During the first ever RMSC webinar insights on developments regarding financial, insurance and tax perspectives where covered. Pieter Baan of ING, Connie Rozen of C&B More and Naomi Blomsteel of AON shared their perspectives of the impact of the corona crisis on the maritime industry. Over 40 people participated in the online knowledge session.
First speaker Pieter Baan, director transport and ING and RMSC treasurer showed how extremely busy the financial sector is at the moment, not only in maritime and logistics industries but in all sectors. Banks are in close contact with each other and the government to get towards a solid approach on how to assist clients in these difficult times. These do not only involve challenges companies face the last couple of weeks, but also regarding the pre-corona status of the company. This calls for some sort of standardized information system. Banks are therefore in contact with the AFM and ECB.
Pieter menitoned that bulk-carriers are suffering but at the same time oil-tankers used for oil-storage are at a sky-high chartering rate. Even the ‘good old’ reefers are doing well in today’s business. Different industries show various uneven spreads, as the fleet of inactive container vessels will climb to more than 3 million TEU, while the shortsea and the food industry are still doing relatively well. Inland shipping already felt the decline in iron ore and coals in the first quarter and they were the first to ask for help from the banks.
As 20% of the economy came to a stand-still, it is likely that the crisis will continue for a while. There is a need for cash now, so the banks are important in this crisis and to end with a positive note, Pieter looked at new initiatives for environmental possibilities in the maritime sector.
Connie Roozen, chairwoman of the RMSC and owner of C&B More, specializes in tax consultancy and took the audience on a journey through various measures taken by the government to minimize the impact of Corona on companies.
One of the main elements is to retain employees, so they don’t lose their jobs. With tax measures such as the deferral of tax to be paid, the temporary decrease of the interest rate and a review of preliminary tax assessment, the government hopes to keep companies active. Most measures focus on the retention of jobs, while there are more measures necessary for companies according to Connie.
Payments of the temporary emergency regulation (NOW arrangement in Dutch) have already been done by the Dutch government, which shows the pro-activeness of the government in this crisis.
The insurance industry sees a hardening market and limited collective response from insurers. Naomi Blomsteel, risk advisor at AON Risk Solutions, showed the interdependency of pandemic risk with the top 20 risks. Way more items are affected than in the 2008 economic crisis.
The largest impact for insurers as seen at the moment is at the cancellation of large events like Wimbledon or the large trade fairs. In addition the impact is seen in business interruptions – as can be seen every day in the news.
Re-insurers normally have an idea of 2-3 catastrophes or hazardous events a year, and they will treat the Corona outbreak as one of these. Both insurers and P&I Clubs are willing to think along with the clients and ask their clients to apply for extensions timely.
As all speakers explained, there is no general solution, every claim, tax or financial question needs a specific assessment during this special situation. Getting in touch with your account manager or advisor is the only general advise they can give.
With over 40 people attending the webinar, it was a great trial and make sure you check in on our next webinar!