Company Quick10K Filing
Euronav
20-F 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-04-29
20-F 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-04-30
20-F 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-04-17
20-F 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-04-14
20-F 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-04-05
20-F 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-04-30

EURN 20F Annual Report

Item 17 Item 18
Part I
Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Item 3. Key Information
Item 4. Information on The Company
Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees
Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions.
Item 8. Financial Information
Item 9. Offer and The Listing
Item 10. Additional Information
Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 12. Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities
Part II
Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies
Item 14. Material Modifications To The Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds
Item 15. Controls and Procedures
Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert
Item 16B. Code of Ethics
Item 16C. Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Item 16D. Exemptions From Listing Standards for Audit Committees
Item 16E. Purchases of Equity Securities By The Issuer and Affiliated Purchases
Item 16F. Change in Registrant's Certifying Accountant
Item 16G. Corporate Governance
Item 16H. Mine Safety Disclosure
Part III
Item 17. Financial Statements
Item 18. Financial Statements
Item 19. Exhibits
Note 1 - Significant Accounting Policies
Note 2 - Segment Reporting
Note 4 - Revenue and Other Operating Income
Note 5 - Expenses for Shipping Activities and Other Expenses From Operating Activities
Note 6 - Net Finance Expense
Note 7 - Income Tax Benefit (Expense)
Note 8 - Property, Plant and Equipment
Note 9 - Deferred Tax Assets and Liabilities
Note 10 - Non - Current Receivables
Note 11 - Bunker Inventory
Note 12 - Trade and Other Receivables - Current
Note 13 - Cash and Cash Equivalents
Note 14 - Equity
Note 15 - Earnings per Share
Note 16 - Interest - Bearing Loans and Borrowings
Note 17 - Employee Benefits
Note 18 - Trade and Other Payables
Note 19 - Financial Instruments - Fair Values and Risk Management
Note 20 - Leases
Note 21 - Provisions and Contingencies
Note 22 - Related Parties
Note 23 - Share - Based Payment Arrangements
Note 24 - Group Entities
Note 25 - Business Combinations
Note 26 - Equity - Accounted Investees
Note 27 - Major Exchange Rates
Note 28 - Subsequent Events
EX-1.1 a1-1exhibit2019.htm
EX-2.2 a2-2exhibit2019.htm
EX-4.4 a4-4exhibit2019.htm
EX-4.9 a4-9exhibit2019.htm
EX-4.35 a4-35exhibit2019.htm
EX-4.36 a4-36exhibit2019.htm
EX-4.37 a4-37exhibit2019.htm
EX-4.38 a4-38exhibit2019.htm
EX-4.39 a4-39exhibit2019.htm
EX-4.40 a4-40exhibit2019.htm
EX-4.41 a4-41exhibit2019.htm
EX-8.1 a8-1exhibit2019.htm
EX-12.1 a12-1exhibit2019.htm
EX-12.2 a12-2exhibit2019.htm
EX-13.1 a13-1exhibit2019.htm
EX-13.2 a13-2exhibit2019.htm

Euronav Earnings 2019-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

20-F 1 a20f2019.htm 20-F Document
                                    

                

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 20-F
(Mark One)
[ ]
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
OR
[X]
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
 
 
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
OR
[ ]
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
 
 
For the transition period from _________________ to _________________
OR
[ ]
SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
 
 
Date of event requiring this shell company report _________________

Commission file number 001-36810
EURONAV NV
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

(Translation of Registrant's name into English)
Belgium
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
De Gerlachekaai 20, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
(Address of principal executive offices)
Hugo De Stoop, Tel: +32-3-247-4411, management@euronav.com,
 De Gerlachekaai 20, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile, and address of Company Contact Person)


                                    

                

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to section 12(b) of the Act.

Title of each class
 Trading symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Ordinary Shares, no par value,
 CUSIP B38564108
 EURN
New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to section 12(g) of the Act.

NONE
(Title of class)

* Not for trading, but only in connection with the registration of American Depositary Shares, pursuant to the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.

NONE
(Title of class)

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer's classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.

As of December 31, 2019, the issuer had 220,024,713 ordinary shares, no par value, outstanding.

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes
X
 
No
 

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Yes
 
 
No
X

Note – Checking the box above will not relieve any registrant required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 from their obligations under those Sections.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes
X
 
No
 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).

Yes
X
 
No
 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer , a non-accelerated filer or an emerging growth company..  See the definitions of "large accelerated filer" ,"accelerated filer", and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 
Large accelerated filer  x
 
Accelerated filer  ☐
 
Non-accelerated filer  ☐
 
Emerging growth company ☐


                                    

                

If an emerging growth company that prepares its financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards† provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.     ☐

† The term “new or revised financial accounting standard” refers to any update issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board to its Accounting Standards Codification after April 5, 2012.

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
 
 
U.S. GAAP
X
 
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board
 
 
Other

If "Other" has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow:

 
 
Item 17
 
Item 18

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Yes
 
 
No
X





TABLE OF CONTENTS


 
 
Page



                                    

                

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Matters discussed in this report may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage companies to provide prospective information about their business. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.
We desire to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and are including this cautionary statement in connection therewith. This report and any other written or oral statements made by us or on our behalf may include forward-looking statements, which reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance, and are not intended to give any assurance as to future results. When used in this document, the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “seek”, “plan,” “target,” “project,” “potential”, “continue”, “contemplate”, “possible”, “likely,” “may,” “might”, “will,” “would,” “could” and similar expressions, terms, or phrases may identify forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but rather are based on current expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections about the business and our future financial results and readers should not place undue reliance on them. The forward-looking statements in this report are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, management’s examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although we believe that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections.
In addition to important factors and matters discussed elsewhere in this report, and in the documents incorporated by reference herein, important factors that, in our view, could cause our actual results and developments to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include:


the strength of world economies and currencies;
fluctuations in interest rates and foreign exchange rates;
general market conditions, including the market for crude oil and for our vessels, fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values;
availability of financing and refinancing;
our business strategy and other plans and objectives for growth and future operations;
our ability to successfully employ our existing and newbuilding vessels;
planned capital expenditures and availability of capital resources to fund capital expenditures;
planned, pending or recent acquisitions, business strategy and expected capital spending or operating expenses, including drydocking, surveys, upgrades and insurance costs;
our ability to realize the expected benefits from acquisitions;
the anticipated benefits of the Merger with Gener8 (as defined herein) are not realized within the expected timeframe or at all;
the successful integration of the assets and activities acquired through the Merger with Gener8 (as defined herein);
potential liability from pending or future litigation;
general domestic and international political conditions, including trade wars and disagreements between oil producing countries;
potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents or political events;
the length and severity of the recent coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak, including its impacts across our
business on demand for our vessels, our global operations, counterparty risk as well as its disruption to the global economy;
vessel breakdowns and instances of off-hire;
competition within our industry;
the supply of and demand for vessels comparable to ours;
corruption, piracy, militant activities, political instability, terrorism and ethnic unrest in locations where we may operate;
delays and cost overruns in construction projects;
our level of indebtedness;
the impact of the discontinuance of LIBOR after 2021 on interest rates of our debt that reference LIBOR;
our ability to obtain financing and comply with the restrictive and other covenants in our financing arrangements;
our need for cash to meet our debt service obligations;
our levels of operating and maintenance costs, including bunker prices, drydocking and insurance costs;


                                    

                

reputational risks;
availability of skilled workers and the related labor costs;
compliance with governmental, tax, environmental and safety regulations and related costs;
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) expectations of investors, banks and other stakeholders and related costs related to compliance with ESG measures;
any non-compliance with the amendments by the International Maritime Organization, the United Nations agency for maritime safety and the prevention of pollution by vessels, or IMO, (the amendments hereinafter referred to as IMO 2020), to Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto, collectively referred to as MARPOL 73/78 and herein as MARPOL, which will reduce the maximum amount of sulfur that vessels may emit into the air and applies to us as of January 1, 2020;
any non-compliance with the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments or BWM which applies to us as of September 2019;
any non-compliance with the European Ship Recycling regulation for large commercial seagoing vessels flying the flag of an European Union or EU, Member State which forces shipowners to recycle their vessels only in safe and sound vessel recycling facilities included in the European List of ship recycling facilities which is applicable as of January 1, 2019;
any non-compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 or FCPA, or other applicable regulations relating to bribery;
general economic conditions and conditions in the oil and natural gas industry;
effects of new products and new technology in our industry;
the failure of counterparties to fully perform their contracts with us;
our dependence on key personnel;
adequacy of insurance coverage;
our ability to obtain indemnities from customers;
changes in laws, treaties or regulations; and
the volatility of the price of our ordinary shares; and
other factors that may affect future results of Euronav.

These factors and the other risk factors described in this annual report and other reports that we furnish or file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or the SEC are not necessarily all of the important factors that could cause actual results or developments to differ materially from those expressed in any of our forward-looking statements. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could harm our results. Consequently, there can be no assurance that actual results or developments anticipated by us will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, us. These forward looking statements are made only as of the date of this annual report. These forward looking statements are not guarantees of our future performance, and actual results and developments may vary materially from those projected in the forward looking statements. Given these uncertainties, prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation, and specifically decline any obligation, except as required by law, to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.



                                    

                

PART I
ITEM 1.    IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS
Not applicable.
ITEM 2.    OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
Not applicable.
ITEM 3.    KEY INFORMATION
Throughout this report, all references to "Euronav", the "Company", "we", "our", and "us" refer to Euronav NV and its subsidiaries and all references to “Euronav NV” refer to Euronav NV and not to its subsidiaries. Unless otherwise indicated, all references to "U.S. dollars", "USD", "dollars", "US$" and "$" in this annual report are to the lawful currency of the United States of America and references to "Euro", "EUR", and "€" are to the lawful currency of Belgium.
We refer to our "U.S. Shares" as those shares of Euronav with no par value that are reflected in the U.S. component of our share register, or the U.S. Register, that is maintained by Computershare Trust Company N.A, or Computershare, our U.S. transfer agent and registrar, and are formatted for trading on the New York Stock Exchange, or the NYSE. The U.S. Shares are identified by CUSIP B38564 108.  We refer to our "Belgian Shares" as those shares of Euronav with no par value that are reflected in the Belgian component of our share register, or the Belgian Register, that is maintained by De Interprofessionele Effectendeposito- en Girokas (CIK) NV (acting under the commercial name Euroclear Belgium), or Euroclear Belgium, our agent, and are formatted for trading on Euronext Brussels. The Belgian Shares are identified by ISIN BE0003816338.  Our U.S. Shares and our Belgian Shares taken together are collectively referred to as our "ordinary shares." For further discussion of the maintenance of our share register, please see "Item 10. Additional Information —B. Memorandum and Coordinated Articles of Association—Share Register."

A.           Selected Financial Data 
The following tables set forth, in each case for the periods and as of the dates indicated, our selected consolidated financial data and other operating data as of and for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. The selected data is derived from our audited consolidated financial statements, except where noted, which have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards, or IFRS, as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board, or IASB.  The selected historical financial information presented in the tables below should be read in conjunction with and is qualified in its entirety by reference to our audited consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes. The audited consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes as of December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018 and for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018 and 2017 are included in this annual report.

1

                                    

                

 
 
Year Ended December 31,
Consolidated Statement of Profit or Loss Data
 
2019
 
2018*
 
2017*
 
2016*
 
2015*
(USD in thousands, except per share data)
 
Revenue  
 
932,377

 
600,024

 
513,368

 
684,265

 
846,507

Gains on disposal of vessels/other tangible assets  
 
14,879

 
19,138

 
36,538

 
50,397

 
13,302

Other operating income  
 
10,094

 
4,775

 
4,902

 
6,996

 
7,426

Voyage expenses and commissions  
 
(144,681
)
 
(141,416
)
 
(62,035
)
 
(59,560
)
 
(71,237
)
Vessel operating expenses
 
(211,795
)
 
(185,792
)
 
(150,427
)
 
(160,199
)
 
(153,718
)
Charter hire expenses
 
(604
)
 
(31,114
)
 
(31,173
)
 
(17,713
)
 
(25,849
)
Losses on disposal of vessels  
 
(75
)
 
(273
)
 
(21,027
)
 
(2
)
 
(8,002
)
Impairment on non-current assets held for sale  
 

 
(2,995
)
 

 

 

Loss on disposal of investments in equity accounted investees
 

 

 

 
(24,150
)
 

Depreciation tangible assets  
 
(337,646
)
 
(270,582
)
 
(229,777
)
 
(227,664
)
 
(210,156
)
Depreciation intangible assets  
 
(56
)
 
(111
)
 
(95
)
 
(99
)
 
(50
)
General and administrative expenses  
 
(66,890
)
 
(66,232
)
 
(46,868
)
 
(44,051
)
 
(46,251
)
Result from operating activities  
 
195,603

 
(74,578
)
 
13,406

 
208,220

 
351,972

Finance income  
 
20,572

 
15,023

 
7,266

 
6,855

 
3,312

Finance expenses  
 
(119,803
)
 
(89,412
)
 
(50,729
)
 
(51,695
)
 
(50,942
)
Net finance expense  
 
(99,231
)
 
(74,389
)
 
(43,463
)
 
(44,840
)
 
(47,630
)
Gain on bargain purchase
 

 
23,059

 

 

 

Share of profit (loss) of equity accounted investees (net of income tax)  
 
16,460

 
16,076

 
30,082

 
40,495

 
51,592

Profit (loss) before income tax  
 
112,832

 
(109,832
)
 
25

 
203,875

 
355,934

Income tax benefit/(expense)  
 
(602
)
 
(238
)
 
1,358

 
174

 
(5,633
)
Profit (loss) for the period  
 
112,230

 
(110,070
)
 
1,383

 
204,049

 
350,301

Attributable to:
 


 


 


 


 


Owners of the Company  
 
112,230

 
(110,070
)
 
1,383

 
204,049

 
350,301

Basic earnings per share  
 
0.52

 
(0.57
)
 
0.01

 
1.29

 
2.25

Diluted earnings per share  
 
0.52

 
(0.57
)
 
0.01

 
1.29

 
2.22

Dividends per share declared
 
0.35

 
0.12

 
0.12

 
0.77

 
1.69

*  We have initially applied IFRS 16 at January 1, 2019, using the modified retrospective approach. Under this approach, comparative information is not restated. We initially applied IFRS 15 and IFRS 9 at January 1, 2018. Under the transition methods chosen, comparative information is not restated.



2

                                    

                

Consolidated Statement of Financial Position Data (at Period End)
 
Year Ended December 31,
(USD in thousands, except for per share and fleet data)
 
2019
 
2018 *
 
2017 *
 
2016 *
 
2015 *
Cash and cash equivalents  
 
296,954

 
173,133

 
143,648

 
206,689

 
131,663

Vessels  
 
3,177,262

 
3,520,067

 
2,271,500

 
2,383,163

 
2,288,036

Vessels under construction  
 

 

 
63,668

 
86,136

 
93,890

Total assets
 
4,164,843

 
4,127,351

 
2,810,973

 
3,046,911

 
3,040,746

Current and non-current bank loans
 
1,223,451

 
1,560,002

 
701,091

 
1,085,562

 
1,052,448

Share capital
 
239,148

 
239,148

 
173,046

 
173,046

 
173,046

Equity attributable to Owners of the Company  
 
2,311,855

 
2,260,523

 
1,846,361

 
1,887,956

 
1,905,749

Cash flow data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash inflow/(outflow)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating activities  
 
271,993

 
841

 
211,298

 
438,202

 
450,532

Investing activities  
 
43,750

 
190,042

 
(40,243
)
 
(100,615
)
 
(205,873
)
Financing activities  
 
(191,187
)
 
(160,165
)
 
(234,976
)
 
(261,160
)
 
(365,315
)
Fleet Data (Unaudited)
 


 


 


 


 


VLCCs
 


 


 


 


 


Average number of vessels(1)  
 
44

 
38

 
31

 
30

 
27

Calendar days(2)  
 
16,206

 
13,802

 
11,330

 
10,770

 
9,860

Vessel operating days(3)  
 
15,575

 
13,175

 
10,859

 
10,553

 
9,645

Available days(4)  
 
16,206

 
13,722

 
11,130

 
10,691

 
9,780

Fleet utilization(5)  
 
96.1
%
 
96.0
%
 
97.6
%
 
98.7
%
 
98.6
%
Daily TCE charter rates(6)  
 
$
35,678

 
$
24,073

 
$
29,827

 
$
42,243

 
$
52,802

Suezmaxes
 


 


 


 


 


Average number of vessels(1)  
 
25

 
23

 
19

 
19

 
19

Calendar days(2)  
 
9,125

 
8,232

 
6,868

 
7,002

 
6,885

Vessel operating days(3)  
 
8,983

 
8,108

 
6,820

 
6,751

 
6,780

Available days(4)  
 
9,060

 
8,173

 
6,826

 
6,882

 
6,806

Fleet utilization(5)  
 
99.2
%
 
99.2
%
 
99.9
%
 
98.1
%
 
99.6
%
Daily TCE charter rates(6)  
 
$
26,542

 
$
17,557

 
$
19,144

 
$
27,114

 
$
39,689

LR1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Average number of vessels(1)
 

 
1

 

 

 

Calendar days(2)
 
124

 
361

 

 

 

Vessel operating days(3)
 
124

 
360

 

 

 

Available days(4)
 
124

 
361

 

 

 

Fleet utilization(5)
 
100.0
%
 
99.9
%
 
%
 
%
 
%
Daily TCE charter rates(6)
 
$
12,471

 
$
6,403

 
$

 
$

 
$

Other data
 


 


 


 


 


EBITDA (unaudited)(7)  
 
$
540,668

 
$
231,513

 
$
273,452

 
$
475,005

 
$
612,659

Adjusted EBITDA (unaudited)(8)  
 
$
565,298

 
$
254,816

 
$
294,467

 
$
503,453

 
$
648,705

Time charter equivalents revenues (unaudited)
 
$
795,656

 
$
459,516

 
$
454,455

 
$
628,842

 
$
778,368

Basic weighted average shares outstanding  
 
216,029,171

 
191,994,398

 
158,166,534

 
158,262,268

 
155,872,171

Diluted weighted average shares outstanding  
 
216,029,171


191,994,398


158,297,057


158,429,057


157,529,562

* We have initially applied IFRS 16 at January 1, 2019, using the modified retrospective approach. Under this approach, comparative information is not restated.


3

                                    

                

(1)
Average number of vessels is the number of vessels that constituted our fleet for the relevant period, as measured by the sum of the number of calendar days each vessel was part of our fleet during the period divided by the number of calendar days in that period.
(2)
Calendar days are the total days the vessels were in our possession for the relevant period, including off-hire days (scheduled or unscheduled).
(3)
Vessel operating days are the total days our vessels were in our possession for the relevant period net of all off-hire days (scheduled and unscheduled).
(4)
Available days are the total days our vessels were in our possession for the relevant period net of scheduled off-hire days associated with major repairs, drydockings or special or intermediate surveys.
(5)
Fleet utilization is the percentage of time that our vessels were available for revenue generating voyage days and is determined by dividing Vessel operating days by available days for the relevant period. The shipping industry uses fleet utilization to measure a company's efficiency in finding suitable employment for its vessels and minimizing the number of days that its vessels are off-hire for reasons other than scheduled repairs or repairs under guarantee, vessel upgrades, special surveys or intermediate or vessel positioning.
(6)
Time Charter Equivalent, or TCE, (a non-IFRS measure) is a measure of the average daily revenue performance of a vessel on a per voyage basis. Our method of calculating the TCE rate is consistent with industry standards and is determined by dividing total voyage revenues less voyage expenses by vessel operating days for the relevant time period. Voyage expenses primarily consist of port, canal and fuel costs that are unique to a particular voyage, which would otherwise be paid by the charterer under a time charter contract. The TCE rate is not a measure of financial performance under IFRS, and should not be considered as an alternative to voyage revenues, the most directly comparable IFRS measure, or any other measure of financial performance presented in accordance with IFRS. However, TCE rate is standard shipping industry performance measure used primarily to compare period-to-period changes in a company's performance and assists our management in making decisions regarding the deployment and use of our vessels and in evaluating their financial performance. Our calculation of TCE rates may not be comparable to that reported by other companies and going forward, we will closely monitor the relevance of TCE within the industry. The new IMO 2020 legislation, which came into force as of January 1, 2020, allows the use of costly scrubbers to comply with the new legislation, allowing vessels retrofitted with such scrubbers to burn cheaper high-sulfur fuel compared to burning the more expensive low-sulfur fuel. This will reduce bunker cost and increase the net voyage revenues and TCE, but thereby foregoing the additional capital expenditure and depreciation of the new equipment.
(7)
EBITDA (a non-IFRS measure) represents operating earnings before interest expense, income taxes and depreciation expense attributable to us. EBITDA is presented to provide investors with meaningful additional information that management uses to monitor ongoing operating results and evaluate trends over comparative periods. We believe that EBITDA is useful to investors as the shipping industry is capital intensive which often brings significant cost of financing. EBITDA should not be considered a substitute for profit/(loss) attributable to us or cash flow from operating activities prepared in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB or as a measure of profitability or liquidity. The definition of EBITDA used here may not be comparable to that used by other companies. Please see the reconciliation to Profit (loss) for the period, the nearest IFRS measure.
(8)
Adjusted EBITDA (a non-IFRS measure) represents operating earnings including the share of EBITDA of equity accounted investees before interest expense, income taxes and depreciation expense attributable to us. Adjusted EBITDA provides investors with meaningful additional information that management uses to monitor ongoing operating results and evaluate trends over comparative periods as the shipping industry is a capital intensive industry which often brings significant cost of financing. We also believe that Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors and equity analysts as a measure of our operating performance including our equity accounted investees and we use Adjusted EBITDA in our internal evaluation of operating effectiveness and decisions regarding the allocation of resources. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered a substitute for profit/(loss) attributable to us or cash flow from operating activities prepared in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB or any other measure of operating performance. The definition of Adjusted EBITDA used here may not be comparable to that used by other companies. Please see the reconciliation to Profit (loss) for the period, the nearest IFRS measure.

4

                                    

                

The following table reflects the calculation of our TCE rates for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015:
(Unaudited)
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
VLCC
 

 

 

 

 

Net VLCC revenues for all employment types
 
$
555,679,657

 
$
317,168,033

 
$
323,892,625

 
$
445,792,653

 
$
509,277,925

Total VLCC operating days
 
15,575

 
13,175

 
10,859

 
10,553

 
9,645

Daily VLCC TCE Rate
 
$
35,678

 
$
24,073

 
$
29,827

 
$
42,243

 
$
52,802

SUEZMAX
 


 


 


 


 


Net Suezmax revenues for all employment types
 
$
238,424,182

 
$
142,348,452

 
$
130,562,503

 
$
183,049,801

 
$
269,090,422

Total Suezmax operating days
 
8,983

 
8,108

 
6,820

 
6,751

 
6,780

Daily Suezmax rate
 
$
26,542

 
$
17,557

 
$
19,144

 
$
27,114

 
$
39,689

LR1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net LR1 revenues for all employment types
 
$
1,552,227

 
$
2,307,222

 
$

 
$

 
$

Total LR1 operating days
 
124

 
360

 

 

 

Daily LR1 rate
 
$
12,471

 
$
6,403

 
$

 
$

 
$

Tanker Fleet
 


 


 


 


 


Net Tanker fleet revenues for all employment type
 
$
795,656,066

 
$
461,823,707

 
$
454,455,128

 
$
628,842,454

 
$
778,368,347

Total Fleet operating days
 
24,682

 
21,643

 
17,679

 
17,304

 
16,425

Daily Fleetwide TCE
 
$
32,236

 
$
21,338

 
$
25,706

 
$
36,341

 
$
47,389

The following table reflects the calculation of our net revenues for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015:
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
(USD in thousands)
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Voyage charter revenues  
 
$
842,068

 
$
524,786

 
$
394,663

 
$
544,038

 
$
720,416

Time charter revenues  
 
$
90,309

 
$
75,238

 
$
118,705

 
$
140,227

 
$
126,091

 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 


Subtotal revenue  
 
$
932,377

 
$
600,024

 
$
513,368

 
$
684,265

 
$
846,507

Other income  
 
$
10,094

 
$
4,775

 
$
4,902

 
$
6,996

 
$
7,426

 
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 


Total operating revenues  
 
$
942,471

 
$
604,799

 
$
518,270

 
$
691,261

 
$
853,933

Less:
 


 


 


 


 


Other Income*
 
$
(2,134
)
 
$
(1,559
)
 
$
(1,780
)
 
$
(2,858
)
 
$
(4,328
)
Tanker Fleet
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 


Net Tanker Fleet Revenues reconciliation
 


 


 


 


 


Share of total Revenues attributable to ships owned by Euronav*  
 
$
940,337

 
$
603,240

 
$
516,490

 
$
688,403

 
$
849,605

less voyage expenses and commissions  
 
$
(144,681
)
 
$
(141,416
)
 
$
(62,035
)
 
$
(59,560
)
 
$
(71,237
)
 
 
 

 
 

 


 


 


Net Total tanker fleet  
 
$
795,656

 
$
461,824

 
$
454,455

 
$
628,843

 
$
778,368

of which Net VLCC Revenues for all employment types  
 
$
555,680

 
$
317,168

 
$
323,893

 
$
445,793

 
$
509,278

of which Net Suezmax Revenues for all employment types  
 
$
238,424

 
$
142,349

 
$
130,562

 
$
183,050

 
$
269,090

of which Net LR1 Revenues for all employment types
 
$
1,552

 
$
2,307

 
$

 
$

 
$

*           Some revenues are excluded because these do not relate directly to vessels, such as rental income and insurance rebates.

5

                                    

                

 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
EBITDA Reconciliation (unaudited)
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Profit (loss) for the period
 
$
112,230

 
$
(110,070
)
 
$
1,383

 
$
204,049

 
$
350,301

plus Net interest expenses
 
$
90,134

 
$
70,652

 
$
43,555

 
$
43,367

 
$
46,519

plus Depreciation of tangible and intangible assets
 
$
337,702

 
$
270,693

 
$
229,872

 
$
227,763

 
$
210,206

plus Income tax expense/(benefit)
 
$
602

 
$
238

 
$
(1,358
)
 
$
(174
)
 
$
5,633

 
 
 

 


 


 


 


EBITDA (unaudited)
 
$
540,668

 
$
231,513

 
$
273,452

 
$
475,005

 
$
612,659

 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
2019
 
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Adjusted EBITDA Reconciliation (unaudited)
 

 

 

 

 

Profit (loss) for the period
 
$
112,230

 
$
(110,070
)
 
$
1,383

 
$
204,049

 
$
350,301

plus Net interest expenses
 
$
90,134

 
$
70,652

 
$
43,555

 
$
43,367

 
$
46,519

plus Net interest expenses JV
 
$
4,588

 
$
3,634

 
$
1,456

 
$
4,459

 
$
6,914

plus Depreciation of tangible and intangible assets
 
$
337,702

 
$
270,693

 
$
229,872

 
$
227,763

 
$
210,206

plus Depreciation of tangible and intangible assets JV
 
$
18,461

 
$
18,070

 
$
18,071

 
$
23,774

 
$
29,314

plus Income tax expense/(benefit)
 
$
602

 
$
238

 
$
(1,358
)
 
$
(174
)
 
$
5,633

plus Income tax expense/(benefit) JV
 
$
1,581

 
$
1,599

 
$
1,488

 
$
215

 
(182
)
 
 


 


 


 


 


Adjusted EBITDA (unaudited)
 
$
565,298

 
$
254,816

 
$
294,467

 
$
503,453

 
$
648,705

B.          Capitalization and Indebtedness
Not applicable.
C.          Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
Not applicable.

D.          Risk Factors
The following risks relate principally to us and our business and the industry in which we operate, the securities market and ownership of our securities, including our ordinary shares. The occurrence of any of the risk factors described below could significantly and negatively affect our business, financial condition or operating results, which may reduce our ability to pay dividends, and lower the trading price of our ordinary shares.



6

                                    

                

Risk Factors Relating to Our Industry
The tanker industry is cyclical and volatile, which may lead to reductions and volatility in charter rates , vessel values, earnings and available cash flow.
The tanker industry is both cyclical and volatile in terms of charter rates and profitability. For example, during the eight-year period from 2011 through 2018, time charter equivalent, or TCE, spot rates for a VLCC trading between the Middle East Gulf and the Far East (measure based on discharge in Japan until end-2017, then China from 2018 onwards) ranged from rates below operating expenses to a high of $114,148 per day. This volatility continued in 2019 , with average daily rates on this route fluctuating between $6,167 (which is below our operating expenses) to $300,391 per day (although no actual fixtures were concluded at the extreme TCE highs ; the highest TCE recorded in the Tankers International Pool, in which we employ 39 of our 42 VLCCs, was around $204,000 per day). Periodic adjustments to the supply of and demand for oil tankers cause the industry to be cyclical in nature. We expect continued volatility in market rates for our vessels in the foreseeable future with a consequent effect on our short- and medium-term liquidity. A worsening of the current global economic conditions may adversely affect our ability to charter or recharter our vessels or to sell them on the expiration or termination of their charters, or any renewal or replacement charters that we enter into may not be sufficient to allow us to operate our vessels profitably. Fluctuations in charter rates and vessel values result from changes in the supply and demand for tanker capacity caused by changes in the supply and demand for oil and oil products. The carrying values of our vessels or our floating, storage and offloading (FSO), vessels may not represent their fair market values or the amount that could be obtained by selling the vessels at any point in time since the market prices of second-hand vessels tend to fluctuate with changes in charter rates and the cost of newbuildings.
In general, the factors affecting the supply and demand for tankers are outside of our control, and the nature, timing and degree of changes in industry conditions are unpredictable.
The factors that influence demand for tanker capacity include:
supply and demand for energy resources and oil and petroleum products;
competition from, and supply and demand for, alternative sources of energy;
regional availability of refining capacity and inventories;
global and regional economic and political conditions and developments, including armed conflicts, terrorist activities, trade wars, public health threats, tariffs embargoes and strikes;
currency exchange rates;
changing trade patterns and the distance over which the oil and the oil products are to be moved by sea;
changes in seaborne and other transportation patterns, including shifts in transportation demand between crude oil and refined oil products and the distance they are transported by sea;
changes in governmental or maritime self-regulatory organizations’ rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities;
environmental and other legal and regulatory developments;
weather and natural disasters;
developments in international trade, including those relating to the imposition of tariffs; and
international sanctions, embargoes, import and export restrictions, nationalizations and wars.

The factors that influence the supply of tanker capacity include:
the number of newbuilding orders and deliveries;
vessel casualties;
the recycling of older vessels, depending, amongst other things, on recycling rates and international recycling regulations;
conversion of tankers to other uses;
the number of vessels that are out of service, laid up or used as storage units;
environmental concerns and regulations;
port or canal congestion; and
sanctions (including but not limited to those imposed by the United States on Iran and Venezuela).


7

                                    

                

Declines in oil and natural gas prices or decreases in demand for oil and natural gas for an extended period of time, or market expectations of potential decreases in these prices and demand, could negatively affect our future growth in the tanker and offshore sector. Sustained periods of low oil and natural gas prices typically result in reduced exploration and extraction because oil and natural gas companies’ capital expenditure budgets are subject to cash flow from such activities and are therefore sensitive to changes in energy prices. These changes in commodity prices can have a material effect on demand for our services, and periods of low demand can cause excess vessel supply and intensify the competition in the industry, which often results in vessels, particularly older and less technologically-advanced vessels, being idle for long periods of time. We cannot predict the future level of demand for our services or future conditions of the oil and natural gas industry. Any decrease in exploration, development or production expenditures by oil and natural gas companies or decrease in the demand for oil and natural gas could reduce our revenues and materially harm our business, results of operations and cash available for distribution.
Any decrease in shipments of crude oil may adversely affect our financial performance.
The demand for our vessels and services in transporting oil derives primarily from demand for Arabian Gulf, West African, North Sea, Caribbean Gulf and Gulf of Mexico crude oil, which, in turn, primarily depends on the economies of the world’s industrial countries and competition from alternative energy sources. A wide range of economic, environmental, social and other factors can significantly affect the strength of the world’s industrial economies and their demand for crude oil from the mentioned geographical areas. One such factor is the price of worldwide crude oil. The world’s oil markets have experienced high levels of volatility in the last 25 years. In 2019, crude oil reached a high of $ 65.66 per barrel (WTI)/$74.40 per barrel (Brent) and a low of $ 45.15 per barrel (WTI)/$ 51.93 per barrel (Brent). As of April 14, 2020, crude oil was $20.11 per barrel (WTI)/$ 29.60 per barrel (Brent).
Any decrease in shipments of crude oil from the above-mentioned geographical areas could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance. Among the factors which could lead to such a decrease are:
increased crude oil production from other areas, including the exploitation of shale reserves in the United States and the growth in its domestic oil production and exportation;
increased refining capacity in the Arabian Gulf or West Africa;
increased use of existing and future crude oil pipelines;
a decision by Arabian Gulf, Russia, US, West African or other oil-producing nations to further decrease or limit their crude oil production;
armed conflict in the Arabian Gulf and West Africa and political or other factors;
trade wars, tariffs, trade embargoes or other economic sanctions by the United States and other countries (including the economic sanctions against Russia as a result of continued political tension due to the situation in Ukraine and the economic sanctions against Iran and Venezuela); and
the development and the relative costs of nuclear power, natural gas, coal and other alternative sources of energy.

In addition, conditions affecting the world economy and the economics of the United States , China and India may result in reduced consumption of oil products and a decreased demand for our vessels and lower charter rates, which could have a material adverse effect on our earnings and our ability to pay dividends.
Crude tanker spot rates were firm during January 2020 but came under pressure in February due to the impact of the global COVID-19 outbreak and the return of certain previously sanctioned vessels to the global tanker fleet. Rates firmed again during March 2020 and were back at the highs seen in the fourth quarter of 2019. A widening gap between global oil demand, which is being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak causing a drop in transportation fuel demand, and an increase in global oil supply, which is being elevated by the increase in oil production by certain OPEC and other energy producing nations, has led to a rapid decline in crude oil prices and a steep contango in crude oil futures. This dynamic has created increasing demand for floating storage, which is causing dozens of crude tankers to be deployed as floating storage for crude oil and other petroleum products, while refiners and governments are looking to take advantage of cheap oil prices by filling onshore oil inventories.  The global tanker fleet utilization has increased as a result of these changes and we expect tanker spot rates to remain firm in the near-term.

8

                                    

                

Looking longer-term, the outlook for global oil and tanker demand is highly uncertain due to the developing COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the global economy. According to the IEA, global oil demand is expected to decline in 2020 for the first time since the financial crisis in 2009. The extent of the decline is unknown and will depend on how long current restrictions over travel and economic activity in many countries across the globe remain in place. Governments are approving large stimulus packages to mitigate the effects of the sudden decline in economic activity caused by the pandemic; however, we cannot predict the extent to which these measures will be sufficient to restore or sustain the business and financial condition of companies in the shipping industry. The timing of a potential recovery in economic activity, and therefore oil demand, is also uncertain at this time. The large build-up of oil inventories, both onshore and at sea, may result in period of reduced oil shipments and a decreased demand for our vessels and lower charter rates, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and our ability to make dividend payments to our shareholders.
An over-supply of tanker capacity may lead to a reduction in charter rates, vessel values, and profitability.
The market supply of tankers is affected by a number of factors, such as supply and demand for energy resources, including oil and petroleum products, supply and demand for seaborne transportation of such energy resources, the current and expected purchase orders for newbuildings and the number of vessels being recycled. If the capacity of new tankers delivered exceeds the capacity of tankers being recycled or converted to non-trading tankers, tanker capacity will increase. If the supply of tanker capacity increases and if the demand for tanker capacity decreases or does not increase correspondingly, charter rates could materially decline. A reduction in charter rates and the value of our vessels may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and earnings and available cash and our ability to comply with the covenants in our loan agreements.
Our growth in the FSO sector depends on the level of activity in the offshore oil and natural gas industry, which is significantly affected by, among other things, volatile oil and natural gas prices, and may be materially and adversely affected by a decline in the offshore oil and natural gas industry.
The offshore production, storage and export industry is cyclical and volatile. Our growth strategy is partially based on expansion in the offshore FSO sector, which depends on the level of activity in oil and natural gas exploration, development and production in offshore areas worldwide. The availability of quality FSO prospects, exploration success, relative production costs, the stage of reservoir development and political and regulatory environments affect customers’ FSO programs. Oil and natural gas prices and market expectations of potential changes in these prices or decreases in the demand for oil and gas also significantly affect this level of activity and demand for offshore units as does the difference in cost between a floating vessel compared to a fixed installation connected through pipelines.
Our results of operations are subject to seasonal fluctuations, which may adversely affect our financial condition.
We operate our vessels in markets that have historically exhibited seasonal variations in demand and, as a result, charter rates. Peaks in tanker demand quite often precede seasonal oil consumption peaks, as refiners and suppliers anticipate consumer demand. Seasonal peaks in oil demand can broadly be classified into two main categories: (1) increased demand prior to Northern Hemisphere winters as heating oil consumption increases and (2) increased demand for gasoline prior to the summer driving season in the United States. Unpredictable weather patterns and variations in oil reserves disrupt tanker scheduling. This seasonality may result in quarter-to-quarter volatility in our operating results, as many of our vessels trade in the spot market. Seasonal variations in tanker demand will affect any spot market related rates that we may receive.
Acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels could adversely affect our business.
Acts of piracy have historically affected ocean-going vessels trading in regions of the world such as the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia and in particular the Gulf or Guinea region off Nigeria, which experienced increased incidents of piracy in 2019. Sea piracy incidents continue to occur. If these piracy attacks occur in regions in which our vessels are deployed being characterized by insurers as “enhanced risk” zones or “war risk” zones or “war and strikes” listed areas by the Joint War Committee, premiums payable for such coverage could increase significantly and such insurance coverage may be more difficult to obtain. In addition, crew and security equipment costs, as well as costs which may be incurred to the extent we employ onboard security armed guards or to the extent we hire in military patrol boats to escort the vessels, could increase in such circumstances. We may not be adequately insured to cover losses from these incidents, which could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, detention or hijacking as a result of an act of piracy against our vessels, or increases in cost associated with seeking to avoid such events (including increased bunker costs resulting from vessels being rerouted or traveling at increased speeds as recommended by BMP5), or unavailability of insurance for our vessels, could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, ability to pay dividends, cash flows and financial condition and may result in loss of revenues, increased costs and decreased cash flows to our customers, which could impair their ability to make payments to us under our charters.

9

                                    

                

Political instability, terrorist attacks, international hostilities and global public health threats can affect the seaborne transportation industry, which could adversely affect our business.
We conduct most of our operations outside of the United States, and our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends, if any, in the future may be adversely affected by changing economic, political and government conditions in the countries and regions where our vessels are employed or registered. Moreover, we operate in a sector of the economy that is likely to be adversely impacted by the effects of political conflicts.
Currently, the world economy faces a number of challenges, including the effects of volatile oil prices, trade tensions between the United States and China and between the United States and the European Union continuing turmoil and hostilities in the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula, North Africa, Venezuela, Iran and other geographic areas and countries, continuing economic weakness in the European Union, geopolitical events such as the withdrawal of the U.K. from the European Union ("Brexit"), continuing threat of terrorist attacks around the world, continuing instability and conflicts and other recent occurrences in the Middle East and in other geographic areas and countries such as those between the United States and North Korea or Iran, or between the Houthi and Arab counties in Yemen, or internally in Libya, and stabilizing growth in China, as well as rapidly growing public health concerns stemming from the recent COVID-19 outbreak. .
Terrorist attacks such as those in Paris on November 13, 2015, Manchester on May 22, 2017, as well as the frequent incidents of terrorism in the Middle East, and the continuing response of the United States and others to these attacks, as well as the threat of future terrorist attacks around the world, continues to cause uncertainty in the world's financial markets and international commerce and may affect our business, operating results and financial condition.
Continuing conflicts and recent developments in the Middle East, including increased tensions between the United States and Iran which in January 2020 escalated into a the United States airstrike in Baghdad that killed a high-ranking Iranian general, as well as the presence of the United States or other armed forces in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and various other regions, may lead to additional acts of terrorism and armed conflict around the world, which may contribute to further economic instability in the global financial markets and international commerce. Additionally, any escalations between the United States and Iran could result in retaliation from Iran that could potentially affect the shipping industry, through increased attacks on vessels in the Strait of Hormuz (which already experienced an increased number of attacks on and seizures of vessels in 2019). These uncertainties could also adversely affect our ability to obtain additional financing or insurance on terms acceptable to us or at all. Any of these occurrences could have a material adverse impact on our operating results, revenues and costs.
Additionally, in Europe, large sovereign debts and fiscal deficits, low growth prospects and high unemployment rates in a number of countries have contributed to the rise of Eurosceptic parties, which would like their countries to leave the Euro. The exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, or Brexit, further increases the risk of additional trade protectionism. Brexit, or similar events in other jurisdictions, could impact global markets, including foreign exchange and securities markets; any resulting changes in currency exchange rates, tariffs, treaties and other regulatory matters could in turn adversely impact our business and operations.
Also, China and the US have implemented certain increasingly protective trade measures with continuing trade tensions, including significant tariff increases, between these countries. These trade barriers to protect domestic industries against foreign imports, depress shipping demand. The recent trade deal (first phase trade agreement) between the United States and China which requires the Chinese to purchase over $50 billion of energy products from the US which, according to news sources, includes crude oil, somewhat mitigates the above. In March 2018, President Trump announced tariffs on imported steel and aluminum into the United States that could have a negative impact on international trade in general. In January 2019, the United States announced expanded sanctions against Venezuela, which may have an effect on its oil output and in turn affect global oil supply. Protectionist developments, or the perception they may occur, may have a material adverse effect on global economic conditions, and may significantly reduce global trade. Moreover, increasing trade protectionism may cause an increase in (a) the cost of goods exported from regions globally, (b) the length of time required to transport goods and (c) the risks associated with exporting goods. Such increases may significantly affect the quantity of goods to be shipped, shipping time schedules, voyage costs and other associated costs, which could have an adverse impact on our charterers’ business, operating results and financial condition and could thereby affect their ability to make timely charter hire payments to us and to renew and increase the number of their time charters with us. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and our ability to pay any cash distributions to our stockholders.

10

                                    

                

In addition, public health threats such as influenza and other highly communicable diseases or viruses, outbreaks of which have from time to time occurred in various parts of the world in which we operate, including China, Japan and South Korea, which may even become pandemics, such as the COVID-19 virus, could lead to a significant decrease of demand for the transportation of crude oil. Such events may also adversely impact our operations, the timing of completion of any outstanding or future newbuilding projects or repair works in drydock as well as the operations of our customers.
An economic slowdown or changes in the economic and political environment in the Asia Pacific region could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We anticipate a significant number of the port calls made by our vessels will continue to involve loading or discharging operations in ports in the Asia Pacific region. As a result, any negative changes in economic conditions in any Asia Pacific country, particularly in China, may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as our future prospects. Before the global economic financial crisis that began in 2008, China had one of the world's fastest growing economies in terms of gross domestic product, or GDP, which had a significant impact on shipping demand. The year-over-year growth rate of China's GDP was approximately 6.1% for the year ended December 31, 2019, as compared to approximately 6.6% for the year ended December 31, 2018, and continues to remain below pre-2008 levels. We cannot assure you that the Chinese economy will not experience a significant contraction in the future. Furthermore, there is a rising threat of a Chinese financial crisis resulting from massive personal and corporate indebtedness and “trade wars”. In late 2019, the International Monetary Fund warned that continuing trade tensions, including significant tariff increases, between the United States and China are expected to result in a 0.8% cumulative reduction of global GDP in 2020. Additionally, following the emergence of COVID-19, industrial activity in China came to a quick halt in early 2020 with the rest of the world following soon thereafter. The outbreak of COVID-19 is a very negative development for the global economy and has led to a worldwide economic contraction. We cannot assure you that the global economy will not continue to contract in the future or that global GDP will not be be affected beyond the IMF’s initial forecast.
Although state-owned enterprises still account for a substantial portion of the Chinese industrial output, in general, the Chinese government is reducing the level of direct control that it exercises over the economy through state plans and other measures. There is an increasing level of freedom and autonomy in areas such as allocation of resources, production, pricing and management and a gradual shift in emphasis to a "market economy" and enterprise reform. Limited price reforms were undertaken with the result that prices for certain commodities are principally determined by market forces. Many of the reforms are unprecedented or experimental and may be subject to revision, change or abolition based upon the outcome of such experiments. If the Chinese government does not continue to pursue a policy of economic reform, the level of imports to and exports from China could be adversely affected by changes to these economic reforms by the Chinese government, as well as by changes in political, economic and social conditions or other relevant policies of the Chinese government, such as changes in laws, regulations or export and import restrictions. Notwithstanding economic reform, the Chinese government may adopt policies that favor domestic oil tanker companies and may hinder our ability to compete with them effectively. For example, China imposes a tax for non-resident international transportation enterprises engaged in the provision of services of passengers or cargo, among other items, in and out of China using their own, chartered or leased vessels. The regulation may subject international transportation companies to Chinese enterprise income tax on profits generated from international transportation services passing through Chinese ports. This tax or similar regulations, such as the recently promoted environmental taxes on coal, by China may result in an increase in the cost of raw materials imported to China and the risks associated with importing raw materials to China, as well as a decrease in any raw materials shipped from our charterers to China. This could have an adverse impact on our charterers’ business, operating results and financial condition and could thereby affect their ability to make timely charter hire payments to us and to renew and increase the number of their time charters with us. Moreover, an economic slowdown in the economies of the European Union and other Asian countries may further adversely affect economic growth in China and elsewhere.
In addition, concerns regarding the possibility of sovereign debt defaults by European Union member countries, including Greece, have in the past disrupted financial markets throughout the world, and may lead to weaker consumer demand in the European Union, the United States, and other parts of the world. The possibility of sovereign debt defaults by European Union member countries, including Greece, and the possibility of market reforms to float the Chinese renminbi, either of which development could weaken the Euro against the Chinese renminbi, could adversely affect consumer demand in the European Union. Moreover, the revaluation of the renminbi may negatively impact the United States' demand for imported goods, many of which are shipped from China. Future weak economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders. Our business, financial condition, results of operations, ability to pay dividends as well as our future prospects, will likely be materially and adversely affected by another economic downturn in any of the aforementioned countries and regions.

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Outbreaks of epidemic and pandemic diseases and governmental responses thereto could adversely affect our business.
The recent outbreak of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus causing potentially deadly respiratory tract infections originating in China and subsequently spreading around the world, has negatively affected economic conditions, the supply chain, the labor market, the demand for shipping regionally as well as globally and may otherwise impact our operations and the operations of our customers and suppliers. As of March 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (“WHO”). Governments in affected countries are imposing travel bans, quarantines and other emergency public health measures. As of March 15, 2020, the United States has temporarily restricted travel by foreign nationals into the country from a number of areas, including China and Europe. In addition, on March 18, 2020, the U.S. and Canada agreed to restrict all nonessential travel across the border. Companies are also taking precautions, such as requiring employees to work remotely, imposing travel restrictions and temporarily closing businesses. These restrictions, and future prevention and mitigation measures, are likely to have an adverse impact on global economic conditions, which could materially and adversely affect our future operations. Uncertainties regarding the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak are likely to result in sustained market turmoil, which could also negatively impact our business, financial condition and cash flows. Governments are approving large stimulus packages to mitigate the effects of the sudden decline in economic activity caused by the pandemic; however, we cannot predict the extent to which these measures will be sufficient to restore or sustain the business and financial condition of companies in the shipping industry. These measures, though temporary in nature, may continue and increase as countries attempt to contain the outbreak. At this stage, it is difficult to determine the full impact of COVID-19 on our business. Effects of the current pandemic may include, among others: deterioration of economic conditions and activity and of demand for oil and other petroleum products; operational disruptions to us or our customers due to worker health risks and the effects of new regulations, directives or practices implemented in response to the pandemic (such as travel restrictions for individuals and vessels and quarantining and physical distancing); potential delays in (a) the loading and discharging of cargo on or from our vessels, (b) vessel inspections and related certifications by class societies, customers or government agencies and (c) maintenance, modifications or repairs to, or drydocking of, our existing vessels due to worker health or other business disruptions; reduced cash flow and financial condition, including potential liquidity constraints; potential reduced access to capital as a result of any credit tightening generally or due to continued declines in global financial markets; potential reduced ability to opportunistically sell any of our vessels on the second-hand market, either as a result of a lack of buyers or a general decline in the value of second-hand vessels; potential decreases in the market values of our vessels and any related impairment charges or breaches relating to vessel-to-loan financial covenants; potential disruptions, delays or cancellations in the construction of new vessels, which could reduce our future growth opportunities; potential non-performance by counterparties relying on force majeure clauses and potential deterioration in the financial condition and prospects of our customers, joint venture partners or other business partners. Although disruption and effects from the COVID-19 pandemic may be temporary, given the dynamic nature of these circumstances, the duration of business disruption and the related financial impact cannot be reasonably estimated at this time, but could materially affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
If economic conditions throughout the world decline, this will impede our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
The world economy continues to face a number of challenges, including the effects of volatile oil prices, trade tensions between the US and China and between the US and the European Union, continuing turmoil and hostilities in the Middle East, the Korean Peninsula, North Africa, Venezuela, Iran and other geographic areas and countries, continuing threat of terrorist attacks around the world, continuing instability and conflicts and other recent occurrences in the Middle East and in other geographic areas and countries, continuing economic weakness in the European Union, or the E.U., and stabilizing growth in China. If one or more of the major national or regional economies should weaken, there is a substantial risk that such a downturn will impact the world economy. There has historically been a strong link between the development of the world economy and demand for energy, including oil and gas. An extended period of deterioration in the outlook for the world economy could reduce the overall demand for oil and gas and for our services. Such changes could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows.
Credit markets in the United States and Europe have in the past experienced significant contraction, de-leveraging and reduced liquidity, and there is a risk that the United States federal government and state governments and European authorities continue to implement a broad variety of governmental action and/or new regulation of the financial markets. Global financial markets and economic conditions have been, and continue to be, disrupted and volatile.
We face risks attendant to changes in economic environments, changes in interest rates, and instability in the banking and securities markets around the world, among other factors. Major market disruptions may adversely affect our business or impair our ability to borrow amounts under our credit facilities or any future financial arrangements. In the absence of available financing, we also may be unable to take advantage of business opportunities or respond to competitive pressures.

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As a result of any renewed concerns about the stability of financial markets generally and the solvency of counterparties specifically, the cost of obtaining money from the credit markets may increase as many lenders will increase margins or interest rates, enact tighter lending standards, refuse to refinance existing debt at all or on terms similar to current debt and reduce, and in some cases cease, to provide funding to borrowers. Furthermore, certain banks that have historically been significant lenders to the shipping industry have recently reduced or ceased lending to the shipping industry. Due to these factors, we cannot be certain that additional financing will be available if needed and to the extent required, on acceptable terms or at all. If additional financing is not available when needed, or is available only on unfavorable terms, we may be unable to meet our obligations as they come due or we may be unable to enhance our existing business or otherwise take advantage of business opportunities as they arise.
In addition, as a result of the economic turmoil in Greece resulting from the sovereign debt crisis and the related austerity measures implemented by the Greek government, our operations in Greece may continue to be subjected to new regulations that may require us to incur new or additional compliance or other administrative costs and may require that we pay to the Greek government new taxes or other fees. We also face the risk that strikes, work stoppages, civil unrest and violence within Greece may disrupt our shoreside operations and those of our managers located in Greece.
The instability of the Euro or the inability of countries to refinance their debts could have a material adverse effect on our revenue, profitability and financial position.
As a result of the credit crisis in Europe, in particular in Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, the European Commission created the European Financial Stability Facility, or the EFSF, and the European Financial Stability Mechanism, or the EFSM, to provide funding to Eurozone countries in financial difficulties that seek such support. In March 2011, the European Council agreed on the need for Eurozone countries to establish a permanent stability mechanism, the European Stability Mechanism, or the ESM, which was activated by mutual agreement, to assume the role of the EFSF and the EFSM in providing external financial assistance to Eurozone countries entered into force in May 2013. Despite these measures, and certainly against the background of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, concerns persist regarding the debt burden of certain Eurozone countries and their ability to meet future financial obligations and the overall stability of the Euro. An extended period of adverse development in the outlook for European countries could still reduce the overall demand for oil and thus for our services. These potential developments, or market perceptions concerning these and related issues, could affect our financial position, results of operations and cash flow.
Consolidation and governmental regulation of suppliers may increase the cost of obtaining supplies or restrict our ability to obtain needed supplies, which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
We rely on third-parties to provide supplies and services necessary for our operations, including equipment suppliers, caterers and machinery suppliers. Recent mergers have reduced the number of available suppliers, resulting in fewer alternatives for sourcing key supplies. With respect to certain items, we are generally dependent upon the original equipment manufacturer for repair and replacement of the item or its spare parts. Such consolidation may result in a shortage of supplies and services thereby increasing the cost of supplies and/or potentially inhibiting the ability of suppliers to deliver on time. These cost increases or delays could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and result in downtime, and delays in the repair and maintenance of our vessels and FSOs. Furthermore, many of our suppliers are U.S. companies or non-U.S. subsidiaries owned or controlled by U.S. companies, which means that in the event a U.S. supplier was debarred or otherwise restricted by the U.S. government from delivering products, our ability to supply and service our operations could be materially impacted. In addition, through regulation and permitting, certain foreign governments effectively restrict the number of suppliers and technicians available to supply and service our operations in those jurisdictions, which could materially impact our operations and financial condition.
Our international operations expose us to additional costs and legal and regulatory risks, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial conditions
We operate worldwide, where appropriate, through agents or other intermediaries. Compliance with complex local, foreign and U.S. laws and regulations that apply to our international operations increases our cost of doing business. These numerous and sometimes conflicting laws and regulations include, among others, data privacy requirements (in particular the European General Data Protection Regulation, enforceable as from May 25, 2018 and the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework, as adopted by the European Commission on July 12, 2016), labor relations laws, tax laws, anti-competition regulations, import and trade restrictions, export requirements, U.S. laws such as the FCPA and other U.S. federal laws and regulations established by the office of Foreign Asset Control, local laws such as the UK Bribery Act 2010 or other local laws which prohibit corrupt payments to governmental officials or certain payments or remunerations to customers.

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Given the high level of complexity of these laws, there is a risk that we may inadvertently breach some provisions. Violations of these laws and regulations could result in fines, criminal sanctions against us, our officers or our employees, requirements to obtain export licenses, cessation of business activities in sanctioned countries, implementation of compliance programs, and prohibitions on the conduct of our business. Violations of laws and regulations also could result in prohibitions on our ability to operate in one or more countries and could materially damage our reputation, our ability to attract and retain employees, or our business, results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, detecting, investigating and resolving actual or alleged violations is expensive and can consume significant time and attention of our senior management.
We are subject to complex laws and regulations, including environmental laws and regulations that can adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition, and our available cash.
Our operations are subject to numerous laws and regulations in the form of international conventions and treaties, national, state and local laws and national and international regulations in force in the jurisdictions in which our vessels operate or are registered, which can significantly affect the ownership and operation of our vessels. These requirements include, but are not limited to, the United States, or U.S., Oil Pollution Act of 1990, or OPA, the U.S. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA, the U.S. Clean Air Act, or the CAA, the U.S. Clean Water Act, or the CWA, the U.S. Marine Transportation Security Act of 2002, or the MTSA, European Union or E.U., regulations, regulations of the United Nations International Maritime Organization, or the IMO, including the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973, as from time to time amended and generally referred to as MARPOL, including the designation of Emission Control Areas, or ECAs, thereunder, the International Convention on Load Lines of 1966, and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, or the ISPS Code. Compliance with such laws and regulations, where applicable, may require installation of costly equipment or operational changes and may affect the resale value or useful lives of our vessels. We may also incur additional costs in order to comply with other existing and future regulatory obligations, including, but not limited to, costs relating to air emissions including greenhouse gases, the management of ballast waters, maintenance and inspection, development and implementation of emergency procedures and insurance coverage or other financial assurance of our ability to address pollution incidents. Oil spills that occur from time to time may also result in additional legislative or regulatory initiatives that may affect our operations or require us to incur additional expenses to comply with such new laws or regulations.
These costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition and our available cash. A failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations may result in administrative and civil penalties, criminal sanctions or the suspension or termination of our operations. Environmental laws often impose strict liability for remediation of spills and releases of oil and hazardous substances, which could subject us to liability without regard to whether we were negligent or at fault. Under OPA, for example, owners, operators and bareboat charterers are jointly and severally strictly liable for the discharge of oil within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone around the United States (unless the spill results solely from the act or omission of a third-party, an act of God or an act of war). An oil spill could result in significant liability, including fines, penalties, criminal liability and remediation costs for natural resource damages under international and U.S. federal, state and local laws, as well as third-party damages, including punitive damages, and could harm our reputation with current or potential charterers of our tankers. We are required to satisfy insurance and financial responsibility requirements for potential oil (including marine fuel) spills and other pollution incidents. Although we have arranged insurance to cover certain environmental risks, there can be no assurance that such insurance will be sufficient to cover all such risks or that any claims will not have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and available cash.
It should be noted that the United States are currently experiencing changes in its environmental policy, the results of which have yet to be fully determined. For example, in April 2017, the U.S. President signed an executive order regarding environmental regulations, specifically targeting the U.S. offshore energy strategy, which may affect parts of the maritime industry and our operations (although portions of this executive order are being challenged in litigation) . Furthermore, recent action by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee and United States agencies indicate that cybersecurity regulations for the maritime industry are likely to be further developed in the near future in an attempt to combat cybersecurity threats. For example, cyber-risk management systems must be incorporated by ship-owners and managers by 2021. This might cause companies to cultivate additional procedures for monitoring cybersecurity, which could require additional expenses and/or capital expenditures. However, the impact of such regulations is hard to predict at this time.

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We are subject to international safety regulation and if we fail to comply with international safety regulations, we may be subject to increased liability, which may adversely affect our insurance coverage and may result in a denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports.
The operation of our vessels is affected by government regulations in the form of international conventions, national, state and local laws and regulations in force in the jurisdictions in which the vessels operate, as well as in the country or countries of their registration. As such, we are subject to the requirements set forth in the IMO’s International Safety Management Code for the Safe Operation of Ships and for Pollution Prevention, or the ISM Code, the International Ship & Port Facility Security Code. or ISPS Code, promulgated by the IMO under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea of 1974, or SOLAS, as well as to other conventions, mainly; the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution, or MARPOL, the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, or STCW, etc . Because such conventions, laws, and regulations are often revised, we cannot predict the ultimate cost of complying with such conventions, laws and regulations or the impact thereof on the resale prices or useful lives of our vessels. Additional conventions, laws and regulations may be adopted which could limit our ability to do business or increase the cost of our doing business and which may materially adversely affect our operations. We are required by various governmental and quasi-governmental agencies to obtain certain permits, licenses, certificates, and financial assurances with respect to our operations.
Non-compliance with the ISM Code , other IMO or National or Regional regulations / conventions may subject the shipowner or bareboat charterer to increased liability, may lead to decreases in, or invalidation of, available insurance coverage for affected vessels and may result in the denial of access to, or detention in, some ports. The U.S. Coast Guard or USCG and E.U. Authorities enforce compliance with the ISM and ISPS Codes and prohibit non-compliant vessels from trading in U.S. and E.U. ports.This could have a material adverse effect on our future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position. The IMO continues to review and introduce new regulations. It is impossible to predict what additional regulations, if any, may be passed by the IMO and what effect, if any, such regulations might have on our operations.
Developments in safety and environmental requirements relating to the recycling of vessels may result in escalated and unexpected costs.
The 2009 Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, or the Hong Kong Convention, aims to ensure ships, being recycled once they reach the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risks to the environment, human health and safety. The Hong Kong Convention has yet to be ratified by the required number of countries to enter into force. Upon the Hong Kong Convention's entry into force, each ship sent for recycling will have to carry an inventory of its hazardous materials. The hazardous materials, whose use or installation are prohibited in certain circumstances, are listed in an appendix to the Hong Kong Convention. Ships will be required to have surveys to verify their inventory of hazardous materials initially, throughout their lives and prior to the ship being recycled.
The Hong Kong Convention, which is currently open for accession by IMO Member States, will enter into force 24 months after the date on which 15 IMO Member States, representing at least 40% of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage, have ratified or approve accession. As of the date of this annual report, fifteen countries representing just over 30% of world merchant shipping tonnage have ratified or approved accession of the Hong Kong Convention.
On November 20, 2013, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU adopted the Ship Recycling Regulation, which retains the requirements of the Hong Kong Convention and requires that certain commercial seagoing vessels flying the flag of an EU Member State may be recycled only in facilities included on the European list of permitted ship recycling facilities. We are required to comply with EU Ship Recycling Regulation by December 31, 2020, since our ships trade in EU region.
These regulatory developments, when implemented, may lead to cost escalation by shipyards, repair yards and recycling yards. This may then result in a decrease in the residual scrap value of a vessel which could potentially not cover the cost to comply with latest requirements, which may have an adverse effect on our future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position.

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Climate change and greenhouse gas restrictions may adversely impact our operations and markets.
Due to concern over the risk of climate change, a number of countries and the IMO have adopted, or are considering the adoption of, regulatory frameworks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These regulatory measures may include, among others, adoption of cap and trade regimes, carbon taxes, increased efficiency standards and incentives or mandates for renewable energy. More specifically, on October 27, 2016, the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee ("MEPC") announced its decision concerning the implementation of regulations mandating a reduction in sulfur emissions from 3.5% currently to 0.5% as of the beginning of January 1, 2020. Additionally, in April 2018, nations at the MEPC 72 adopted an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships. The initial strategy identifies ¯levels of ambition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including (1) decreasing the carbon intensity from ships through implementation of further phases of the EEDI for new ships; (2) reducing carbon dioxide emissions per transport work, as an average across international shipping, by at least 40% by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70% by 2050, compared to 2008 emission levels; and (3) reducing the total annual greenhouse emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 while pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely. The European Union on the other hand has indicated that it intends to accelerate its plans to include shipping into the emissions trading scheme.
Since January 1, 2020, ships have to either remove sulfur from emissions or buy fuel with low sulfur content, which may lead to increased costs and supplementary investments for ship owners. The interpretation of "fuel oil used on board" includes use in main engine, auxiliary engines and boilers. Shipowners may comply with this regulation by (i) using 0.5% sulfur fuels on board, which are available around the world but at a higher cost; (ii) installing scrubbers for cleaning of the exhaust gas; or (iii) by retrofitting vessels to be powered by liquefied natural gas, which may not be a viable option due to the lack of supply network and high costs involved in this process. Costs of compliance with these regulatory changes may be significant and may have a material adverse effect on our future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position.
In addition, although the emissions of greenhouse gases from international shipping currently are not subject to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which required adopting countries to implement national programs to reduce emissions of certain gases, or the Paris Agreement (discussed further below), a new treaty may be adopted in the future that includes restrictions on shipping emissions. Compliance with changes in laws, regulations and obligations relating to climate change could increase our costs related to operating and maintaining our vessels and require us to install new emission controls, acquire allowances or pay taxes related to our greenhouse gas emissions or administer and manage a greenhouse gas emissions program. Revenue generation and strategic growth opportunities may also be adversely affected.
Adverse effects upon the oil and gas industry relating to climate change, including growing public concern about the environmental impact of climate change, may also adversely affect demand for our services. For example, increased regulation of greenhouse gases or other concerns relating to climate change may reduce the demand for oil and gas in the future or create greater incentives for use of alternative energy sources. In addition, the physical effects of climate change, including changes in weather patterns, extreme weather events, rising sea levels, scarcity of water resources, may negatively impact our operations. Any long-term material adverse effect on the oil and gas industry could have a significant financial and operational adverse impact on our business that we cannot predict with certainty at this time.
Declines in charter rates, vessel values and other market deterioration could cause us to incur impairment charges.
We evaluate the carrying amounts of our vessels to determine if events have occurred that would require an impairment of their carrying amounts. The recoverable amount of vessels is reviewed based on events and changes in circumstances that would indicate that the carrying amount of the assets might not be recovered. The review for potential impairment indicators and projection of future cash flows related to the vessels is complex and requires us to make various estimates relating to, among other things, vessel values, future freight rates, earnings from the vessels, discount rates, residual values and economic life of vessels. Many of these items have historically experienced volatility and both charter rates and vessel values tend to be cyclical.

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We evaluate the recoverable amount as the higher of fair value less costs to sell or value in use. If the recoverable amount is less than the carrying amount of the vessel, the vessel is deemed impaired. The carrying values of our vessels may not represent their fair market value at any point in time because the new market prices of secondhand vessels tend to fluctuate with changes in charter rates and the cost of newbuildings. For the year December 31, 2018, we evaluated the recoverable amount of our vessels and we did not recognize an impairment loss. The carrying value of each of our vessels does not necessarily represent its fair market value or the amount that could be obtained if the vessel were sold. Our estimates of market values for our vessels assume that the vessels are all in good and seaworthy condition without need for repair and, if inspected, would be certified as being in class without notations of any kind. Our estimates are based on the estimated market values for vessels received from independent ship brokers and are inherently uncertain. In addition, because vessel values are highly volatile, these estimates may not be indicative of either the current or future prices that we could achieve if we were to sell any of the vessels. We would not record a loss for any of the vessels for which the fair market value is below its carrying value unless and until we either determine to sell the vessel for a loss or determine that the vessel is impaired. Factors that we considered in our estimate are described in the Critical Accounting policies.
In developing estimates of future cash flows, we must make assumptions about future performance, with significant assumptions being related to charter rates, ship operating expenses, utilization, drydocking requirements, residual value and the estimated remaining useful lives of the vessels. These assumptions are based on historical trends and/or on future expectations. Specifically, in estimating future charter rates or service contract rates, management takes into consideration estimated daily rates for each asset over the estimated remaining lives. In the past, we have used a fixed cut of 10 years to define a shipping cycle. As management is assessing continuously the resilience of its projections to the business cycles that can be observed in the tanker market, it concluded that a business cycle approach provides a better long-term view of the dynamics at play in the industry. By defining a shipping cycle from peak to peak over the last 20 years and including management's expectation of the completion of the current cycle, management is better able to capture the full length of a business cycle while also giving more weight to recent and current market experience. The current cycle is forecasted based on management judgment, analyst reports and past experience.
We operate our vessels worldwide and as a result, our vessels are exposed to international risks and inherent operational risks of the tanker industry, which may adversely affect our business and financial condition.
The operation of an ocean-going vessel carries inherent risks. Our vessels and their cargoes are at risk of being damaged or lost because of events such as marine disasters, bad weather, and acts of God, business interruptions caused by mechanical failures, grounding, fire, explosions and collisions, human error, war, terrorism, piracy, disease, quarantine and other circumstances or events. In addition, changing economic, regulatory and political conditions in some countries, including political and military conflicts, have from time to time resulted in attacks on vessels, mining of waterways, piracy, terrorism, labor strikes and boycotts. These events may result in death or injury to persons, loss of revenues or property, the payment of ransoms, environmental damage, higher insurance rates, damage to our customer relationships, and market disruptions, delay or rerouting, which may also subject us to litigation. In addition, the operation of tankers has unique operational risks associated with the transportation of oil. An oil spill may cause significant environmental damage and the associated costs could exceed the insurance coverage available to us. Compared to other types of vessels, tankers are exposed to a higher risk of damage and loss by fire, whether ignited by a terrorist attack, collision, or other cause, due to the high flammability and high volume of the oil transported in tankers.
If our vessels suffer damage, they may need to be repaired at a drydocking facility. The costs of drydock repairs and maintenance are unpredictable and may be substantial. We may have to pay drydocking costs that our insurance does not cover in full. The loss of revenues while these vessels are being repaired and repositioned, as well as the actual cost of these repairs, may adversely affect our business and financial condition. In addition, space at drydocking facilities is sometimes limited and not all drydocking facilities are conveniently located. We may be unable to find space at a suitable drydocking facility or our vessels may be forced to travel to a drydocking facility that is not conveniently located to our vessels’ positions. The loss of earnings while these vessels are forced to wait for space or to travel to more distant drydocking facilities may adversely affect our business and financial condition. Further, the total loss of any of our vessels could harm our reputation as a safe and reliable vessel owner and operator. If we are unable to adequately maintain or safeguard our vessels, we may be unable to prevent any such damage, costs, or loss which could negatively impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and available cash.
In addition, international shipping is subject to various security and customs inspection and related procedures in countries of origin and destination and trans-shipment points. Inspection procedures can result in the seizure of the cargo and/or our vessels, delays in the loading, offloading or delivery and the levying of customs duties, fines or other penalties against us. It is possible that changes to inspection procedures could impose additional financial and legal obligations on us. Furthermore, changes to inspection procedures could also impose additional costs and obligations on our customers and may, in certain cases, render the shipment of certain types of cargo uneconomical or impractical. Any such changes or developments may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and available cash.

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We may be subject to risks inherent in the conversion of vessels into FSOs and the operation of FSO activities.
Our FSO activities are subject to various risks, including delays, cost overruns, unavailability of supplies, employee negligence, defects in machinery, collisions, service damage to vessels, damage or loss to freight, piracy, war, political tensions or strikes. In case of delays in delivering FSO under service contract to the end-user, contracts can be amended and/or canceled. Moreover, the operation of FSO vessels is subject to the inherent possibility of maritime disasters, such as oil spills and other environmental accidents, and to the obligations arising from the ownership and management of vessels in international trade. We have established current insurance against possible accidents and environmental damage and pollution that complies with applicable law and standard practices in the sector. However, there is no guarantee that such insurance will remain available at rates which are regarded as reasonable by us or that such insurance will remain sufficient to cover all losses incurred or the cost of each compensation claim made against us. Our insurance policies do not cover the loss of income resulting from a vessel becoming non-operational. Should compensation claims be made against us, our vessels may be impounded or subject to other judicial procedures, which would adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
If labor interruptions are not resolved in a timely manner, they could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.
We employ masters, officers and crews to man our vessels. If not resolved in a timely and cost-effective manner, industrial action or other labor unrest could prevent or hinder our operations from being carried out as we expect and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.
Our labor costs and the operating restrictions that apply to us could increase as a result of collective bargaining negotiations and changes in labor laws and regulations, and disputes resulting in work stoppages, strikes, or disruptions could adversely affect our business.
The majority of our employees (land-based and offshore) are represented by collective bargaining agreements in Belgium, Greece, France and the Philippines. For a limited number of vessels, the employment of onboard staff is based on internationally negotiated collective bargaining agreements. In addition, many of these represented individuals are working under agreements that are subject to salary negotiation. These negotiations could result in higher personnel costs, other increased costs or increased operating restrictions that could adversely affect our financial performance. In addition, as part of our legal obligations, we are required to contribute certain amounts to retirement funds and pension plans (with insurance companies or integrated in a national social security scheme) and are bound to legal restrictions in our ability to dismiss employees. Any disagreements concerning ordinary or extraordinary collective bargaining may damage our reputation and the relationship with our employees and lead to labor disputes, including work stoppages, strikes and/or work disruptions, which could hinder our operations from being carried out normally, and if not resolved in a timely cost-effective manner, could have a material effect on our business.
The results of the U.K.'s referendum on withdrawal from the European Union may have a negative effect on global economic conditions, financial markets and our business.
In June 2016, a majority of voters in the U.K. elected to withdraw from the EU in a national referendum (informally known as "Brexit"), and in March 2017, the government of the U.K. formally initiated the process which resulted in a formal withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020. There remains significant uncertainty about the future relationship between the U.K. and the EU. The withdrawal has also given rise to calls for the governments of other EU member states to consider withdrawal. These developments, or the perception that any of them could occur, have had and may continue to have a material adverse effect on global economic conditions and the stability of global financial markets, and may significantly reduce global market liquidity and restrict the ability of key market participants to operate in certain financial markets. Any of these factors could depress economic activity and restrict our access to capital, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and on our consolidated financial position, results of operations and our ability to pay distributions. Additionally, Brexit, or similar events in other jurisdictions, could impact global markets, including foreign exchange and securities markets; any resulting changes in currency exchange rates, tariffs, treaties and other regulatory matters could in turn adversely impact our business and operations.

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If our vessels call on ports located in countries or territories that are subject to sanctions or embargoes imposed by the U.S. government, the European Union, the United Nations, or other governments, it could lead to monetary fines or penalties and adversely affect our reputation and the market for our ordinary shares .
Although no vessels owned or operated by us have called on ports located in countries or territories subject to country-wide or territory-wide sanctions and/or embargoes imposed by the U.S. government or other authorities or countries identified by the U.S. government or other authorities as state sponsors of terrorism (“Sanctioned Jurisdictions”) during 2019, our vessels may call on ports in these countries or territories in the future on our charterers’ instructions and without our consent, even though we endeavor to take precautions reasonably designed to mitigate such activities, including relevant provisions in charter agreements forbidding the use of our vessels in trade that would violate economic sanctions. If such activities result in a sanctions violation, we could be subject to monetary fines, penalties, or other sanctions, and our reputation and the market for our ordinary shares could adversely affected.
Sanctions and embargo laws and regulations vary in their application, as they do not all apply to the same covered persons or proscribe the same activities, and such sanctions and embargo laws and regulations may be amended ,strengthened or weakened over time.
Charterers and other parties that we have previously entered into contracts with regarding our vessels may be affiliated with persons or entities that are now or may soon be the subject of sanctions imposed by the U.S. Government , the European Union, the United Nations, or other international bodies in the future. If we determine that such sanctions require us to terminate existing contracts or if we are found to be in violation of such sanctions, we may suffer reputational harm and our results of operations may be adversely affected.
Although we believe that we have been in compliance with all applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations, and intend to maintain such compliance, there can be no assurance that we will be in compliance in the future, particularly as the scope of certain laws may be unclear and may be subject to changing interpretations. Any such violation could result in fines, penalties or other sanctions that could severely impact our ability to access U.S. capital markets and conduct our business and could result in some investors deciding, or being required, to divest their interest, or not to invest, in us. In addition, certain institutional investors may have investment policies or restrictions that prevent them from holding securities of companies that have contracts with countries identified by the U.S. government as state sponsors of terrorism. The determination by these investors not to invest in, or to divest from, our ordinary shares may adversely affect the price at which our ordinary shares trade. Additionally, some investors may decide to divest their interest, or not to invest, in our company simply because we do business with companies that do business in sanctioned countries or territories. Moreover, our charterers may violate applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations as a result of actions that do not involve us or our vessels, and those violations could in turn negatively affect our reputation. In addition, our reputation and the market for our securities may be adversely affected if we engage in certain other activities, such as entering into charters with individuals or entities in countries or territories subject to U.S. sanctions and embargo laws that are not controlled by the governments of those countries or territories, or engaging in operations associated with those countries or territories pursuant to contracts with third-parties that are unrelated to those countries or territories or entities controlled by their governments. Investor perception of the value of our ordinary shares may also be adversely affected by the consequences of war, trade war, the effects of terrorism, civil unrest and governmental actions in these and surrounding countries.
The smuggling of drugs or other contraband onto our vessels may lead to governmental claims against us.
We expect that our vessels will call in ports where smugglers attempt to hide drugs and other contraband on vessels, with or without the knowledge of crew members. To the extent our vessels are found with contraband, whether inside or attached to the hull of our vessel and whether with or without the knowledge of any of our crew, we may face governmental or other regulatory claims which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Maritime claimants could arrest our vessels, which would have a negative effect on our cash flows.
Crew members, suppliers of goods and services to a vessel, shippers of cargo, secured lenders, and other parties may be entitled to a maritime lien against the relevant vessel for unsatisfied debts, claims or damages. In many jurisdictions, a maritime lien holder may enforce its lien by arresting or attaching a vessel through foreclosure proceedings. The arrest or attachment of one or more of our vessels could interrupt our business or require us to pay large sums of money to have the arrest lifted, which would have a negative effect on our cash flows.
In addition, in some jurisdictions, such as South Africa, under the “sister ship” theory of liability, a claimant may arrest both the vessel which is subject to the claimant’s maritime lien and any “associated” vessel, which is any vessel owned or controlled by the same owner. Claimants could try to assert “sister ship” liability against one vessel in our fleet for claims relating to another of our ships.

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Governments could requisition our vessels during a period of war or emergency, which may negatively impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and available cash.
A government could requisition one or more of our vessels for title or hire. Requisition for title occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and becomes the owner. Also, a government could requisition our vessels for hire. Requisition for hire occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and effectively becomes the charterer at dictated charter rates. Generally, requisitions occur during a period of war or emergency. Government requisition of one or more of our vessels may negatively impact our business, financial condition, results of operations and available cash.
Technological innovation and the related quality and efficiency requirements from our customers could reduce our charter hire income and the value of our vessels.
Our customers, in particular those in the oil industry, have a high and increasing focus on quality and compliance standards with their suppliers across the entire supply chain, including the shipping and transportation segment. Our continued compliance with these standards and quality requirements is vital for our operations. The charter hire rates and the value and operational life of a vessel are determined by a number of factors including the vessel’s efficiency, operational flexibility and physical life. Efficiency includes speed, fuel economy and the ability to load and discharge cargo quickly. Flexibility includes the ability to enter harbors, utilize related docking facilities and pass through canals and straits. The length of a vessel’s physical life is related to its original design and construction, its maintenance and the impact of the stress of operations. If new tankers are built that are more efficient or more flexible or have longer physical lives than our vessels, competition from these more technologically advanced vessels could adversely affect the amount of charter hire payments we receive for our vessels and the resale value of our vessels could significantly decrease. This could have an adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.

Risk Factors Relating to Our Company
We are dependent on spot charters and any decrease in spot charter rates in the future may adversely affect our earnings.
As of April 14, 2020 we employed 61 of our vessels in either the spot market or in a spot market-oriented tanker pool, including 39 vessels in the Tankers International Pool, or the TI Pool, a spot market-oriented pool in which we were a founding member in 2000, exposing us to fluctuations in spot market charter rates. We will also enter into spot charters in the future. The spot charter market may fluctuate significantly based upon tanker and oil supply and demand. Our partial reliance on the spot market contributes to fluctuations in cash flows from operating activities as a result of its exposure to highly cyclical tanker rates. For example, over the past eight years, VLCC spot market rates on the route from Arabian Gulf to Japan / China expressed as a time charter equivalent have ranged from rates below operating expenses to a high of $ 300,391 per day, and as of April 14, 2020, year-to-date earnings have averaged $86,100 per day on the new benchmark route between the Middle East Gulf and China. The VLCC benchmark route from the Arabian Gulf to the Far East was changed by the Baltic Exchange in 2018 from discharging in Japan to discharging in China, to better reflect current trading patterns in the VLCC market. The rate at which a change in oil demand impacts the demand for oil tankers depends not only on the nominal change in oil demand but also how this oil is traded. The successful operation of our vessels in the competitive spot charter market depends on, among other things, obtaining profitable spot charters and minimizing, to the extent possible, time spent waiting for charters and time spent traveling in ballast to pick up cargo. The spot market is very volatile, and, in the past, there have been periods when spot charter rates have declined below the operating cost of vessels. If future spot charter rates decline, then we may be unable to operate our vessels trading in the spot market profitably, meet our obligations, including payments on indebtedness, or pay dividends in the future. Furthermore, as charter rates for spot charters are fixed for a single voyage which may last up to several weeks, during periods in which spot charter rates are rising, we will generally experience delays in realizing the benefits from such increases.
We may not be able to renew or obtain new and favorable charters for our vessels whose charters are expiring or are terminated, which could adversely affect our revenues and profitability.
Our revenues are also affected by our strategy to employ some of our vessels on time charters, which have a fixed income for a pre-set period of time as opposed to trading ships in the spot market where their earnings are heavily impacted by the supply and demand balance. Our ability to renew expiring contracts or obtain new charters will depend on the prevailing market conditions at the time. If we are not able to obtain new contracts in direct continuation with existing charters or for newly acquired vessels, or if new contracts are entered into at charter rates substantially below the existing charter rates or on terms otherwise less favorable compared to existing contracts terms, our revenues and profitability could be adversely affected. As of April 14, 2020, we employed three VLCC, five Suezmax and two FSOs on time charters. All of the four newbuilding Suezmax vessels delivered to us during 2018 are each employed under a seven-year time charter contract.

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The markets in which we compete experience fluctuations in the demand. Upon the expiration or termination of their current charters, we may not be able to obtain charters for our vessels currently employed and there may be a gap in employment of the vessels between current charters and subsequent charters. In particular, if oil and natural gas prices are low, or if it is expected that such prices will decrease in the future, at a time when we are seeking to arrange charters for our vessels, we may not be able to obtain charters at attractive rates or at all. Moreover, our revenue relating to spot voyages is impacted by the number of vessels on the spot market.
If the charters which we receive for the reemployment of our current vessels are less favorable, we will recognize less revenue from their operations. Our ability to meet our cash flow obligations will depend on our ability to consistently secure charters for our vessels at sufficiently high charter rates. We cannot predict the future level of demand for our services or future conditions in the oil and gas industry. If oil and gas companies do not continue to increase exploration, development and production expenditures, we may have difficulty securing charters or we may be forced to enter into charters at unattractive rates, which would adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We are subject to certain risks with respect to our counterparties and failure of our counterparties to meet their obligations could cause us to suffer losses or negatively impact our results of operations and cash flows.
We have entered into, and may enter in the future, various contracts, including shipbuilding contracts or long term contracts such as the FSO vessels operating offshore Qatar, credit facilities, insurance agreements, charter agreements and other agreements associated with the operation of our vessels. Such agreements subject us to counterparty risks. The ability of each of our counterparties to perform its obligations under a contract with us will depend on a number of factors that are beyond our control and may include, among other things, general economic conditions, the condition of the maritime and offshore industries, the overall financial condition of the counterparty, charter rates received for specific types of vessels work stoppages or other labor disturbances, including as a result of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and various expenses. Charterers are sensitive to the commodity markets and may be impacted by market forces affecting commodities such as oil. For example, the combination of a reduction of cash flow resulting from declines in world trade, a reduction in borrowing bases under reserve-based credit facilities and the lack of availability of debt or equity financing may result in a significant reduction in the ability of our charterers to make charter payments to us. In addition, in depressed market conditions, our charterers and customers may no longer need a vessel that is currently under charter or contract or may be able to obtain a comparable vessel at lower rates. As a result, charterers and customers may seek to renegotiate the terms of their existing charter agreements or avoid their obligations under those contracts. Should a counterparty fail to honor its obligations under agreements with us, it may be difficult to secure substitute employment for such vessel, and any new charter arrangements we secure in the spot market or on time charters may be at lower rates given currently decreased tanker charter rate levels.and we could sustain significant losses which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows as well as our ability to pay dividends, if any, in the future, and compliance with covenants in our credit facilities.
Moreover, the actual or even perceived credit quality of our charterers and any defaults by them, may materially affect our ability to obtain the additional capital resources that we will require to purchase additional vessels or may significantly increase our costs of obtaining such capital. Our inability to obtain additional financing at all or at a higher than anticipated cost may materially affect our results of operation and our ability to implement our business strategy.
The current state of the global financial markets and current economic conditions may adversely impact our results of operation, financial condition, cash flows, ability to obtain financing or refinance our existing and future credit facilities on acceptable terms, which may negatively impact our business.
Global financial markets and economic conditions have been, and continue to be, volatile. Beginning in February 2020, due mainly to the COVID-19 outbreak, global financial markets, including in the U.S. experienced volatility and a steep and abrupt downturn. The ultimate impact on the global financial markets and the disruption to the global economy are dependent on, among other things, the length and severity of the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Credit markets and the debt and equity capital markets have been distressed and the uncertainty surrounding the future of the global credit markets has resulted in reduced access to credit worldwide, particularly for the shipping industry. These issues, along with significant write-offs in the financial services sector, the re-pricing of credit risk and the current weak economic conditions, have made, and will likely continue to make, it difficult to obtain additional financing. The current state of global financial markets and current economic conditions might adversely impact our ability to issue additional equity at prices that will not be dilutive to our existing shareholders or preclude us from issuing equity at all. Economic conditions and the economic slow-down resulting from COVID-19 and the international governmental responses to the virus may also adversely affect the market price of our ordinary shares.

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Also, as a result of concerns about the stability of financial markets generally and the solvency of counterparties specifically, the cost of obtaining money from the credit markets has increased as many lenders have increased interest rates, enacted tighter lending standards, refused to refinance existing debt at all or on terms similar to current debt and reduced, and in some cases ceased, to provide funding to borrowers. Due to these factors, we cannot be certain that financing will be available to the extent required, or that we will be able to refinance our existing and future credit facilities, on acceptable terms or at all. If financing or refinancing is not available when needed, or is available only on unfavorable terms, we may be unable to meet our obligations as they come due or we may be unable to enhance our existing business, pay dividends, complete the acquisition of our newbuildings and additional vessel acquisitions or otherwise take advantage of business opportunities as they arise. The recent COVID-19 outbreak has negatively impacted, and may continue to negatively impact, global economic activity, demand for energy, and funds flows and sentiment in the global financial markets. Continued economic disruption caused by the continued failure to control the spread of the virus could significantly impact our ability to obtain additional debt (and equity) financing until COVID-19 is resolved and the markets normalize.
Newbuilding projects are subject to risks that could cause delays, cost overruns or cancellation of our newbuilding contracts.
We currently have four VLCC vessels under construction which were acquired under a resale agreement in the first quarter of 2020. These construction projects are subject to risks of delay or cost overruns inherent in any large construction project from numerous factors, including shortages of equipment, materials or skilled labor, unscheduled delays in the delivery of ordered materials and equipment or shipyard construction, failure of equipment to meet quality and/or performance standards, financial or operating difficulties experienced by equipment vendors or the shipyard, unanticipated actual or purported change orders, inability to obtain required permits or approvals, unanticipated cost increases between order and delivery, design or engineering changes and work stoppages and other labor disputes, public health threats, adverse weather conditions or any other potential events of force majeure. Significant cost overruns or delays could adversely affect our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. Additionally, failure to complete a project on time may result in the delay of revenue from that vessel. In addition to the prevailing and anticipated freight rates, factors that affect the rate of newbuilding, recycling and laying-up include newbuilding prices, secondhand vessel values in relation to recycling prices, operating costs, costs associated with classification society surveys, normal maintenance costs, insurance coverage costs, the efficiency and age profile of the existing tanker fleet in the market, and government and industry regulation of maritime transportation practices, particularly environmental protection laws and regulations. These factors influencing the supply of and demand for shipping capacity are outside of our control, and we may not be able to correctly assess the nature, timing and degree of changes in industry conditions.
If for any reason we default under any of our newbuilding contracts, or otherwise fail to take delivery of our newbuilding vessels, we would be prevented from realizing potential revenues from such vessels, we could also lose all or a portion of our investment, including any installment payments made, and we could be liable for penalties and damages under such contracts. as well as suffer reputational damage.
In addition, in the event a shipyard does not perform under its contract, we may lose all or part of our investment, which would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
If we do not identify suitable tankers for acquisition or successfully integrate any acquired tankers, we may not be able to grow or to effectively manage our growth.
One of our strategies is to continue to grow by expanding our operations and adding to our fleet at attractive points in the cycle, including through mergers, strategic alliances or joint ventures. Our future growth will depend upon a number of factors, some of which may not be within our control. These factors include our ability to:
identify suitable tankers and/or shipping companies for acquisitions at attractive prices, which may not be possible if asset prices rise too quickly;
obtain financing for our existing and new operations;
manage relationships with customers and suppliers;
identify businesses engaged in managing, operating or owning tankers for acquisitions or joint ventures;
integrate any acquired tankers or businesses successfully with our then-existing operations;
attract, hire, train, integrate and retain qualified, highly trained personnel and crew to manage and operate our growing business and fleet;
identify additional new markets;
enhance our customer base;
improve our operating, financial and accounting systems and controls; and
obtain required financing for our existing and new operations.


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Our failure to effectively identify, purchase, develop and integrate any tankers or businesses could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. The number of employees that perform services for us and our current operating and financial systems may not be adequate as we implement our plan to expand the size of our fleet, and we may not be able to effectively hire more employees or adequately improve those systems. We may incur unanticipated expenses as an operating company. Our current operating and financial systems may not be adequate as we implement our plan to expand the size of our fleet. Finally, additional acquisitions may require additional equity issuances, which may dilute our ordinary shareholders if issued at lower prices than the price they acquired their shares or debt issuances (with amortization payments), both of which could reduce our cash flow. If we are unable to execute the points noted above, our financial condition may be adversely affected.
Growing any business by acquisition presents numerous risks such as undisclosed liabilities and obligations, difficulty in obtaining additional qualified personnel and managing relationships with customers and suppliers and integrating newly acquired operations into existing infrastructures. The expansion of our fleet may impose significant additional responsibilities on our management and staff, and the management and staff of our commercial and technical managers, and may necessitate that we, and they, increase the number of personnel. We cannot give any assurance that we will be successful in executing our growth plans or that we will not incur significant expenses and losses in connection with our future growth.
An increase in operating costs would decrease earnings and available cash.
Under time charters the charterer is responsible for voyage expenses and the owner is responsible for the vessel operating costs. When our owned vessels are operated in the spot market, we are also responsible for voyage expenses and vessel operating costs. Our vessel operating expenses include the costs of crew, provisions, deck and engine stores, fluctuating price of fuel expenses when our vessels operate in the spot or voyage market, insurance and maintenance and repairs, which expenses depend on a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control. Voyage expenses include bunkers (fuel), port and canal charges. If our vessels suffer damage, they may need to be repaired at a drydocking facility. The costs of drydock repairs are unpredictable and can be substantial. Increases in any of these expenses would decrease earnings and dividends per share.
Rising fuel prices may adversely affect our profits.
While we do not directly bear the cost of fuel or bunkers under our time charters, fuel is a significant factor in negotiating charter rates. Fuel is also a significant, if not the largest, expense in our shipping operations when vessels are operated on the spot market under voyage charter. As a result, an increase in the price of fuel beyond our expectations may adversely affect our profitability at the time of charter negotiation. The price and supply of fuel is unpredictable and fluctuates based on events outside our control, including geopolitical developments, supply and demand for oil and gas, actions by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, and other oil and gas producers, war and unrest in oil producing countries and regions, regional production patterns and environmental concerns. Further, fuel has become much more expensive as a result of new regulations mandating a reduction in sulfur emissions to 0.5% as of January 2020, which may reduce the profitability and competitiveness of our business versus other forms of transportation, such as truck or rail. Other future regulations may have a similar impact.
The IMO 2020 regulations may cause us to incur substantial costs and to procure low-sulfur fuel oil directly on the wholesale market for storage at sea and onward consumption on our vessels.
Effective January 1, 2020, the IMO implemented a new regulation for a 0.50% global sulfur cap on emissions from vessels. Under this new global cap, vessels must use marine fuels with a sulfur content of no more than 0.50% against the former regulations specifying a maximum of 3.50% sulfur in an effort to reduce the emission of sulfur oxide into the atmosphere or use exhaust gas cleaning systems or 'scrubbers'.
We may incur costs to comply with these revised standards. Additional or new conventions, laws and regulations may be adopted that could require, among others, the installation of expensive emission control systems and could adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

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With the exception of the 4 VLCC vessels under construction at DSME shipyard, none of our vessels are equipped with scrubbers and as of January 1, 2020 we have transitioned to burning IMO compliant fuels. We continue to evaluate different options in complying with IMO and other rules and regulations and continue to work closely with suppliers and producers of both scrubbers and alternative mechanism, including the procurement of physical low sulfur fuel oil directly on the wholesale market with a view to secure availability of qualitative compliant fuel and to capture volatility in prices between high sulfur and low sulfur fuel oil. The procurement of large quantities of low sulfur fuel oil implies a commodity price risk because of fluctuations in price between the time of purchase and consumption. Whilst we may implement financial strategies with a view to limiting this risk, we cannot give assurance that such strategies will be successful in which case we could sustain significant losses which could have a material impact on our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flow. The storage of and onward consumption on our vessels of the procured commodity may require us to blend, co-mingle or otherwise combine, handle or manipulate such commodities which implies certain operational risks that may result in loss of or damage to the procured commodities or the vessels and their machinery.
We expect that our fuel costs and fuel inventories will increase in 2020 as a result of these sulfur emission regulations. Low sulfur fuel is more expensive than standard marine fuel containing 3.5% sulfur content and may become more expensive or difficult to obtain as a result of increased demand. If the cost differential between low sulfur fuel and high sulfur fuel is significantly higher than anticipated, or if low sulfur fuel is not available at ports on certain trading routes, it may not be feasible or competitive to operate our vessels on certain trading routes without installing scrubbers or without incurring deviation time to obtain compliant fuel. Scrubbers may not be available to be installed on such vessels at a favorable cost or at all if we seek them at a later date.
Fuel is a significant, if not the largest, expense in our shipping operations when vessels are under voyage charter and is an important factor in negotiating charter rates. Our operations and the performance of our vessels, and as a result our results of operations, cash flows and financial position, may be negatively affected to the extent that compliant sulfur fuel oils are unavailable, of low or inconsistent quality, if de-bunkering facilities are unavailable to permit our vessels to accept compliant fuels when required, or upon occurrence of any of the other foregoing events. Costs of compliance with these and other related regulatory changes may be significant and may have a material adverse effect on our future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position. As a result, an increase in the price of fuel beyond our expectations may adversely affect our profitability at the time of charter negotiation. Further, fuel may become much more expensive in the future, which may reduce the profitability and competitiveness of our business versus other forms of transportation, such as truck or rail.

While we carry cargo insurance to protect us against certain risks of loss of or damage to the procured commodities, we may not be adequately insured to cover any losses from such operational risks, which could have a material adverse effect on us. Any significant uninsured or under-insured loss or liability could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition and our available cash.
If we are unable to operate our vessels profitably, we may be unsuccessful in competing in the highly competitive international tanker market, which would negatively affect our financial condition and our ability to expand our business.
The operation of tanker vessels and transportation of crude and petroleum products is extremely competitive and reduced demand for transportation of oil and oil products could lead to increased competition. Competition arises primarily from other tanker owners, including major oil companies and national oil companies or companies linked to authorities of oil producing or importing countries, as well as independent tanker companies, some of whom have substantially greater resources than we do. Competition for the transportation of oil and oil products can be intense and depends on price, location, size, age, condition and the acceptability of the tanker and its operator to the charterers. Our ability to operate our vessels profitably depends on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to the (i) loss or reduction in business from significant customers, (ii) unanticipated changes in demand for transportation of crude oil and petroleum products, (iii) changes in production of or demand for oil and petroleum products, generally or in particular regions, (iv) greater than anticipated levels of tanker newbuilding orders or lower than anticipated levels of tanker recyclings, and (v) changes in rules and regulations applicable to the tanker industry, including legislation adopted by international organizations such as IMO and the EU or by individual countries.
Our market share may decrease in the future. If we expand our business or provide new services in new geographic regions, we may not be able to compete profitably. New markets may require different skills, knowledge or strategies than we use in our current markets, and the competitors in those new markets may have greater financial strength and capital resources than we do.

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A substantial portion of our revenue is derived from a limited number of customers and the loss of any of these customers could result in a significant loss of revenues and cash flow.
We currently derive a substantial portion of our revenue from a limited number of customers. For the year ended December 31, 2019, Valero Energy Corporation, or Valero, accounted for 7.22 % of our total revenues in our tankers segment. In addition, our only FSO customer as of December 31, 2019 was North Oil Company. All of our charter agreements have fixed terms, but may be terminated early due to certain events, such as a charterer’s failure to make charter payments to us because of financial inability, disagreements with us or otherwise. The ability of each of our counterparties to perform its obligations under a charter with us will depend on a number of factors that are beyond our control and may include, among other things, general economic conditions, the condition of the tanker industry and the overall financial condition of the counterparty. Should a counterparty fail to honor its obligations under an agreement with us, we may be unable to realize revenue under that charter and could sustain losses, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to pay dividends, if any.
In addition, a charterer may exercise its right to terminate the charter if, among other things:
the vessel suffers a total loss or is damaged beyond repair;
we default on our obligations under the charter, including prolonged periods of vessel off-hire;
war, sanctions, or hostilities significantly disrupt the free trade of the vessel;
the vessel is requisitioned by any governmental authority; or
a prolonged force majeure event occurs, such as war, piracy, terrorism, global pandemic or political unrest, which prevents the chartering of the vessel, in each case in accordance with the terms and conditions of the respective charter.


In addition, the charter payments we receive may be reduced if the vessel does not perform according to certain contractual specifications. For example, charter hire may be reduced if the average vessel speed falls below the speed we have guaranteed or if the amount of fuel consumed to power the vessel exceeds the guaranteed amount. Additionally, compensation under our FSO service contracts is based on daily performance and/or availability of each FSO in accordance with the requirements specified in the applicable FSO service contracts. The charter payments we receive under our FSO service contracts may be reduced if the vessel is idle, but available for operation, or if a force majeure event occurs, or we may not be entitled to receive charter payments if the FSO is taken out of service for maintenance for an extended period, or the charter may be terminated if these events continue for an extended period.
If any of our charters are terminated, we may be unable to re-deploy the related vessel on terms as favorable to us as our current charters, or at all. We are exposed to changes in the spot market rates associated with the deployment of our vessels. If we are unable to re-deploy a vessel for which the charter has been terminated, we will not receive any revenues from that vessel and we may be required to pay ongoing expenses necessary to maintain the vessel in proper operating condition. Any of these factors may decrease our revenue and cash flows. Further, the loss of any of our charterers, charters or vessels, or a decline in charter hire under any of our charters, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and ability to pay dividends, if any, to our shareholders.
Our FSO service contracts may not permit us to fully recoup our cost increases in the event of a rise in expenses.
Our FSO service contracts have dayrates that are fixed over the contract term. In order to mitigate the effects of inflation on revenues from these term contracts, our FSO service contracts include yearly escalation provisions. These provisions are designed to recompense us for certain cost increases, including wages, insurance and maintenance costs. However, actual cost increases may result from events or conditions that do not cause correlative changes to the applicable escalation provisions. In addition, the adjustments are normally performed on an annual basis. For these reasons, the timing and amount received as a result of the adjustments may differ from the timing and amount of expenditures associated with actual cost increases, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition and ability to pay dividends, if any, to our shareholders.
Currently, we operate our FSOs offshore of Qatar, which has fields whose production lives deplete over time and as a result, overall activity may decline faster than anticipated.
We currently operate our FSOs offshore of Qatar, which has fields whose production lives deplete over time, and as a result, the overall activity in such fields may decline faster than anticipated. There are increased costs associated with retiring old oil and gas installations, which may threaten to slow the development of the region’s remaining resources.

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The purchase and operation of secondhand vessels expose us to increased operating costs which could adversely affect our earnings and, as our fleet ages, the risks associated with older vessels could adversely affect our ability to obtain profitable charters.
Our current business strategy includes additional growth through the acquisition of new and secondhand vessels. While we try to inspect secondhand vessels prior to purchase, this does not provide us with the same knowledge about their condition that we would have had if these vessels had been built for and operated exclusively by us. Generally, as is customary in the shipping sector, we do not receive the benefit of warranties from the builders for the secondhand vessels that we acquire.
In general, the costs to maintain a vessel in good operating condition increase with the age of the vessel. Older vessels are typically less fuel-efficient than more recently constructed vessels due to improvements in engine technology. Cargo insurance rates increase with the age of a vessel, which could lead to older vessels being less desirable for charterers.
Governmental regulations, safety or other equipment standards related to the age of vessels may require expenditures for alterations or the addition of new equipment to our vessels and may restrict the type of activities in which the vessels may engage. As our vessels age, market conditions may not justify those expenditures or enable us to operate our vessels profitably during the remainder of their useful lives.
We will be required to make additional capital expenditures to expand the number of vessels in our fleet and to maintain all our vessels, which will be dependent on additional financing.
Our business strategy is based in part upon the expansion of our fleet through the purchase of additional vessels at attractive points in the cycle. If we are unable to fulfill our obligations under any memorandum of agreement or newbuilding construction contract for future vessel acquisitions, the sellers of such vessels may be permitted to terminate such contracts and we may forfeit all or a portion of the down payments we already made under such contracts and we may be sued for any outstanding balance.
In addition, we will incur significant maintenance costs for our existing and any newly-acquired vessels. A newbuilding vessel must be drydocked within five years of its delivery from a shipyard, with survey cycles of no more than 60 months for the first three surveys, and 30 months thereafter, not including any unexpected repairs. In 2019, the Cap Diamant, Cap Pierre, Cap Theodora and Fraternity have been dry-docked and a portion of the cost of planned repairs and maintenance was capitalized. The estimated total cost to drydock a vessel are between $1 million and $2.5 million, depending on the size, age and condition of the vessel and the location of drydocking and the special surveys to be performed.
Regulations relating to ballast water discharge came into effect during September 2019 and may adversely affect our revenues and profitability.
The IMO has imposed updated guidelines for ballast water management systems specifying the maximum amount of viable organisms allowed to be discharged from a vessel’s ballast water. Depending on the date of the International Oil Pollution Prevention or IOPP renewal survey, existing vessels constructed before September 8, 2017 are required to comply with the updated D-2 standard on or after September 8, 2019. For most vessels, compliance with the D-2 standard will involve installing on-board systems to treat ballast water and eliminate unwanted organisms. Vessels constructed (keel-laid) on or after September 8, 2017 are required to comply with the D-2 standards on or after September 8, 2017. We currently have 38 vessels that do not comply with the updated guideline and costs of compliance may be substantial and adversely affect our revenues and profitability.
Furthermore, United States regulations are currently changing.  Although the 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) program and U.S. National Invasive Species Act (NISA) are currently in effect to regulate ballast discharge, exchange and installation, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act or VIDA, which was signed into law on December 4, 2018, requires that the EPA develop national standards of performance for approximately 30 discharges, similar to those found in the VGP within two years. By approximately 2022, the U.S. Coast Guard must develop corresponding implementation, compliance, and enforcement regulations regarding ballast water .  The new regulations could require the installation of new equipment, which may cause us to incur substantial additional costs which may adversely affect our profitability. 

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If we do not set aside funds and are unable to borrow or raise funds for vessel replacement, at the end of a vessel’s useful life our revenue will decline, which would adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition, and available cash.
If we do not set aside funds and are unable to borrow or raise funds for vessel replacement, we will be unable to replace the vessels in our fleet upon the expiration of their remaining useful lives. Our cash flows and income are dependent on the revenues earned by the chartering of our vessels. If we are unable to replace the vessels in our fleet upon the expiration of their useful lives, our business, results of operations, financial condition and available cash would be adversely affected. Any funds set aside for vessel replacement will reduce available cash for dividend distribution or other purposes.
We depend on our executive officers and other key employees, and the loss of their services could, in the short term, have a material adverse effect on our business, results and financial condition.
We depend on the efforts, knowledge, skill, reputations and business contacts of our executive officers and other key employees. Accordingly, our success will depend on the continued service of these individuals. We may experience departures of senior executive officers and other key employees, and we cannot predict the impact that any of their departures would have on our ability to achieve our financial objectives. The loss of the services of any of them could, in the short term, have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
We continue to undergo a leadership transition and this transition, along with the possibility that we may in the future be unable to retain and recruit qualified key executives, key employees or key consultants, may delay our development efforts or otherwise harm our business.
On February 4, 2019, we announced that Patrick Rodgers decided to step down from his role as Chief Executive Officer or CEO during 2019 and on March 28, 2019, we announced that Hugo De Stoop, our current Chief Financial Officer or CFO, would succeed Patrick Rodgers as our CEO after a brief handover period. Hugo De Stoop formally succeeded Patrick Rodgers on May 9 , 2019. As a result, we commenced a recruitment process for a new replacement CFO. On January 1, 2020, Lieve Logghe joined us as new CFO. While we have confidence in our remaining senior management team, including members of the Company's Supervisory Board, the uncertainty inherent in this ongoing leadership transition may be difficult to manage, may cause concerns from third parties with whom we do business, and may increase the likelihood of turnover of other key officers and employees. In addition, our future development and prospects depend to a large degree on the experience, performance and continued service of its senior management team, including the new CFO and members of our Supervisory Board. Retention of these services or the identification of suitable replacements cannot be guaranteed. There can be no guarantee that the services of the current Supervisory Board or Management Board members will be retained, or that suitably skilled and qualified individuals can be identified and employed, which may adversely impact our ability to commercial and financial performance. The loss of the services of any of the members of the Supervisory or Management Board and the costs of recruiting replacements may have a material adverse effect on our commercial and financial performance as well. If we are unable to hire, train and retain such personnel in a timely manner, our operations could be delayed and our ability to grow our business will be impaired and the delay and inability may have a detrimental effect upon our performance.
Failure to obtain or retain highly skilled personnel could adversely affect our operations.
We require highly skilled personnel to operate our business, and will be required to hire additional highly trained personnel in connection with the operation of newly acquired vessels. Competition for skilled and other labor required for our operations has increased in recent years as the number of ocean-going vessels in the worldwide fleet has increased. If this expansion continues and is coupled with improved demand for seaborne shipping services in general, shortages of qualified personnel could further create and intensify upward pressure on wages and make it more difficult for us to staff and service vessels. Such developments could adversely affect our financial results and cash flow. Furthermore, as a result of any increased competition for people and risk for higher turnover, we may experience a reduction in the experience level of our personnel, which could lead to higher downtime and more operating incidents.

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United States tax authorities could treat us as a “passive foreign investment company,” which could have adverse United States federal income tax consequences to United States shareholders.
A foreign corporation will be treated as a “passive foreign investment company,” or PFIC, for United States federal income tax purposes if either (1) at least 75% of its gross income for any taxable year consists of certain types of “passive income” or (2) at least 50% of the average value of the corporation’s assets produce or are held for the production of those types of “passive income.” For purposes of these tests, “passive income” includes dividends, interest, and gains from the sale or exchange of investment property and rents and royalties other than rents and royalties which are received from unrelated parties in connection with the active conduct of a trade or business. For purposes of these tests, income derived from the performance of services does not constitute “passive income.” United States shareholders of a PFIC are subject to a disadvantageous United States federal income tax regime with respect to the income derived by the PFIC, the distributions they receive from the PFIC and the gain, if any, they derive from the sale or other disposition of their shares in the PFIC.
Based on our current and proposed method of operation, we do not believe that we will be a PFIC with respect to any taxable year. In this regard, we treat the gross income we derive or are deemed to derive from our time chartering activities as services income, rather than rental income. Accordingly, our income from our time and voyage chartering activities should not constitute “passive income,” and the assets that we own and operate in connection with the production of that income should not constitute assets that produce or are held for the production of “passive income.”
There is substantial legal authority supporting this position, consisting of case law and United States Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, pronouncements concerning the characterization of income derived from time charters and voyage charters as services income for other tax purposes. However, it should be noted that there is also authority that characterizes time charter income as rental income rather than services income for other tax purposes. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that the IRS or a court of law will accept this position, and there is a risk that the IRS or a court of law could determine that we are a PFIC. Moreover, no assurance can be given that we would not constitute a PFIC for any future taxable year if the nature and extent of our operations change.
If the IRS were to find that we are or have been a PFIC for any taxable year, our United States shareholders would face adverse United States federal income tax consequences and incur certain information reporting obligations. Under the PFIC rules, unless those shareholders make an election available under the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code (which election could itself have adverse consequences for such shareholders), such shareholders would be subject to United States federal income tax at the then prevailing rates on ordinary income plus interest, in respect of excess distributions and upon any gain from the disposition of their ordinary shares, as if the excess distribution or gain had been recognized ratably over the shareholder’s holding period of the ordinary shares. See “Item 10. Additional Information-E. Taxation-Passive Foreign Investment Company Status and Significant Tax Consequences” for a more comprehensive discussion of the United States federal income tax consequences to United States shareholders if we are treated as a PFIC.
We may have to pay tax on United States source shipping income, or taxes in other jurisdictions, which would reduce our net earnings.
Under the Code, 50% of the gross shipping income of a corporation that owns or charters vessels, as we and our subsidiaries do, that is attributable to transportation that begins or ends, but that does not both begin and end, in the United States may be subject to a 4% United States federal income tax without allowance for deductions, unless that corporation qualifies for exemption from tax under Section 883 of the Code and the regulations promulgated thereunder by the United States Department of the Treasury or an applicable U.S. income tax treaty.
We and our subsidiaries continue to take the position that we qualify for either this statutory tax exemption or exemption under an income tax treaty for United States federal income tax return reporting purposes. However, there are factual circumstances beyond our control that could cause us to lose the benefit of this tax exemption and thereby become subject to United States federal income tax on our United States source shipping income. For example, we may no longer qualify for exemption under Section 883 of the Code for a particular taxable year if shareholders with a five percent or greater interest in our ordinary shares, or “5% Shareholders,” owned, in the aggregate, 50% or more of our outstanding ordinary shares for more than half the days during the taxable year, and there does not exist sufficient 5% Shareholders that are qualified shareholders for purposes of Section 883 of the Code to preclude non-qualified 5% Shareholders from owning 50% or more of our ordinary shares for more than half the number of days during such taxable year or we are unable to satisfy certain substantiation requirements with regard to our 5% Shareholders. Due to the factual nature of the issues involved, there can be no assurances on the tax-exempt status of us or any of our subsidiaries.

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If we or our subsidiaries were not entitled to exemption under Section 883 of the Code for any taxable year, we or our subsidiaries could be subject for such year to an effective 2% United States federal income tax on the shipping income we or they derive during such year which is attributable to the transport of cargoes to or from the United States. The imposition of this taxation would have a negative effect on our business and would decrease our earnings available for distribution to our shareholders.
We may also be subject to tax in other jurisdictions, which could reduce our earnings.
Our shareholders residing in countries other than Belgium may be subject to double withholding taxation with respect to dividends or other distributions made by us.
Any dividends or other distributions we make to shareholders will, in principle, be subject to withholding tax in Belgium at a rate of 30%, except for shareholders which qualify for an exemption of withholding tax such as, amongst others, qualifying pension funds or a company qualifying as a parent company in the sense of the Council Directive (90/435/EEC) of July 23, 1990, or the Parent-Subsidiary Directive or that qualify for a lower withholding tax rate or an exemption by virtue of a tax treaty. Various conditions may apply and shareholders residing in countries other than Belgium are advised to consult their advisers regarding the tax consequences of dividends or other distributions made by us. Our shareholders residing in countries other than Belgium may not be able to credit the amount of such withholding tax to any tax due on such dividends or other distributions in any other country than Belgium. As a result, such shareholders may be subject to double taxation in respect of such dividends or other distributions.
Belgium and the United States have concluded a double tax treaty concerning the avoidance of double taxation, or the U.S.-Belgium Treaty. The U.S.-Belgium Treaty reduces the applicability of Belgian withholding tax to 15%, 5% or 0% for U.S. taxpayers, provided that the U.S. taxpayer meets the limitation of benefits conditions imposed by the U.S.-Belgium Treaty. The Belgian withholding tax is generally reduced to 15% under the U.S.-Belgium Treaty. The 5% withholding tax applies in cases where the U.S. shareholder is a company which holds at least 10% of the shares in the Company. A 0% Belgian withholding tax applies when the shareholder is a company which has held at least 10% of the shares in the Company for at least 12 months, or is, subject to certain conditions, a U.S. pension fund. The U.S. shareholders are encouraged to consult their own tax advisers to determine whether they can invoke the benefits and meet the limitation of benefits conditions as imposed by the U.S.-Belgium Treaty.
Changes to the tonnage tax or the corporate tax regimes applicable to us, or to the interpretation thereof, may impact our future operating results.
    Shortly after its incorporation in 2003, Euronav applied for treatment under the Belgian tonnage tax regime. It was declared eligible for this regime by the Federal Finance Department on 23 October 2003 for a ten-year period. In line with the tonnage tax regulations, which is part of the normal corporate tax regime in Belgium, profits from the operation of seagoing vessels are determined on a lump sum basis based on the net registered tonnage of the particular vessels. After this first ten-year period had elapsed, the tonnage tax regime has been automatically renewed for another ten-year period. This tonnage tax replaces all factors that are normally taken into account in traditional tax calculations, such as profit or loss, operating costs, depreciation, gains and the offsetting of past losses of the revenues taxable in Belgium. Two of Euronav’s subsidiaries (Euronav Shipping NV and Euronav Tankers NV) also applied for the Belgian tonnage tax regime as from 2016 which application has been successfully obtained. For 2019 Euronav Shipping NV left the tonnage tax regime on a voluntary basis because no vessels were operated by that subsidiary for the period 2019.
Changes to the tax regimes applicable to us, or the interpretation thereof, may impact our future operating results. In 2017 and early 2018 the Company took note of the correspondence between the Belgian authorities and the European Commission within the framework of request for extension of the state aid to the maritime industry by Belgium. Belgium extended the state aid to the maritime industry up to, and including, 31 December 2022. Belgium decided to adjust the tonnage tax law which entered into force retroactively as from January 1, 2018  to comply with the recommendations from the European Commission. The changes to the tonnage tax regulations were reviewed but did or do not have any adverse effect to our existing tonnage tax regime or on the operations of the Company.   
Euronav is also operating vessels under Greek, Marshall Island and Liberian Flag for which the Company is paying the required tonnage tax in these particular jurisdictions.

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Insurance may be difficult to obtain, or if obtained, may not be adequate to cover our losses that may result from our operations due to the inherent operational risks of the tanker industry.
We carry insurance to protect us against most of the accident-related risks involved in the conduct of our business, including marine hull and machinery insurance, protection and indemnity insurance, which include pollution risks, crew insurance and war risk insurance. However, we may not be adequately insured to cover losses from our operational risks, which could have a material adverse effect on us. Additionally, our insurers may refuse to pay particular claims and our insurance may be voidable by the insurers if we take, or fail to take, certain action, such as failing to maintain certification of our vessels with applicable maritime regulatory organizations. Any significant uninsured or under-insured loss or liability could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition and our available cash. In addition, we may not be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates in the future during adverse insurance market conditions.
In addition, changes in the insurance markets attributable to terrorist attacks may also make certain types of insurance more difficult for us to obtain due to increased premiums or reduced or restricted coverage for losses caused by terrorist acts generally.
Because we obtain some of our insurance through protection and indemnity associations, which result in significant expenses to us, we may be required to make additional premium payments.
We may be subject to increased premium payments, or calls, in amounts based on our claim records, the claim records of our managers, as well as the claim records of other members of the protection and indemnity associations through which we receive insurance coverage for tort liability, including pollution-related liability. In addition, our protection and indemnity associations may not have enough resources to cover claims made against them. Our payment of these calls could result in significant expense to us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and available cash.
Servicing our current or future indebtedness limits funds available for other purposes and if we cannot service our debt, we may lose our vessels.
We had $1,853.0 million and $1,866.8 million of indebtedness as of December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, respectively, and expect to incur additional indebtedness as we further expand our fleet. Borrowing under our credit facilities are secured by our vessels and certain of our vessel owning subsidiaries’ bank accounts and if we cannot service our debt, we may lose our vessels or certain of our pledged accounts. Such borrowings under our credit facilities requires us to dedicate a part of our cash flow from operations to paying interest on our indebtedness. These payments limit funds available for working capital, capital expenditures and other purposes, including further equity or debt financing in the future. Amounts borrowed under our credit facilities bear interest at variable rates. Increases in prevailing rates could increase the amounts that we would have to pay to our lenders, even though the outstanding principal amount remains the same and our net income and cash flows would decrease. We expect our earnings and cash flow to vary from year to year due to the cyclical nature of the tanker industry. If we do not generate or reserve enough cash flow from operations to enable us to satisfy our short-term or medium- to long-term liquidity requirements or to otherwise satisfy our debt obligations, we may have to undertake alternative financing plans, which could dilute shareholders or negatively impact our financial results, depending on market conditions at the time, such as:
seeking to raise additional capital or equity;
refinancing or restructuring our debt;
establish new loans;
selling tankers or assets (including investments); or
reducing or delaying capital investments.

However, these alternative financing plans, if necessary, may not be sufficient to allow us to meet our debt obligations. If we are unable to meet our debt obligations or if some other default occurs under our credit facilities, our lenders could elect to declare that our debt, totally or partially, together with accrued interest and fees, to be immediately due and payable and proceed against the collateral vessels securing that debt even though the majority of the proceeds used to purchase the collateral vessels did not come from our credit facilities.

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Adverse market conditions could cause us to breach covenants in our credit facilities and adversely affect our operating results.
Notwithstanding a degree of volatility in vessel values, the market values of tankers have generally been depressed. The market prices for tankers declined significantly from historically high levels reached in early 2008, remained at relatively low levels and started recovering only recently. You should expect the market value of our vessels to fluctuate depending on general economic and market conditions affecting the shipping industry and prevailing charter hire rates, competition from other tanker companies and other modes of transportation, types, sizes, propulsion mode, fuel consumption and ages of vessels, applicable governmental regulations and the cost of newbuildings. We believe that the current aggregate market value of our vessels will be in excess of loan to value amounts required under our credit facilities. Our credit facilities generally require that the fair market value of the vessels pledged as collateral never be less than 125% of the aggregate principal amount outstanding under the loan. We were in compliance with these requirements as of December 31, 2019 and as of the date of this annual report.
A decrease in vessel values or a failure to meet this ratio could cause us to breach certain covenants in our existing credit facilities and future financing agreements that we may enter into from time to time. If we breach such covenants and are unable to remedy the relevant breach or obtain a waiver, our lenders could accelerate our debt and foreclose on our owned vessels. Additionally, if we sell one or more of our vessels at a time when vessel prices have fallen, the sale price may be less than the vessel’s carrying value on our consolidated financial statements, resulting in a loss on sale or an impairment loss being recognized, ultimately leading to a reduction in earnings. In addition, due to the fact that FSO vessels are often purposely built for specific circumstances, and due to the absence of an efficient market for transactions of FSO vessels, the carrying values of our FSO’s may not represent their fair values at any point in time. Additionally, events beyond our control, including changes in the economic and business conditions in the shipping markets in which we operate, interest rate developments, changes in the funding costs of our banks and changes in vessel earnings and asset valuations and outbreaks of epidemic and pandemic of diseases, such as the recent outbreak of COVID-19, may affect our ability to comply with these covenants.
We may be unable to comply with the restrictions and financial covenants in the agreements governing our indebtedness or any future financial obligations, including the loan agreements that our 50%-owned joint ventures have entered or may enter into, that impose operating and financial restrictions on us.
Our agreements governing our indebtedness, including the loan agreements that our 50%-owned joint ventures have entered into, impose certain operating and financial restrictions on us, mainly to ensure that the market value of the mortgaged vessel under the applicable credit facility does not fall below a certain percentage of the outstanding amount of the loan, which we refer to as the asset coverage ratio. In addition, certain of our credit facilities will require us to satisfy certain financial covenants, which require us to, among other things, maintain:
an amount of current assets, which may include undrawn amount of any committed revolving credit facilities and credit lines having a maturity of more than one year,  that, on a consolidated basis, exceeds our current liabilities;
an aggregate amount of cash, cash equivalents and available aggregate undrawn amounts of any committed loan of at least $50.0 million or 5% of our total indebtedness (excluding guarantees), depending on the applicable loan facility, whichever is greater;
an aggregate cash balance of at least $30.0 million; and
a ratio of stockholders’ equity to total assets of at least 30%.

In general, the operating restrictions that are contained in our credit facilities may prohibit or otherwise limit our ability to, among other things:
effect changes in management of our vessels;
transfer or sell or otherwise dispose of all or a substantial portion of our assets;
declare and pay dividends if there is or will be, as a result of the dividend, an event of default or breach of a loan covenant; and
incur additional indebtedness.


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A violation of any of our financial covenants or operating restrictions contained in our credit facilities may constitute an event of default under our credit facilities, which, unless cured within the grace period set forth under the applicable credit facility, if applicable, or waived or modified by our lenders, provides our lenders with the right to, among other things, require us to post additional collateral, enhance our equity and liquidity, increase our interest payments, pay down our indebtedness to a level where we are in compliance with our loan covenants, sell vessels in our fleet, reclassify our indebtedness as current liabilities and accelerate our indebtedness and foreclose their liens on our vessels and the other assets securing the credit facilities, which would impair our ability to continue to conduct our business.
Furthermore, certain of our credit facilities contain a cross-default provision that may be triggered by a default under one of our other credit facilities, or those of our 50%-owned joint ventures. A cross-default provision means that a default on one loan would result in a default on certain other loans. Because of the presence of cross-default provisions in certain of our credit facilities, the refusal of any one lender under our credit facilities to grant or extend a waiver could result in certain of our indebtedness being accelerated, even if our other lenders under our credit facilities have waived covenant defaults under the respective credit facilities. If our secured indebtedness is accelerated in full or in part, it would be very difficult in the current financing environment for us to refinance our debt or obtain additional financing and we could lose our vessels and other assets securing our credit facilities if our lenders foreclose their liens, which would adversely affect our ability to conduct our business.
Moreover, in connection with any waivers of or amendments to our credit facilities that we may obtain, our lenders may impose additional operating and financial restrictions on us or modify the terms of our existing credit facilities. These restrictions may further restrict our ability to, among other things, pay dividends, make capital expenditures or incur additional indebtedness, including through the issuance of guarantees. In addition, our lenders may require the payment of additional fees, require prepayment of a portion of our indebtedness to them, accelerate the amortization schedule for our indebtedness and increase the interest rates they charge us on our outstanding indebtedness. Our credit facilities contain provisions that entitle the lenders to require us to prepay to the lenders their respective portion of any advances granted to us under the facility, which could negatively impact our financial results.
As of December 31, 2019 and as of the date of this annual report, we were in compliance with the financial covenants contained and other restrictions in our debt agreements.
For more information, please read “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.”
The contribution of our joint ventures to our profits and losses may fluctuate, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows.
We currently own an interest in four of our vessels, Bari, Bastia, FSO Asia and FSO Africa, through 50%-owned joint ventures, together with other third-party vessel owners and operators in our industry. Our ownership in these joint ventures is accounted for using the equity method, which means that our allocation of profits and losses of the applicable joint venture is included in our consolidated financial statements. The joint ventures for FSO Asia and FSO Africa have entered into certain credit facilities, which we have provided a guarantee for the revolving credit facility tranche and are secured by the FSO vessels. A violation of any of our financial covenants or operating restrictions contained in the credit facilities for the FSO Africa and the FSO Asia may constitute an event of default thereunder, which may provide our lenders with the right to, among other things, require us to post additional collateral, enhance our equity and liquidity, increase our interest payments, pay down our indebtedness to a level where we are in compliance with our loan covenants, sell vessels in our fleet, reclassify our indebtedness as current liabilities and accelerate our indebtedness and foreclose their liens on our vessels and the other assets securing the credit facilities, which would impair our ability to continue to conduct our business. The joint ventures for Bari and Bastia have entered into various agreements including a term loan with Euronav Hong Kong as lender, secured by the vessels. A violation of any of the financial covenants or operations restrictions contained in the term loan for Bari and Bastia may constitute an event of default thereunder, which may provide us with the right to, among other things, call all the issued shares in the joint ventures. The contribution of our joint ventures to our profits and losses may fluctuate, including the dividends that we may receive from such entities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

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In addition, we have provided, and may continue to provide in the future, unsecured loans to our joint ventures which we treat as additional investments in the joint ventures. Accordingly, in the event our joint ventures do not repay these loans as they become due and payable, the value of our investment in such entities may decline. Furthermore, we have provided, and may continue to provide in the future, guarantees to certain banks with respect to commercial bank indebtedness of our joint ventures. Failure on behalf of any of our joint ventures to service its debt requirements and comply with any provisions contained in its commercial loan agreements, including paying scheduled installments and complying with certain covenants, may lead to an event of default under its loan agreement. As a result, if our joint ventures are unable to obtain a waiver or do not have enough cash on hand to repay the outstanding borrowings, their lenders may foreclose their liens on the vessels securing the loans or seek repayment of the loan from us, or both, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
We are exposed to volatility in the London Interbank Offered Rate or LIBOR, and we have and we intend to selectively enter into derivative contracts, which can result in higher than market interest rates and charges against our income. If volatility in LIBOR occurs, it could affect our profitability, earnings and cash flow.
LIBOR is the subject of recent national, international and other regulatory guidance and proposals for reform. These reforms and other pressures may cause LIBOR to be eliminated or to perform differently than in the past. The consequences of these developments cannot be entirely predicted, but could include an increase in the cost of our variable rate indebtedness and obligations. The amounts outstanding under our senior secured credit facilities have been, and amounts under additional credit facilities that we may enter in the future will generally be, advanced at a floating rate based on LIBOR, which has been volatile in prior years, which can affect the amount of interest payable on our debt, and which, in turn, could have an adverse effect on our earnings and cash flow. In addition, in recent years, LIBOR has been at relatively low levels, and may rise in the future as the current low interest rate environment comes to an end. Our financial condition could be materially adversely affected at any time that we have not entered into interest rate hedging arrangements to hedge our exposure to the interest rates applicable to our credit facilities and any other financing arrangements we may enter into in the future. Moreover, even if we have entered into interest rate swaps or other derivative instruments for purposes of managing our interest rate exposure, our hedging strategies may not be effective and we may incur substantial losses.
LIBOR has historically been volatile, with the spread between LIBOR and the prime lending rate widening significantly at times. These conditions are the result of the disruptions in the international credit markets. Because the interest rates borne by our outstanding indebtedness fluctuate with changes in LIBOR, if this volatility were to occur, it would affect the amount of interest payable on our debt, which in turn, could have an adverse effect on our profitability, earnings and cash flow.
Furthermore, the calculation of interest in most financing agreements in our industry has been based on published LIBOR rates. Due in part to uncertainty relating to the LIBOR calculation process in recent years, it is likely that LIBOR will be phased out in the future. As a result, lenders have insisted on provisions that entitle the lenders, in their discretion, to replace published LIBOR as the base for the interest calculation with their cost-of-funds rate. If we are required to agree to such a provision in future financing agreements, our lending costs could increase significantly, which would have an adverse effect on our profitability, earnings and cash flow.
In addition, the banks currently reporting information used to set LIBOR will likely stop such reporting after 2021, when their commitment to reporting information ends. The Alternative Reference Rate Committee, a committee convened by the Federal Reserve that includes major market participants, has proposed an alternative rate to replace U.S. Dollar LIBOR: the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, or “SOFR.” The impact of such a transition from LIBOR to SOFR could be significant for us .
In order to manage our exposure to interest rate fluctuations, we may from time to time use interest rate derivatives to effectively fix some of our floating rate debt obligations. No assurance can however be given that the use of these derivative instruments, if any, may effectively protect us from adverse interest rate movements. The use of interest rate derivatives may affect our results through mark to market valuation of these derivatives. Also, adverse movements in interest rate derivatives may require us to post cash as collateral, which may impact our free cash position. Interest rate derivatives may also be impacted by the transition from LIBOR to SOFR or other alternative rates.
We have entered into and may selectively in the future enter into additional derivative contracts to hedge our overall exposure to interest rate risk exposure. Entering into swaps and derivatives transactions is inherently risky and presents various possibilities for incurring significant expenses. The derivatives strategies that we employ currently or in the future may not be successful or effective, and we could, as a result, incur substantial additional interest costs and recognize losses on such arrangements in our financial statements. Such risk may have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. See “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” for a description of our interest rate swap arrangements.

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Fluctuations in exchange rates and non-convertibility of currencies could result in losses to us.
As a result of our international operations, we are exposed to fluctuations in foreign exchange rates due to parts of our operating costs being expressed in currencies other than U.S. dollars, primarily in Euro. As a result, there is transactional risk to us that currency fluctuations will have a negative effect on the value of our cash flows and our financial condition. Accordingly, we may experience currency exchange losses if we have not fully hedged our exposure to a foreign currency, which could lead to fluctuations in our results of operations.
Our costs of operating as a public company are significant, and our management is required to devote substantial time to complying with public company regulations. If we fail to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud. As a result, shareholders could lose confidence in our financial and other public reporting, which would harm our business and the trading price of our common stock.
In January 2015, we became subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, and the other rules and regulations of the SEC, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and as such, we have significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur previously. In 2016, we became subject to the requirements as directed by Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, requiring an auditor attestation with respect to our internal control over financial reporting or ICOFR. These reporting obligations impose various requirements on US registered public companies, including changes in corporate governance practices, and these requirements may continue to evolve. We and our management personnel, and other personnel, if any, devote a substantial amount of time to comply with these requirements. Moreover, these rules and regulations increase our legal and financial compliance costs and make some activities more time-consuming and costly.
Sarbanes-Oxley requires, among other things, that we maintain and periodically evaluate our internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures. In particular, we need to perform system and process evaluation and testing of our internal control over financial reporting to allow management and our independent registered public accounting firm to report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, as required by Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley. Effective internal controls over financial reporting, together with adequate disclosure controls and procedures, are necessary for us to provide reliable financial reports and are designed to prevent fraud. Any failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation, could cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. In addition, any testing we conduct in connection with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or any testing conducted by our independent registered public accounting firm, may reveal deficiencies in our internal controls over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses or that may require prospective or retroactive changes to our financial statements or identify other areas for further attention or improvement. Inferior internal controls could also cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, which could have a negative effect on the trading price of our securities. Our compliance with Section 404 has and may continue to require us to incur substantial expenses and significant management efforts.

A shift in consumer demand from oil towards other energy sources or changes to trade patterns for oil and oil products may have a material adverse effect on our business.
A significant portion of our earnings are related to the oil industry.  A shift in the consumer demand from oil towards other energy resources such as wind energy, solar energy, hydrogen energy or nuclear energy will potentially affect the demand for our vessels.  This could have a material adverse effect on our future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position.
Seaborne trading and distribution patterns are primarily influenced by the relative advantage of the various sources of production, locations of consumption, pricing differentials and seasonality. Changes to the trade patterns of oil and oil products may have a significant negative or positive impact on the ton-mile and therefore the demand for our tankers. This could have a material adverse effect on our future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position.

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Increasing scrutiny and changing expectations from investors, lenders and other market participants with respect to our Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) policies may impose additional costs on us or expose us to additional risks.
Companies across all industries are facing increasing scrutiny relating to their ESG policies. Investor advocacy groups, certain institutional investors, investment funds, lenders and other market participants are increasingly focused on ESG practices and in recent years have placed increasing importance on the implications and social cost of their investments. The increased focus and activism related to ESG and similar matters may hinder access to capital, as investors and lenders may decide to reallocate capital or to not commit capital as a result of their assessment of a company’s ESG practices. Companies which do not adapt to or comply with investor, lender or other industry shareholder expectations and standards, which are evolving, or which are perceived to have not responded appropriately to the growing concern for ESG issues, regardless of whether there is a legal requirement to do so, may suffer from reputational damage and the business, financial condition, and/or stock price of such a company could be materially and adversely affected.
We may face increasing pressures from investors, lenders and other market participants, who are increasingly focused on climate change, to prioritize sustainable energy practices, reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainability. As a result, we may be required to implement more stringent ESG procedures or standards so that our existing and future investors and lenders remain invested in us and make further investments in us, especially given the highly focused and specific trade of crude oil transportation in which we are engaged. If we do not meet these standards, our business and/or our ability to access capital could be harmed.
Additionally, certain investors and lenders may exclude oil transport companies, such as us, from their investing portfolios altogether due to environmental, social and governance factors.  These limitations in both the debt and equity capital markets may affect our ability to grow as our plans for growth may include accessing the equity and debt capital markets.  If those markets are unavailable, or if we are unable to access alternative means of financing on acceptable terms, or at all, we may be unable to implement our business strategy, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations and impair our ability to service our indebtedness. Further, it is likely that we will incur additional costs and require additional resources to monitor, report and comply with wide ranging ESG requirements.  The occurrence of any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.
An inability to effectively time investments in and divestments of vessels could prevent the implementation of our business strategy and negatively impact our results of operations and financial condition.
Our strategy is to own and operate a fleet large enough to provide global coverage, but no larger than what the demand for our services can support over a longer period by both contracting newbuildings and through acquisitions and disposals in the secondhand market. Our business is greatly influenced by the timing of investments and/or divestments and contracting of newbuildings. If we are unable to identify the optimal timing of such investments, divestments or contracting of newbuildings in relation to the shipping value cycle due to capital restraints, this could have a material adverse effect on our competitive position, future performance, results of operations, cash flows and financial position.
We rely on our information systems to conduct our business, and failure to protect these systems against security breaches could adversely affect our business and results of operations. Additionally, if these systems fail or become unavailable for any significant period of time, our business could be harmed.
The efficient operation of our business is dependent on computer hardware and software systems. Information systems are vulnerable to security breaches by computer hackers and cyber-terrorists. We rely on industry accepted security & control frameworks and technology to securely maintain confidential and proprietary information and personal data maintained on our information systems. However, these measures and technology may not adequately prevent security breaches. In addition, the unavailability of the information systems or the failure of these systems to perform as anticipated for any reason could disrupt our business and could result in decreased performance and increased operating costs, causing our business and results of operations to suffer. Any significant interruption or failure of our information systems or any significant breach of security could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows. Furthermore, as from May 25, 2018, data breaches on personal data as defined in the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (EU), could lead to administrative fines up to €20 million or up to 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the company, whichever is higher.

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We depend on directors who are associated with major shareholders, which may create conflicts of interest.
Certain of our directors are associated with major shareholders, which may create conflicts of interest. Because these directors owe fiduciary duties to both us and those shareholders, conflicts of interest may result in matters involving or affecting us and our customers. In addition, they may have conflicts of interest when faced with decisions that could have different implications for those shareholders than they do for us. Any such conflicts of interest could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and the trading price of our ordinary shares. For further discussion of transactions with, or involving, our directors that may give rise to potential conflicts of interest, please see "Item 6.A and F/S note 21 “Related Parties”: Relationship with CMB - Properties - Registration Rights”.
Risk Factors Relating to Our Merger with Gener8

As a result of our merger with Gener8 Maritime Inc., or Gener8, we have incurred and continue to incur significant transaction and integration costs and are subject to certain financing restrictions and changes in covenants. We consequently may fail to realize the anticipated benefits of the merger with Gener8.
On December 20, 2017, the Company, Gener8 Maritime. Inc.,  a corporation organized under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands or Gener8 and Euronav MI Inc., a corporation organized under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company entered into an agreement and plan of merger or the Merger Agreement to govern a stock-for-stock merger or the merger with Gener8 for the entire issued and outstanding share capital of Gener8. The merger with Gener8 closed in June 2018.
We believe that the merger with Gener8 will continue to provide benefits to the combined company. However, there is a risk that some or all of the expected benefits of the Merger may fail to materialize, or may not occur within the time periods anticipated. The realization of such benefits may be affected by a number of factors, many of which are beyond our control, including but not limited to the strength or weakness of the economy and competitive factors in the areas where we do business, the effects of competition in the markets in which we operate, and the impact of changes in the laws and regulations regulating the seaborne transportation or refined petroleum products industries or affecting domestic or foreign operations.
Failure to realize all of the anticipated benefits of the Merger may impact the financial performance of the combined company, the price of our ordinary shares and our ability to pay dividends, which will be at the discretion of its board of directors in accordance with our dividend policy. In addition, even if we do not realize the anticipated benefits of the Merger, we would remain liable for significant transaction costs, including legal, accounting and financial advisory fees. There is continuing risk that there may be resulting disruptions in and uncertainty surrounding our businesses, including impacts on our relationships with our existing and future customers, suppliers and employees, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, in the aftermath of the Merger. "See - Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - The Merger with Gener8.
We may continue to incur a number of non-recurring costs associated with the merger with Gener8 and combining Gener8’s operations into our operations. We are subject to significant transaction costs and integration-related fees and costs related to formulating and implementing integration plans, including systems consolidation costs and employment-related costs. We continue to assess the amount of these costs, and additional unanticipated costs may be incurred in the aftermath of the Merger. Although we expect to realize other efficiencies related to the integration of us with Gener8 which may allow us to offset integration-related costs over time, this net benefit may not be achieved in the near term, or at all.
Additionally, we have large debt service obligations, which may significantly limit our ability to execute our business strategy, and increase the risk of default under our now existing debt . Our debt agreements generally contain financial covenants, which require us to maintain, among other things, an amount of current assets that, on a consolidated basis, exceeds our current liabilities, which amount of current assets may include undrawn amount of any committed revolving credit facilities and credit lines having a maturity of more than one year; minimum aggregate amounts of cash, cash equivalents and available aggregate undrawn amounts of any committed loan; minimum levels of aggregate cash, minimum ratios of stockholders’ equity to total assets; and a minimum asset coverage ratio. Our credit facilities discussed above also contain restrictions and undertakings which may limit our and our subsidiaries' ability to, among other things effect changes in management of our vessels; transfer or sell or otherwise dispose of all or a substantial portion of our assets; declare and pay dividends, (with respect to each of our joint ventures, no dividend may be distributed before its loan agreement, as applicable, is repaid in full); and incur additional indebtedness.

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A violation of any of our financial covenants or operating restrictions contained in our credit facilities may constitute an event of default under our credit facilities, which, unless cured within the grace period set forth under the applicable credit facility, if applicable, or waived or modified by our lenders, provides our lenders with the right to, among other things, require us to post additional collateral, enhance our equity and liquidity, increase our interest payments, pay down our indebtedness to a level where we are in compliance with our loan covenants, sell vessels in our fleet, reclassify our indebtedness as current liabilities and accelerate our indebtedness and foreclose their liens on our vessels and the other assets securing the credit facilities, which would impair our ability to continue to conduct our business.
Furthermore, certain of our credit facilities contain a cross-default provision that may be triggered by a default under one of our other credit facilities. A cross-default provision means that a default on one loan would result in a default on certain other loans. Because of the presence of cross-default provisions in certain of our credit facilities, the refusal of any one lender under our credit facilities to grant or extend a waiver could result in certain of our indebtedness being accelerated, even if our other lenders under our credit facilities have waived covenant defaults under the respective credit