Two More Maritime Registries Recognise Prevention at Sea’s Oil Record Book Software

Both the Malta and Hong Kong Maritime Registries have confirmed that they recognise and acknowledge the merits of electronic record keeping in enhancing credibility, transparency and accountability

Prevention at Sea (PaSea) is pleased to announce that two more maritime registries, Malta and Hong Kong, have recognised the merits of its oil record book software and approved its use throughout their fleets to help with the manual recording of Oil Record Book (ORB) entries.

Called the ε-ORB, this software has been designed to aid the preparation and printing of the traditional ORB and complies with the IMO guidelines published in the last PPR5 for electronic record books (February 2018).

It is anticipated that electronic oil record book entries will replace the traditional paper ORB versions whenever MARPOL is amended, due to the more efficient process and reduced risk of errors occurring.

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Britannia declares another USD20m capital distribution to Members

Highlights:

  • Britannia reports another strong financial performance, with an aggregate USD80.6m post-tax surplus for the year.
  • The Board approves a further USD20m capital distribution, to be paid to P&I mutual Members with ships on risk as at midnight 15 May 2018.
  • Members have now benefited from USD61m of deferred call waivers and capital distributions since October 2016.

Financial overview:

In the past 18 months, Britannia’s Members have benefitted from USD61m (or 32.8% ETC) of deferred call waivers and capital distributions, as well as nil General Increases for both P&I and FD&D calls for 2017/18 and 2018/19.   Even allowing for these distributions, S&P has confirmed Britannia’s rating of A (stable), AAA capital and exceptional liquidity (up from strong).

The Association’s ability to continue to assist Members is a consequence of repeated strong underwriting results; with 2017/18 seeing a USD64.6m underwriting surplus and a USD48.6m gain on its investment portfolio. Overall, the Association’s balance sheet reserves rose by USD50.6m. This is after taking into account the USD30m capital distribution made to Members during 2017. [The surplus assets in Boudicca (which are available to meet future claims) stood at USD211.6m.]

Given this further strengthening of the Association’s capital position, the Board decided to declare another USD20m capital distribution, payable to mutual Members with ships on risk as at midnight GMT 15 May 2018 (pro rata based on premium). This immediate benefit to Members re-affirms the Association’s commitment to mutuality, while reflecting its continuing financial strength which provides a high degree of security to its Members. The Board will review the Association’s financial position further at its October meeting.

Claims

While higher than in the 2016/17 policy year (a remarkably light one for claims), claims during the 2017/18 policy year were well within projection.   Large claims (those expected to cost the Association USD1m or more) have remained consistent in number but returned to the higher average seen in earlier years. IG Pool claims (Britannia has no Pool claims in 2017/18) have also seen an increase, with a number of high profile casualties. Nevertheless, they remain within projection.

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Thome Wins Seatrade CSR Award

The Thome Group has won the Corporate Social Responsibility award at the 2018 Seatrade Maritime Awards Asia.

The judging panel were impressed with the variety of different ways in which the company encouraged its employees to take part in activities designed to benefit the community.

Thome employees give up their free time to help those less fortunate than themselves and the community as a whole, in a wide variety of ways including:

  • Fun Run “ScholaRun” – A yearly event, Thome employees are sponsored to participate in a Fun Run for American Chamber Foundation Phils., Inc. Scholarship Program to benefit underprivileged kids and build better future and education.
  • Project Study Drive – Another annual activity by Thome Philippines which takes place every June. A back to school campaign that delivers basic school supplies to underprivileged children.
  • Tree Planting “Plant Trees to Feed the Future” – An environmental activity where Thome employees from the Philippines planted a total of 1,000 Mahogany Trees seedlings.

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Panama Maritime Authority Recognises Prevention at Sea’s Oil Record Book Software

Prevention at Sea Ltd has recently been authorized by the Panama Maritime Authority as a recognized manufacturer and distributor of the Panamanian Oil Record Book in electronic format as well as the electronic version of other official Books in general.

The merchant marine circular MMC-193 has been re-issued by the Panama Maritime Authority with the aim to notify the Industry that the Oil Record Book software as well as other official log books produced by the company are now accepted on board Panamanian vessels.

Since 2014, Prevention at Sea has been very active in software development in the maritime sector by winning multiple awards for innovation, especially with its Lloyd’s Register approved ε-ORB software, designed to be used for the preparation and printing of the traditional Oil Record Book.

This piece of software is already in compliance with the IMO guidelines published in the last PPR5 for electronic record books (February 2018) and will replace the traditional paper Oil Record Book whenever MARPOL is amended to allow the use of paperless electronic record systems.

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InterDam Accelerates Growth with New Office Opening in Houston

A new office expansion will enable InterDam to accelerate growth in the US Onshore and Offshore Industry and Renewable Sectors.

InterDam, leading supplier of Fire and Blast resistant architectural products for refineries, Oil & Gas Platforms and Offshore Wind Platforms, recently opened a new office in Houston, Texas to strengthen its position in the North American market and leverage the area’s diverse and expansive customer base.

InterDam’s product development over the past ten years has pushed the boundaries of fire resistant and post blast walls, windows and doors, by creating a world-class product line developed in response to the industry’s desire for fit-for-purpose prefabricated systems that fit modular and standardized building designs.

Conforming to US Coast Guard and UL fire and blast regulations, InterDam’s cost effective and lightweight products are designed to withstand a fire outbreak in a post blast situation, exceeding current standards and leading the market in workforce safety.

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Seafarers To Benefit From Innovative Catering Training Software – Launched by MCTC

As part of its dedication to providing catering crews with the best possible standard of training and management,

Marine Catering Training Consultancy (MCTC) is delighted to announce the launch of its brand new Learning Management System (LMS).

The innovative LMS will enable marine catering crews to manage their own training and communications digitally, and access all their course materials under one platform.

The new system is now available to all MCTC’s clients who subscribe to the training company’s flagship package the Catering Competency Development Programme, which incorporates on board/ onshore training, distance coaching and mentoring programmes, vessel visits, evaluation, support and consultancy, and trade tests.

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92% of Seafarers Strongly Influenced By Internet Access When Choosing Where to Work, According to Futurenautics Survey

The Crew Connectivity 2018 Survey Report, sponsored by KVH Industries and Intelsat, shows digital transformation underway in the maritime industry

Middletown, RI – March 28, 2018 – Roger Adamson, Futurenautics Maritime’s chief executive officer, presented to a London audience yesterday the key findings from his research organization’s newly released Crew Connectivity 2018 Survey Report, sponsored by KVH Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: KVHI) and Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I). The report is based on a survey of 6,000 serving seafarers, the largest sample to date to complete the wide-ranging questionnaire covering onboard attitudes to the digital transformation sweeping the industry.

According to the report, more seafarers than ever have access to connectivity: Some 75% of seafarers can now use the Internet at sea, which is a rise of 32% or over half a million more crew (520,000, to be exact) since the last survey three years ago. Futurenautics Maritime conducted the first survey in 2012, in an effort to provide data of value to the maritime industry.

“It’s our belief that collaborating and sharing information can accelerate the pace of transformation in shipping and maritime, and begin to understand and solve big problems,” says Mr. Adamson. “The Crew Connectivity survey is a clear demonstration of that process in action.”

The report’s findings show a change in mindset among seafarers regarding many aspects of connectivity. Among the key findings:

  • 92% of seafarers reported that Internet access strongly influences their decision on where to work, up from 78% in prior years.
  • 95% of seafarers view connectivity as having a positive effect on onboard safety, an increase of 72% since the 2015 survey.
  • 69% of respondents view the increasing use of big data and analytics as a positive opportunity for their jobs in the next five years, versus 17% who see it as a threat.

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Deadline Looms for Lifeboat Hook Replacement Advises Norsafe

Norsafe, global Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) manufacturer, has advised the industry that it needs to ensure that all ships’ on-load LSA release mechanisms

comply with SOLAS Resolution MSC.317(89) by 1st July 2019.

In some instances, this may mean that a lifeboat’s release and retrieval system needs to be modified or replaced on or before that date, normally at the next scheduled dry-docking, as only hooks certified and tested in compliance with the aforementioned SOLAS resolution and named in the IMO GISIS database will be allowed on any lifeboat with onload hooks.

Norsafe’s on-load hook release system, called the TOR MK2, complies with all SOLAS regulations and the LSA code. It has been designed with three main priorities in mind; minimal maintenance, high safety precautions and simplicity of use.

A key feature is a yellow padlock sign, visible on both sides of the hook, which indicates that the hook is set and the release cables are correctly located.

The cables are arranged so that even if the hook is incorrectly reset, and the release handle is forced, the cables are protected from being stretched or damaged.

In addition, the on-load release activation requires 4 physical actions to be performed which provides a significant safety barrier against premature on-load release.

Norsafe’s global servicing and maintenance teams can ensure release mechanisms are compliant.

For more information on re-hooking please contact Norsafe’s service department by e-mailing service@norsafe.com or phoning +47 370 56 333.

Thome Outlines Key Strategies for Success at CMA

Gautam Kashyap, Thome’s Vice President for Business Development, outlined the Group’s strategies for success at the 2018 Connecticut Maritime Association shipping conference.

“Ship Management is changing and the right mix of digitalisation, automation and data analytics are key criteria towards providing greater efficiency, transparency and value-added services to clients in the future,” he said.

Ship Managers will need to invest heavily in new technology to keep up with changes in the market and Thome has already started this process by developing an Operations Hub, based at its headquarters in Singapore, which enables situational awareness for both duty-personnel and Thome’s crisis teams.

This is the first stage in a three-stage process enabling remote tracking of individual ships in the fleet, passage planning, security risk assessment, weather routing, video conferencing, integrated vessel management system (NAU) implementation, and individual on-board CCTV remote monitoring.

Two additional stages of improvements in the hub are planned. Stage two will further improve efficiency and availability through operational support functions like cargo handling, port turnaround and energy efficiency monitoring.

Stage three will concentrate on advanced support covering areas like cyber security, machinery condition assessment and trouble shooting.

Crew and onshore training is also crucial and Thome has a very comprehensive programme in place to ensure that all staff receive correct and relevant training for their roles which are updated on a regular basis.

In conclusion, Mr. Kashyap felt that a company’s size would be a critical factor in being able to meet customer demands and industry requirements in the future.

Thome has grown from humble origins to having a fleet of over 400 vessels, a crew pool of over 12,000 seafarers, a shore team of over 800 people and 11 worldwide offices. This means the Group can compete on a global scale and is ready for the challenges of the future.

PaSea clarifies Hours of Work and Rest interpretation for seafarers

Maritime risk prevention firm, Prevention at Sea (PaSea), has raised concerns about the different interpretations attributed to MLC 2006 Regulation 2.3 Hours of work and hours of rest, para. 5(b) and para. 6, specifically with regards to the phrase ‘in any 24-hour period’ used when calculating crew work schedules to ensure that sufficient rest periods are taken.

Petros Achtypis, CEO of PaSea, has brought this issue to the attention of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO’s) Labour Standards Department requesting clarification on whether the interpretation provided by his team were correct.

Specifically, the issue raised revolves around checks ‘in any 24-hour period’ and whether such checks should commence during a seafarer’s rest period.

PaSea’s stance is that this should be avoided and the reasons for this opinion is based on the fact that:

  • By not taking into consideration a part of the seafarer’s undisrupted rest period, irregularities may occur which could result in a violation of the regulations.
  •  The seafarer’s rest period should not be split into parts/sections, regardless if the rest period commenced during the previous day.For example, if a seafarer’s rest period was between 2000 of day 1 and 0400 of day 2, then the undisrupted rest time is 8 hours in total.Therefore, the beginning of ‘in any 24 h period’ checking during the rest period 2000 (day 1) – 0400 (day 2) i.e. starting at 2100, 2130, 2200, 2300 etc., should be avoided.PaSea recommends that when scheduling work patterns for crew, the ‘in any 24h period’ should commence at the start of any period of work by moving backwards 24 hours.This type of calculation clearly indicates whether the seafarer has received adequate rest in accordance with the regulations before the commencement of a new work- related task.Although the Constitution of the International Labour Office confers no special competence upon the ILO to interpret Conventions and any comment is without prejudice to what the supervisory bodies of the ILO may have to say about the issue, PaSea understands that the ILO’s Labour Standards Department supports and shares the same interpretation as PaSea.

    Examples of different scenarios are available from PaSea to demonstrate how using this system of checking ensures that the seafarer’s welfare is the priority and that only when proper rest periods have been taken should another work related task begin.

     

    To contact PaSea call +357 24819800 or visit the website www.preventionatsea.com

    ENDS

Britannia Appoints New Exclusive Correspondent in Taiwan

In a move to maintain the highest possible service levels to its Members in Asia, Britannia P&I has recently made two important changes.

In April last year, Britannia’s Managers, Tindall Riley, acquired the club’s Exclusive Correspondent in Japan, Cornes P&I.

Renamed Tindall Riley (Britannia) Japan, the acquisition demonstrated the importance of Japanese shipowners to Britannia. “The renaming of the Tokyo office was the immediate change, with the office continuing to provide Britannia’s Japanese Members with outstanding levels of service” said Andrew Cutler, CEO Britannia.  He added that “2018 will see further initiatives in Japan, which we will announce in due course”.

In another development, and after many years of representing Britannia in Taiwan, Capt. Mike Chiang, the founder of Chiang Marine Services (CMS), has decided to retire.

CMS’s Exclusive Correspondent role is therefore passing to a successor company, B Taiwan P&I Correspondent Co., Ltd. which will be headed by Ms Euly Luo who is well known to Britannia’s Membership in Taiwan, having served with CMS for 30 years. As is to be expected, handover has been conveniently fixed to happen at noon on 20th February 2018.

The new company details are:

B Taiwan P&I Correspondent Company Limited

Room 806, No.205, Dunhua South Road, Section 1,

Taipei 10690, Taiwan, RoC

Telephone: +886 2 2731 8000

Fax: +886 2 2731 8021

Email: newmatter@btaiwan.com.tw

Ms Euly Luo     Mobile: +886 932 143445       Email: euly@btaiwan.com.tw

“The CMS team provided a quality service to Britannia’s Members over the years, helping us enjoy good business in Taiwan. We will maintain those high standards with the new correspondent while wishing Capt. Chiang a healthy and happy retirement,” said Andrew Cutler.

Risk Profiling is becoming more important to PSC Inspections

Port State Control inspections are increasingly focusing on the risk profile of the ship under inspection with inspectors singling out the performance of the ship manager and the flag state recognised organisation (RO) as major factors to concentrate on.

Petros Achtypis, Chief Executive Officer of Cyprus-based Prevention at Sea (PaSea), said PSC inspectors were changing the way they inspected ships with greater emphasis being placed on a vessel’s risk profile.

Many PSC Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were starting to draw direct parallels between the risk profile of the ship and the performance of the ship manager and the RO.

“There is a growing trend to look at ways to identify operational and management risks and detect any pitfalls that could lead to accidents or injury,” he said.

Since risk assessment became part of the ISM Code the shipping industry has viewed risk identification and assessment as a simple process, limited to the use of one matrix – consequence x probability.

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Industry Professional Steven Gosling to Play Key Role in Maritime Training at KVH Videotel

KVH Videotel announced today that Steven Gosling, a master mariner and former manager with leading maritime organizations, has joined KVH Videotel’s content team as quality assurance manager.

KVH_Videotel_Steven_Gosling

Mr. Gosling’s responsibilities will include monitoring legislative movements, trends, and best practices in the industry, and guiding the KVH Videotel content and software development teams in serving the maritime community’s learning and development needs. Mr. Gosling will also be responsible for spearheading KVH Videotel’s continuing professional development (CPD) offering. Prior to joining KVH Videotel, Mr. Gosling held roles as head of strategic development for Nautilus International; training & quality manager for The Nautical Institute; and deck officer with the cruise ship industry. He earned an MSc. in maritime operations and management from City, University of London.

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InterDam Partners with VE Partners to Accelerate its Ambitious Growth Plans

InterDam, an international market leader in fire and blast resistant architectural products for the oil and gas and offshore renewables sectors, has partnered with VE Partners to accelerate its ambitious growth plans and continue the outstanding success it has achieved in supporting customers creating a safer workplace since its foundation in 2007.

Renowned as a product innovator of high-quality integrated solutions to the offshore and onshore oil & gas and renewable energy sectors, InterDam’s aim is to create the safest area possible for professionals and equipment working in high risk environments.

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Britannia P&I’s Preferred “Hard Brexit” Location Option

Following the 23 June 2016 referendum and the UK’s triggering of Article 50 on 29 March 2017, Britannia’s Board has been considering plans to preserve the ability of the Association to write non-UK EU business post Brexit (i.e. to preserve the current benefits of passporting).  Possible restrictions on the freedom of movement of staff between the UK and EU would not currently have a material impact on the Association, although this will be monitored.

It is hoped that discussions between the UK and the remaining EU states will allow for continued passporting or a transition arrangement.  In the meantime, Britannia’s plans assume a worst-case of a “hard Brexit” and the loss of passporting from 29 March 2019.

With the advice of third party consultants and having engaged with various EU regulators, Britannia’s Board has now instructed the Managers (Tindall Riley (Britannia) Limited) to focus on Luxembourg as the preferred option.  The structure envisaged is the maintenance of Britannia as a UK domiciled insurer and the creation of a new EU (Luxembourg) domiciled insurer.  Both insurers (Britannia UK and Britannia Europe) would be owned by a UK domiciled parent company.  This will preserve the nature of the Association as a single entity i.e. to maintain a common approach to risk appetite, underwriting, investment, reserving and operational procedures.

The Managers will engage further with the Association’s consultants and legal advisers together with the PRA (UK’s insurance regulator) and CAA (Luxembourg’s insurance regulator).  It is envisaged that a formal application to establish Britannia Europe will be made in early 2018 to enable the insurer to be licenced and operationally ready by the end of 2018 and in good time for the 20 February 2019 renewal.

At this stage it is not envisaged that a Part VII transfer will be required.

KVH and Pilipinas Global Network Limited to Bring Philippine Basketball Association Game Coverage to Merchant Ships

Starting next week, seafarers can enjoy coverage of Asia’s popular professional basketball league games via KVH’s innovative content delivery service

MIDDLETOWN, RI – December 14, 2017 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), and Pilipinas Global Network Limited (PGNL) today announced a deal to bring coverage of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) full games to merchant ships.

Under the terms of the agreement, KVH will distribute PBA games for the 43rd and 44th PBA seasons, which begin with the Philippine Cup on December 17, 2017. A men’s professional basketball league, the PBA was the first such league in Asia and its popularity throughout the region is widespread. However, many of those fans miss out on seeing games because they serve onboard commercial vessels; throughout the global shipping industry, Filipinos comprise the single greatest number of seafarers. The PBA games will be delivered via satellite to vessels subscribed to KVH’s SPORTSlinkTM and IP-MobileCastTM content delivery service for multicasting news, sports, and entertainment at sea. Onboard, seafarers will be able to access the full PBA games on mobile devices, desktops, and televisions, enjoying the basketball action without adding communications costs or affecting vessel communications performance. “PGNL is devoted to bringing the PBA closer to every Filipino overseas. This partnership with KVH is a step toward reaching out to seafarers who would want to experience the PBA while they’re away from home,” says Ernesto D. Sta. Maria, Jr., PGNL president and CEO. “We work hard to make sure that more Filipinos all over the world get to enjoy quality sports content from PGNL.”

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KVH Videotel Introduces LNG “Respond Level” Bunkering Training Course

Programme based on “Competency and Assessment Guidelines” from SGMF 

KVH Videotel has launched an LNG bunkering training course to help crew and port or terminal staff enable a safe bunkering process. The programme, based on guidelines from the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), has been developed in response to the increased use of LNG as a bunker fuel by operators to help them meet the low sulphur targets required by MARPOL Annex VI. SGMF has defined a “Respond Level” of awareness as vitally important: Personnel in close proximity to bunkering operations must understand the hazards associated with LNG bunkering and be trained in how to respond to emergency situations. KVH Videotel’s “LNG Bunkering – Respond Level Training Course” covers:

  • Composition and usage of LNG and potential bunkering methods
  • Hazards and consequences for the individual and ship
  • Relevant procedures for fighting LNG fires
  • Emergency procedures for shipping companies and port authorities

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Elizabeth Jackson Joins KVH to Direct Global Marketing and Strategy

Experienced executive will lead growth initiatives across key business markets

MIDDLETOWN, RI – November 27, 2017 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), announced today that Elizabeth Jackson has joined the company as chief marketing officer and senior vice president for strategy.

“Elizabeth is an experienced CMO and entrepreneur with proven results at both Fortune 100 and small start-up companies, and we are delighted that she has joined KVH,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH chief executive officer. “Her expertise includes brand building, new product development, corporate and marketing strategy, and market research across many industries.”

Ms. Jackson has worked at a variety of companies including Proctor & Gamble, Campbell Soup Company, Summer Infant, and HookLogic, a Bain Capital Ventures portfolio company in ad tech performance marketing. Most recently, Ms. Jackson was CMO at DOTS Technology Corp, an NEA portfolio company in health tech, building a novel protein detection platform for consumer and industrial use.

“I am very excited to join KVH and direct the marketing efforts for such an innovative company, especially one that is active in so many vital markets,” says Ms. Jackson. “From the mobile technology that provides connectivity to commercial mariners around the globe to the inertial navigation systems that support the emerging world of unmanned and autonomous platforms, KVH is a leader.”

KVH_Elizabeth_Jackson

Ms. Jackson has a B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA from INSEAD in France.

Container Ship Load Planning Systems Are Vulnerable Says Ethical Hackers

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Ethical hackers Pen Test Partners have highlighted a vulnerability in the load planning processes used by container ships.

“Intercepting and modifying the messaging used in bay planning can be relatively straightforward if you know what you’re doing,” said Senior Partner, Ken Munro.

“When asked to investigate this, we noticed a lack of security in the validation of the message’s integrity and a simple phishing attack is all it takes to gain access,” he continued.

By modifying the messages, and therefore the loading plan itself, a hacker could cause a vessel to list by swopping the order that the containers are loaded.

Hackers could also cause environmental damage and incur heavy fines for shipping lines by forcing emergency discharge of ballast water as a result of unexpected out-of-trim situations caused by bay plan manipulation.

Refrigerated containers could be switched off spoiling thousands of pounds worth of perishable food and so the list goes on.

Not only that, but Pen Test Partners have discovered that USB sticks are commonly used to transfer the load plans from ship to port. This poses a major security risk as a USB infected with malware could cause series issues for port authorities.

“Ship security has a long way to go to catch up with the level of security we expect in corporate networks. They are remote, difficult to update, and their IT hardware is often old and not well maintained,” added Munro.

“Ship owners and managers need to have a cyber security plan in place and should review their current IT systems to make sure that any potential weak points open to attack are closed as soon as possible.”

Britannia P&I Hosts European Members’ Forum in Greece

The important role that Members from Europe play within the Britannia P&I Club was among the issues discussed at its annual European Members Forum held on 9 November in Athens.

The Forum, now in its 21st year, which was attended by 52 Members from across Europe, underlined the Club’s commitment to remaining accessible while providing Members with a personalised service.

The Forum coincided with the announcement that Britannia will be opening an office in Greece within 2018.

“Holding the European Forum in Greece was important given that it is the home to many of the world’s major shipowners, a number of whom are Britannia Members. Opening a Britannia office in Greece will mean that we can enhance the personalised service to those and future Greek Members,” said Andrew Cutler, CEO of Tindall Riley (Britannia) Ltd.

Dale Hammond (Director, FD&D and claims director for the Club’s Greek membership) and Simon Williams (Director, Underwriting and who has underwriting oversight for the Club’s Greek membership) will oversee arrangements for establishing the office.

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