The strong tripartite partnership between the government, the maritime players and the associations is a unique strength of the Singapore maritime sector. As the representative voice for the maritime community, SMF is constantly working hand-in-hand with the maritime community, both in the public and private sector, to formulate new initiatives that would be beneficial to the maritime partners and propel Singapore as a leading international maritime centre in the long run.

In 2008, SMF commissioned the Centre of Maritime Studies of the National University of Singapore (CMS NUS) to embark on the research and drafting of a new ship sale form that would enhance the current ship sale and purchase practices and procedures in view of new regulatory and business developments. Through this partnership, SMF hopes to formulate a form that would minimise ambiguities through its clearly written clauses and reduce the number of changes that need to be made in a standard form.

After the initial drafting of the form, SMF and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) jointly organised Presentation for Consultation of Proposed New Ship Sale Form at M Hotel on 27 April 2010, in conjunction with Singapore Maritime Week 2010.

President of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), Mr S.S.Teo gave a welcome speech and highlighted the importance of the proposed shipping form in view of the increasing maritime activities in this region. The Guest-of-Honour of the event, Tan Sri Frank Tsao, Founder and Senior Chairman of IMC Group, echoed Mr Teo’s views and urged participants to offer constructive feedback and pledge their support to the proposed form.

The three-hour session was well-attended by over 120 maritime professionals, ranging from maritime lawyers, ship bankers to ship brokers and ship owners. Participants freely raised their suggestions and shared their expertise on how to improve the proposed form in the highly interactive dialogue session moderated by Mr David Chin, Executive Director of Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF).

A new focus group comprising 20 industry professionals was subsequently formed to explore ways to further fine-tune the form based on the constructive feedback received during the consultative dialogue session and further develop the form.

Simultaneously, SMF also worked closely with trade associations and international bodies such as SSA and the Asian Shipowners’ Forum (ASF) to expand the reach of the Singapore Ship Sale Form beyond Singapore to the shipping community in the region so as to better understand their requirements and to gather their feedback and suggestions on the proposed form.

In October 2010, consultation sessions, Singapore Ship Sale Form - Consultation sessions for Asian Shipowners were held in four Asian cities, namely Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Taipei to share the development of the SSF with the respective shipping communities. SMF also conducted a presentation on the SSF to the Federation of ASEAN Shipowners’ Associations (FASA) on 9 December 2010 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The AGM (Annual General Meeting) of FASA has endorsed the SSF and called on its members to use the SSF in the sale & purchase transactions.

The SSF was officially launched by Mr Michael Chia, Chairman of SMF in the evening of 6 January 2011 as part of the annual SMF’s New Year Cocktail Reception. Over 300 maritime leaders from the public and private sector were present. SMF partnered University of Southampton’s Institute of Maritime Law to produce an Information Note on the SSF and the document was circulated to the guests as part of the launch. SMF has received invitations to give presentations on the SSF to the shipping communities in other Asian cities. The briefings in Seoul and Mumbai will be held on 17 January and 19 January 2011 respectively.

On 28 January 2011, SMF and SSA will be co-organising an explanatory session on the SSF to the Singapore maritime community. Attendees of this session will include maritime professionals who are directly involved in ship sale and purchase, namely maritime lawyers, shipping agents, ship brokers, ship owners, ship managers, amongst other maritime partners. The session is expected to be highly interactive and aims to clarify questions regarding the use of the form and its features.

SMF will also be working with various key partners to provide insights of the SSF to the local and overseas maritime communities, one of which is through the upcoming mega-maritime conference, Sea Asia which will be held from 12 to 14 April 2011 at Marina Bay Sands.