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‘‘2020: The year that will change shipping?’’

The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Greek Branch held its 14th Annual Forum, on Tuesday, 11th of December 2018 at Eugenides Foundation.

The title was: «2020: The year that will change shipping» and the Forum was well attended by over 500 shipping professionals of the Greek and International shipping market.

A welcome address was made by Mrs Natalia Margioli - Komninou, FICS, Managing Director of the ICS Greek Branch and Hellenic Management Centre and Mr Nicolas A. Tsavliris, FICS, Chairman of the ICS Greek Branch and Tsavliris Salvage Group.

The panel included the following distinguished speakers:

Mr Jonathan Elvey, Maritime Arbitrator, Mediator & Legal Consultant, Jon Elvey Consultancy

Mr Panayiotis Mitrou, MICS, Technology & Innovation Manager, Marine & Offshore, Business Development, South Europe, Lloyd’s Register

Mr George Lazaridis, MICS, Head of Market Research & Asset Valuations, Allied Shipbroking Inc.
Mr Mark Pearson, Managing Director, Maran Tankers Management Inc.

Mr Nicolas A. Tsavliris, FICS, Chairman, ICS Greek Branch & Tsavliris Salvage Group

Mr Harry Vafias, President and CEO, Stealthgas Inc.

Mr Adrian Wooldridge, FICS, CCO, Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation

The panel was moderated by Mr Simon Ward, FICS, Director, Ursa Shipbrokers.

The panel had a very productive discussion concerning the impact of new marine pollution rules being enforced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) from 1st January 2020, specifically low sulphur emissions.

Rather than address whether to fit scrubbers or not they examined the likely effects from a technical, legal, commercial, operational and financial viewpoints, and what problems, or opportunities may occur for shipping in general.

Mr Panayiotis Mitrou, reminded the audience how the sulphur cap rules come into being and the role that IACS had.

Mr Mark Pearson, outlined the problems that he expected in the supply of bunkers approaching January 2020 or before. He also confirmed that the large majority of tankers in their fleet would be fitted with scrubbers.

Mr Harry Vafias, the first owner to fit a Liquid Petroleum Gas carrier with a scrubber, pointed out that they made the decision to understand the technology and operational issues of fitting scrubbers. Most of the ships in their fleet are too small to efficiently operate with scrubbers, but they have viewed the experiment a success.

Mr Jonathan Elvey pointed out that BIMCO had – very recently - published two new charterparty clauses:

- 2020 Marine Fuel Sulphur Content Clause

- 2020 Fuel Transition Clause for Time Charter Parties

He explained that in his opinion they went some way towards addressing the issue, but the issue would always remain that there is a balance between the owners and the charterers / supplier’s responsibility.

Mr George Lazaridis said it was too early to see whether owners would decide to invest in secondhand vessels fitted with scrubbers as opposed to those without, suggesting that it would only be after implementation that the values would be set.

Mr Adrian Wooldridge stated that the rules will shake up the tanker markets, not just from a bunkering point of view, but from a practical point. For example Worldscale will have to adjust their rates in 2020; he felt there may be up to three different versions depending on the bunkers used, High Sulphur Fuel Oil, Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil, and Marine Gas Oil.

Mr Nicolas Tsavliris suggested that the salvage business will be looking forward to the new rules as they expect many incidents, particularly with engines and other equipment breaking down, but it would be hard for salvors to be properly rewarded.

By the end of the evening, the panel had discussed bunker pricing, refinery policy, crew and staff training, technical issues, seaworthiness, how and who would enforce the rules, financing and many other issues besides.

The panel was in agreement on one thing: it is very difficult to predict with any certainty what will happen in reaction to these rules because there are so many moving parts, but there will be winners and losers in all areas of the industry.

During the panel discussion, there was an impressive interaction between the audience and the panelists. Participants were asking questions to the speakers, commenting on the topics addressed and even, expressing their opinions and views. This fact proved once again that the ICS Annual Forum is not only a meeting point of shipping professionals but a platform of exchanging ideas and learn from each other.

The ICS Greek Branch was recognised, again this year, for being the largest examination centre in the world, being the best performing exam centre and is now a Model Branch within the ICS network.

This excellent performance of the Greek Branch is translated into fourteen distinction students and five International Prize Winners, that have excelled in the ICS Professional Qualifying Examinations during the last academic year. All of them were honored during the Awards Giving Ceremony, which was included in the Annual Forum’s proceeding.

The awarded Distinction Candidates were:

Introduction to Shipping Examination: Mrs Konstantina Nikolaou, ACA Shipping Corp

Legal Principles in Shipping examination: Mrs Christina Gkioni, Hellenic Management Centre

Port Agency examination: Mr Leonidas Manolis, Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Ltd.

Shipping Finance examination: Ms Alexia Adrianopoulos, Cape Shipping S.A., Mr Dimitris Lamprou, Super Eco Tankers Ltd., Mr Theofanis Matsopoulos, Universal Carriers, Eleni Anna Siskou, PWC, Arsinoi Siskou, PWC

Shipping Business examination: Mr Anthony Jolley, Ellery Shiptrade, Mrs Anastasia Kalyvioti, Actimar Shipping, Mr George Nicodemou, Handy Chart Ltd., Mr Panagiotis Pachis, Pontos Marine Inc., Mr Antigonos Theodorakis, Hellenic Container Transport

Economics of Sea Transport & International trade examination: Mr Panagiotis Dimakopoulos, Interunity Management Corporation S.A.

Overall Performance: Mr Poseidon Thomas Kalozoumis, Neureus Shipping S.A.

Also, five Greek Students were the International Prize winners having achieved the highest marks worldwide:

·   Mr Dionysis Diamantopoulos, Shipping Business examination

·   Mrs Thomais Dova, MICS, Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Ltd. (Dry Cargo Chartering examination)

·   Mrs Sara Jones, Shipserve International Inc. (Economics of Sea Transport & International trade & Port Agency examinations)

·   Mr Paraskevas Kousounadis, FICS, Halkidon Shipping Corp. (Ship Sale & Purchase examination)

·   Mrs Foteini Konstantinou, Shipping Law examination)

The Prize Winners were also awarded by the Right Honourable Nusrat Munir Ul-Ghani, Under Secretary of State and Minister for Shipping in the UK Government, and the new International President of the ICS, Lord Mountevans during the Prize Giving Ceremony held in Trinity House of London in October 2018.

The 14th Annual Forum of the ICS Greek Branch was held with the kind contribution and support of the following sponsors.