Shipping Partner, Ship registration, Ship agent - SMS Group Malta
Travel & Tourism Partner, Ship registration, Ship agent - SMS Group Malta
Shore Operations Partner, Ship registration, Ship agent - SMS Group Malta
Insurance Partner, Ship registration, Ship agent - SMS Group Malta
Logistics Partner, Ship registration, Ship agent - SMS Group Malta
Corporate Services Partner, Ship registration, Ship agent - SMS Group Malta
English Language School Partner, Ship registration, Ship agent - SMS Group Malta
Real Estate Partner, Ship registration, Ship agent - SMS Group Malta
Close Map - Partner, Ship registration, Ship agent - SMS Group Malta close map
Shipping was one of SMS Group's first business which started around 1860 with offices in Victoria Gate area of Valletta. Some of its partners include K Line (largest Container Carrier Worldwide) and Messina di Navigazione. Today SMS Shipping is also responsible for Ship Chandlery under the name of PN Fenech and Bunkering Broking under the name of BBL.
SMS Tourism can provide hotel accommodation for holiday as well as business purposes in Malta and Gozo. We can also provide any other form of tourism-related services including local excursions, car hire, transfers and a full range of services and assistance related to conferences & incentives. SMS Travel has recently joined forces with another prominent tourism company (Mondial Travel) to provide an exhaustive selection of travel arrangements outside of Malta including hotel accommodation, air travel and cruises from offices in Malta, Tunisia, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and Algeria.
SMS International Shore Operations is the leading shore & port handler in the world. SMS ISO are entrusted with the provision of all shore requirements by a large number of reputable cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Costa, MSC, Disney Cruiselines and many more. SMS handles shore excursions, turnaround service and transportation for Cruise Liners in Malta, England, Italy, Denmark, Holland, Tunis, Libya and the United States of America.
Insurance by S. Mifsud & Sons dates back to the Early 50s. SMS Insurance Agency Ltd. (agent for Foreign Principals, binder agreements with local & UK based insurers and Lloyd's); Global Insurance Brokers Ltd. (places risks in the local and worldwide market); SMS Assistance Ltd. (handles assistance cases for tourists in Malta such as Europassistance)
TRANSPORT SERVICES (Courier Express, Airfreight, Seafreight, Roadfreight, Combination of either modes); ADDITIONAL SERVICES (Customs Brokerage, Local transport - reefer available with temperature data loggers, Hand Carriers, Warehousing); SOME OF OUR PRINCIPALS (FedEx, Etihad Cargo, K Line, Neptune Lines, Ignazio Messina)
SMS Corporate Services was set up in 1991 by Dr. Simon Mifsud LL.B. (Hons) L.L.M., Barr. SMS Corporate Services provides Company services by way of Company Incorporation, Management, Company Secretarial services and any other legal services which may be required. The Company’s portfolio of clients is primarily overseas ship/yacht owners who make use of the Company’s services for to register their vessels under the Maltese Flag. SMS Corporate Services also assists these owners with Malta Flag Crew endorsements.
The English Language Academy (ELA) is one of the founding members of Feltom, the local association in charge of language training in Malta. The Academy prides itself in being one of the leaders in the teaching of English as a foreign Language and offers general courses for any age group as well as themed specialised courses or intensive courses in Business English.
SMS Properties has a portfolio of residential and commercial properties which range from exclusive apartments to casinos and baroque palaces. The properties are spread across Europe, Asia and the U.S.
SMS Corporate Services Ltd 02 November 2017

EMLO 23rd Annual Conference – November 2017: Travel Report / Social Media Release

This month, SMS Group has sent one of its representatives to the prestigious annual conference held by the European Maritime Law Organisation, an international organisation set up to provide a neutral and independent forum for debate and research in maritime affairs.

The conference focused heavily on global alliances and the impact of competition law, and the state of play of the industry at the close of the European Maritime Year 2017. Reference was made to the impact of Brexit and legal certainty, in terms of the importance of precedent and reciprocity of European and / or British judgements and questions as to whether Britain would continue to follow EU policy making or choose to adopt its own. The “Effects Approach” taken by the European Commission, particularly highlighted in a judgement this September, was also brought into play due to its potential influence on the behaviour of market players and, naturally, much desirable legal certainty. The effects of Brexit on maritime competition law are yet to appear on the radar but should not be underestimated. The industry and policy makers are still to take into account the loss of passporting rights for insurers, customs gridlocks in South England and in European Ports with shipping trades to England, the possibility of the UK making its own policies in matters such as employment and state aids, where there is no convention to harmonise practice with EU other than the EU instruments themselves. The loss of the possibility for cabotage operations between UK and EU countries and other such issues that have not yet been conceived of, yet alone discussed, were also raised. In particular, one must keep in mind that the UK is often the choice of applicable law in a large number of shipping contracts, even where the parties are EU-based.

The competition law perspective of the behaviour of market players forms an important part of this conference’s scrutiny, bringing into discussion the issue as to whether, like liner conferences, global alliances should no longer avail themselves of the safe harbour of the Block Exemption Regulation, or whether this Regulation should be extended in its validity. In particular the question was raised as to whether shipping alliances will cease to exist, since continued consolidation trends could give rise to competition concerns at EU level and beyond. This trend (or perhaps crisis) began in 2008, when the Block Exemption Regulation ceased to have effect for liner conferences, but not for shipping alliances; however, consorted “hardcore” behaviour within alliances could still fall foul of the Block Exemption Regulation, rendering legal certainty necessary in such times of doubt. Clearly, while it would perhaps be inadvisable to change the legal paradigm in times of such change, questions continue to arise as to the next steps in this matter.

Competitivity within the industry, aside from competition law concerns, remains key for the viability of the European fleet. Indeed, increased European regulation (such as the Capital Requirements Regulation, which mirrors the Basel Convention but renders compliance obligatory within the EU) has meant that banks are ever less able to take on financing of such large assets as are ships, especially due to their increasing size and value. The issue of tramp pools or other forms of consolidation was discussed as means of making the industry viable, it being an industry that operates like no other. In this, the increased participation of non-EU countries in the EU shipping trade was noted, potentially because of greater financial viability as well as different requirements in terms of lending, although some such countries are opting for different funding models such as ‘sale-and-lease-back’ and equity. The application of State Aid rules (or absence of, in the case of non-EU countries) potentially also impacts the decision of financing companies and / or ship-owning companies whether to remain in Europe or otherwise in order to achieve viability.

Cyber Security and Digitalisation, which ought to be treated as a safety matter due to the importance of data concerning both the ship and its owners, also come into play in ensuring competitiveness within the industry. Not only are navigation and operation of ships increasingly digitised, but this is a requirement and the information being held digitally gives rise to the potential of pirate attacks as well as attempts at fraud and financial crime.

In terms of competition, and due to the Commission’s attitude as to what constitutes “collusive behaviour”, attention remains on the control of information being exchanged, the manner of doing so and, most importantly, the possibility of exchanging information by simply being a participant in such alliances. It is possible that there is no need to harbour excessive concern as to whether the Block Exemption should remain or done away with altogether since there appears to be no cause for consternation at present. Vigilance is advisable, however, as to the behaviour which can be interpreted as exchange of information, in particular, exchange of information and collusion on hardcore matters such as price.

When referring to “shipping” one must bear in mind that reference is being made to the entire “maritime cluster” that is to say, the entire complement of services that encompasses the industry so as to even include auxiliary services. The very large majority of cargo is borne by ships and the operation of this industry could very well shape world trade.

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