The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2018 was passed by the parliament of Singapore on 6 August 2018. The Bill exempts shipowners’ liens created under shipping contracts from the requirement of registration under section 131 of the Companies Act of Singapore. This amendment is in response to the recent Diablo Fortune case, and preserves existing industry practice regarding such liens, while ensuring that these liens retain their fundamental nature as a security.
* Kohe Hasan is a Partner in Reed Smith's Singapore office and a Director of Resource Law LLC. Li Seah Ang is an Associate of Resource Law LLC.
The primary focus of the Companies (Amendment) Bill 2018 (the “Bill”) is to provide that a shipowner’s lien over freight, sub-freights, sub-hires or for any amount due under any charter no longer needs to be registered pursuant to section 131 of the Companies Act (Cap. 50, 2006 Rev Ed) (the “Companies Act”). Under the proposed amendments, ‘shipowner’ will include a registered owner, a disponent owner or a bareboat charterer of a ship.