Maritime London and the British Embassy in Greece held the 5th Greek-British Shipping Forum last week at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Athens.
Jointly organised by Maritime London and the Department for International Trade in Greece, the event was officially opened by HM ambassador Kate Smith, with Lord Mountevans, chairman, Maritime London giving a welcome address to the 100-strong audience.
The keynote speech, delivered by Graham Candy, head commercial management unit, UK Ship Register outlined recent changes to the UK flag, particularly its enhanced client focused approach and the Enhanced Authorisation Scheme (EAS) which allows a full delegation of audits, enabling class to conduct full ISM, MLC and ISPS audits of eligible UK flagged vessels.
He highlighted the UK flag’s recently expanded terms for owner eligibility and bareboat out services, with the result that beneficial owners from all countries of the Commonwealth and some additional countries can now flag vessels with the UK flag. The move aligns the UK flag with its Red Ensign Group partners and takes the UK flag from a national register to international status.
Stephen Gordon, managing director, Clarksons Research gave a detailed presentation about the outlook for the shipping markets in the context of the incoming environmental regulation against the backdrop of the current geopolitical landscape.
The seminar then proceeded with two panel discussions and concluded with a networking lunch.
The ‘Innovation in Marine Insurance’ panel, moderated by Gordon Robertson, director – Greece, North P&I Club focused on how blockchain, big data and virtual reality are changing the nature of marine insurance and featured leading experts in the marine tech, consultancy and insurance industries from the London market.
Lindsey Keeble, global maritime sector head at Watson Farley & Williams, who led the concluding session ‘Assessing Ship Finance Options’ said, “It was a lively panel where the various options available to owners to finance their tonnage were compared, from traditional bank debt to leasing and private equity, and alternative lenders. It was clear that the London market and the expertise in the UK will remain very important to find solutions for this capital intensive industry.”