SMT News 5

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    WINTER 2019 - 2020
  • Cover
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  • Editorial
    Mark Voorham, CEO SMT Shipping.
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  • Content
    A tribute to Jan Kita
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  • SMT News
    Three new Bulkers to Join SMT Fleet in Q1 2020
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  • SMT News 2
    Santa Claus sponsored by SMT in Gdansk & Nautical News online
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  • SMT News 3
    SMT Shipping adds six more Vectis types to the CSMT fleet & Crew Conference in Manila 2019
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  • SMT News 4
    More conferences around the world
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  • SMT News 5
    SMT Impacted by Venezuelan Sanctions & Mastering the Cape Verga Pearl I
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  • Think SAFE
    Staying healthy and germ-free
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  • SpotLight
    SMT Renews Cadet Program with University in Trinidad
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  • SpotLight 2
    In Their Own Words: The Cadet Experience
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  • Captain's Corner
    Increase your knowledge
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  • The Galley & Chess
    The matches between Karpov and Kasparov
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  • Promotions
    35 promotions!
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  • SMT Personal
    Events in the life of smt staff
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  • SUMMER 2020
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  • SPRING 2020
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  • WINTER 2019 - 2020
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Impacted by

As a global transportation and logistics company, SMT Shipping is impacted by geopolitical forces and international law. The sanctions that the United States recently imposed on Venezuela is a case in point.
On August 5, 2019, the executive branch of the US government issued Executive Order 13850 entitled ‘Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela’. The order prohibits American nationals from “engaging in any transactions with the Government of Venezuela, its agencies or any entity that it owns or controls”.

Non US nationals are similarly subject to these sanctions if they are found to have “materially assisted or supplied goods or services in support of the Venezuelan government”. Failure to comply with the sanctions could lead to asset seizures, a trade ban with the United States, and possible personal legal action.

EO 13850 does identify certain situations which are exempted from sanction. Sanctions do not apply to Venezuela’s private sector, for example, although due the level of government to nationalization in the Venezuelan economy the impact of this exclusion is quite limited. The sanctions also allow for aid relief, including the distribution of food, clothing, and medical support. There are also a few exemptions related to the operations of Venezuelan ports and airports, provided that the underlying trade activities are not sanctioned.

These sanctions could have serious impact on SMT’s business beyond the direct penalties of the executive order itself. Specifically, the company must work in close cooperation with its insurance and banking partners to ensure that our activities are in full compliance with their requirements. Failure to work in close communication with these vital entities might lead to limitations on our coverage or threaten our financing structure.

SMT continues to be fully committed to our business relationships in Venezuela, and we will do all we can to continue to service our clients and support our business activities there. Moreover, our company has a proud history of working in Venezuela, and we sincerely hope to transport relief aid to the suffering Venezuelan population whenever possible. However, our Code of Conduct mandates our compliance with all local and international laws and regulations, so we must work through a rigorous due diligence process to assure that we are in full alignment with EO 13850 and all other sanction regulations.

Guided by the work of our own risk management department with the support of specialized legal advice, we will carefully weigh all potential risks before securing future trade with Venezuela.

Mastering the Cape Verga Pearl I

An Interview with Captain Grzegorz Kacmarczyk

Grzegorz Kaczmarczyk works as master onboard the 10,000DWT barge Cape Verga Pearl I, which shuttles bauxite from Alufer Mining Ltd.’s facility in Bel-Air, Guinea to our transshipment station, MV Conakry Pearl. In this capacity, Capt. Kaczmarczyk’s expertise has nurtured the growth of the business over the past year. In this article, he shares his excitement for the work, explains the hurdles they face daily, and how he feels this operation could revolutionize the way shipping is done in the future.

Capt. Kaczmarczyk’s excitement and optimism is ever-present. “You cannot separate joys and challenges here”, he explains, because each new problem leads to a boost of creativity and innovation. Clearly, much of his optimism stems from the total confidence he has in his crew: “Cooperation is essential and without this you are really out of the game.

We certainly have moments of high tension, but this comes from so many people giving their best. We have developed a healthy rivalry, and everyone feels the competitive energy which drives them to work really hard”. Above all, however, the team comes first. “We are really like a family here”, which keeps each crewmember laser focused on safety as well as productivity. This is vital, as work is certainly not easy. “The waters here are often a big unknown for us and we must be cautious observers of currents, swells, tides for safety of our crew”. Add to that severe weather conditions like heavy rains and extreme heat and the result is a marine environment that rarely lets anyone relax on the job.

Interestingly, Captain Kaczmarczyk feels that this operation represents an entirely new direction for bulk transport. “Without a doubt, I can say that projects like this one in Guinea may be the future of the entire shipping industry, and SMT has set a very high bar for operational standards”. From his perspective, SMT’s transshipment project completely re-invents the idea of “offshore work”, because it proves that bulk carriers can compete successfully with more specialized vessels to provide high value marine logistics solutions. In doing so, he sees the that he and his crew perform each day as a vital service to the shipping market overall, because it sets the standards of quality, safety, and efficiency that will shape this sector of the maritime transport industry for years to come.