The new VAT rules issued by Beijing applicable to ocean transport services is in danger of turning into an exercise of Chinese whispers as confusion reigns among shipping lines.

Tax authorities have said they will start to impose six percent VAT on all charges payable in China. In order to avoid the payment of VAT, canny shippers will switch to payments outside of China at the destination or point of origin.

However, the current situation appears to be confused. So says the HK Shippers' Council which wondered why, as international shipping is not liable for VAT, any carrier can impose a six percent VAT levy on customers. Maersk Line has decided to wait until mid-August before levying the six percent VAT on mainland charges to see how the situation unfolds.

The imposition of VAT on shipping comes as the tax reform is extended countrywide and sees a shift from turnover tax (Business Tax - BT) to a value-added tax across many industries and service types, including transportation services and logistics-related services. One root of the confusion is that during the pilot of the VAT extension, freight forwarders were able to invoice international transportation and freight forwarding services as "VAT Inclusive" - without actually billing the VAT to client shippers. This is now outlawed and the tax will be collected.

This week's Friday Flyer is sponsored by Crowley Solutions, a project management organization that offers turn-key solutions for clients with marine infrastructure, offshore construction and marine cargo and logistics projects. Crowley provides project management, marine engineering, heavy lift barge transportation, ocean towing, marine project logistics, DP2 tugs to 150MT and barges to 400' x 130'.

In the corporate world

Cargolux Airlines International and the two unions representing the workforce at the Luxembourg headquartered carrier - OGBL and LCGB - have buried the hatchet and settled an arrangement over a collective work agreement (CWA).

Agility has issued its financial results for second quarter of 2013, showing revenues for Q2 2013 rose by 2 percent year-on-year over Q2 2012 to USD1.246 billion; net profit during the trading period increased by 50 percent to USD40.41 million.

Southern Africa Europe Container Service consortium (SAECS), has become the first ocean carrier to sign up to use facilities at the UK's newest deep sea container port, London Gateway.

Delmas has set up a specialist Projects Desk focusing on providing extra-large, out-of-gauge, breakbulk and project cargo services.

The Port of Baltimore's public marine terminals handled a record 9.55 million tonnes of general cargo during FY2013 - measured July 2012 to June 2013 - up 2.4 percent over FY 2012.

Umut Hasan Demirkol has established a new project forwarding company - DPL Logistics - headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey.
R&B Global Projects, formed earlier this year by Dave Roosen and Ilse Blockx, is now fully operational from its headquarters in the Opatija Riviera, Croatia.

Capacity developments
Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) shipyard says the 210 m long con-ro ferry Oceanex Connaigra being built for Canada's Oceanex is on schedule for an October 2013 delivery.

Ethiopian Shipping Lines has taken delivery of a new 166.5 m 28,000 dwt multipurpose vessel, Jigjiga, from its Chinese shipyard, the fifth delivery of seven in its class to the line.

Manufacturers Scheuerle and Nicolas - both part of the TII Group - have developed the Superflex semi-lowbed trailer system.

NNR Global Logistics USA Inc. has launched its new Out-of-Gauge Value Added Service.

People and places
Houston, USA headquartered international forwarder UTC Overseas has promoted Matthias Loll to vice president project development North America.

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics UK has named John Boyd its general air freight manager and promoted Adrian Jennings has promoted to director of ocean freight.??Celso H V Pavao is now a representative of Rickmers-Linie in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Paul Birnbaum has joined Ports America as vp sales and marketing responsible for driving corporate revenues and growth, price structuring and yield management processes.

Duk Soo Kang is no longer ceo of STX Pan Ocean Co.

Braemar Adjusting has added a trio of new faces to its London based adjusting teams: Alan Tucker has rejoined Braemar having previously worked for the company from 2000 to 2004; Patricia Castro brings more than eight years of experience in the energy industry to her role; and, Richard Collins who has joined after graduating from Loughborough University with a MEng (Hons) in Aeronautical Engineering.

Gebrüder Weiss has opened a branch in Györ, Hungary, near to the Austrian border, to support its position in Western Hungary.

Wilhelmsen Ships Services (WSS) has established its first office in Myanmar.

All about Evie
Evie is a sporty type and was excited to learn that Aurora Global Logistics of Queensland is sponsoring Andrew Abrahams in the Adventure 4 a Cure -Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge Solo Row 2013.

Transport providers are often accused of drumming up the oddest excuses for delays but Evie had no beef with Lion Air in Indonesia when it announced one of its Boeing 737-900s had crashed into a cow and skidded off the runway as it came into land at an airport in Gorontalo, on Sulawesi island.

David Cheslin - R.I.P.
It is with great sadness that HLPFI marks the passing this week of one of maritime PR's leading talents - David Cheslin. For many years, David was a consummate PR professional and the public face for global players such as Rickmers-Linie and Evergreen. A proud native of North East England, he worked for many years in London, founding his own company Dunelm PR and becoming a stalwart of many media events in the maritime industry.

David was brought up in Hartlepool on the east coast of England.  It was from there that his love of ships and shipping grew as he cycled around the shipyards of Tyneside, Gateshead and Middlesbrough. He will be sorely missed by all those who had the good fortune to come into contact with him for business, or pleasure.

All staff at HLPFI send their heartfelt condolences to David's son, Aidan and his partner, Margaret.

A memorial service is being planned.