The International Conference on Marine & Cargo Insurance (MCI) was held on May 8-9, 2019 in Antwerp (Belgium). The best speakers from Belgium, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Georgia, Great Britain, Greece, Lithuania, Russia shared their extensive experience, presented practical cases in the field of marine insurance, and during the debates, together with the conference participants, worked on common solutions to force majeure situations.
The MCI conference, once again, served as a hub for interaction between business owners and marine insurance specialists, analyzing the market for marine and cargo insurance and enhancing understanding of current trends, methods of marine & cargo insurance and insurance claims procedures.
Reports of the speakers helped to identify potential and unpredictable situations in which there is a real threat of material losses, and ways to reinsure the business.
The MCI 2019 was organized by MEDIACOMPASS.
Co-organizers: Chamber of Commerce BeNeLux-Ukraine, Chamber of Commerce BeNeLux-Georgia, Ukrainian Marine Bar Association, Jacare Logistics.
Partners: AntwerpXL, Belge de Droit Maritime, Cercle d’Etude d’Assurance Maritime.
Sponsors: Anheuser-Busch InBev, HeadquARTers.
The official media partner is the International sea magazine Shipping.
The conference was held at the Radisson Blu Astrid hotel, located in close proximity to the venue of the international transport exhibition Antwerp XL 2019. Due to this, delegates had the opportunity to attend reports and visit the exhibition pavilion during the breaks.
MCI is a professional business platform for the exchange of experience
CEO and Founder of MEDIACOMPASS, Alexandr Syvak, opening the event, noted that the conference was created for developing of a new strategies to ensure the security of financial risks, as well as to strengthen the economic and maritime relations of the two maritime powers – Ukraine and Belgium. The countries have a more than 15-year history of cooperation in the port and transport sectors and are interested in the further development of relations. In particular, in December 2018, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA) signed a Memorandum of understanding on the development of Ukrainian sea ports with the port of Antwerp.
He also stressed that the venue of the conference was not chosen by accident. Antwerp is considered to be the center of world marine insurance. The Comité Maritime International (CMI) was established here. It is the oldest non-profit organization in the world, founded in 1897 with the aim of unifying laws and practices in the field of international maritime and commercial law. These goals are shared by MCI 2019.
«MediaCompass has been a leader in the media market for more than 20 years. We organized and conducted over 40 prestigious international transport exhibitions, forums and conferences, which were attended by more than 1,000 companies from 26 countries of the world. International Marine & Cargo Insurance Conference (MCI) is one of the company’s successful projects. The conference provides the sea carriers, freight forwarders, ports, terminals, cargo owners, equipment manufacturers, maritime lawyers and other participants in the transport market with an opportunity to develop new strategies to ensure the safety of financial risks,» Alexandr Syvak briefly described the main activities of the company.
In 2018, the MEDIACOMPASS team organized and held the MCI conference in Greece, within the framework of the International Exhibition of the Shipbuilding Industry and Maritime Affairs Posidonia 2018, which was held from 04 to 08 of June in Athens.
The event was attended by delegates from the UK, Greece, France, Ukraine, Russia and other countries. During the presentations and discussions, the participants discussed current issues in the field of marine insurance, talked about the role of insurance brokers in shipping insuarance and, in particular, grain cargoes, coal transportation features. In addition, the topics of general accidents, dispute resolution issues in maritime transport, as well as freight forwarders liability, as one aspect of cargo insurance, were touched upon.
In 2019, the range of topics was significantly expanded, and the organizers tried to make the program as rich and interesting as possible.
Special aspects of marine insurance
The MCI 2019 program contained a number of reports which are directly related to marine and cargo insurance.
Wim Dillen, International Development Manager for the Port of Antwerp, talked, how investment, innovation and strategy strengthened the port’s position in North-South and West-East trade, taking into account the various Silk Roads.
Iwan Röpcke, Lloyd’s Brussels insurance and strategy manager, gave a detailed report on Brexit, other key developments and general trends in the insurance market in the world.
The innovations in liability insurance for traders and charterers were discussed by Karl Moens, Vice president and Senior marine insurance consultant, Marsh & McLennan BeLux (Antwerp).
Mr. Erik Van de Velde, TOP-manager of Cyber Risks at Marsh & McLennan NL (Rotterdam), made a presentation on «Virtual risks, real losses, sea cyber-travel».
Jef Gorrebeeck, Senior Advisor of Marine Vanbreda Risk & Benefits, President of Study Circle Marine Insurance, Board Member of the Belgian Maritime Law Association, spoke about the specifics of marine insurance in Belgium.
The lawyer of the law firm InRight / Drobitko & Partners (Lithuania), Oleg Drobitko, in turn, spoke about how the maritime law was implemented in Lithuania.
Denis Rabomizo, Managing Partner of Rabomizo Law Firm, President of the Ukrainian Maritime Bar Association, in the analytical report «Marine Insurance in Ukraine: Regulation and Practice» explained which Ukrainian maritime legal aspects should be taken into account in the context of cooperation between Antwerp and Ukraine.
A representative of the brokerage firm J. Kouroutis & Co (Piraeus) – Nicholas G. Berketis told about non-standard types of insurance and possible risks of charterers.
Features of the transportation of bulk cargoes, including grain, were considered in the reports of Andrey Shashorin, who represented the Russian law firm Remedy (Moscow) and the senior consultant on claims of Marsh & McLennan – Karin Van Batenburg (Antwerp).
Lyudmila Goradze, a lawyer of KTL Ukraine LLC (Ukraine), spoked about unclaimed cargo and liability for the demurrage.
At the conference, participants also heard several reports on the digitalization of freight. Alexander Varvarenko, Founder and CEO of the shipping company Varamar and the digital shipping platform Shipnext, gave a presentation on the role of smart contracts in cargo insurance, in which he presented his own experience and success in using of digital technologies, including blockchain technology.
Lars Henneberg, Vice President and Head of Risk Management at A.P.Moller-Maersk (Copenhagen), spoked about blockchain platforms for marine insurance and commercial purposes.
MCI 2019 were also discussed reports on: coastal renewable energy sources and associated insurance risks; innovations and new technologies in marine and cargo insurance.
Part of the time at MCI 2019 was devoted to the Antwerp – Freight Forwarders Port case, namely: what services are offered today by Belgian freight forwarders (3PL, 4PL); liabilities and individual insurance for Belgian freight forwarders / NVOCC; due diligence of stakeholders in a global integrated proposal; why cargo insurance is a strategic priority for freight forwarders; what current freight forwarders think about the historic insurance center of Antwerp; how the point of view of freight forwarders affects insurance claims.
More than 90% of the world cargo turnover is transported by sea. However, no matter how reliable the carrier or the transport itself, there is always the possibility that something can go wrong. Insurance of marine risks in this case is a guarantee of financial protection for participants in the freight market.
The MCI 2019 conference allowed sea carriers, freight forwarders, ports, terminals, cargo owners, equipment manufacturers, maritime lawyers and other participants in the transport market to develop new strategies to ensure the security of financial risks.