All industrial fishing vessels that wish to fish in Liberian waters must obtain a valid fishing license from the Bureau of National Fisheries.
The steps that are required for obtaining a Liberian industrial fishing license are laid out below. Note that each step of the procedure is required for all industrial fishing vessels, including those that wish to target the pelagic tuna fishery.
Guidelines for Obtaining an Industrial Fishing License in Liberia:
- Declaration of intention to fish, and submission of license application to the Bureau of National Fisheries
- Payment of inspection, observer and vessel registration fees to the Special Fisheries Account at the Central Bank of Liberia (details available from the BNF)
- Access agreement signed between the Government of Liberia and the Vessel Parent Company. Written authorisation must be given to the Liberian agent for signature on behalf of the Parent Company.
- Submission to inspection procedures by the Bureau of National Fisheries at the Fisheries Pier in the Port of Monrovia
- Submission of inspection report to Bureau of National Fisheries by inspection team
- Submission of fishing plan by vessel for evaluation by the Bureau of National Fisheries
- A payment of 10% of the total catch during the license period is required. An initial payment of 5% of estimated value of catch as in fishing plan must be paid to the Ministry of Finance.
- Fixing of Mobile Transceiver Unit or submission of existing MTU codes as part of the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) requirement
Fishing licenses are granted for a maximum period of 12 months, always ending on December 31st of each year.The License Application Procedure and all relevant documents can be downloaded here, or can be picked up from the Bureau of National Fisheries office.
Once the Fishing License has been granted, there are further requirements, including:
- Assignment of Fisheries Observer for every fishing trip
- VMS switched on at all times
- Reporting procedures
- All catch landed in Liberia is subject to landing fees, valued per ton dependent on species.
- All catch that is transhipped must receive permission to do so from the Bureau of National Fisheries.
- All catch that is not landed in Liberia must receive permission to both tranship and submit an export application to the Bureau of National Fisheries. For more information please go to the Import / Export pages of this website.
- Payment of the further 5% of total license period catch value at the end of license period to the Ministry of Finance
All vessels active in Liberian waters must in addition obtain a Seaworthiness Certificate from the Liberian Maritime Authority. For more information go to LMA Website
Further useful information in regards to various aspects of licensing and industrial fishing requirements in Liberia can be downloaded below, or are available from the Bureau of National Fisheries.
- Obligations of Vessel Operators to Fisheries Observers
- Overview for Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) for Liberia
- MTUs Approved for use in Liberia
- Example of a Fishing Plan download here
- Liberia Fishing Zone
- Vessel Prices for Fish Caught in Liberian Waters
- Fisheries Fees and Services Charges
- Industrial Fishing Log Book Example
- HF and VHF Radio Frequencies for Reporting
The Fish Price List can be downloaded here, or can be picked up from the Bureau of National Fisheries office.