Alessandro Ciocchi: Offshore Support Journal Conference

This year’s Offshore Support Journal conference brought together 500 attendees from across the offshore sector, in London, to discuss how offshore support vessel owners can become cost effective in a challenging and evolving market while maintaining safe and efficient operations.

Managing offshore support vessels with diverse crewing arrangements comes with a unique set of challenges when thinking about employment laws and ensuring tax compliance. V.Ships Offshore Director, Alessandro Ciocchi discussed these complexities and how V.Ships’ dedicated global crewing company supports owners in managing the legal complexities surrounding mariners. Alessandro outlined the issues surrounding employment, new areas of operation within the offshore sector and global maritime solutions whilst drawing on V.Group’s expertise gained from managing over 600 vessels throughout the world.

Alessandro explained:

“Historically, there has been little support for crew when it comes to employment tax and social security liabilities being paid on behalf of seafarers due to the complexities encountered of having multinational crews operating on a highly globalized platform. Questions would always arise about who the ultimate employers would be, where would payroll be registered and under which jurisdiction it would come as a result of different crew nationalities, flag of the vessel and trading area. However, times are changing and governments around the world are seeking to streamline complexities surrounding crew employment, starting with the oil and gas industry. The complexities are growing with crew nationality, vessel flag and trading areas all forming significant factors when establishing the correct jurisdiction.”

Alessandro highlighted the work of V.Group in managing this issue. As managers of over 44,000 seafarers, the employment solutions help owners support, manage and organise the employment of crew, payment of wages as well as report and remit tax and social security liabilities to the relevant revenue authorities.

“At V.Group, our guiding mantra is to ensure consistent high quality services for customers. A shining example of this is seen in the management of seafarers benefiting both owners and crew. As well as managing the legal complexities, we invest in training with centres of excellence around the globe so that the offshore industry can select the most experienced and highly-qualified seafarers. Being able to source the most experienced seafarers from around the world, we are able to provide consistency and regional knowledge to benefit both the seafarers and our customers.”

The event concluded with a debate between Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) sector trade associations and owners’ which discussed the contribution of Trade Associations to the OSV sector in developing industry standards and guidance, encouraging professionalism and the future of decarbonisation.