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Friday, 31 May 2013

Tax tribunal rules that security deposit interest is ring-fenced under tonnage tax

International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens has welcomed a decision by the UK First Tax Tribunal that interest received on security deposits relating to loans taken out to buy ships within tonnage tax is not taxable.

HMRC had argued that the interest income was outside tonnage tax as it related to the purchase of ships by London-based bulk and chemical tanker operator Euroceanica (UK) Limited, which was not a trading activity for the purposes of the tonnage tax legislation. It had further maintained that the giving of a security deposit was not a ‘necessary and integral’ part of the activity of operating ships as it was not a mandatory or ‘necessary’ part of ship financing. 

However, the First Tier Tax Tribunal, which hears appeals against decisions relating to tax made by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), ruled that the crucial issue was whether the funds from which the interest income arose were currently being used for the purposes of Euroceanica’s trading activities, and whether the interest arose from cash which was ‘at risk’ in the company’s trade.

The tribunal decided that the giving of the security deposits in this case was a genuine commercial arrangement entered into by the shipowner in order to obtain better loan terms from the relevant banks. The security deposits should not be regarded as investments, said the tribunal, as the company was not interested in the rate of return on the deposits and would have preferred to use the cash to generate shipping income. The funds were being used for current purposes, namely to collateralise the financing of ships. The cash deposits were of a relatively short-term nature, even though interest was received on the deposits over a number of years.   

The tribunal concluded that the deposits were being actively employed in the trade. Therefore, the relevant interest income should be treated as trading income and within tonnage tax. 

Sue Bill, a tax partner with Moore Stephens, says, “Although HMRC may lodge an appeal, the decision provides some clarity on the contentious issue of the extent to which interest received by a tonnage tax company is within the tonnage tax ring-fence. It is slightly surprising that HMRC felt able to defend its position on this issue at tribunal, particularly given that it accepts that interest on security deposits for leases can be within tonnage tax provided that certain conditions are met. The tribunal commented that neither it nor HMRC was able to see any distinction, and that HMRC had been forced to argue that its guidance relating to leases must be incorrect. Although very good news for the taxpayer, this case does show that the HMRC guidance on tonnage tax is not always correct.”

 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:                                                                       
Sue Bill                                                                                   
Moore Stephens LLP                                                              
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191                                                       

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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Moore Stephens says Greek tax changes will affect shipping companies

International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens says changes recently approved by the Greek parliament to the country’s tax laws will impact companies engaged in the shipping industry.

There is a new requirement for Greek shipowners to pay tonnage tax on ships operating under flags other than the Greek flag which are managed by companies based in Greece, or offshore companies which have a branch in Greece, operating under Law 89 of the Greek constitution.

Michael Kotsapas, a partner with the Moore Stephens shipping team, says, “This new requirement to pay tonnage tax, effective from 1 January, 2013, mirrors that which is already in existence for the Greek-flag merchant fleet. A large part of the Greek fleet currently sails under foreign flags, and therefore is impacted by the new tonnage tax regulations. Management companies are jointly liable with shipowning companies to pay the tax. Any foreign tonnage tax paid can be set off. Shipowning companies operating vessels under a foreign flag are exempt from any other taxes on profits derived from the operation of the vessels outside Greece, similar to exemptions available for operating Greek-flagged vessels.”

A new range of levies has also been introduced for companies providing services to the shipping sector in Greece. These changes affect shipbrokers, insurance brokers, agents, average adjusters, charterers and others, irrespective of whether they provide services to ships under Greek or foreign flag, but exclude ships trading on purely domestic routes and some passenger ships. Shipowners and ship management companies are exempt.

The new service-related charges will be imposed on remittances of foreign currency, based on the following scales: 5 per cent on remittances up to $200,000; 4 per cent on remittances between $200,001 and $400,000; and 3 per cent on remittances over $400,000. The charges are annual and will be made for a four-year period, beginning retrospectively from 2012. In addition, service company profit distributions, either as dividends or as bonuses to directors and staff, are now taxed at a flat rate of ten per cent.

Michael Kotsapas says, “Shipping remains a key industry for Greece, and an important source of foreign currency. In recognition of the need to maintain the attractiveness of Greece as a base for companies engaged in the shipping industry, these service-related charges have very recently been reduced to 50 per cent of the figures included in the original legislation.”
Moore Stephens was the first international accounting firm to open an office in Greece. This year, it celebrates the 50th anniversary of its dedicated presence in the country. 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:                                                                     
Michael Kotsapas                                                                   
Moore Stephens LLP                                                                         
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191                                                      

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Thursday, 23 May 2013

FMC opts for RINA LNG TQ

FMC Technologies has entrusted RINA Group’s company, RINA Services, with the Technology Qualification of its new technology loading arms designed for installation on the FSRU Toscana and also the Chiksan Articulated Tandem Offshore Loader (ATOL) marine loading arms. Both feature innovative technologies to transfer LNG in a marine environment, and both are now qualified to enter service.

Dino Cervetto, Technical Services Sector Manager, RINA Services, says, “Novel technologies are generally not adequately covered by established codes and procedures. When operators need to know if they are safe or if they will work properly they need to be qualified through an ad hoc but rational approach. A framework to achieve this result is RINA’s Technology Qualification. This consists of a process of verification that the novel technology meets the specified requirements for its intended service, including criteria of safety, availability and performance.

“Technology Qualification is a suitable tool for qualifying ad hoc complex designs typical of the oil and gas sector, which meets new challenges on a continuous basis and moves much faster than the rule making of authorities. RINA Services has developed a specific TQ guide.”

Daniel Plizga, Offshore Program Manager, FMC Technologies Inc, says, “We operate at the cutting edge of LNG handling and these marine loading arms will be the key to success for a number of offshore LNG projects. Technology Qualification lets us have a good look at the safety and effectiveness of the designs from an independent viewpoint which we can trust.”

The novel issues for the FSRU Toscana were the ship motions and the automation system governing the interface between the FSRU and visiting LNG carriers.

Following the FSRU Toscana approval FMC requested RINA Services to provide its Technology Qualification Certification for an even more challenging project, the Chiksan Articulated Tandem Offshore Loader (ATOL) marine loading arms. The ATOL system has been designed in cooperation with a major energy company to allow for tandem LNG transfer from an offshore installation such as an FLNG to shuttle carriers (LNGC). The tandem solution ensures a safe separation distance, and the transfer is accomplished by means of two liquid lines and one vapour line. Each line is 20” in diameter and is constructed of stainless steel. The system has been designed to accommodate the reciprocal motions of the vessels, including heave, yaw, roll and surge in a harsh environment. A dynamic constant position monitoring system provides a permanent safe transfer, with the possibility to proceed with emergency disconnection in case of drift, especially in harsh environments.

RINA Services S.p.A. is the RINA Group’s company active in ship classification, testing, inspection and certification services. RINA Group 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 a turnover of around 280 million Euros in 2012, over 2,100 employees, and 150 offices in 53 countries worldwide, RINA Group is recognized as an authoritative member of key international organizations and an important contributor to the development of new legislative standards. www.rina.org


 Giulia Faravelli
Media Relations Manager RINA Group
Ph. +39 010 5385505

 Susanna Gorni
Media Relations RINA Group
Ph. +39 010 5385555

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

London P&I Club reports increased free reserves

THE London P&I Club’s result for the 2012/2013 financial year was a surplus across all classes of $9.4m, increasing the free reserve to $154m.

Claims experience over the financial year was mixed. In the retained layer there was an encouraging picture at the attritional level, involving claims up to $100,000. There was also a continued moderation of claims in excess of $1m, but there were additional indications of increasing claims cost and activity in the band between $100,000 and $1m. Meanwhile, the club’s management team notes that adverse claims experience within the International Group’s Pool layers means that 2012/13 is looking likely to prove the most expensive year on record for claims on the pooling system.

In the year to 20 February 2013, the London Club recorded a return on invested assets and cash of approximately $23.7m, or 6.9 per cent, reflecting positive results across the whole of the asset base and, in particular, benchmark-beating performance by the investment-grade fixed income holdings, which form the lion’s share of the portfolio.

Over the course of the policy year the club secured additional entries from many existing members as well as from new members in countries which included Germany, Greece, India, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Ukraine.

There was also a relatively high level of ships withdrawn during the year, some sold for further trading but many for scrapping. As a result there was a small increase in the club’s owned entry to approximately 41.5m gt. In addition, the charterers’ facility continued to make steady progress. www.londonpandi.com

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Monday, 20 May 2013

RINA’s Salza joins CEOC board

 Paolo Salza, Chief Technical Officer, RINA Services, has been appointed to the board of Directors of the International Confederation of Inspection and Certification Organisations (CEOC).

Says Salza, “RINA Services has wide experience in testing, inspection and certification activities across a broad range of industries and I hope to share that experience with my colleagues in other inspection and certification companies, so that we can lift and maintain the quality across the sector and communicate with the industries we serve a clear picture of the benefits that inspection and certification delivers.”

Salza is a naval architect and mechanical engineer who joined RINA in 1989 and has fulfilled a number of posts within the company before being appointed to his present role at the beginning of the year.

CEOC International is a not-for-profit organisation that represents 24 independent inspection and certification organisations in 17 countries. Its aim is to promote safety, quality and the environment through independent conformity assessment. www.ceoc.com

For a photo of Paolo Salza email john@merlinco.com

RINA Services S.p.A. is the RINA Group’s company active in ship classification, testing, inspection and certification services. RINA Group 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 a turnover of around 280 million Euros in 2012, over 2,100 employees, and 150 offices in 53 countries worldwide, RINA Group is recognized as an authoritative member of key international organizations and an important contributor to the development of new legislative standards.  www.rina.org           

For more information:

Giulia Faravelli
Media Relations Manager RINA Group
 +39 010 5385505

Susanna Gorni
Media Relations
+39 010 5385555

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Invoicing error sees shipbroker saddled with bill for bunker supply

ITIC has revealed how an invoicing error led to a shipbroker being asked to foot the bill for a bunker supply amounting to more than three-quarters of a million dollars.

In its latest Claims Review, ITIC cites the case of a chartering broker which arranged a fixture for a voyage from the Black Sea to Singapore. The recap showed the identity of both the registered owner and the disponent owner with whom the negotiations had been concluded.

The disponent owner asked the broker to arrange the purchase of bunkers, and an order was placed with a supplier. The cost of the bunkers was $777,278. But instead of ordering the bunkers on behalf of the disponent owner, the broker mistakenly ordered them on the registered owner’s behalf, taking the name from the recap.

The bunkers were duly supplied and the ship signed for them. The bunker supplier invoiced the registered owner, care of the broker, for the cost of the bunkers. The invoice was sent to the disponent owner but was not paid when due. When chased for payment, the disponent owner replied, “Regarding the payment for bunkers, I have passed to the financial side and they should be arranging payment, the delay is due to our company currently being audited and will be ending in the coming weeks’.

When further requests for payment met with a similar response, the bunker suppliers instructed lawyers to collect the amount owed. When lawyers approached the registered owner they were told that the registered owner had never given any instructions for the purchase of the bunkers and that the responsible party should have been the disponent owner. If the bunkers had been purchased in the name of the registered owner, this was a misrepresentation on the part of the party which had provided the information to the bunker supplier.

Lawyers therefore turned their attention to the broker, claiming that it was responsible for breach of warranty of authority. There was no prospect of going after the vessel and the brokers entered a settlement with the bunker suppliers.

Copies of the ITIC Claim Review can be requested from: chris@merlinco.com

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:                             
Charlotte Kirk                                              
Tel. +44 (0)20 7338 0150                          
Fax. +44 (0)20 7338 0151                         

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Bureau Veritas emphasises global strength and diversity

LEADING international classification society Bureau Veritas has emphasised its global strength and the diversity of services it delivers in its annual group global Activity Report and its separate Marine and Offshore Business Review.

 The Bureau Veritas 2012 Activity Report provides a global picture of the Group's performance and key achievements in 2012 and highlights the diversity of services delivered. The Group revenues grew strongly in 2012 to Euro 3.9bn, up 16 per cent. The group is active globally in eight major sectors: marine, industry, in-service inspection, construction, certification, commodities, consumer products, and government services. It is the world leader or in the top three in all of them. The Activity Report can be downloaded from www.bureauveritas.com or a pdf copy can be requested from john@merlinco.com

 The Marine and Offshore Business Review highlights the importance of scale in the marine and offshore businesses and shows how BV’s fleet grew to 10,152 ships in class last year, with significant growth in key areas such as offshore LNG, energy conservation for shipping and the use of gas as a fuel. The Review details the work of BV’s Marine and Offshore teams in each area of shipping and offshore and highlights key successes, such as the building and delivery to BV class of the world’s largest container vessel.

 Philippe Donche-Gay, Executive Vice President and head of Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore Division says, “Size does not have to mean distance from the client. In our highly globalised industries size is imperative to deliver customer intimacy. In a global world you have to be big to appear small everywhere. We have the global footprint and the means to support a network much denser than anyone else in the business. So we can be close to owners and yards wherever they are.”

 Copies of the Marine and Offshore Business Review can be downloaded from www.veristar.com or requested in PDF or print form by e mailing john@merlinco.com.

 Bureau Veritas is a world leader in conformity assessment and certification services. Created in 1828, the Group has 59,000 employees in around 1,330 offices and 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:    
Philippe Boisson
+33 1 55 24 71 98

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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Vestdavit secures Besiktas seismic chase boat davit orders

NORWAY-based boat handling system and specialised davit supplier Vestdavit has been contracted to supply work boat and man overboard davits for four specially designed chase vessels which will support Norwegian seismic major PGS’ fleet of seismic ships. The ships are to be built at Turkey’s BEŞIKTAŞ GEMI İNŞA A.Ş. yard for Faroe Island shipowner P/F Thor, which has chartered the vessels to PGS.

Vestdavit Area Sales Manager Sven Arild Wågsæther says, “This is our first contract with this important shipyard group and we are very happy that they recognise the importance of having durable and reliable equipment on these specialised vessels. The workboat davit for each vessel will be our PLR-15000 davit with a SWL of 15 tonnes. These are the largest single-point lifting davits we have designed. We see seismic work boats becoming larger and larger, and operators need a simple but robust and reliable davit which will launch and recover heavy workboats safely in tough conditions, day in and day out. This davit will consistently and safely handle a loaded workboat in sea states up to  4 / 5, and is both easy to maintain and simple to operate.”

 Thor’s 64 m chase vessels will be delivered beginning 2014 and enter service to assist PGS operations worldwide. Key tasks are operational support, offshore bunkering, crew change assistance, replenishment of provisions and spare parts, and maintenance of seismic equipment while at sea. Support capabilities include Ice Class 1A, passenger capacity for transporting a full seismic crew, extra work boat, towing, and fuel and fluid transfers. 

In addition to the PLR-15000 davit each vessel will also be equipped with a Vestdavit PLR-7000 davit for man overboard boat handling.

 For downloadable graphics of the PLR-15000 davit go to: http://tinyurl.com/d4k5r4g or email john@merlinco.com

 VIST VESTDAVIT at Nor-Shipping Hall C Stand C05-32i

 Vestdavit designs, supplies and supports tailor-made solutions for launching and recovering boats in difficult conditions at sea. Its range of boat handling systems and davits are the first choice of navies, coastguards, seismic survey operators, pilot authorities and offshore operators who need to be able to operate small boats safely from larger vessels. Since 1975 Bergen-based Vestdavit has supplied over 1,900 davits and side and stern launch systems. They have proven themselves over more than 30 years use in the North Sea and other harsh environments around the world. Self-tensioning and shock absorbing systems ensure crew safety and widen the operational window for the users. Vestdavit’s key focus is on operational effectiveness, safety and the reliability of its equipment. www.vestdavit.no

 For more information:                                  
Rolf Andreas Wigand                                   
+ 47 99 46 48 62                                          

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Thursday, 9 May 2013

RINA and Dubai Drydocks team up

The RINA Group has entered into a framework agreement to supply certification and engineering services to UAE-based Drydocks World - Dubai (LLC). Under an MOU signed in Rome, Italy, on 9 May, Drydocks World will draw on RINA Group's expertise to deliver assistance with project management and ship classification and certification for a number of projects, including floating hotels, mega yachts, special project vessels, underwater units and warships. The MoU was signed in the presence of H.E. Ms. Datin Paduka Halimah Abdullah, Malaysian Ambassador to Rome, Mr Muhammad Al Mansoori, Second Secretary of UAE Embassy in Rome, Mr. Hamad Al Nuaimi, Diplomatic Attaché, Embassy UAE in Rome, Ms. Penprapa, Minister Plenipotentiary, Embassy of Thailand, and other dignitaries.

H.E.Abdul Aziz Bin Nasser Alshamsi, UAE Ambassador in Rome said, “We are so pleased on this important occasion to emphasis the tremendous progression in the bilateral relationship between the UAE and Italy during recent years in all economic and political areas. Bilateral trade has grown by 26 per cent compared to 2011, which makes the UAE Italy’s first and largest trading partner among all the Arabic countries, and the most important strategic partner in the Middle East.

“The ongoing co-operation between Drydocks World and RINA Group for international classification, certification and engineering services enhances the role of the UAE and the Dubai Emirate’s push to be the leader for vessel classification in the Arabic, Middle and Far Eastern regions. RINA Group is recognised as an authoritative member of key international organisations such as the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), and an important contributor to the development of new legislative standards. Drydocks World has selected RINA Group to develop vital classification services in the region.

“Enhancing the partnership between Emirates Classification-Tasneef, a classification society specialising in the maritime sector, and the RINA Group will help further develop its ability to provide a world-class service for shipbuilding, conversion and refit, as well as ongoing military programmes. It will also enhance its capability to deliver highly sophisticated services for passenger vessels, yachts, warships, and floating offshore oil & gas units. Emirates Classification-Tasneef is also furthering its technical capability in the area of complex underwater structures that require continuous survey during construction to ensure conformation to class and statutory requirements, as it continues to develop a world-class centre for ship classification in the Middle and Far Eastern region.”

H.E. Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman of Drydocks World and Maritime World, said, “We believe in working with good partners like RINA Group to deliver excellence in ship repair, ship conversion and ship building. This agreement with RINA Group will open the way for us to enhance our services for the most complex projects.

“The MoU will provide the desired momentum in terms of sophisticated vessel repair, conversion and construction in the military sector. It will also complement our project management and technical capabilities in the high-potential yacht repair and maintenance segment as well as complex underwater structures that require continuous survey during construction to ensure conformation to class and statutory issues”.

Signing the MoU in Rome, RINA Group CEO Ugo Salerno said, “There is a wide range of skills and services available across the RINA Group. RINA Services has particular expertise with complex passenger vessel newbuildings, mega yachts and warships, and D'Appolonia has long-standing experience in combat systems and electronics. Working together with Drydocks World we can help maintain and develop a world-class centre for shipbuilding, conversion and refit, especially for the most complex projects such as floating units for offshore oil & gas, cutting-edge yachts and warships.”

For a photo of Ugo Salerno signing the agreement, go to: https://picasaweb.google.com/Merlinclients/RINA or email chris@merlinco.com

Drydocks World has established itself as a leading and fast-growing international player in offshore and engineering, ship repair and maintenance, shipbuilding and conversion, rig building and refurbishment, FPSO/FSO conversion, offshore fabrication, maritime clusters and yacht and fleet operations. The flagship yard, Drydocks World-Dubai, is the largest and most modern facility between Europe and the Far East, and is supplemented by four other facilities in Singapore and on Batam Island, Indonesia under DDW-PaxOcean.

RINA Group operates through a network of companies covering Marine, Energy, Infrastructures & Real Estate, Transport & Logistics, Environment & Sustainability, Innovation and Business Governance fields. Through its companies in their specific contexts, the RINA Group is able to follow the entire life-cycle of a plant, installation, infrastructure, ship or other kind of unit across a wide range of services, certification, assessment environmental, enhancement, product testing, site and vendor supervision. RINA Group revenues amount around 280 million Euros in 2012, with over 2,100 employees, and 150 offices in 53 countries worldwide. www.rina.org     


Claudia Filippone
Head of Media Relations RINA Group
Ph. +39 010 5385643

Susanna Gorni
Media Relations RINA Group
Ph. +39 010 5385555

Drydocks World
Sumaya Tahlak
Corporate Communications Manager
Tel: +971 4 3450626

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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Seacurus welcomes new Lloyd’s seafarer abandonment risk code

SPECIALIST marine insurance intermediary Seacurus has welcomed the decision of Lloyd’s to amend its risk codes to include a new class of insurance covering seafarer abandonment (SA).

Lloyd’s provides guidance to underwriters on the classification of business into various categories using a risk coding scheme which provides a common basis for the classification and description of risk. Thomas Brown, managing director of UK-based Seacurus, says, “This new class of insurance is very welcome and very timely. Seafarer Abandonment (SA) is classed as financial guarantee insurance, meaning that any Lloyd’s syndicate wanting to write it will need approval from the Lloyd’s performance directorate to do so. Seacurus, acting as the managing general underwriter for Lloyd’s Brit Syndicate under a fully delegated underwriting authority, has that approval.”

Last month, Seacurus launched CrewSEACURE, 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.

Thomas Brown says, “MLC 2006 recognises the need to ensure that seafarer recruitment and manning agencies do not supply seafarers to shipowners without the requisite financial protection in place. Such protection provides a financial safeguard to seafarers in the event that they are left abandoned as a result of the financial failure of the shipowner.

“Many of the enquires we have received to date have been from manning and recruitment agents trying to satisfy these obligations. A number of these agents are very concerned about supplying seafarers to vessels without this level of protection in place. Those agents who do refuse to provide seafarers who are not protected in this way will be acting in accordance with the requirements of MLC, and industry will effectively be regulating industry, at the same time encouraging best employment practice.”

For a photo of Thomas Brown, email: chris@merlinco.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

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Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Wikborg Rein appoints new partners in London and Singapore

LEADING international law firm Wikborg Rein has appointed two new partners to its shipping and offshore team.

 Birgitte Karlsen becomes a partner in the firm’s London office, which she joined in 2011 after two years working as in-house counsel for offshore oil and gas technology specialist Aker Solutions in Norway. Prior to that, Birgitte had worked in the Oslo and Singapore offices of Wikborg Rein as a senior associate.

 Birgitte’s work in the offshore sector includes structuring international projects, general risk analysis and related project financing. She also specialises in helping suppliers in the oil and gas industry to negotiate construction and conversion contracts and contracts for the operation of rigs and vessels, including FPSOs.

 Finn Bjørnstad, managing partner of Wikborg Rein’s London office, says, “We are delighted that a person of Birgitte’s experience, reputation and ability has been appointed as a partner. She will form an essential part of the team we are developing in London offering global shipping and offshore expertise and English law capability. Birgitte’s experience as a legal adviser to a leading offshore technology specialist is an important supplement to the knowledge base within the firm.”

 Meanwhile, Siri Wennevik has joined the Singapore office of Wikborg Rein. Siri is a well known and highly experienced transactional lawyer within the shipping and offshore sectors. She has participated for both borrowers and lenders in a number of transactions for Norwegian and international clients.  Siri’s work covers a broad range of commercial and financing shipping and offshore work, including syndicated facilities and bond financing, and she is particularly experienced in asset-, project-, and cross-border financings.  

 Per M. Ristvedt, managing partner of Wikborg Rein in Singapore, says, “Siri is an important addition to our growing body of expertise in Singapore, helping us provide legal advice to clients in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia, interacting with our other Asian offices in Kobe and Shanghai as well as elsewhere in the world.”

 For photos of Birgitte Karlsen and Siri Wennevik, go to:

l Wikborg Rein is a pre-eminent law firm in the shipping and offshore sector, and a major player on the international scene. Services to the maritime industry include ship, project and lease finance, corporate, contract negotiation, offshore and construction projects, sale and purchase, ship registration, insurance, casualty response, carriage of goods, ship arrest and international dispute resolution. More information on the firm and its partners can be found at www.wr.no

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