Beirut, September 2013 / IFRS in shipping



Moore Stephens, widely acknowledged as the world’s leading financial/accounting advisors to the Shipping Industry, used a seminar held on Tuesday 17 September 2013 at the Al Bustan Rotana to highlight and clarify to senior shipping personnel the details and impact of those International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) most relevant to regional shipping companies.
The approximate 100 attendees represented a broad spectrum of the regional shipping fraternity ranging from ship overseas, to brokers, to ship managers, to liner companies. With the difficulties experienced in the past five to six years in freight rates and vessel values arising from the slow down in the Global economy and international trade there have been quite a number of issues arising in financial reporting. In particular issues relating to vessel impairment, residual values and useful lives for the purpose of depreciation calculations, lease accounting, accounting for interest expenses, the treatment of dry docking and related questions.
The key speakers were from the Shipping Department of  Moore Stephens Offices in London and the topics covered following an initial overview of global shipping and IFRS were ‘accounting for ships’, ‘financing issues’, ‘risk management’, and finally ‘a summary of recent and future accounting developments’.
John Adcock, a Partner in the Dubai Office of Moore Stephens said in an interview that Moore Stephens has accumulated an unparalleled depth of knowledge and unrivalled experience and were therefore in a unique position to provide comprehensive and confidential range of business development services and traditional support services to the industry.
John continued to explain that Moore Stephens development internationally arose from active work in the shipping industry, which begin in London in the 1930’s when they acted for Greek ship owners and thereby establishing themselves as specialists in the City of London at that time. From those early days in the industry, they provided all the services necessary for shipping clients to operate effectively. The depth of knowledge is supported by the fact that Moore Stephens currently provide accounting and/or audit services for over 2,000 single vessel-owning companies through member firms of Moore Stephens International Limited all over the world.
Michael Simms, a London Shipping Partner said that the knowledge gained is further supported by the fact that Moore Stephens have member firms in all of the principal shipping locations throughout the world enabling a truly international service to clients. Clients range from large ,multinational corporations to single vessel owners, and include not only ship owners but ports, brokers, ship managers, port agents and logistics operators and, of course, shipping funds, with offices globally.
Another London based Partner Robert Noye – Allen a specialist in risk management, also gave a session on how senior management and those charged with Governance can improve the formal process of identifying and mitigating risk by the use of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) software. Robert provided examples of identified risks such as crewing, safety, environmental regulatory and explained the process of identification and mitigation. 
One of most significant changes in IFRS is that relating to the accounting for leases. There have been considerable discussions relating to a number of disclosure drafts, but Jamie Tomkins of the Moore Stephens London Technical Department indicated that it is likely that there will be significant amendments from the first drafts and anyway it is unlikely to be operative for another three to four years.
Those attending were grateful to have a seminar that was designed specifically for their industry and the response of most was for more Industry specific seminars of this nature.