Merlin's Magic Media
Friday, 26 April 2013
International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens says shipping companies should explore leasing opportunities as a way of adjusting their self-owned and chartered-in tonnage balance in response to the radical changes that have taken place in ship financing in recent years.
Phil Cowan, the firm’s Head of Corporate Finance, says, “The traditional thinking of a company needing to own all the resources it uses to operate has been successfully challenged for many years in the shipping industry by the use of extensive outsourcing. This has proved to be an effective way of improving efficiency and making better use of resources. But it could be argued that shipping still has something to learn from the aviation industry in this respect.
“Shipping and aviation are both capital-intensive, cyclical industries employing assets which have a long economic life. But whereas a well-established airline would probably own roughly a third of the planes it operates, and lease the rest, with about half of chartered-in aircraft typically under operating leases, shipping has not embraced the leasing concept to anything like the same extent. Of course ships and planes are very different, not least because ships are mostly tailor-made for the cargoes they carry. But leasing does offer some interesting opportunities for ship operators and Chinese lessors in shipping have developed rapidly over the past few years.”
In the latest issue of the Moore Stephens shipping newsletter, Bottom Line, Paul Chang, Managing Director and Global Head of Shipping at ICBC Financial Leasing Co Ltd, Beijing, says, “Professional operating lessors can offer a range of solutions to enable shipping companies to manage their balance sheets and capacity more effectively. The amounts currently being lent by banks for shipping deals are low, and loan profile and maturity have shortened. But with the correct leasing and finance structure, it is possible to put together a bespoke ship leasing and finance package. There are now 20 financial leasing companies backed by banks and large corporates in China, with more expected to be formed.”
Phil Cowan concludes, “Those considering leasing solutions for acquiring tonnage or restructuring existing tonnage ownership should seek professional advice in finding an appropriate financial leasing company with a successful track record.”
Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping and insurance adviser. Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 624 offices of independent member firms in over 100 countries, employing 21,224 people and generating revenues in 2012 of $2.3 billion. www.moorestephens.co.uk
For more information:
Moore Stephens LLP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bureau Veritas slashes MLC compliance time
Bureau Veritas slashes MLC compliance time
LEADING international classification society Bureau Veritas has set up a web-based system which will help shipowners to cut certification time for the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 dramatically. BV says the system is needed because some shipowners are leaving it until late to seek the necessary MLC certification.
An addition to the services available to Bureau Veritas’ clients through the individual private section of its Veristar Info website will allow owners to create and clone the Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance Part II, the main compliance document needed, across their fleets and to submit fleet-wide documents easily for review and certification.
Boris Gruden, MLC Implementation Leader for Bureau Veritas, says, “Shipowners have to have MLC documentation in place and certified by a Recognised Organisation before August 20 this year or risk detention of their vessels. Some have not even begun to work on this yet. They need to work with their flag states to have the norms for their fleet set out in a document DMLC Part I. Then for each ship they have to prepare a DMLC Part II which must be reviewed and certified by the RO, usually class. The DMLC Part II is built on the requirements set out by the flag state and is ship specific but most of it is the same for all ships in any one fleet. We have built a system to automate the process for the owner and to speed review. It is web-based, simple and quick. And owners need it right now because the deadline is looming.”
Bureau Veritas is recognised as an RO for MLC implementation by leading flag states. Says Gruden, “We have planned ahead for this to make life easier for owners and have trained a major workforce of auditors in MLC. They are ready to move, and with this new web-based software they can work even faster, so owners needing MLC approval can come to Bureau Veritas assured of speedy service. The deadline is close so they need to act now.”
Bureau Veritas is a world leader in conformity assessment and certification services. Created in 1828, the Group has 58,000 employees in 940 offices and 340 laboratories located in 140 countries. Bureau Veritas helps its clients to improve their performance by offering services and innovative solutions in order to ensure that their assets, products, infrastructure and processes meet standards and regulations in terms of quality, health and safety, environmental protection and social responsibility.
www.bureauveritas.com for corporate information
www.veristar.com for marine information
For more information:
+33 688 098171
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
London P&I Club reports negative findings on enclosed space entry
THE London P&I Club has noted that reports generated during the club's ship inspection programme show an increase in negative findings in relation to enclosed space entry on board ships. It says that, despite a global acceptance of industry standard procedures, incidents continue to occur year-on-year.
In the latest issue of its StopLoss Bulletin, the club notes, “Inspection findings vary in nature, but the enclosed space entry permit to work (PTW) and associated prescribed steps regularly present themselves as sources of negative findings in ship inspections. Even when fully completed PTW forms are presented, inspectors are repeatedly presented with: completed single PTWs which purport to cover entry into multiple enclosed spaces; checklists fully completed and signed off by the responsible officer and master, but the required safety equipment is not actually in place; no evident consideration of how a rescue would be undertaken from the space in the event of an emergency; no provision for continuous monitoring of the atmosphere of the space; oxygen/gas detection equipment presented in either a dubious condition or without proper evidence of calibration to statutory requirements.”
The club adds, “An alarming trend of tick-box culture has recently been detected in routine ship inspections. The importance of proper consideration of the steps which are required for an entry permit to be granted should not be overlooked. The exact requirements for each enclosed space entry will vary depending on, amongst other things, the location on board, the status of the ship, concurrent work, the previous contents of the space and the type of work to be conducted in the space. For this reason it is not acceptable practice to allow a single permit to apply to multiple space entries, particularly when these spaces are of a different designation.
“The officers in charge of the operation should always focus on their primary responsibility, which is to ensure that the operation is conducted as safely as practicable. However, should any further motivation be required, the club is aware of at least one case where a responsible officer faced criminal charges for allowing an operation to be conducted in an unsafe manner – despite having signed the paperwork suggesting that all necessary safety precautions were in place.”
Thursday, 18 April 2013
Multraship confirms order for two new Damen ASD 2810 tugs
LEADING towage and salvage specialist Multraship has continued its fleet renewal programme with confirmation that it has bought two new Damen ASD 2810-type tugs with state-of-the-art FiFi 1 firefighting capabilities. The tugs, to be named Multratug 26 and Multratug 27, are building in Romania for delivery in June/July 2013.
Contracts for the two tugs were signed during the course of Multraship’s annual client gathering in Terneuzen on April 18, where Multraship managing director Leendert Muller said, “We are delighted to have concluded deals for these vessels, built to a proven design by a yard with extensive experience and expertise in this sector.
“The new tugs will be mostly engaged in harbour towage activities in the Zeeland Seaports and Antwerp areas. In addition to their primary duties, they will also be on standby, ready to respond in the event of fire- or explosion-related emergencies in the western and central part of the River Scheldt, as part of a February 2013 commitment entered into with the Zeeland Safety Region to keep two FiFi 1 tugs on standby.
“These new tugs provide confirmation of Multraship’s commitment to investing for both the present and the future. In the towage and salvage sector, if you don’t invest, you risk getting left behind. It is also important to demonstrate to all sectors of the maritime industry that you are prepared to invest money, time and resources in everything from research & development to fleet renewal in order to provide a valuable towage, emergency response and salvage capability,” said Muller, who currently serves as vice-president of the International Salvage Union.
The tugs will have a minimum bollard pull of 62.5 tons and a maximum speed of 13.5 knots. They are being built at Damen Shipyards, Galati, Romania, in which country Multraship has a representative office and provides towage and salvage services as part of its strategic coverage of the Black Sea area.
For a photo of the signing ceremony, or an artist’s impression of the new tugs, go to: http://picasaweb.google.com/Merlinclients/Multraship or email email@example.com
Multraship is a leading Dutch towage and salvage company. It draws on a century of experience in the maritime sector. Multraship’s core operations include salvage, wreck removal, harbour towage, ocean towage, services to the dredging, offshore and renewable energy industries, and support for inland navigation. It operates and manages a large fleet of tugs, salvage vessels, floating sheerlegs and other craft equipped with modern towage, salvage and fire-fighting equipment and manned by experienced and highly-trained masters and crew. www.multraship.com
Damen Shipyards Group (est. 1927) operates more than 50 shipyards, repair yards and related companies worldwide. Damen employs over 7,000 people in 35 countries, has delivered over 5,000 vessels since 1969 and delivers some 150 vessels annually to worldwide customers. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept and short delivery times, Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale value, proven technology and reliable performance. Damen offers a wide range of products, including: tugs, workboats, patrol vessels, high-speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, offshore support vessels, oil-spill response vessels, frigates and super yachts. For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of services, such as Lifecycle Maintenance Services, Customer Finance, Training and transfer of (shipbuilding) knowledge.
In addition to ship design and shipbuilding, Damen Shiprepair & Conversion offers a network of 16 ship repair & conversion yards worldwide, most of which are conveniently located along the North Sea coast from Brest (France) to Gothenburg (Sweden). Damen Shiprepair & Conversion operates 40 dry docks of all types and sizes and offers onsite/onboard repair services. Conversion projects range from refitting small fishing vessels into private yachts to the complete conversion or rebuilding of large jack-up rigs.
For more information contact:
Tel. +31 (0) 115 645 000
ITIC highlights value of diligent debt collection
ITIC has highlighted the value of diligently pursuing the collection of shipping industry debts in today’s difficult economic climate.
In its latest Claims Review, ITIC notes that a shipbroker acting for charterers was owed $25,000 in commission by an Indian voyage charterer under a charter party which provided that the charterer would deduct the commission. Having written to the charterer and not received a response, ITIC ascertained from local sources that the charterer was in serious financial trouble. It was also rumoured that the charterer was about to receive a large injection of finance from a foreign investor.
A local lawyer was appointed to pursue the debt, and a letter was sent to the charterer stating that, if it did not pay the outstanding commission, winding-up procedures would be started via an application to the local court. Again, the charterer did not respond with an offer of settlement.
ITIC, as promised, began the winding-up process, and this prompted an immediate payment to the shipbroker by the charterer.
The ITIC Claims Review also highlights a problem of a different nature faced by a ship agent in Canada, which was owed more than C$70,000 by a local company which had been declared bankrupt. ITIC instructed lawyers to have the ship agent properly listed as a creditor, and although there were other creditors, aspects of the agent’s debt took priority over many of the claimants and ITIC managed to recover C$42,998 on behalf of the ship agent.
ITIC says, “The case shows the importance of ensuring that claims are properly filed in liquidations.”
Copies of the ITIC Claim Review can be requested from: firstname.lastname@example.org
ITIC is managed by Thomas Miller. More details about the club and the services it offers can be found on ITIC’s website at www.itic-insure.com
For more information:
Tel. +44 (0)20 7338 0150
Monday, 15 April 2013
RINA announces annual results
The Board of Directors of RINA S.P.A has approved the consolidated balance sheet for the period 2012: revenues of 280 million Euros (+23%) were achieved and the operating income reached 26.3 million Euros.
The Board of RINA S.p.A. – holding company of the RINA Group – today approved the consolidated balance sheet for 2012 which confirmed the growth trend of recent years with revenues of 280 million Euros (+23% compared to 2011).
For the first time the balance sheet of RINA S.p.A. was prepared in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to align with the standards of listed companies.
Despite the persisting negative economic situation in 2012 the company recorded a growth in revenues from integrating D’Appolonia S.p.A., which was acquired the previous year. The operating income reached 26.3 million Euros.
D’Appolonia is a leader in Italy in engineering consultancy and with it the RINA Group has entered the medium-large firm segment with over 2,100 staff in 53 countries worldwide, more than 150 offices and revenues of 295 million Euros expected for 2013.
The development of RINA’s international network has enabled growth in the Energy sector (+18%), Food (+18%) and Environment which saw business linked to CDM projects grow by 63% internationally.
Other sectors which stood out positively in 2012 are logistic infrastructures and high-speed railways in countries such as Indonesia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
In the UAE the Group won the international tender for the creation of Tasneef, the first certification body in the Arab world.
In 2012 activity dedicated to research and development reached 210,000 hours, whilst training exceeded 155,000 hours. For 2013, increasing investments are foreseen.
“Diversification, competence and innovation represented the strengths of our strategy in 2012,” stated Ugo Salerno, Chief Executive Officer and President of RINA S.p.A. “Although it was a difficult year, we succeeded in transforming the RINA Group into an integrated organization with a structure that enables us to best meet the needs of our clients.
“We are developing more new services needed during the global crisis and these will help balance the smaller contribution made by marine business. We are satisfied with our growth, revenues have reached 280 million Euros (+23%), and we managed to keep our organization intact and continued to invest, through innovative solutions, in support of the shipowning industry which is preparing itself for the recovery.”
RINA is a multi-national group which delivers verification, certification, conformity assessment, ship classification, environmental enhancement, product testing, site and vendor supervision, training and engineering consultancy across a wide range of industries and services. RINA Group operates through a network of companies covering Marine, Energy, Infrastructures & Real Estate, Transport & Logistics, Food & Agriculture, Environment & Sustainability, Finance & Public Institutions and Business Governance. With revenues of 280 million Euros in 2012, over 2,100 employees, and 150 offices in 53 countries worldwide, RINA is recognized as an authoritative member of key international organizations and an important contributor to the development of new legislative standards. www.rina.org
Media Relations Manager RINA Group
Ph. +39 010 5385505
Media Relations RINA Group
Ph. +39 010 5385555
Friday, 12 April 2013
Seacurus provides industry first with insurance cover for unpaid crew wages
SPECIALIST marine insurance intermediary Seacurus has launched a new insurance policy to indemnify seafarers in the event of the financial default of their employers which, for the first time, offers recompense in respect of unpaid crew wages. The policy will enable all employers of seafarers to meet their regulatory obligations under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC), which enters force on 20 August, 2013.
The new policy, CrewSEACURE, provides up to $10m of cover in the event of an employer’s financial default. It includes personal accident protection and covers medical expenses as well as subsistence and repatriation costs. It will also respond, unlike any other product currently on the market, in respect of the non-payment of seafarers’ wages, for a period of up to six months.
CrewSEACURE is underwritten by first-class A-rated global insurers in the Lloyd’s and Company markets in London. It offers an independent round-the-clock claims service managed by Thomas Miller Claims, the world’s leading maritime ‘people claims’ service provider. It also includes a claims mandate which protects the interests of shipowner and seafarer alike to ensure a fair claims process. A 24-hour helpline is available for seafarers and their advisers, who are afforded direct access to the insurers’ claims adjusters. In order to deliver the CrewSEACURE product to market, Seacurus will act as managing general underwriters with access to Lloyd's security led by Brit Syndicates Ltd and companies' market security provided by Aspen Insurance UK Ltd.
CrewSEACURE provides cover which meets flag state and port state control approval, and is authenticated by a ship-specific MLC2006 insurance certificate to demonstrate compliance with the Maritime Labour Convention. Comprehensive cover is provided at low cost, with premiums of as little as 50 cents per-seafarer per-day available.
Thomas Brown, managing director of UK-based Seacurus, says, “CrewSEACURE has been designed to cover the requirements of MLC. The shipping industry faces economic challenges. Not all shipowners and operators will survive the current global recession, and this will inevitably have a knock-on effect on those seafarers who are caught up in the resulting bankruptcy cases. Just recently, for example, we saw arrest orders issued by a court in the Far East in respect of two tankers after crew complained they had not been paid for almost three months.
“The fact is that any cover that does not provide for the indemnification of unpaid wages fails to adequately protect seafarers against the real risk of abandonment. History shows that the only way for seafarers to recover unpaid wages in the absence of any form of financial security is to remain on board until the ship is sold. This serves only to make matters worse for the shipowner as well as for seafarers and their families, who suffer further financial loss and hardship as a result of the long delays that can accompany the judicial sale of a vessel. CrewSEACURE removes the need for seafarers to remain on board an abandoned vessel by ensuring that they receive their unpaid wages before being repatriated home to seek new employment opportunities.
Giles Heimann, secretary-general of IMEC (International Maritime Employers Council Ltd), says, “IMEC and its members believe that the Maritime Labour Convention is the most significant piece of maritime legislation for many years. We are committed to supporting our members in the run-up to its introduction in August 2013, and to working with them to secure effective and fit-for-purpose provision for seafarers and employers alike. I am pleased to see that companies such as Seacurus are providing options for the industry, to support their obligations under MLC.”
Thomas Brown concludes, “MLC is a watershed moment for shipping. It has been called the seafarer’s ‘bill of rights’, and with good reason. Previously, there had been a lack of political will or force of law to encourage the insurance industry to provide a workable system of financial security. But that will change with the imminent implementation of MLC. Seacurus believes that effective employment protection must include crew wages. For that reason, it has provided an effective system of financial security to put an end to the spectre of seafarers becoming the cashflow casualties of their employers’ insolvencies.”
For a photo of Thomas Brown, email: email@example.com
Seacurus Ltd is an FSA-regulated insurance broker, founded in 2004, specialising in bespoke revenue protection cover for the maritime industry. It is a market leader in the design and implementation of solutions to protect companies from unforecasted balance sheet impacts, including credit default, charter party cancellations, hijackings and voyage disruptions caused by political events. Seacurus established the first delegated underwriting binding authority for marine kidnap insurance and is an approved Lloyd’s Coverholder. www.seacurus.com
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Total Lubmarine to supply new Panama Canal power plant
Total Lubmarine’s innovative Talusia Universal lubricating oil will be used on two low-speed MAN B&W 12K80MC-S engines which will form part of the expansion of the Miraflores installation, the first two-stroke stationary power plant in Panama and Central America, a market previously dominated by four-stroke power plants.
Serge DAL FARRA, Head of Marketing at Total Lubmarine, says, “This is a highly prestigious order for Lubmarine, secured in competition with all major oil companies worldwide. It is an endorsement of Lubmarine’s products and services, and recognition of its role as a leading supplier of lubricants to the power plant sector. Both the Panama Canal authorities and MAN acknowledged Lubmarine’s industry knowledge, technical and logistical expertise, product availability and proven service levels of service excellence.”
Lubmarine has been working in Panama since 2011 under a marketing co-operation agreement with Maxum Oil Services, which includes the distribution of marine and power plant sales in Panama. As part of this agreement, Lubmarine’s Aurelia TI product
s have been used to lubricate three new power plants in the region.
TOTAL Lubmarine will supply 350 tons of lubricant to the new Miraflores plant during March and April this year, in accordance with the exact delivery needs of the Panama Canal authorities. Serge DAL FARRA says, “Tank trucks and product facilities are ready to meet the supply demands of this new project, without compromising our present supply agreements with our vessel network and existing power plant clients.”
Total Lubmarine is the worldwide marine lubricants network of oil major Total. As a key industry player, Total is committed to achieving a level of excellence which meets its customers’ needs by providing the right product, in the right place, at the right time, backed by first-class support and expertise.
For more information:
Serge DAL FARRA
Total Lubmarine Marketing and Analysis Department
+ 33(0)1 41 35 95 55
Friday, 5 April 2013
Moore Stephens says new UK statutory residence test does away with grey areas
International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens says the introduction by the UK of a statutory residence test will bring much greater certainty to an area previously decided largely on the basis of case law and government practice.
The UK is introducing the statutory residence test with effect from 6 April, 2013. Gill Smith, a tax partner with Moore Stephens, explains, “At present, there is no statutory definition of residence, but rather case law and HMRC practice. This has resulted in residence being a rather grey area, but the new test should bring much greater certainty.”
Under the new test, individuals will always be resident if they spend 183 days in the UK. As is the case now, a day counts if the individual is in the UK at midnight. Automatic residence is also achieved if individuals are working in the UK full-time or, broadly, have their only home there.
Individuals are automatically non-resident if they are in the UK for less than 46 days in the tax year. This limit is restricted to less than 16 days for an individual who has been UK-resident for one or more of the preceding three tax years. Additionally, individuals are non-resident if they work full-time abroad.
For individuals who are neither automatically resident nor non-resident, there is a ‘sufficient ties test’. The legislation sets out a number of ties, and the number of days in the UK that would make individuals UK-resident for a tax year is calculated according to the number of ties they have. For arrivers (individuals who have not been resident in the UK in any of the three previous tax years) the ties are: having family resident in the UK (family includes a spouse, partner or minor children); having accommodation available and using it for one night in the tax year; working in the UK for 40 or more days in the tax year for at least three hours per day; having been present in the UK for more than 90 days in either of the previous two tax years.
For leavers (individuals who have been resident in the UK in one of the previous three tax years) the day counts are more stringent. Leavers also have an additional tie to consider, namely that they are not in the UK more than any other single country.
There are a number of specific rules dealing with matters such as split year, where an individual can be treated as non-resident part-way through the tax year, and the treatment of income and capital gains earned in periods of temporary non-residence.
International transportation workers, including seafarers, also have their own rules. In their case, the tests relating to working full-time in the UK or abroad are dis-applied when looking at the automatic residence or non-residence position. When considering day-count, a work journey that starts in the UK is considered a day of UK residence, whereas one that ends in the UK is not.
“The statutory residence test for the 2013/14 tax year should give greater certainty regarding an individual’s residence position,” concludes Gill Smith. “The basic rules are quite straightforward, but there is considerable detail to catch the unwary.”
Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping and insurance adviser. Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 624 offices of independent member firms in over 100 countries, employing 21,224 people and generating revenues in 2012 of $2.3 billion.
For more information:
Moore Stephens LLP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191 firstname.lastname@example.org