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GM Serving the World from Malta

29 / 11 / 18

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GM International Services Limited is the largest and longest established shipping services company in Malta. We have been active more than 40 years in the maritime industry and throughout this time we have been constantly reminded of the importance of developing and maintaining effective ways to facilitate our clients’ needs.

 

Coupled with its subsidiary maritime legislation, Malta’s Merchant Shipping Act offers nonpareil advantages and benefits for those who chose to register their vessels and yachts under the Malta flag. Malta’s tonnage tax system has been approved by the European Commission providing certainty to those who choose Malta. As a “Whitelisted” flag, Malta has become a strong, safe and convenient maritime jurisdiction, whereby the corporate and tonnage tax system benefits all stakeholders. Economic stability and a forward-looking business model are very attractive for those who apart from registering their vessels, would also seek to incorporate or redomicile their existing companies to Malta. We are now dealing with fully fledged setups with persons on the ground and effective management of the entities in Malta. Malta’s tax benefits are also to be considered when it comes to ship management companies. Ship management companies established in Greece should read Malta’s legislation in parallel with Greek legislation to avail themselves the benefits of the Malta’s tax system. The tax benefits Malta offers are clear not only for shipping companies but also for fund administrators and companies trading in other sectors. A vast network of Double Tax Treaties is in place with many of the world’s major economic States. At GMI we have recognised the importance of shipping and the financial services sectors, thus we have established different departments to ensure that all stakeholders have a fully customised approach that values long-term customer relationships.

 

It is very well known that GMI’s presence in the maritime industry began with the promotion of the Malta flag to Greek shipowners and managers back in the 1970s. The company’s successful inroads into the Greek market soon translated into a generous presence of Greek-owned tonnage registered under the Malta flag. Significantly, several of those shipowners who chose to be represented by GMI four decades ago, are still represented by us today.

 

We have always understood the importance of the Greek market and for this reason our physical presence in Greece is very active and ongoing, however we haven’t stopped there. Despoina Xynou, a Greek lawyer, and I co-founded Gauci-Maistre Xynou (Legal ǀ Assurance) which is a boutique Greco-Maltese law firm providing a broad range of bespoke legal services to meet the need of clients. Both Despoina and myself, jointly, have experience and expertise in a wide range of practice areas, such as corporate, commercial and litigation, where maritime law remains the core of our profession. The firm’s guiding principle in every case is to keep the clients’ goals at the forefront, while providing intellectual, unique and outside-the-box strategies, combining the ability to deliver local knowledge with an experience of international business. Our dedicated and talented lawyers provide advice, assistance and representations to domestic and foreign clients including individuals, private and public companies, multinational corporations, as well as governmental agencies and institutions. GMX is committed to its clients, always striving to develop unique strategies and cost-effective solutions through their in-depth knowledge and diverse backgrounds.

 

At GMX we are especially active and specialised in the fields of maritime law, including amongst others ship finance, registration of mortgages, arrests of vessels and enforcement of claims. Our team of talented lawyers is also very active on admiralty, company law (including company incorporation and management), international tax planning, financial services, aviation law, intellectual property law, investment, residency, real estate, succession and trusts. Through its creation GMX has also been involved in very high profile corporate structuring and tax planning.  Indeed, acting as a one-stop shop, the services offered by the GMX's maritime team are complemented by those of tax advisers and accountants that provide corporate structuring and tax planning solutions. GMX is fast becoming a preferred maritime law firm for banks, other financial institutions, shipowners and shipping companies seeking the most effective and advantageous set-up for their maritime activities in Malta.

 

Despite the economic crisis and a series of setbacks, Malta has continued to perform well compared to other the European Member States. Needless to say that this does not mean that Malta did not suffer during the recession, but given that Malta was not over exposed provided some certainty and stability for investors. As a response during the crisis, the number of registered tonnage under the Malta flag increased, confirming Malta’s leading position within the maritime industry.  Having passed such a bitter test, Malta has become renowned for the protection it offers to financiers. In this respect, GMI has ensured to take all necessary steps to maintain Malta's good reputation in the maritime sector by promoting high standards both in terms of safety at sea and pollution prevention, whilst offering a sterling service. The Malta Flag has also earned a solid and trustworthy reputation amongst key industry players including crew, yacht management companies, classification societies, insurers and financiers. Malta’s ship registry has remained competitive price-wise and has constantly proven itself ready to accommodate shipowners and shipping companies, always within the parameters of international rules and conventions.

When it comes to environmental regulations, Malta ensures that procedures and regulations are maintained when a vessel is registered under the Malta flag. This is because Malta strictly adheres to the different international, regional and EU environmental standards. In this respect, the Malta Shipping Directorate ensures full compliance by having its appointed officials inspect trading vessels which are between 10 years and 15 years old. Vessels which fall into the 15 – 25-year bracket require a pre-registration inspection that might be carried out in a dry-dock. As a rule, 25 years old and over, trading ships are not registered although derogations may be provided for under certain conditions.

 

It has been traditionally perceived that the maritime industry, compared to other industries, is less permeable to innovation, where only explicitly defined strategies with a centralized and clearly guided managerial leadership would spark some innovative activities. Nevertheless, nowadays, the maritime industry is undergoing a change, where it is believed that the demands for increased efficiency can be only achieved with innovation. With the Malta government encouraging more companies to invest in innovation and enhance the skills of the maritime workforce, technological advances play a crucial role in driving productivity. Many steps are being taken to get the maritime sector to harness new technologies and innovations to its advantage. Autonomous vessels are developing rapidly as commercially available choices on the market which is anticipated to touch on an extensive range of issues, like the human element, safety, security, interactions with ports, responses to incidents and protection to the marine environment. Although the use of autonomous vessels offers numerous benefits, the concern about the negative effects towards the future of seafarers in the maritime industry, is imminent. In this sense, GMI together with ship management companies, shipowners, shipbuilders, classification societies and crewing are working in harmonia so the maritime industry will evolve and improve. Blockchain technology, an attractive concept in all business sectors, is becoming more and more popular, as start-ups bring new services to the market.  Transport and logistics platforms designed to operate on Distributed Ledger Technology provide undisputed advantages too, considered to be more effective, secure and transparent. For example, in the case of tracking real-time cargo, end-to-end supply chain visibility and the integration of smart contracts and marine insurance policies.  AL this drastically reduces the time required for managing and monitoring ship and cargo movements. The exchange of data, however, needs to be done under a high cybersecurity level taking into consideration the protection of sensitive or private data as per the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union. With digital growth, however, cyber awareness will be key in making the digital transformation complete. But the ultimate goal should not just be successful utilisation of digital tools and technologies; organisations should aim to adopt and embrace this digital culture.

Innovation is the key to this traditional maritime industry, where ports and terminals need to re-evaluate their role in global maritime logistics. At GMI we have always recognised the importance of going digital. It is imperative that web services are developed in order to facilitate our processes and those of our clients, as we jointly gather, complete, submit and maintain the required documentation for the registration of vessels under the Maltese flag.  GMI believes in developing e-services within this frame of mind and whilst we are in the advanced stages of developing web based and electronic services. Our aim is to offer innovative, high quality and secure services that save time and money for our clients.

 

In the case of seafarers, they need to be better trained to operate in a more technologically advanced environment. More maritime education and training are essential in the maritime industry to make sure that the human element harnesses future technology. We recently have seen serious progress in the digital developments, which can change the way we perform the various day-to-day tasks in all sectors of the shipping industry. Revolutionary technologies are definitely going to bring more value into shipping and finally help this traditional industry become technologically advanced and gain higher levels of efficiency.

 

2019 will bring a year of more challenges particularly in the aftermath of Brexit. The global market might not be ready for so many changes and will be facing more upheaval as a consequence of mounting tensions between China and the United States of America, as well as between Canada, Mexico, the United States and the European Union. The trade war has already begun which is bound to impact the maritime industry globally.  

 

Notwithstanding the gathering storm, GMI International Services Limited is perfectly poised to keep the Malta flag flying high, thanks to its well-honed expertise and eye on innovative technologies.

 

GM Serving the World from Malta

29 / 11 / 18

Share Article on 

 

GM International Services Limited is the largest and longest established shipping services company in Malta. We have been active more than 40 years in the maritime industry and throughout this time we have been constantly reminded of the importance of developing and maintaining effective ways to facilitate our clients’ needs.

 

Coupled with its subsidiary maritime legislation, Malta’s Merchant Shipping Act offers nonpareil advantages and benefits for those who chose to register their vessels and yachts under the Malta flag. Malta’s tonnage tax system has been approved by the European Commission providing certainty to those who choose Malta. As a “Whitelisted” flag, Malta has become a strong, safe and convenient maritime jurisdiction, whereby the corporate and tonnage tax system benefits all stakeholders. Economic stability and a forward-looking business model are very attractive for those who apart from registering their vessels, would also seek to incorporate or redomicile their existing companies to Malta. We are now dealing with fully fledged setups with persons on the ground and effective management of the entities in Malta. Malta’s tax benefits are also to be considered when it comes to ship management companies. Ship management companies established in Greece should read Malta’s legislation in parallel with Greek legislation to avail themselves the benefits of the Malta’s tax system. The tax benefits Malta offers are clear not only for shipping companies but also for fund administrators and companies trading in other sectors. A vast network of Double Tax Treaties is in place with many of the world’s major economic States. At GMI we have recognised the importance of shipping and the financial services sectors, thus we have established different departments to ensure that all stakeholders have a fully customised approach that values long-term customer relationships.

 

It is very well known that GMI’s presence in the maritime industry began with the promotion of the Malta flag to Greek shipowners and managers back in the 1970s. The company’s successful inroads into the Greek market soon translated into a generous presence of Greek-owned tonnage registered under the Malta flag. Significantly, several of those shipowners who chose to be represented by GMI four decades ago, are still represented by us today.

 

We have always understood the importance of the Greek market and for this reason our physical presence in Greece is very active and ongoing, however we haven’t stopped there. Despoina Xynou, a Greek lawyer, and I co-founded Gauci-Maistre Xynou (Legal ǀ Assurance) which is a boutique Greco-Maltese law firm providing a broad range of bespoke legal services to meet the need of clients. Both Despoina and myself, jointly, have experience and expertise in a wide range of practice areas, such as corporate, commercial and litigation, where maritime law remains the core of our profession. The firm’s guiding principle in every case is to keep the clients’ goals at the forefront, while providing intellectual, unique and outside-the-box strategies, combining the ability to deliver local knowledge with an experience of international business. Our dedicated and talented lawyers provide advice, assistance and representations to domestic and foreign clients including individuals, private and public companies, multinational corporations, as well as governmental agencies and institutions. GMX is committed to its clients, always striving to develop unique strategies and cost-effective solutions through their in-depth knowledge and diverse backgrounds.

 

At GMX we are especially active and specialised in the fields of maritime law, including amongst others ship finance, registration of mortgages, arrests of vessels and enforcement of claims. Our team of talented lawyers is also very active on admiralty, company law (including company incorporation and management), international tax planning, financial services, aviation law, intellectual property law, investment, residency, real estate, succession and trusts. Through its creation GMX has also been involved in very high profile corporate structuring and tax planning.  Indeed, acting as a one-stop shop, the services offered by the GMX's maritime team are complemented by those of tax advisers and accountants that provide corporate structuring and tax planning solutions. GMX is fast becoming a preferred maritime law firm for banks, other financial institutions, shipowners and shipping companies seeking the most effective and advantageous set-up for their maritime activities in Malta.

 

Despite the economic crisis and a series of setbacks, Malta has continued to perform well compared to other the European Member States. Needless to say that this does not mean that Malta did not suffer during the recession, but given that Malta was not over exposed provided some certainty and stability for investors. As a response during the crisis, the number of registered tonnage under the Malta flag increased, confirming Malta’s leading position within the maritime industry.  Having passed such a bitter test, Malta has become renowned for the protection it offers to financiers. In this respect, GMI has ensured to take all necessary steps to maintain Malta's good reputation in the maritime sector by promoting high standards both in terms of safety at sea and pollution prevention, whilst offering a sterling service. The Malta Flag has also earned a solid and trustworthy reputation amongst key industry players including crew, yacht management companies, classification societies, insurers and financiers. Malta’s ship registry has remained competitive price-wise and has constantly proven itself ready to accommodate shipowners and shipping companies, always within the parameters of international rules and conventions.

When it comes to environmental regulations, Malta ensures that procedures and regulations are maintained when a vessel is registered under the Malta flag. This is because Malta strictly adheres to the different international, regional and EU environmental standards. In this respect, the Malta Shipping Directorate ensures full compliance by having its appointed officials inspect trading vessels which are between 10 years and 15 years old. Vessels which fall into the 15 – 25-year bracket require a pre-registration inspection that might be carried out in a dry-dock. As a rule, 25 years old and over, trading ships are not registered although derogations may be provided for under certain conditions.

 

It has been traditionally perceived that the maritime industry, compared to other industries, is less permeable to innovation, where only explicitly defined strategies with a centralized and clearly guided managerial leadership would spark some innovative activities. Nevertheless, nowadays, the maritime industry is undergoing a change, where it is believed that the demands for increased efficiency can be only achieved with innovation. With the Malta government encouraging more companies to invest in innovation and enhance the skills of the maritime workforce, technological advances play a crucial role in driving productivity. Many steps are being taken to get the maritime sector to harness new technologies and innovations to its advantage. Autonomous vessels are developing rapidly as commercially available choices on the market which is anticipated to touch on an extensive range of issues, like the human element, safety, security, interactions with ports, responses to incidents and protection to the marine environment. Although the use of autonomous vessels offers numerous benefits, the concern about the negative effects towards the future of seafarers in the maritime industry, is imminent. In this sense, GMI together with ship management companies, shipowners, shipbuilders, classification societies and crewing are working in harmonia so the maritime industry will evolve and improve. Blockchain technology, an attractive concept in all business sectors, is becoming more and more popular, as start-ups bring new services to the market.  Transport and logistics platforms designed to operate on Distributed Ledger Technology provide undisputed advantages too, considered to be more effective, secure and transparent. For example, in the case of tracking real-time cargo, end-to-end supply chain visibility and the integration of smart contracts and marine insurance policies.  AL this drastically reduces the time required for managing and monitoring ship and cargo movements. The exchange of data, however, needs to be done under a high cybersecurity level taking into consideration the protection of sensitive or private data as per the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union. With digital growth, however, cyber awareness will be key in making the digital transformation complete. But the ultimate goal should not just be successful utilisation of digital tools and technologies; organisations should aim to adopt and embrace this digital culture.

Innovation is the key to this traditional maritime industry, where ports and terminals need to re-evaluate their role in global maritime logistics. At GMI we have always recognised the importance of going digital. It is imperative that web services are developed in order to facilitate our processes and those of our clients, as we jointly gather, complete, submit and maintain the required documentation for the registration of vessels under the Maltese flag.  GMI believes in developing e-services within this frame of mind and whilst we are in the advanced stages of developing web based and electronic services. Our aim is to offer innovative, high quality and secure services that save time and money for our clients.

 

In the case of seafarers, they need to be better trained to operate in a more technologically advanced environment. More maritime education and training are essential in the maritime industry to make sure that the human element harnesses future technology. We recently have seen serious progress in the digital developments, which can change the way we perform the various day-to-day tasks in all sectors of the shipping industry. Revolutionary technologies are definitely going to bring more value into shipping and finally help this traditional industry become technologically advanced and gain higher levels of efficiency.

 

2019 will bring a year of more challenges particularly in the aftermath of Brexit. The global market might not be ready for so many changes and will be facing more upheaval as a consequence of mounting tensions between China and the United States of America, as well as between Canada, Mexico, the United States and the European Union. The trade war has already begun which is bound to impact the maritime industry globally.  

 

Notwithstanding the gathering storm, GMI International Services Limited is perfectly poised to keep the Malta flag flying high, thanks to its well-honed expertise and eye on innovative technologies.