SHIP VALUERS UNDER PRESSURE
THE International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) says the fall in the shipping markets has created a number of difficult issues for ship valuers, with brokers in some cases even declining to provide valuations.
ITIC"s Andrew Jamieson says, ?It is inevitable that some principals will simply be disappointed by the broker"s view of what the ship is likely to obtain in the current market. But brokers have also been challenged as to whether it is really possible to assess market levels if the number of sales is limited or even non-existent.
He says that the commercial pressures on brokers are evident. There are cases of brokers having been asked to show values to the shipowner prior to submission to the bank, together with suggestions that, if they did not do so and the owner did not like the values, then litigation would follow. Because some broking houses have long-term contracts to provide valuations to financial institutions, it is not a realistic option to stop providing the service.
Mr Jamieson says: ?The confidentiality of valuations can be an issue for brokers. A bank commissioning a valuation may feel that the independence of the valuer would be compromised if the value had been discussed with the owner prior to submission to the bank. At the same time, brokers cannot afford to alienate their clients, but the problem can be solved by the broker making it clear to the bank that it may contact the owner.?
ITIC says it has recently been helping its members to redraft their certificates to reflect the drop in sales, and has previously advised brokers dealing with specialist tonnage on wording that reflects the nature of individual markets.