Harneys advises Svitzer on significant advances for BVI shipping

Harneys advised Svitzer on the landmark registration of its first shipping vessel under the BVI flag - the Svitzer Hanne – and is set to assist Svitzer in adding approximately 20 more vessels to the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry.

Recent advances in positioning the BVI within the international maritime sector, including Svitzer’s participation, were recently hailed by Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE: “We are delighted to associate with a world renowned company such as Svitzer and are happy to note that Svitzer has committed to bringing more vessels to be registered with the BVI.”

Harneys Partner Johann Henry, key adviser to Svitzer, also advised the company on establishing its physical presence in the BVI which included obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. Svitzer, which is the division of the Maersk Group responsible for towage, salvage and general maritime emergency response, recently opened an office in the Territory to manage its fleet of vessels operating in the Americas region. “The establishment of an office in the BVI by Svitzer is further evidence of the BVI’s move to more substantive offerings in the financial services space and its ability to attract significant business,” noted Johann.

Svitzer is one of the world’s largest towing and salvage firms and its BVI office will support approximately 70 tugs throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and North American regions. Albert Snoei, who heads up the Svitzer Americas BVI office and is responsible for the company’s Marine Standards group, commented, “Harneys ensured that the process of establishing our BVI office and registering our first vessel went very smoothly. The Harneys team proved their expertise in BVI law and statutory requirements and their commitment to supporting us was impressive. With Harneys’ continued assistance we plan to register approximately 20 more vessels under the BVI flag.”   

“Harneys’ relationship with Svitzer goes as far back as 2002 and we are indeed happy to have participated in such an important event for them and the Territory,” stated Johann. The BVI’s shipping industry is fast expanding with a total of 3750 ships on the register and Svitzer’s presence and commitment to registering additional vessels bodes well for the continued development of shipping business in the Territory.”

Harneys’ shipping experts act for leading financial institutions, law firms, ship builders, yacht brokers, ship owners and charterers, and have gained an international reputation for commercially sensitive legal advice relating to all aspects of the acquisition, registration, financing, disposal and operation of ships in the context of the tax neutral registries of the BVI, Cayman Islands and Cyprus.