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Press Release 2023

Press release

Annual Members' Meeting of the German Shipowners' Defence Association held at the Hotel Empire Riverside, Hamburg on 5 October 2023

The Association's annual report, as presented by the Chairman of the Board Dr. Kurt Klemme (Reederei Nord GmbH) at the Members' Meeting, shows a loss of EUR 372,443.28 for the 2022 business year (Surplus 2021: EUR 38,722.61). This loss is attributable to a special effect as write-downs on the values of bonds were made in view of the interest rate development. This had a significant negative impact on the investment result. As the bonds are generally held until maturity this effect is, however, usually compensated for in the long term. In contrast, the underwriting result was positive.

The free reserves of the Association have decreased accordingly, but remain at a high level and currently stand at approx. EUR 5.78 million.

In the reporting period (2022) claims totalling EUR 13 million (previous year: EUR 17.8 million) were either recovered or resisted on behalf of Members.

According to the report of the Managing Director Michael Wester 850 ships (October 2022: 823 ships) with a total tonnage of 16 million GT (2022: approx. 15 million GT) are presently entered with the Association. Hence, in the current business year 2023 both the number of vessels as well as the tonnage increased for the first time in a long time. This trend mainly results from two factors:

Firstly, the positive economic development in recent years in most shipping segments has significantly improved the financial basis of many shipping companies and resulted in increased investment in new and second-hand tonnage. Furthermore, it has had a positive effect on the membership base that members once again have the option to enter vessels under construction with the Association.

Secondly, the possibility to insure ship managers as members when the vessel has not already been entered with the Association has contributed to this positive development.

Against this background and in view of the decision to increase the premiums which was made last year – after they had remained at a constant level for 16 years – an increased premium income is expected for the current business year.

The number of new disputes is likely to decrease in the business year 2023 compared to 2022. This is mainly due to the fact that in the previous year the Association has assisted its members in a number of disputes which arose in the context of the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. So far, a comparable special effect has not occurred in 2023 so that it is assumed that at the end of the year the number of disputes will reach a similar level as in 2021.

Notwithstanding the above, constant or slightly increased costs are expected for the current business year, which is mainly resulting from cases from the previous years. In addition to that, increased administrative costs in the context of regulatory requirements are assumed. Against this background and in view of existing uncertainties with regard to the interest rate development, a loss is expected for the business year 2023 which is, however, likely to be significantly lower than in the previous year.

Also in the current business year most of the cases in which members turn to Schutzverein relate to disputes arising from time charter parties. Apart from topics which have been relevant already for many years – such as questions related to sanctions as well as problems with the quality of bunkers – as expected the current MARPOL-regulations play a central role. The focus is on the regulations on CII („Carbon Intensity Indicator“) and ETS („Emission Trading Scheme“). The implementation of the required measures and the agreement of corresponding contractual provisions create major challenges for shipowners especially as several details are not conclusively regulated yet.

The stabilisation of the membership figures in the current business year together with the solid financial basis of many shipping companies confirms the expectation expressed in the previous year of a positive development of the membership base and an increased number of vessels entered with the Association.

In view of the expected increase in costs to which also the current inflation contributes, it was decided at the Members' Meeting to raise the premiums. For the year 2024, the membership premiums range between EUR 570.00 and EUR 2.070,00 per annum and vessel and, thus, remain at an attractive level.

Re-elected to the Board of Directors was Dr. Kurt Klemme, Reederei Nord GmbH, Herm Jüngerhans, Jüngerhans Maritime Services GmbH & Co. KG, Johann Schulte, Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co. KG, as well as Carsten Sommerhage, COLUMBIA Shipmanagement (Deutschland) GmbH.

Mr Nikolaus W. Schües will leave the Board at his own request at the end of the year. Mr Schües

has been a member of the Board of the Association since 1999. In the period between 2002 and 2008, he led the Association as Chairman and in 2008 he took over the office of Deputy Chairman. The Association thanks Mr Schües for his many years of exceptional commitment to the interests of the Association. Particularly noteworthy is the purchase of the property in ”Hafencity” in 2007 which could be realized to a large extent through the efforts of Mr Schües.

Mr Herm Jüngerhans was elected as the new Deputy Chairman of the Board.

The Members’ Meeting was followed by the traditional Annual Dinner of the Association. At the Dinner Mr Jason Chue, US – Consul General, in Hamburg, gave a speech in which he referred to the traditionally strong transatlantic ties between the U.S. on the one hand and Germany and Europe on the other, as well as to the common challenges in the areas of foreign and climate policy.

Deutscher Rheder V.a.G

You will find us in the Hafencity district of Hamburg, near Magellan-Terrassen and Sandtorhafen with its historical vessels.


Am Kaiserkai 6

20457 Hamburg


Phone: +49 (0)40 300 666-0

Fax: +49 (0)40 300 666-99