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Annual Members' Meeting of the German Shipowners' Defence Association held on 24 October 2019 at the Hotel Empire Riverside, Hamburg
The Association's annual report as presented by the Chairman of the Board Dr. Kurt Klemme (Reederei Nord GmbH) provides a solid reflection of the 2018 business year. A surplus of EUR 156,756.02 (2017: EUR 17,146.98) was achieved and added to the free reserves.
In the reporting period (2018) claims totalling EUR 17.4 million (previous year: EUR 18.4 million) were either recovered or resisted on behalf of Members.
About 41% of the cases reported to the Association in 2018 were finalised which is about the same level as in the previous year (43%).
The number of vessel insured has reduced in the current business year (2019). According to the report given by the Managing Director Michael Wester 1,116 ships are currently entered with the Association (October 2018: 1,280 ships) which represents a decline of 12.8%. To a slightly larger extent the total tonnage insured has reduced, i.e. by 18.5% to about 22 million GT (2018: about 27 Million GT). For the current business year a reduced premium income is therefore anticipated.
In line with this development the number of new disputes is expected to fall in the business year 2019. This outlook is based on the current figure from October 2019 (205 cases) compared to the 232 cases in October 2018. Also, the number of general inquiries which mainly concern the negotiation and evaluation of charter party clauses has gone down. While 247 inquiries were handled until October 2018 the number has reduced substantially to 150 in October 2019. Against this background a reduction of costs is anticipated for 2019.
For the year 2019 a slightly positive result is expected.
The main focus of Schutzverein’s work in the current business year was on the topics bunkers, sanctions and financial losses due to cybercrime. This confirms a trend from previous years. On the topic of bunkers, many cases concern the preparations for the new MARPOL regulations and the wording of contractual provisions, in particular in time charter parties. The changeover to the new low sulphur fuels may not always go smoothly. An increase of disputes under charter parties and bunker supply contracts is therefore expected. This even more so as there are frequently quality issues with the presently available bunker fuels with a higher sulphur content which can lead to substantial engine damage.
In the Meeting of Members it was decided to leave the premiums for 2020 unchanged. Consequently, the premiums – which range from EUR 440.00 to EUR 1,800.00 per year depending on the vessel's size – have now been steady for 15 years. The same goes for the deductible of 10% with a minimum of EUR 450.00 and a maximum of EUR 4,000.00 Moreover, it has again been decided to assist those Members whose vessels were laid up in the current business year for at least six months without interruption so that no freight / hire was earned and no payment was received under loss of hire insurance. These members will receive, upon application, a reimbursement of 50% of the annual premium paid for the vessel concerned.
Re-elected to the board of directors were Herm Jüngerhans of Jüngerhans Martime Services GmbH & Co. KG, Dr. Kurt Klemme of Reederei Nord GmbH, Nikolaus H. Schües of Reederei F. Laeisz GmbH and Carsten Sommerhage of COLUMBIA Shipmanagement (Deutschland) GmbH.
Johann Schulte, Chief Commercial Officer of Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co. KG, was newly elected to the board of directors.
The Members’ Meeting was followed by the traditional Annual Dinner of the Association which was attended by about 150 national and international members and guests. In his "After Dinner Speech" titled “Global Energy Trends“ Mr. David Frans, Partner of Roland Berger in Amsterdam, in particular dealt with renewable energies and predicted that their share in the global energy supply will increase substantially in the future. This expected development not only results from the current environmental and climate protection discussions but also from the rapidly increasing economic efficiency of these types of energy production.
You will find us in the Hafencity district of Hamburg, near Magellan-Terrassen and Sandtorhafen with its historical vessels.
Am Kaiserkai 6
Phone: +49 (0)40 300 666-0
Fax: +49 (0)40 300 666-99