the foreign principal and disbursed those receipts either to the foreign principal or for the purpose provided under the legislation.
$43,640,404.00 for the six month period ending April 30, 2017

Festus Poquie