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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
Annual Report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021
Transition Report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Shell Company Report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Commission File Number 001-34077
SAFE BULKERS, INC.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
Not Applicable
(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)
Republic of the Marshall Islands
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
Safe Bulkers, Inc.
Apt. D11
Les Acanthes
6, Avenue des Citronniers
MC98000 Monaco
(Address of principal executive office)
Dr. Loukas Barmparis
President
Telephone: +30 2 111 888 400
Telephone: +357 25 887 200
Facsimile: +30 2 111 878 500
(Name, Address, Telephone Number and Facsimile Number of Company contact person)















Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each ClassTrading Symbol(s)Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, $0.001 par value per shareSBNew York Stock Exchange
Preferred stock purchase rightsN/ANew York Stock Exchange
8.00% Series C Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Shares, par value $0.01 per share, liquidation preference $25.00 per shareSB.PR.CNew York Stock Exchange
8.00% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Shares, par value $0.01 per share, liquidation preference $25.00 per shareSB.PR.DNew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act: None



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, 2021, there were 121,640,839 shares of the registrant’s common stock, 2,297,504 shares of 8.00% Series C Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Shares, $0.01 par value per share, liquidation preference $25.00 per share, and 3,195,050 shares of 8.00% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Shares, $0.01 par value per share, liquidation preference $25.00 per share, outstanding.

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

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 No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted 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 and post such files). Yes 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” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large accelerated filer 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 whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing.
U.S. GAAP 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


TABLE OF CONTENTS



ITEM 1.
ITEM 2.
ITEM 3.
ITEM 4.
ITEM 4A.
ITEM 5.
ITEM 6.
ITEM 7.
ITEM 8.
ITEM 9.
ITEM 10.
ITEM 11.
ITEM 12.
ITEM 13.
ITEM 14.
ITEM 15.
ITEM 16.
ITEM 16A. 
ITEM 16B.
ITEM 16C.
ITEM 16D.
ITEM 16E.
ITEM 16F.
ITEM 16G.
ITEM 16H.
ITEM 16I.
ITEM 17.
ITEM 18.
ITEM 19.

ABOUT THIS REPORT

In this annual report, “Safe Bulkers,” “the Company,” “we,” “us” and “our” are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Safe Bulkers, Inc. and its subsidiaries (as well as the predecessors of the foregoing). These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies. Our affiliated management companies, Safety Management Overseas S.A., a company incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Panama (“Safety Management”), and Safe Bulkers Management Limited, a company organized and existing under the laws of the Republic of Cyprus (“Safe Bulkers Management”), are each sometimes referred to as a “Manager,” and together as our “Managers.”

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

All statements in this annual report that are not statements of historical fact are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The disclosure and analysis set forth in this annual report includes assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions and beliefs about future events in a number of places, particularly in relation to our operations, cash flows, financial position, plans, strategies, business prospects, changes and trends in our business and the markets in which we operate. These statements are intended as forward-looking statements. In some cases, predictive, future-tense or forward-looking words such as “believe,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “continue,” “possible,” “hope,” “estimate,” “project,” “forecast,” “plan,” “target,” “seek,” “potential,” “may,” “will,” “likely to,” “would,” “could,” “should” and “expect” and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. In addition, we and our representatives may from time to time make other oral



or written statements which are forward-looking statements, including in our periodic reports that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), other information sent to our security holders, and other written materials.

All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. The occurrence of the events described, and the achievement of the expected results, depend on many events, some or all of which are not predictable or within our control. Actual results may differ materially from expected results.

Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, such matters as:

future operating or financial results and future revenues and expenses;
future, pending or recent acquisitions, business strategy, and other plans and objectives for growth and future operations, areas of possible expansion and expected capital spending or operating expenses;
availability of key employees, crew, length and number of off-hire days, drydocking requirements and fuel and insurance costs;
general market conditions and shipping industry trends, including charter rates, vessel values and factors affecting supply and demand;
competition within our industry;
reputational risks;
our financial condition and liquidity, including our ability to make required payments under our credit facilities, comply with our loan covenants and obtain additional financing in the future to fund capital expenditures, acquisitions and other corporate activities and to comply with the restrictive and other covenants in our financing arrangements;
the strength of world economies and currencies;
fluctuations in interest rates and foreign exchange rates;
potential exposure or loss from investment in derivative instruments;
general domestic and international political conditions;
the effect of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (the “2019-nCoV”) on our business and operations and any related remediation measures on our performance and business prospects;
the extent to which any new wave or new variant of the 2019-nCoV, including the Delta and Omicron variants, will impact the Company’s results of operations and financial condition;
potential disruption of shipping routes due to natural disasters, accidents, political events or other developments outside of our control, including the conflict in Ukraine and the extent to which such events could have any impact on the Company’s results of operations and financial condition;
the overall health and condition of the U.S. and global financial markets, including the value of the U.S. dollar relative to other currencies;
our expectations about availability of vessels to purchase, the time that it may take to construct and deliver new vessels or the useful lives of our vessels;
our ability to successfully implement a gradual fleet renewal with modern, energy efficient vessels;
our continued ability to enter into period time charters with our customers and secure profitable employment for our vessels in the spot market;
vessel breakdowns and instances of off-hire;
our future capital expenditures (including our ability to successfully install ballast water treatment systems in all of our vessels and complete our program for the remaining installation of sulfur oxide exhaust gas cleaning systems (“Scrubbers”) and investments in the construction, acquisition and refurbishment of our vessels (including the amount and nature thereof and the timing of completion thereof, the delivery and commencement of operations dates, expected downtime delays, cost overruns and lost revenue);
our ability to realize the expected benefits from sulfur oxide exhaust gas cleaning systems;
availability of financing and refinancing, our level of indebtedness and our need for cash to meet our debt service obligations;
our expectations relating to dividend payments and ability to make such payments;
our ability to leverage our Managers’ relationships and reputation within the drybulk shipping industry to our advantage;
our anticipated general and administrative expenses;



environmental and regulatory conditions, including changes in laws, governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities;
our ability to implement and maintain adequate environmental and social responsibility policies and programs;
risks inherent in vessel operation, including terrorism (including cyber terrorism), piracy corruption, militant activities, political instability, terrorism and ethnic unrest in locations where we may operate and discharge of pollutants;
potential liability from pending or future litigation; and
other factors discussed in “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors” of this annual report.
See the sections entitled “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2021.

We caution that the forward-looking statements included in this annual report represent our estimates, analyses formed by applying our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors we believe are appropriate in the circumstances and assumptions only as of the date of this annual report and are not intended to give any assurance as to future results. All future written and verbal forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. 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. Assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions and beliefs about future events may, and often do, vary from actual results and these differences can be material. The reasons for this include the risks, uncertainties and factors described under “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors.” which we urge you to read for a more complete discussion of these risks and uncertainties and for other risks and uncertainties. As a result and in light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this annual report might not occur and our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Accordingly, you should not unduly rely on any forward-looking statements.

We undertake no obligation, and specifically decline any obligation, to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this annual report, except as required by law, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, a change in our views or expectations or otherwise. These factors and the other risk factors described in this annual report 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 could also cause such discrepancies. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all of these factors. Further, we cannot assess the impact of each such factor on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to be materially different from those contained in any forward-looking statement. 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. Given these uncertainties, prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.

Unless otherwise indicated, all references to “Dollars” and “$” in this report are to U.S. Dollars and all references to “Euro” and “€” in this report are to Euros.The consolidated financial statements and notes of Safe Bulkers, Inc.,have been prepared in accordance with United States (the “U.S.”) generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”). The historical results included elsewhere in this document are not necessarily indicative of our future performance.


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
Safe Bulkers, Inc., was formed on December 11, 2007 under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Safe Bulkers’ common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “SB.” The Company’s series C preferred stock and series D preferred stock are listed on the NYSE, and trade under the symbols “SB.PR.C” and “SB.PR.D”, respectively. We are a global shipping company providing worldwide seaborne transportation solutions in the dry bulk sector. Our vessels transport major bulks, which include iron ore, coal and grain and minor bulks, which include bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. We or our managers have offices in Monaco, Greece, Cyprus and Switzerland. Our fleet consists of dry bulk



vessels of four sizes, namely Capesize vessels with carrying capacity of about 180,000 dwt; Post Panamax vessels with carrying capacities of between 85,000 dwt and 100,000 dwt; Kamsarmax vessels with carrying capacities of between 80,000 dwt and 84,000 dwt; and Panamax vessels with carrying capacities of between 75,000 and 78,000 dwt. As of March 18, 2022, we have a fleet of 40 vessels, with an aggregate capacity of 3.9 million deadweight ton (“dwt”) expressed in metric tons, referring to the maximum weight of cargo and supplies that a vessel can carry. In addition, we have entered into agreements for the acquisition of nine Japanese dry-bulk newbuilds of which six are Kamsarmax class vessels and three are Post-Panamax class vessels. All nine newbuilds on the Company's orderbook are designed to meet the Phase 3 requirements of Energy Efficiency Design Index related to the reduction of green house gas emissions (''GHG -EEDI Phase 3'') as adopted by the International Maritime Organization, ("IMO") and also comply with the latest NOx emissions regulation, NOx-Tier III (IMO, MARPOL Annex VI, reg. 13) (''NOx-Tier III''). The two newbuilds on the Company's orderbook scheduled to be delivered in 2022 are a Kamsarmax class, scheduled to be delivered in May 2022, and a Post-Panamax class scheduled to be delivered within the third quarter of 2022, followed by five newbuilds scheduled to be delivered in 2023 and two newbuilds scheduled to be delivered in the first quarter of 2024.

(A) Reserved

(B) Capitalization and Indebtedness
Not applicable.
(C) Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds
Not applicable.
(D) Risk Factors
SOME OF THE FOLLOWING RISKS RELATE PRINCIPALLY TO THE INDUSTRY IN WHICH WE OPERATE AND OUR BUSINESS IN GENERAL. OTHER RISKS RELATE PRINCIPALLY TO THE SECURITIES MARKET AND OWNERSHIP OF OUR COMMON STOCK, $0.001 PAR VALUE PER SHARE (“COMMON STOCK”), SERIES C CUMULATIVE REDEEMABLE PERPETUAL PREFERRED SHARES, PAR VALUE $0.01 PER SHARE, LIQUIDATION PREFERENCE $25.00 PER SHARE (“SERIES C PREFERRED SHARES”) AND SERIES D CUMULATIVE REDEEMABLE PERPETUAL PREFERRED SHARES, PAR VALUE $0.01 PER SHARE, LIQUIDATION PREFERENCE $25.00 PER SHARE (“SERIES D PREFERRED SHARES,” AND TOGETHER WITH THE SERIES C PREFERRED SHARES, THE “PREFERRED SHARES”), INCLUDING THE TAX CONSEQUENCES OF OWNERSHIP OF OUR COMMON STOCK AND PREFERRED SHARES. THE OCCURRENCE OF ANY OF THE RISKS OR EVENTS DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION COULD SIGNIFICANTLY AND NEGATIVELY AFFECT OUR BUSINESS, FINANCIAL CONDITION OR OPERATING RESULTS OR THE TRADING PRICE OF OUR COMMON STOCK OR PREFERRED SHARES.

Risk Factor Summary
Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. Below is a summary of material factors that make an investment in our securities speculative or risky. Importantly, this summary does not address all of the risks that we face. Additional discussion of the risks summarized in this risk factor summary, as well as other risks that we face, can be found after this summary.

Risks Inherent in Our Industry and Our Business
Cyclicality and volatility may lead to reductions in the charter rates we are able to obtain, in vessel values and in our earnings, results of operations and available cash flow.
A negative change in global economic or regulatory conditions could reduce charter rates.
An oversupply of drybulk vessel capacity may lead to reductions in charter rates and results of operations.
The market value of drybulk vessels is highly volatile. A decrease of the market values of our vessels could cause us to incur an impairment loss and have an adverse affect on our results of operations.
Drybulk industry is competitive, and we may not be able to compete successfully for charters with new entrants or     established companies with greater resources.
We are subject to complex regulations and liability, including anti-bribery, labor, environmental, international safety and anti-corruption laws that may require significant expenditures.
Our vessels fitted with Scrubbers may face difficulties from the price differential between compliant fuels with 0.5% sulfur content (''Compliant Fuels'') and heavy fuel oil with sulfur content of 3.5% (''HFO''), regulatory restrictions and shortage in availability of HFO, while our non–scrubber fitted vessels may face difficulties in competing with Scrubber-fitted vessels and incur additional repairs and maintenance costs, affecting our results of operations.



Environmental regulations in relation to green house gas (''GHG'') emissions may increase operational and financial restrictions, environmental compliance costs and lead to environmental taxation affecting less energy efficient vessels, reduce their trade and competitiveness and make certain vessels in our fleet obsolete, which may result in financial impacts on our results of operations.
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 or expose us to additional risks.
Increased inspection procedures and tighter import and export controls could increase costs and disrupt our business.
Our vessels are exposed to operational risks that may not be adequately covered by our insurance.
World events, including terrorist attacks, international hostilities and potential disruption of shipping routes due to events outside of our control, including the conflict in Ukraine, could negatively affect our results of operations.
The outbreak of the 2019-nCoV and the resulting disruptions to the Company and the international shipping industry have, and could continue to negatively affect our business.
Acts of piracy and world events, including terrorist attacks and hostilities, could negatively affect our results of operations and financial condition.
We rely on information technology, and if we are unable to protect against service interruptions, data corruption, cyber based attacks or network security breaches, our operations could be disrupted and our business negatively affected.
Certain operational and technical risks of drybulk vessels could lead to an environmental disaster, affecting our business.
Political uncertainty and an increase in trade protectionism could have a negative impact on our charterers’ business.
Charterers may renegotiate or default on period time charters, which could reduce our revenues.
The loss of one or more of our customers could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We may have difficulty properly managing our planned growth through acquisitions of additional vessels.
Failure to improve our operations and financial systems or recruit suitable employees as we expand our business, may affect our performance.
Unless we set aside reserves for vessel replacement, at the end of a vessel’s useful life, our revenue will decline, which would adversely affect our cash flows and income.
If we are unable to obtain additional financing on favorable terms, we may be unable to refinance our existing indebtedness and may not be able to finance a fleet replacement and expansion program in the future.
Uncertainty regarding the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) due to changes in the reporting practices, the method in which LIBOR is determined or the use of alternative reference rates, such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”), may adversely impact our indebtedness.
We are and will be exposed to floating interest rates and may selectively enter into interest rate derivative contracts, which can result in higher than market interest rates and charges against our income.
Because we generate substantially all of our revenues in U.S. dollars but incur a material portion of our expenses in other currencies, exchange rate fluctuations could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
Restrictive covenants in our existing and future financing agreements impose financial and other restrictions on us, and any breach of these covenants could result in the acceleration of our indebtedness and foreclosure on our vessels.
The declaration and payment of dividends will always be subject to the discretion of our board of directors and our board of directors may not declare dividends in the future.
We are a holding company and we depend on the ability of our subsidiaries to distribute funds to us in order to make dividend payments.
We depend on our Managers to operate our business and our business could be harmed if our Managers fail to perform their services satisfactorily.
Our chief executive officer also controls our Managers, which could create conflicts of interest between us and our Managers.
Agreements between us and other affiliated entities may be challenged as less favorable than agreements that we could obtain from unaffiliated third parties.
The provisions in our restrictive covenant arrangements with our chief executive officer and certain entities affiliated with him restricting their ability to compete with us may not be enforceable.
We are incorporated in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which does not have a well-developed body of corporate law.

Risks Relating to Our Common Stock and Preferred Shares
Our chief executive officer Polys Hajioannou is the Company's largest shareholder and his interests may be different from yours.
Our status as a foreign private issuer within the rules promulgated under the Exchange Act exempts us from certain requirements of the SEC and NYSE.
The market price of our Common Stock may be adversely affected by sales of substantial amounts of our Common Stock pursuant to our at the market equity offering program (the “ATM Program”).





Risks Inherent in Our Industry and Our Business

The international drybulk shipping industry is cyclical and volatile, having reached historical highs in 2008 and historical lows in 2016. Charter rates improved in 2019 and declined significantly in 2020, due in part to the impact of 2019- nCoV, which resulted in relatively lower charter rates. Charter rates improved during 2021. Cyclicality and volatility may lead to reductions in the charter rates we are able to obtain, in vessel values and in our earnings, results of operations and available cash flow.

The drybulk shipping industry is cyclical with attendant volatility in charter rates, vessel values and profitability. The industry is cyclical in nature due to seasonal fluctuations and to the market adjustments in supply of and demand for drybulk vessels, and trade disruptions, such as those caused by the 2019-nCoV. We expect this cyclicality and volatility in market rates to continue in the foreseeable future. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the drybulk charter market will remain at levels recently experienced in the near future, and the market could experience a downturn in case of a new wave of 2019-nCoV, or as a result of the Ukraine conflict, or for other reasons. For example, in 2008, the Baltic Dry Index (the “BDI”), had reached an all-time high of 11,793, while in 2016, BDI had reached an all-time low of 290. During 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022, the BDI, remained volatile, reaching an annual low of 595 in February 2019 and a high of 2,518 in September 2019 for 2019, an annual low of 393 in May 2020 and an annual high of 2,097 in October 2020 for 2020, an annual low of 1,303 on February 10, 2021 and an annual high of 5,650 on October 7, 2021, and a low of 1,296 on January 26, 2022 and a high of 2,727 in March 14, 2022, thus far in 2022.

We charter some of our vessels in the spot charter market for periods up to three months and in the period charter market for longer periods. The spot market is highly competitive and volatile, while period time charter contracts of longer duration provide income at pre-determined rates over more extended periods of time. We are exposed to changes in spot charter market each time one of our vessels is completing a previously contracted charter, and we may not be able to secure period time charters at profitable levels. Furthermore, we may be unable to keep our vessels fully employed. Charter rates available in the market may be insufficient to enable our vessels to be operated profitably. A significant decrease in charter rates would adversely affect our profitability, cash flows, asset values and ability to pay dividends.

As of March 18, 2022, 27 of our 40 drybulk vessels were deployed or scheduled to be deployed on period time charters of more than three months remaining term. In addition, we have entered into agreements for the acquisition of nine Japanese dry-bulk GHG-EEDI Phase 3 NOx-Tier III newbuilds, scheduled to be delivered two in 2022, five in 2023 and two in 2024. None of the newbuilds on order currently have any contracted charter. As more vessels become available for employment, we may have difficulty entering into multi-year, fixed-rate time charters for our vessels, and as a result, our cash flows may be subject to volatility in the long-term. We may be required to enter into variable rate charters or charters linked to the Baltic Panamax Index, as opposed to contracts based on fixed rates, which could result in a decrease in our cash flows and net income in periods when the market for drybulk shipping is depressed. If low charter rates in the drybulk market prevail during periods when we must replace our existing charters, it will have an adverse effect on our revenues, profitability, cash flows and our ability to comply with the financial covenants in our loan and credit facilities.
The factors affecting the supply and demand for drybulk vessels are outside of our control and are difficult to predict with confidence. As a result, the nature, timing, direction and degree of changes in industry conditions are also unpredictable.

Factors that influence demand for drybulk vessel capacity include:

demand for and production of drybulk products;
supply of and demand for energy resources and commodities;
the 2019-nCoV and related factors;
global and regional economic and political conditions, including weather, natural or other disasters (including the 2019-nCoV), armed conflicts (including the Ukraine conflict), terrorist activities and strikes;
environmental and other regulatory developments;
the location of regional and global exploration, production and manufacturing facilities and the distance drybulk cargoes are to be moved by sea;
changes in seaborne and other transportation patterns including shifts in the location of consuming regions for energy resources, commodities, and transportation demand for drybulk transportation;



international sanctions, embargoes, import and export restrictions, nationalizations and wars, including the conflict in Ukraine;
trade disputes or the imposition of tariffs on various commodities or finished goods tariffs on imports and exports that could affect the international trade; and
currency exchange rates.
Factors that influence the supply of drybulk vessel capacity include: 
the size of the newbuilding orderbook;
availability of financing for new vessels;
the number of newbuild deliveries, including slippage in deliveries, which, among other factors, relates to the ability of shipyards to deliver newbuilds by contracted delivery dates and the ability of purchasers to finance such newbuilds;
the scrapping rate of older vessels, depending, amongst other things, on scrapping rates and international scrapping regulations;
the 2019-nCoV and related factors, including port lockdowns, higher crew cost and travel restrictions imposed by governments around the world;
port and canal congestion;
the speed of vessel operation which may be influenced by several reasons including energy cost and environmental regulations;
sanctions;
the number of vessels that are in or out of service, delayed in ports for several reasons, laid-up, dry docked awaiting repairs or otherwise not available for hire, including due to vessel casualties;
changes in environmental and other regulations that may limit the useful lives of vessels or effectively cause reductions in the carrying capacity of vessels or early obsolescence of tonnage; and
ability of the Company to maintain ESG practices acceptable to customers, regulators and financing sources.

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. We anticipate that the future demand for our drybulk vessels and, in turn, drybulk charter rates, will be dependent, among other things, upon economic growth in the world’s economies, seasonal and regional changes in demand, changes in the capacity of the global drybulk vessel fleet and the sources and supply of drybulk cargo to be transported by sea. A decline in demand for commodities transported in drybulk vessels or an increase in supply of drybulk vessels could cause a significant decline in charter rates, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. There can be no assurance as to the sustainability of future economic growth, if any, due to unexpected demand shocks.

A negative change in global economic or regulatory conditions, especially in the Asian region, which includes countries like China, Japan and India, could reduce drybulk trade and demand, which could reduce charter rates and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We expect that a significant number of the port calls made by our vessels will involve the loading or discharging of raw materials in ports in the Asian region, particularly China, Japan and India. As a result, a negative change in economic or regulatory conditions in any Asian country, particularly China, Japan or, to some extent, India, can have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations, as well as our future prospects, by reducing demand and, as a result, charter rates and affecting our ability to charter our vessels. If economic growth declines in China, Japan, India and other countries in the Asian region, or if the regulatory environment in these countries changes adversely for our industry, we may face decreases in such drybulk trade and demand. Moreover, a slowdown in the United States economy or the economies of countries within the European Union (the “E.U.”) will likely adversely affect economic growth in China, Japan, India and other countries in the Asian region. Such an economic downturn in any of these countries could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.




An oversupply of drybulk vessel capacity may lead to reductions in charter rates and results of operations.

The market supply of drybulk vessels has been increasing in terms of dwt, and the number of drybulk vessels on order as of December 31, 2021 was approximately 8.7% for Panamax to Post-Panamax class vessels and 7.1% for Capesize class vessels, as compared to the then-existing global drybulk fleet in terms of dwt, with the majority of new deliveries expected during 2022. As a result, the drybulk fleet continues to grow. In addition, during periods when there are high expectations for charter market recovery, a large number of orders may be placed in shipyards, resulting in a further increase of newbuild orders and accordingly in the size of the global drybulk fleet. An oversupply of drybulk vessel capacity will likely result in a reduction of charter hire rates. We will be exposed to changes in charter rates with respect to our existing fleet and our remaining newbuild, depending on the ultimate growth of the global drybulk fleet. If we cannot enter into period time charters on acceptable terms, we may have to secure charters in the spot market, where charter rates are more volatile and revenues are, therefore, less predictable, or we may not be able to charter our vessels at all. In our current fleet, as of March 18, 2022, 16 vessels will be available for employment in the first half of 2022. A material increase in the net supply of drybulk vessel capacity without corresponding growth in drybulk vessel demand could have a material adverse effect on our fleet utilization and our charter rates generally, and could, accordingly, materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The market value of drybulk vessels is highly volatile, being related to charter market conditions, aging and environmental regulations. The market values of our vessels may significantly decrease which could cause us to breach covenants in our credit and loan facilities, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our credit and loan facilities, which are secured by mortgages on our vessels, require us to comply with collateral coverage ratios and satisfy certain financial and other covenants, including those that are affected by the market value of our vessels. The market values of drybulk vessels have generally experienced significant volatility within a short period of time. The market prices for second-hand and newbuild drybulk vessels significantly declined in 2020 due to depressed market conditions as a result of 2019-nCoV, and have recovered since then during 2021 and the first months of 2022. The market prices for second-hand and newbuild drybulk vessels experienced a small increase in 2018 and 2019 following a significant increase in 2017 compared to the very low levels experienced in 2016 when vessel values were reduced in a short period of time due to depressed market conditions. The market value of our vessels fluctuates depending on a number of factors, including:

general economic and market conditions affecting the shipping industry;
prevailing level of charter rates;
supply of and demand for vessels;
general vessel's condition and vessel's specification;
vessel's environmental performance (GHG rating, BWTS installation, Scrubbers installation, etc.);
distressed asset sales, including newbuild contract sales during weak charter market conditions;
lack of financing and limitations imposed by financial covenants in our credit and loan facilities;
competition from other shipping companies and other modes of transportation;
configurations, types, sizes and ages of vessels;
changes in governmental, environmental or other regulations that may limit the useful life of vessels; and
technological advances.

We were in compliance with our covenants in our credit and loan facilities in effect as of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2021. If the market value of our vessels, or our newbuilds upon delivery to us, decline, we may breach some of the covenants contained in our credit and loan facilities. If we do breach such covenants and we are unable to remedy or our lenders refuse to waive the relevant breach, our lenders could accelerate our indebtedness and foreclose on the vessels in our fleet securing those loan and credit facilities. As a result of cross-default provisions contained in our loan and credit facility agreements, this could in turn lead to additional defaults under our loan agreements and the consequent acceleration of the indebtedness under those agreements and the commencement of similar foreclosure proceedings by other lenders. If our indebtedness was accelerated in full or in part, it would be difficult for us to refinance our debt or obtain additional financing on favorable terms or at all and we could lose our vessels if our lenders foreclose their liens, which would adversely affect our ability to continue our business.




A significant decrease of the market values of our vessels could cause us to incur an impairment loss and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We review for impairment our vessels on a quarterly basis and whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the vessels may not be recoverable. Such indicators include declines in the fair market value of vessels, decreases in market charter rates, vessel sale and purchase considerations, fleet utilization, environmental and other regulatory changes in the drybulk shipping industry or changes in business plans or overall market conditions that may adversely affect cash flows. We may be required to record an impairment charge with respect to our vessels and any such impairment charge resulting from a decline in the market value of our vessels or a decrease in charter rates may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our financial results may be similarly affected in the future if we record an impairment charge or sell vessels at a loss before we record an impairment adjustment. Conversely, if vessel values are elevated at a time when we wish to acquire additional vessels, the cost of such acquisitions may increase and this could adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flow and financial condition.

See “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—A. Operating Results—Critical Accounting Estimates—Impairment of Vessels” for more information.

Technological developments could reduce our earnings and the value of our vessels.

Determining factors for the useful life of the vessels in our fleet are efficiency, operational flexibility and technological developments. Efficiency includes speed, fuel economy, which is also related to GHG emissions, 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 duration of a vessel’s useful life is related to its original design and construction, its maintenance and the impact of the stress of operations. If new vessels are built that are more efficient or more flexible or have longer useful 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. As a result, our earnings and financial condition could be adversely affected.

The international drybulk shipping industry is highly competitive, and we may not be able to compete successfully for charters with new entrants or established companies with greater resources.

We employ our vessels in a highly competitive market that is capital intensive and highly fragmented. Competition arises primarily from other vessel owners, some of whom have substantially greater resources than we do. Competition for the transportation of drybulk cargo by sea is intense and depends on price, customer relationships, operating expertise, professional reputation and size, age, location and condition of the vessel. Due in part to the highly fragmented market, additional competitors with greater resources could enter the drybulk shipping industry and operate larger fleets through consolidations or acquisitions and may be able to offer lower charter rates than we are able to offer, which could have a material adverse effect on our fleet utilization and, accordingly, our results of operations.

Changes in labor laws and regulations, collective bargaining negotiations and labor disputes, and potential challenges for crew availability due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, could increase our crew costs and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.

Crew costs are a significant expense for us under our charters. There is a limited supply of well-qualified crew. We bear crewing costs under our charters. Increases in crew costs may adversely affect our results of operations. In addition, labor disputes or unrest, including work stoppages, strikes and/or work disruptions or increases imposed by collective bargaining agreements covering the majority of our officers on board our vessels could result in higher personnel costs and significantly affect our financial performance. Furthermore, while we do not have any Ukrainian or Russian crew, the Company's vessels currently do not sail in the Black Sea and the Company otherwise conducts limited operations in Russia and Ukraine, the extent to which this will impact the Company’s future results of operations and financial condition will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted. Changes in labor laws and regulations, collective bargaining negotiations and labor disputes, and potential shortage of crew due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, could increase our crew costs and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.

We are subject to regulations and liability under environmental laws that require significant expenditures, which can affect the ability and competitiveness of our vessels to trade, our results of operations and financial condition.




Our business and the operation of our vessels are regulated under international conventions, national, state and local laws and regulations in force in the jurisdictions in which our vessels operate, as well as in the country or countries of their registration, in order to protect against potential environmental impacts. Regulations of vessels, particularly environmental regulations have become more stringent and are expected to be further revised and become stricter in the future, including air emissions (nitrogen and sulfur oxides, particulate matter, etc.), marine pollution, BWTS implementation, GHG emissions, etc., As a result significant capital expenditures may be required on our vessels to keep them in compliance, and we may be required to pay increased prices for newbuild and secondhand vessels that meet these requirements.

See “Item 4. Information on the company. — B. Business Overview — Regulations: Safety and the Environment” for more information.

In addition, the heightened environmental, quality and security concerns of the public, regulators, insurance underwriters, financing sources and charterers may generally lead to additional regulatory requirements, including enhanced risk assessment and security requirements, greater inspection and safety requirements on all vessels in the marine transportation markets and possibly restrictions on the emissions of greenhouse gases from the operation of vessels. These requirements are likely to add incremental costs to our operations and the failure to comply with these requirements may affect the ability of our vessels to obtain and, possibly, collect on insurance or to obtain the required certificates for entry into the different ports where we operate. We could also incur material liabilities, including cleanup obligations and claims for natural resource, personal injury and property damages in the event that there is a release of petroleum or other hazardous materials from our vessels or otherwise in connection with our operations. Violations of, or liabilities under, environmental regulations can result in substantial penalties, fines and other sanctions, including, in certain instances, seizure or detention of our vessels. Any such actual or alleged environmental laws regulations and policies violation, under negligence, willful misconduct or fault, could result in substantial fines, civil and/or criminal penalties or curtailment of operations in certain jurisdictions, and might adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition. In addition, actual or alleged violations could damage our reputation and ability to do business. Furthermore, detecting, investigating and resolving actual or alleged violations is expensive and can consume significant time and attention of our senior management. Events of this nature would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our Scrubber-fitted vessels may face difficulties from the price differential between Compliant Fuels and HFO, regulatory restrictions and shortage in availability of HFO, while our non–scrubber fitted vessels may face difficulties in competing with Scrubber-fitted vessels and incur additional repairs and maintenance costs, affecting our results of operations.

A global 0.5% sulfur cap on marine fuels came into force on January 1, 2020, as agreed in amendments adopted in 2008 for Annex VI to MARPOL reducing the previous sulfur cap of 3.5%. Vessels may use either Compliant Fuel or HFO if they are equipped with Scrubbers. In response to sulfur oxide emissions regulations, we have currently installed Scrubbers in 17 of our vessels and we expect to install one additional Scrubber in 2022 and one in 2023.

The viability of Scrubber investments mainly depends on the price differential between Compliant Fuels, which usually are more expensive, and HFO. The use of Compliant Fuels during 2020 and 2021 has raised concerns in relation to excess wear of piston liners and fuel pumps. On the other hand a shortage of HFO in certain ports has been experienced as only a small percentage of the global fleet is equipped with Scrubbers and the trading of HFO may not be economical to fuel suppliers.

If the price differential between Compliant Fuels and HFO is narrower than expected due to among other things, a drop in oil prices and/or a reduced demand for oil, then we may not realize any return, or we may realize a lower return on our investment in Scrubbers than that which we expected, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial position. Conversely, if the price differential between Compliant Fuels and HFO is wider than expected, about half of our vessels that will not be equipped with Scrubbers may face difficulties in competing with vessels equipped with Scrubbers. Furthermore, restrictions of effluents from Scrubbers have been or are being considered to be imposed in various jurisdictions, mainly in ports, which may affect the viability of such investments. All the above could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial position.
See “Item 4. Information on the company. — B. Business Overview — IMO and other related regulations — Nitrogen and Sulfur Oxide Emission Regulations” for more information.

Environmental regulations in relation to climate change and GHG emissions may increase operational and financial restrictions, and environmental compliance costs .

GHG reduction measures adopted, or further additional measures to be adopted by the IMO, EU and other jurisdictions for achieving 2030 goals may impose operational and financial restrictions, carbon taxes or an emission trading system on less



efficient vessels starting from 2023, gradually affecting younger vessels, even newbuilds after 2030, reducing their trade and competitiveness, increasing their environmental compliance costs, imposing additional energy efficiency investments, or even making such vessels obsolete. This or other developments may lead to environmental taxation affecting less energy efficient vessels, reduce their trade and competitiveness and make certain vessels in our fleet obsolete, which may result in financial impacts on our results of operations that we cannot predict with certainty at this time.This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
See “Item 4. Information on the company. — B. Business Overview — Regulations: Safety and the Environment - Greenhouse Gas Regulation – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” for more information.

In response to the above GHG environmental regulations, we monitor CO2 vessel emissions pursuant to the International Maritime Organizations' fuel oil consumption Data Collection System (“IMO DCS”) and to the European Monitoring, Reporting and Verification Regulation (“EU-MRV”), assessing in parallel the applicability of relevant energy efficiency measures. Furthermore, we have pursued a fleet renewal strategy having entered into memoranda of agreement for the acquisition of nine environmentally advanced Japanese dry-bulk GHG-EEDI Phase 3 NOx-Tier III compliant newbuilds, scheduled to be delivered two in 2022, five in 2023 and two in 2024.

Increasing scrutiny and changing expectations from investors, lenders and other market participants with respect to our
ESG policies may impose additional costs on us or expose us to additional risks.

    Companies across all industries, including the shipping industry, are facing increased 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 the stock price of such a company could be materially and adversely affected. As a result, we may be required to implement more stringent ESG procedures or standards so that we continue to have access to capital and our existing and future investors and lenders remain invested in us and make further investments in us.

Specifically, 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. Additionally, certain investors and lenders may exclude drybulk shipping companies, such as us, from their investing portfolios altogether due to environmental, social and governance factors. If we are faced with limitations in the debt and/or equity markets as a result of these concerns, or if we are unable to access alternative means of financing on acceptable terms, or at all, we may be unable to access funds to implement our business strategy or service our indebtedness, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to complex laws and regulations, including international safety regulations and requirements imposed by our classification societies and the failure to comply with these regulations and requirements may subject us to increased liability, may adversely affect our insurance coverage and may result in a denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports.

    We are subject to complex laws and regulations both in the jurisdictions in which we operate, such as international conventions, regulations and treaties, and in national laws. Compliance with regulations and laws require significant costs which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition and our available cash. Our industry’s regulatory environment is becoming exponentially complex and includes regulations of the European Union, the United Nations, the IMO and the United States, such as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973 (“ISM Code”), including the designation of Emission Control Areas, the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, the United States Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the U.S. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, the U.S. Clean Air Act, the U.S. Clean Water Act, the U.S. Marine Transportation Security Act of 2002 and others. In the foreseeable future we expect the trend of increasing regulatory compliance complexity to continue. For example, United States agencies and the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee have adopted cyber security regulations which requires ship owners and managers to incorporate cyber risk management and security into their safety management.

The operation of our vessels is affected by the requirements set forth in the IMO ISM Code. Under the ISM Code, we are required to develop and maintain an extensive Safety Management System (“SMS”) that includes the adoption of a safety and environmental protection policy. Failure to comply with the ISM Code may subject us to increased liability, invalidate existing



insurance or decrease available insurance coverage for the affected vessels and result in a denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard and E.U. authorities have indicated that vessels not in compliance with the ISM Code will be prohibited from trading in U.S. and E.U. ports. Currently, each of the vessels in our current fleet is ISM Code-certified, but we may not be able to maintain such certification at all times. If we fail to maintain ISM Code certification for our vessels, we may also breach covenants in certain of our credit and loan facilities that require that our vessels be ISM Code-certified. If we breach such covenants due to failure to maintain ISM Code certification and are unable to remedy the relevant breach, our lenders could accelerate our indebtedness and foreclose on the vessels in our fleet securing those credit or loan facilities.
    The operation of our vessels is also affected by other government regulation 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. Because such conventions, laws, and regulations are often revised, we may not be able to 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. In addition, vessel classification societies also impose significant safety and other requirements on our vessels. As a result, we may incur significant capital expenditures on our vessels to keep them in compliance which could negatively impact our cash flow available for dividends. See Item 4. Information on the Company-Business Overview-Environmental and Other Regulations for more information.

Increased inspection procedures, tighter import and export controls and survey requirements could increase costs and disrupt our business.

International shipping is subject to various security and customs inspections and related procedures in countries of origin and destination. Inspection procedures can result in the seizure of the contents of our vessels, delays in the loading, offloading or delivery and the levying of customs duties, fines and 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 impractical. Any such changes or developments may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The hull and machinery of every commercial vessel must be certified as safe and seaworthy in accordance with applicable rules and regulations, and accordingly vessels must undergo regular surveys. If any vessel does not maintain its class and/or fails any annual survey, intermediate survey or special survey, the vessel will be unable to trade between ports and will be unemployable and we would be in violation of certain covenants in our credit and loan facilities. This would also negatively impact our revenues.

Our vessels are exposed to operational risks that may not be adequately covered by our insurance.

The operation of any vessel includes risks such as weather conditions, mechanical failure, collision, fire, contact with floating objects, cargo or property loss or damage and business interruption due to political circumstances in countries, piracy, terrorist and cyber terrorist attacks, armed hostilities and labor strikes. Such occurrences could result in death or injury to persons, loss, damage or destruction of property or environmental damage, delays in the delivery of cargo, loss of revenues from or termination of charter contracts, governmental fines, penalties or restrictions on conducting business, higher insurance rates and damage to our reputation and customer relationships generally.

We may not be adequately insured against all risks, and our insurers may not pay particular claims. With respect to war risks insurance, which we usually obtain for certain of our vessels making port calls in designated war zone areas, such insurance may not be obtained prior to one of our vessels entering into an actual war zone, which could result in that vessel not being insured. Even if our insurance coverage is adequate to cover our losses, we may not be able to timely obtain a replacement vessel in the event of a loss. Under the terms of our credit facilities, we will be subject to restrictions on the use of any proceeds we may receive from claims under our insurance policies. Furthermore, in the future, we may not be able to maintain or obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates for our fleet. We may also be subject to calls, or premiums, in amounts based not only on our own claim records but also the claim records of all other members of the protection and indemnity associations through which we receive indemnity insurance coverage for tort liability. Our insurance policies also contain deductibles, limitations and exclusions which, although we believe are standard in the shipping industry, may nevertheless increase our costs in the event of a claim or decrease any recovery in the event of a loss. If the damages from a



catastrophic oil spill or other marine disaster exceed our insurance coverage, the payment of those damages could have a material adverse effect on our business and could possibly result in our insolvency.

In general, we do not carry loss of hire insurance. Occasionally, we may decide to carry loss of hire insurance when our vessels are trading in areas where a history of piracy has been reported. Loss of hire insurance covers the loss of revenue during extended vessel off-hire periods, such as those that occur during an unscheduled drydocking or unscheduled repairs due to damage to the vessel. Accordingly, any loss of a vessel or any extended period of vessel off-hire, due to an accident or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

World events, including terrorist attacks, international hostilities and potential disruption of shipping routes due to events outside of our control, including the conflict in Ukraine, could negatively affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We conduct most of our operations outside of the U.S. 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, including the current political instability in the Middle East, North Africa and other countries and geographic areas, terrorist or other attacks and war or international hostilities. Terrorist attacks and the continuing response of the U.S. 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 may affect our business, operating results and financial condition. Continuing conflicts and recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa, the escalation of conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the presence of U.S. 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. These uncertainties could also adversely affect our ability to obtain additional financing on terms acceptable to us or at all. In the past, political conflicts have also resulted in attacks on vessels, mining of waterways and other efforts to disrupt international shipping, particularly in the Arabian Gulf region. These types of attacks have also affected vessels trading in regions such as the Black Sea, South China Sea and the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. The IMO’s extraordinary council session held on 10th and 11th March 2022, addressed the impacts on shipping and seafarers, as a result of the conflict in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The IMO called for the need to preserve the integrity of maritime supply chains and the safety and welfare of seafarers and any spillover effects of the military action on global shipping, logistics and supply chains, in particular the impacts on the delivery of commodities and food to developing nations and the impacts on energy supplies. Any of these occurrences could have a material adverse impact on our operating results, revenues and costs.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which commenced in February 2022, has disrupted supply chains and caused instability and significant volatility in the global economy. Much uncertainty remains regarding the global impact of the conflict in Ukraine, and it is possible that such instability, uncertainty and resulting volatility could significantly increase our costs and adversely affect our business, including our ability to secure charters and financing on attractive terms, and as a result, adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows.

As a result of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Switzerland, the US, the EU, the UK and others have announced unprecedented levels of sanctions and other measures against Russia and certain Russian entities and nationals. Such sanctions against Russia may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operation and cash flows. For example, apart from the immediate commercial disruptions caused in the conflict zone, escalating tensions among the two countries and fears of potential shortages in the supply of Russian crude have caused the price of oil to trade above $100 per barrel as of March 18, 2022. The ongoing conflict could result in the imposition of further economic sanctions against Russia, with uncertain impacts on the drybulk market and the world economy. While we do not have any Ukrainian or Russian crew, our vessels currently do not sail in the Black Sea and we otherwise conduct limited operations in Russia and Ukraine, it is possible that the conflict in Ukraine, including any increased shipping costs, disruptions of global shipping routes, any impact on the global supply chain and any impact on current or potential customers caused by the events in Russia and Ukraine, could adversely affect our operations or financial performance.

The outbreak and ongoing threat of the 2019-nCoV or other public health threats and epidemics and the resulting disruptions to the international shipping industry, could negatively affect our business, financial performance and our results of operations.

On March 18, 2020, the outbreak of the 2019-nCoV was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The 2019-nCoV has affected our industry, see “Item 4. Information on the company. — B. Business Overview — Corona Virus Outbreak” for more information. The extent and duration to which the 2019-nCoV outbreak and measures taken in response



thereto may continue to negatively impact our business, financial performance and operating results, remain largely uncertain and dependent on the impact of future developments that cannot be accurately predicted at this time. Such developments may include, but are not limited to, the severity and transmission rate of the Omicron, Delta or other potential new 2019-nCoV variants, the extent to which vaccines are available to our crew, and the effectiveness of the containment actions taken, such as travel and cargo restrictions. As a result, it is not possible to ascertain the overall future impact of the 2019-nCoV on our business. However, the occurrence of any of the foregoing events or other epidemics or an increase in the severity or duration of the 2019-nCoV and any new virus wave, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition, value of our vessels, and our ability to pay dividends.

Acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels may increase in frequency, which 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 and in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Although the frequency of sea piracy worldwide has generally decreased since 2013, sea piracy incidents continue to occur, particularly in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia and increasingly in the Sulu Sea and the Gulf of Guinea, with drybulk vessels and tankers particularly vulnerable to such attacks. Acts of piracy could result in harm or danger to the crews that man our vessels.

If these piracy attacks occur in regions in which our vessels are deployed that insurers characterized as “war risk” zones or Joint War Committee “war and strikes” listed areas, premiums payable for such coverage could increase significantly and such insurance coverage may be more difficult to obtain. In addition, crew costs, including the employment of onboard security guards, could increase in such circumstances. Furthermore, while we believe the charterer remains liable for charter payments when a vessel is seized by pirates, the charterer may dispute this and withhold charterhire until the vessel is released. A charterer may also claim that a vessel seized by pirates was not “on-hire” for a certain number of days and is therefore entitled to cancel the charter party, a claim that we would dispute. We may not be adequately insured to cover losses from these incidents, which could have a material adverse effect on us. In addition, any detention hijacking as a result of an act of piracy against our vessels, or an increase in cost, or unavailability, of insurance for our vessels, could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and earnings.

The operation of drybulk vessels has certain unique operational and technical risks which include mechanical failure, collision, property loss, cargo loss or damage as well as personal injury, illness and loss of life and could lead to an environmental disaster; failure to adequately maintain our vessels or address such risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The operation of a drybulk vessel has certain unique operational and technical risks which include mechanical failure, collision, property loss, cargo loss or damage as well as personal injury, illness and loss of life and could lead to an environmental disaster. Drybulk vessels may develop unexpected mechanical and operational problems due to several reasons including improper maintenance and weather conditions. We operate certain of our vessels using Compliant Fuel, some of which, under certain conditions, may cause loss of the vessel’s main engine power with severe results that can lead to collision and loss of a vessel.

With a drybulk vessel, the cargo itself and its interaction with the vessel may create operational risks. By their nature, drybulk cargoes are often heavy, dense and easily shifted, and they may react badly to water exposure. In addition, drybulk vessels are often subjected to battering treatment during unloading operations with grabs, jackhammers (to pry encrusted cargoes out of the hold) and small bulldozers. This treatment may cause damage to the vessel. Vessels damaged due to treatment during unloading procedures or with steel plate diminution may be more susceptible to breach while at sea. Breaches of a drybulk vessel’s hull may lead to the flooding of the vessel’s holds. If a drybulk vessel suffers flooding in its forward holds, the bulk cargo may become so dense and waterlogged that its pressure may buckle the vessel’s bulkheads, leading to the loss of a vessel. If we do not adequately maintain our vessels or address such operational and technical risks, we may be unable to prevent these events. The occurrence of any of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Maritime claimants could arrest one or more of our vessels, which could interrupt our cash flow.

Crew members, suppliers of goods and services to a vessel, shippers of cargo and other parties may be entitled to a maritime lien against a vessel, or other assets of the relevant vessel-owning company, for unsatisfied debts, claims or damages. In many jurisdictions, a claimant may seek to obtain security for its claim by arresting a vessel through foreclosure proceedings. The arrest or attachment of one or more of our vessels, or other assets of the relevant vessel-owning company or companies, could cause us to default on a charter, breach covenants in certain of our credit facilities, interrupt our cash flow and require us to pay large sums of money to have the arrest or attachment lifted. 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 attempt to assert “sister ship” liability against one vessel in our fleet for claims relating to another of our vessels.

Governments could requisition our vessels during a period of war or emergency, resulting in a loss of earnings.

A government could requisition one or more of our vessels for title or for hire. Requisition for title occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and becomes its owner, while requisition for hire occurs when a government takes control of a vessel and effectively becomes its charterer at dictated charter rates. Generally, requisitions occur during periods of war or emergency, although governments may elect to requisition vessels in other circumstances. Even if we would be entitled to compensation in the event of a requisition of one or more of our vessels, the amount and timing of payment would be uncertain. Government requisition of one or more of our vessels may cause us to breach covenants in certain of our credit facilities, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We rely on information technology, and if we are unable to protect against service interruptions, data corruption, cyber based attacks or network security breaches, our operations could be disrupted and our business could be negatively affected.

In the ordinary course of business, we rely on information technology networks and systems to process, transmit, and store electronic information and to manage or support a variety of business processes and activities. Our information systems and networks could become targeted and attacked by individuals or organized groups. A cyber attack could materially and adversely affect our business operations, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and our reputation. In addition, cyber attacks could lead to potential unauthorized access to our systems targeting ransomware, data theft, loss and corruption, disclosure of proprietary or confidential information or, personal data. Cyber attacks on our vessels may also lead to potential unauthorized access to, or service interruptions, denial or manipulation of the navigational systems of our vessels, which could result in hazardous accidents. There is no assurance that we will not experience these service interruptions or cyber attacks in the future. Further, as the methods of cyber attacks continue to evolve, we may be required to expend additional resources to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures, or to investigate and remedy any vulnerabilities to cyber attacks. Moreover, we do not carry cyber attack insurance to cover the aforementioned risks to our information technology. These information technology systems, some of which are managed by third parties, may be susceptible to damage, disruptions or shutdowns, hardware or software failures, power outages, computer viruses, cyber attacks, telecommunication failures, user errors or catastrophic events. Risks and vulnerabilities can also arise out of inadequacies in design, integration and/or maintenance of information technology systems , as well as lapses in cyber discipline. Furthermore, as of May 25, 2018, data breaches on personal data, as defined in the European General Data Protection Regulation, could lead to administrative fines up to €20 million or up to 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the company, whichever is greater. Our information technology systems are becoming increasingly integrated, so damage, disruption or shutdown to the system could result in a more widespread impact. If our information technology systems suffer severe damage, disruption or shutdown, and our business continuity plans do not effectively resolve the issues in a timely manner, our operations could be disrupted and our business could be negatively affected.
Recent action by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee and U.S. agencies indicate that cyber security regulations for the maritime industry are likely to be further developed in the near future in an attempt to combat cyber security threats. This might cause companies to cultivate additional procedures for monitoring cyber security, which could require additional expenses and/or capital expenditures. However, the impact of such regulations is difficult to predict at this time.




Political uncertainty and an increase in trade protectionism could have a material adverse impact on our charterers’ business and, in turn, could cause a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.

Our operations expose us to the risk that increased trade protectionism from China, other countries in the Asian region, the United States or other nations will adversely affect our business. If the global recovery is undermined by downside risks and the economic downturn returns, or if the regulatory environment otherwise dictates, governments may turn to trade barriers to protect their domestic industries against foreign imports, thereby depressing the demand for shipping. Specifically, increasing trade protectionism affecting the markets that our charterers serve may cause (i) a decrease in cargoes available to our charterers in favor of domestic charterers and domestically owned ships and (ii) an increase in the risks associated with importing goods to such markets. For instance, the government of China has implemented economic policies aimed at increasing domestic consumption of Chinese-made goods and restricting currency exchanges within China. Further, on January 23, 2017, former President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement intended to include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Peru and a number of Asian countries. Further, 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. Throughout 2018 and 2019, former President Trump called for substantial changes to foreign trade policy with China and raised, and proposed to further raise in the future, tariffs on several Chinese goods in order to reverse what he perceived as unfair trade practices that have negatively impacted U.S. businesses. The announcement of such tariffs has triggered retaliatory actions from foreign governments, including China, and may trigger retaliatory actions by other foreign governments, resulting in a “trade war.” The trade war has had the effect of reducing the supply of goods available for import or export and has therefore resulted in a decrease in demand for shipping. On January 15, 2020, the United States and China signed the Phase One Deal, agreeing to the rollback of tariffs, expansion of trade purchases, and renewed commitments on intellectual property, technology transfer, and currency practices deescalating the trade war. Under the Phase One Deal the U.S. has committed to reduce tariffs from 15 % to 7.5% on US$120 billion worth of goods and China has agreed to halve tariffs on 1,717 U.S. goods, lowering the tariff on some items from 10% to 5%, and others from 5 % to 2.5 %, which both took effect on February 14, 2020. U.S. President Biden has stated that there are no immediate plans to cancel the Phase One Deal, but the administration is expected to make changes to the U.S.-China tariff policies.

There is no certainty that the de-escalation of the trade war between the U.S. and China will continue and there is no certainty that additional tariffs will not be imposed by the U.S. or China. Should the de-escalation of the trade war discontinue or an increase in trade barriers or restrictions on trade occur or be perceived to become likely, such events may have an adverse effect on global market conditions, may have an adverse impact on global trade and 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, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Seasonal fluctuations in industry demand could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and the amount of available cash with which we can pay dividends.

We operate our vessels in markets that have historically exhibited seasonal variations in demand and, as a result, in charter rates. Seasonality is related to several factors and may result in quarter-to-quarter volatility in our results of operations, which could affect the amount of dividends, if any, that we may pay to our shareholders. For example, the market for marine drybulk transportation services is typically stronger in the fall months in anticipation of increased consumption of coal in the northern hemisphere during the winter months and the grain export season from North America. Similarly, the market for marine drybulk transportation services is typically stronger in the spring months in anticipation of the South American grain export season due to increased distance traveled by vessels to their end destination known as ton mile effect, as well as increased coal imports in parts of Asia due to additional electricity demand for cooling during the summer months. Demand for marine drybulk transportation services is typically weaker at the beginning of the calendar year and during the summer months. In addition, unpredictable weather patterns during these periods tend to disrupt vessel scheduling and supplies of certain commodities. This seasonality could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.




Charterers may renegotiate or default on period time charters, which could reduce our revenues and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The ability and willingness of each of our counterparties to perform its obligations under a period time charter agreement 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 drybulk shipping industry and the overall financial condition of the counterparties. If we enter into period time charters with charterers when charter rates are high and charter rates subsequently fall significantly, charterers may seek to renegotiate financial terms or may default on their obligations. Additionally, charterers may attempt to bring claims against us based on vessel performance or cargo loading or unloading operations, seeking to renegotiate financial terms or avoid payments. Also, our charterers may experience financial difficulties due to prevailing economic conditions or for other reasons, and as a result may default on their obligations. In past years, the industry experienced numerous incidents of charterers renegotiating their charters or defaulting on their obligations thereunder. In December 2020, we agreed to the early termination of an existing charter of a Capesize-class vessel at the request of the charterer which was contractually due to expire in January 2024. In exchange for the early redelivery of the vessel, the charterer paid us cash compensation of $8.1 million. The vessel was subsequently deployed under a new period time charter with a different charterer for a duration of 12 to 14 months at a gross daily charter rate linked to the 5 TC Baltic Exchange Capesize Index ("BCI-180 5TC'') times 119%. As of March 18, 2022, we had not received any additional notice of early redelivery or termination from any of our charters. If a charterer defaults on a charter, we will, to the extent commercially reasonable, seek the remedies available to us, which may include arbitration or litigation to enforce the contract, although such efforts may not be successful. Should a charterer default on a period time charter, we may have to enter into a charter at a lower charter rate, which would reduce our revenues. If we cannot enter into a new period time charter, we may have to secure a charter in the spot market, where charter rates are volatile and revenues are less predictable. It is also possible that we would be unable to secure a charter at all, which would also reduce our revenues, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, loan and credit facility covenants and cash flows.

We depend on a limited number of customers for a large part of our revenues and the loss of one or more of these customers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We expect to derive a significant part of our revenues from a limited number of customers. During the year ended December 31, 2021, two of our charterers each accounted for more than 10.0% of our revenues and in previous periods some of our charterers each accounted for more than 10.0% of our revenues. We could lose a customer for many different reasons, including:

a failure of the customer to make charter payments because of its financial inability, disagreements with us or otherwise;
the customer’s termination of its charters because of our non-performance, including serious deficiencies with the vessels we provide to that customer or prolonged periods of off-hire;
a prolonged force majeure event that affects the customer may prevent us from performing services for that customer, i.e., damage to or destruction of relevant production facilities and war or political unrest; and
the other reasons discussed in this section.
If we lose a key customer, we may be unable to obtain period time charters on comparable terms with charterers of comparable standing or may have increased exposure to the volatile spot market, which is highly competitive and subject to significant price fluctuations. We would not receive any revenues from a vessel while it remained unchartered, but we may be required to pay expenses necessary to maintain the vessel in proper operating condition, insure it and service any indebtedness secured by such vessel. The loss of any of our key customers, a decline in payments under our charters or the failure of a key customer to perform under its charters with us could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

When our contracts expire, we may not be able to successfully replace them. Our growth and our capacity to replace them depends on our ability to expand relationships with existing customers and obtain new customers, for which we will face substantial competition from new entrants and established companies with significant resources.

Time-charter contracts provide income at pre-determined rates over short or more extended periods of time. However, the process for obtaining new time charters especially longer term time charters is highly competitive and generally involves a lengthy, intensive and continuous screening and vetting process and the submission of competitive bids. In addition to the quality, age and suitability of the vessel, longer term shipping contracts tend to be awarded based upon a variety of other factors relating to the vessel operator, including:




the operator’s environmental, health and safety record;

compliance with the IMO standards and regulatory industry standards;

shipping industry relationships, reputation for customer service, technical and operating expertise;

shipping experience and quality of ship operations, including cost-effectiveness;

quality, experience and technical capability of crews;

willingness to accept operational risks pursuant to the charter, such as allowing termination of the charter for force majeure events; and

As a result of these factors we may be unable to expand our relationships with existing customers or obtain new customers for our charters on a profitable basis, if at all, therefore, when our contracts including our long-term charters expire, we cannot assure you that we will be able to replace them promptly or at all or at rates sufficient to allow us to operate our business profitably, to meet our obligations, including payment of debt service to our lenders, or to pay dividends. Our ability to renew the charter contracts on our vessels on the expiration or termination of our current charters, or, on vessels that we may acquire in the future, the charter rates receivable under any replacement charter contracts, will depend upon, among other things, economic conditions in the sectors in which our vessels operate at that time, changes in the supply and demand for vessel capacity and changes in the supply and demand for the transportation of commodities. During periods of market distress when long-term charters may be renewed at rates at or below operating costs, we may not choose to charter our vessels for longer terms particularly if doing so would create an ongoing negative cash flow during the period of the charter. We may instead choose to employ our vessels in the spot market for short periods, or in index-linked charters, or be forced to idle our vessels, or lay them up, or scrap them depending on market conditions and outlook at the time those vessels become available for charter.

However, if we are successful in employing our vessels under longer-term time charters, our vessels will not be available for trading in the spot market during an upturn in the market cycle, when spot trading may be more profitable. If we cannot successfully employ our vessels in profitable charter contracts, our results of operations and operating cash flow could be materially adversely affected.

We have adopted an anti-bribery policy consistent with the provisions of the FCPA and anti-bribery legislation in other jurisdictions. Actual or alleged violations of these policies could result in damage of our reputation, sanctions, criminal penalties, imprisonment, civil action and fines, which could have an adverse effect on our business.

We operate in a number of countries throughout the world, including countries known to have a reputation for corruption. We are committed to doing business in accordance with applicable anti-corruption laws and have adopted policies consistent and in full compliance with the FCPA and anti-bribery legislation in other jurisdictions. We are subject, however, to the risk that we, our affiliated entities or our or their respective officers, directors, employees and agents may take actions determined to be in violation of such anti-corruption laws, including the FCPA. Any such violation could result in substantial fines, sanctions, civil and/or criminal penalties or curtailment of operations in certain jurisdictions, and might adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition. In addition, actual or alleged violations could damage our reputation and ability to do business. Furthermore, detecting, investigating and resolving actual or alleged violations is expensive and can consume significant time and attention of our senior management.

We may have difficulty properly managing our planned growth through acquisitions of additional vessels.

As of March 18, 2022, we intend to grow our business through the recent acquisition of one second-hand Capesize vessel delivered to us in February 2022, and we have pursued a fleet renewal strategy having entered into contracts for the acquisition of nine environmentally advanced Japanese dry-bulk GHG-EEDI Phase 3 NOx-Tier III compliant newbuilds, scheduled to be delivered two in 2022, five in 2023 and two in 2024. We may contract additional newbuild vessels or make selective acquisitions of additional second-hand vessels. Our future growth will primarily depend on our ability to locate and acquire suitable vessels, enlarge our customer base, operate and supervise any newbuilds we may order and obtain required debt or equity financing on acceptable terms.

A delay in the delivery to us of any such vessel, or the failure of the shipyard to deliver a vessel at all, could cause us to breach our obligations under a related charter and could adversely affect our earnings. In addition, the delivery of any of these vessels with substantial defects could have similar consequences.



A shipyard could fail to deliver a newbuild on time or at all because of:

work stoppages or other hostilities, political, economic or other disturbances that disrupt the operations of the shipyard, including as a result of 2019-nCoV;
quality or engineering problems;
bankruptcy or other financial crisis of the shipyard;
a backlog of orders at the shipyard;
disputes between the Company and the shipyard regarding contractual obligations;
weather interference or catastrophic events, such as major earthquakes or fires;
our requests for changes to the original vessel specifications; or
shortages of or delays in the receipt of necessary construction materials, such as steel, or equipment, such as main engines, electricity generators and propellers.
A third-party seller could fail to deliver a second-hand vessel on time or at all because of:

bankruptcy or other financial crisis of the third-party seller;
quality or engineering problems;
disputes between the Company and the third-party seller regarding contractual obligations; or
weather interference or catastrophic events, such as major earthquakes or fires.
In addition, we may seek to terminate or novate a vessel acquisition contract due to market conditions, financing limitations or other reasons. The outcome of contract termination or novation negotiations may require us to forego deposits on construction or acquisition, as applicable, and pay additional cancellation fees. In addition, where we have already arranged a future charter with respect to the terminated contract, we may incur liabilities to such charter counterparty depending on the terms of such charter.

During periods in which charter rates are high, vessel values generally are high as well, and it may be difficult to consummate vessel acquisitions or enter into newbuild contracts at favorable prices. During periods when charter rates are low, we may be unable to fund the acquisition of vessels, whether through lending or cash on hand. For these reasons, we may be unable to execute our growth plans or avoid significant expenses and losses in connection with our future growth efforts.

As we expand our business, we will need to improve or expand our operations and financial systems, staff and crew; if we cannot improve these systems or recruit suitable employees, our performance may be adversely affected.

Our current operating and financial systems may not be adequate as we implement our plan to expand the size of our fleet, and our Managers’ attempts to improve those systems may be ineffective. In addition, as we expand our fleet, we will have to rely on our Managers to recruit additional seafarers and shoreside administrative and management personnel. Our Managers may not be able to continue to hire suitable employees or a sufficient number of employees as we expand our fleet. If our Managers’ unaffiliated crewing agents encounter business or financial difficulties, we may not be able to adequately staff our vessels. We may also have to increase our customer base to provide continued employment for most of our new vessels. If we are unable to operate our financial systems, our Managers are unable to operate our operations systems effectively or recruit suitable employees in sufficient numbers or we are unable to increase our customer base as we expand our fleet, our performance may be adversely affected.

Unless we set aside reserves for vessel replacement, at the end of a vessel’s useful life, our revenue will decline, which would adversely affect our cash flows and income.

As of March 18, 2022, the vessels in our current fleet had an average age of 10.4 years. Unless we maintain cash reserves for vessel replacement, we may be unable to replace the vessels in our fleet upon the expiration of their useful lives. We estimate the useful life of our vessels to be 25 years from the date of initial delivery from the shipyard. We estimate the useful life of our second-hand vessels to be 25 years from the date of built. Our cash flows and income are dependent on the revenues we earn by chartering our vessels to customers. If we are unable to replace the vessels in our fleet upon the expiration of their useful lives, our business, financial condition and results of operations will be materially adversely affected. Any reserves set aside for vessel replacement would not be available for other cash needs or dividends.




Our ability to obtain financing on favorable terms and the deterioration of the global banking markets may adversely impact our business. If economic conditions globally continue to be volatile, it could impede our operations.
 
Although capital markets have improved since 2008, when banks and other financial institutions active in the shipping industry became increasingly unwilling to provide credit, the shipping industry remains negatively affected by the scarcity of credit and the cost of financing has increased. Financing institutions have increased interest rate margins or even ceased funding for certain shipping companies. Furthermore, vessels older than 15 years old may not be financed by banks and other financial institutions at all. Any further deterioration of the global banking markets may decrease the availability of financing or refinancing on acceptable terms when needed, and we may be unable to meet our debt obligations as they become due.
 
Despite the stabilization of growth in China as reflected in the 8.1% global gross domestic product (''GDP'') increase for 2021, a 4.4% and 3.8% global GDP forecasted increase for 2022 and 2023, respectively, and the projected economic growth in the U.S. and the E.U. with a forecast for 4.0% and 3.9% GDP growth for 2022, respectively, any adverse developments in relation to trade war, Ukraine conflict or 2019-nCoV may affect credit markets globally and increase volatility of global economic conditions which could impede our results of operations and financial condition.

If we are unable to obtain additional secured indebtedness, we may be unable to refinance our existing indebtedness and may not be able to finance a fleet replacement and expansion program in the future, any of which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Global financial markets and economic conditions have been volatile. Future financing and investing activities may involve refinancing of certain existing debt near or upon maturity and the financing of future fleet replacement and expansion. Our ability to refinance existing indebtedness, or to access the capital markets for future offerings may be limited by our financial condition at the time of any such financing or offering, including the actual or perceived credit quality of our charterers and the market value of our fleet, as well as by adverse market conditions resulting from, among other things, general economic conditions, weakness in the financial markets and contingencies and uncertainties that are beyond our control. To the extent that we are unable to enter into new credit facilities and obtain such additional secured indebtedness on terms acceptable to us, we will need to find alternative financing. In addition, we may also be liable for other damages for breach of contract. A failure to satisfy our financial commitments could result in the acceleration of our indebtedness and foreclosure on our vessels. Such events, if they occurred, would adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The aging of our fleet and our acquisitions of second-hand vessels may result in increased operating costs in the future, which could adversely affect our ability to operate our vessels profitably.

In general, the costs to maintain a vessel in good operating condition increase with the age of the vessel. As of March 18, 2022, the average age of the vessels in our current fleet was 10.4 years. As our vessels age, they may become less fuel and energy efficient and more costly to maintain and will not be as advanced as more recently constructed vessels due to improvements in design and engine technology. Rates for cargo insurance, paid by charterers, also increase with the age of a vessel, making older vessels less desirable to 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 our vessels may engage, which could adversely affect our ability to operate our vessels profitably. 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.

Twenty vessels in our fleet were over ten years old as of December 31, 2021. We may encounter higher operating and maintenance costs due to the age and condition of those vessels. In addition, if in the future we acquire additional second-hand vessels, such vessels may develop unexpected mechanical and operational problems despite adherence to regular survey schedules and proper maintenance. We cannot obtain the same knowledge about the condition of a second-hand vessel compared to a newbuild through the performed inspection prior to the purchase of such second-hand vessel nor about the cost of any required (or anticipated) repairs that we would have had if this vessel had been built for and operated exclusively by us. We will have the benefit of warranties on newly constructed vessels; we may not receive the benefit of warranties on second-hand vessels.

Due to our lack of vessel diversification, adverse developments in the drybulk transportation business could adversely affect our business, financial condition and operating results.

        We derive all our revenues exclusively from our business operations in the drybulk transportation industry, unlike other shipping companies which have vessels that carry liquefied gas, crude oil and oil products. Since we depend exclusively on the transport of drybulk, an adverse market development in the drybulk sector of the transportation industry could therefore have a



stronger impact on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition, than if we had multiple sources of revenues, lines of businesses or types of assets.

Uncertainty regarding the LIBOR due to changes in the reporting practices, the method in which LIBOR is determined or the use of alternative reference rates, such as the SOFR, may adversely impact our indebtedness under our credit and loan facilities, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In July 2017, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") announced that it would phase out LIBOR as a benchmark by the end of 2021. In March 2021, the FCA and ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (the administrator of LIBOR) announced that all LIBOR settings would either cease to be published by any benchmark administrator, or no longer be representative immediately after December 31, 2021 for all GBP, EUR, CHF and JPY LIBOR rates and one-week and two-month USD LIBOR settings, and immediately after June 30, 2023 for overnight and one, three, six and twelve-month USD LIBOR settings. As of January 1, 2022, publication of one-week and two-month USD LIBOR has ceased, and regulated U.S. financial institutions are no longer permitted to enter into new contracts referencing any LIBOR settings.

The Alternative Reference Rates Committee (the “ARRC”), a committee convened by the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has proposed replacing USD LIBOR with SOFR, a new index based on trading in overnight repurchase agreements. The methodology of calculating SOFR is different to that of LIBOR, as SOFR is calculated using short-term repurchase agreements backed by U.S. Treasury securities and is backward looking, while LIBOR is an estimated forward-looking rate and relies, to some degree, on the expert judgment of submitting panel members. In addition since SOFR is a secured rate backed by government securities, it does not take into account bank credit risk (as is the case with LIBOR). SOFR also may be more volatile than LIBOR. In July 2021, the ARRC formally recommended the use of forward-looking term rates based on SOFR published by CME Group (the “Term SOFR”) on commercial loans. While Term SOFR matches more closely the term structure and forward-looking features of LIBOR, as a calculation based on a secured overnight financing rate it still does not match the credit risk-sensitive nature of LIBOR as an unsecured term rate. It still remains in question which form of SOFR will be adopted as a LIBOR replacement.

At this time, we are not able to accurately predict whether SOFR will become the most prevalent alternative reference rate in the market. Additionally, it is difficult to predict whether and to what extent banks will continue to provide LIBOR submissions to the administrator of rate quotes for the USD LIBOR rates that have not already been discontinued or, if they do, whether such rates will be representative of the underlying market or economic reality before they are scheduled to be discontinued on June 30, 2023 or whether any additional reforms to LIBOR may be enacted in the U.K. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that a transition from LIBOR to an alternative reference interest rate will not result in financial market disruptions or significant increases in benchmark rates, or borrowing costs to borrowers, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The vast majority of our credit and loan facilities are based on LIBOR. All of our LIBOR-based credit and loan facilities that mature after June 30, 2023 will be converted to refer to a replacement rate. If our LIBOR-based borrowings are converted to SOFR, the differences between LIBOR and SOFR, plus the recommended spread adjustment, could result in higher interest costs than if LIBOR remained available, which could have a material adverse effect on our operating results, cash flows, financial condition, and ability to pay dividends. Our financial instruments may require changes to documentation as well as enhancements and modifications to systems, controls, procedures and models, which could present operational and legal challenges for us and counterparties. There can be no assurance that we will be able to modify all existing financial instruments before the discontinuation of LIBOR. If such financial instruments are not remediated to provide a method for transitioning from LIBOR to an alternative reference rate, the New York state LIBOR legislation and federal legislation related to the LIBOR transition may provide statutory solutions to implement an alternative reference rate and provide legal protection against litigation. Any of these proposals or consequences could have a material adverse effect on our financing costs, and as a result, our financial condition, operating results and cash flows.

We continue to monitor developments in the LIBOR transition and the proposed federal legislation related to the LIBOR transition to facilitate an orderly transition away from the use of LIBOR.

We are and will be exposed to floating interest rates and may selectively enter into interest rate derivative contracts, which can result in higher than market interest rates and charges against our income.
 
The loans under our credit facilities are generally advanced at a floating rate based on LIBOR, which is volatile and 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 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. As of March 18, 2022, we do not have any interest rate hedging



arrangements in place. 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. The use of interest rate derivatives may affect our results through mark to market valuation of these derivatives, while adverse movements in interest rate derivatives may require us to post cash as collateral, which may impact our liquidity.

Entering into swaps and derivatives transactions is inherently risky and presents various possibilities for incurring significant losses. The derivatives strategies that we employ in the future may not be successful or effective, and we could, as a result, incur substantial additional interest costs. The effectiveness of interest rate derivative contracts may also be impacted by the transition from LIBOR to SOFR or other alternative rates.

Because we generate substantially all of our revenues in U.S. dollars but incur a material portion of our expenses in other currencies, including our management fees and investments in Scrubbers and BWTS, and also incur a material portion of our indebtedness and our capital expenditure requirements in other currencies, exchange rate fluctuations could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We generate substantially all of our revenues in U.S. dollars, but in 2021 we incurred approximately 27.3% of our vessel operating expenses in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, of which 60.1% was denominated in Euros. In addition, we incurred the majority of our management fees in Euros, and this will continue in the future. In February 2022, one of our subsidiaries issued a non-amortising unsecured bond in the amount of €100,000,000, which is listed in the Athens Stock Exchange (the "Bond"). The Bond is guaranteed by us and pays a coupon of 2.95% on a semi-annual basis. The Bond matures in February 2027 and may be redeemed at our option in part or in full after February 2024, subject to the payment of a premium ranging from 1.5% to 0.5% of the redeemed amount depending on the timing of the redemption. We have not entered into any arrangements to hedge the currency risk arising from either the coupon payments or the Bond redemption. As of December 31, 2021, all of our secured indebtedness was denominated in U.S. dollars, as well as the amounts due under the contracts for the acquisition of the nine newbuild vessels currently in our orderbook. We have historically entered into shipbuilding contracts and purchase of vessels whereby part of the contract price was payable in Japanese yen and Singapore dollars. Also, new credit facilities and financing agreements, purchase of vessels or newbuild contracts may be denominated in or permit conversion into currencies other than the U.S. dollar. The use of different currencies could lead to fluctuations in our net income due to changes in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to other currencies, in particular the Euro and the Japanese yen. We have not hedged our overall currency exposure, and, as a result, our results of operations and financial condition, denominated in U.S. dollars, and our ability to pay dividends, could suffer.

Restrictive covenants in our existing credit facilities and financing agreements including our Bond, impose, and any future credit facilities and financing agreements will impose, financial and other restrictions on us, and any breach of these covenants could result in the acceleration of our indebtedness and foreclosure on our vessels.

We have substantial indebtedness. As of December 31, 2021, we had $360.3 million outstanding under our credit facilities and financing agreements.

Our existing credit facilities and financing agreements impose, and any future credit facility and financing agreement will impose, operating and financial restrictions on us. These restrictions generally limit our ability to, among other things:

pay dividends if an event of default has occurred and is continuing or would occur as a result of the payment of such dividend;
enter into certain long-term charters without the lenders’ consent;
incur additional indebtedness, including through the issuance of guarantees;
change the flag, class or management of the vessel mortgaged under such facility or terminate or materially amend the management agreement relating to such vessel;
create liens on their assets;
make loans;
make investments;
make capital expenditures;



undergo a change in ownership or control or permit a change in ownership and control of our Managers;
sell the vessel mortgaged under such facility; and
change our chief executive officer.
Therefore, we may need to seek permission from our lenders in order to engage in some corporate actions. Our lenders’ interests may be different from ours, and we cannot guarantee that we will be able to obtain our lenders’ permission when needed. This may limit our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders, finance our future operations or pursue business opportunities.

Certain of our existing credit facilities require our subsidiaries to maintain financial ratios and satisfy financial covenants. Depending on the credit facility, certain of our subsidiaries are subject to financial ratios and covenants requiring that these subsidiaries:

ensure that the market value of the vessel mortgaged under the applicable credit facility, determined in accordance with the terms of that facility, does not fall below 105%, 115%, 120% or 135%, as the case may be (the “Minimum Value Covenant”);
maintain at all times a minimum cash balance per vessel with the respective lender from $200,000 to $500,000 as the case may be; and
ensure that we comply with certain financial covenants under the guarantees described below.
In addition, under our loan agreements or under guarantees we have entered into with respect to certain of our subsidiaries’ credit facilities including our Bond, we are subject to financial covenants. Depending on the facility, these financial covenants include the following as of March 18, 2022:

our total consolidated liabilities divided by our total consolidated assets (based on the market value of all vessels owned or leased on a finance lease taking into account their employment, and the book value of all other assets), must not exceed 85% (the “Consolidated Leverage Covenant”);
our total consolidated assets (based on the market value of all vessels owned or leased on a finance lease taking into account their employment, and the book value of all other assets) less our total consolidated liabilities must not be less than $150 million (the “Net Worth Covenant”);
our ratio of its EBITDA over consolidated interest expense must not be less than 2.0:1, on a trailing 12 months’ basis (the “EBITDA Covenant”);
a minimum of 30% or 35%, as the case may be, of our voting and ownership rights shall remain directly or indirectly beneficially owned by the Hajioannou family for the duration of the relevant credit facilities and in the case of one facility, Polys Hajioannou is required to beneficially hold a minimum of 20% of the voting and ownership rights (the “Control Covenant”): and
payment of dividends is subject to no event of default having occurred and be continuing or would occur as a result of the payment of such dividends.
Failure to meet our payment and other obligations or to maintain compliance with the applicable financial covenants could lead to defaults under our secured credit facilities. Our lenders could then accelerate our indebtedness and foreclose on the vessels in our fleet securing those credit facilities. The loss of these vessels would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.




The declaration and payment of dividends will always be subject to the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on a number of factors. Our board of directors may not declare dividends in the future.

We have declared a cash dividend of $0.05 per share of Common Stock payable which was paid on March 28, 2022 to shareholders of record on March 21, 2022. This is the first dividend we have paid on our shares of Common Stock since August 2015. The declaration and payment of future dividends, if any, will always be subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors of the Company. There is no guarantee that the Company’s Board of Directors will determine to issue cash dividends in the future. The timing and amount of any dividends declared will depend on, among other things: (i) the Company’s earnings, fleet employment profile, financial condition and cash requirements and available sources of liquidity; (ii) decisions in relation to the Company’s growth, fleet renewal and leverage strategies; (iii) provisions of Marshall Islands and Liberian law governing the payment of dividends; (iv) restrictive covenants in the Company’s existing and future debt instruments; and (v) global economic and financial conditions. Therefore, we might continue not paying dividends on our shares of Common Stock in the future.

There may be a high degree of variability from period to period in the amount of cash, if any, that is available for the payment of dividends based upon, among other things:

the rates we obtain from our charters as well as the rates obtained upon the expiration of our existing charters;
the level of our operating costs;
the level of our general and administrative costs;
the number of unscheduled off-hire days and the timing of, and number of days required for, scheduled drydocking of our ships;
vessel acquisitions and related financings;
level of indebtedness;
restrictions in our loan and credit facilities and in any future debt facilities;
prevailing global and regional economic and political conditions;
the effect of governmental regulations and maritime self-regulatory organization standards on the conduct of our business;
the amount of cash reserves established by our board of directors; and
restrictions under Marshall Islands and Liberian law.
We may incur expenses or liabilities or be subject to other circumstances in the future that reduce or eliminate the amount of cash that we have available for distribution as dividends, if any. Our growth and fleet renewal strategies contemplate that we will finance the acquisition of our contracted newbuilds or selective acquisitions of second-hand vessels through a combination of cash on hand, our operating cash flow and debt financing or equity financing. If financing is not available to us on acceptable terms, our board of directors may decide to finance or refinance such acquisitions with a greater percentage of cash from operations to the extent available, which would reduce or even eliminate the amount of cash available for the payment of dividends. We may also enter into other agreements that will restrict our ability to pay dividends.

Under the terms of certain of our existing credit facilities, we are not permitted to pay dividends if an event of default has occurred and is continuing or would occur as a result of the payment of such dividend. We expect that any future credit facilities will also have restrictions on the payment of dividends. In addition, cash dividends on our Common Stock are subject to the priority of dividends on the 2,297,504 outstanding shares of Series C Preferred Shares and 3,195,050 outstanding shares of Series D Preferred Shares as of December 31, 2021.

The laws of the Republic of Liberia and of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, where our vessel-owning subsidiaries are incorporated, generally prohibit the payment of dividends other than from surplus or net profits, or while a company is insolvent or would be rendered insolvent by the payment of such a dividend. Our subsidiaries may not have sufficient funds, surplus or net profits to make distributions to us. In addition, under guarantees we have entered into with respect to certain of our subsidiaries’ existing credit and loan facilities, we are subject to financial and other covenants, which may limit our ability to pay dividends. We also may not have sufficient surplus or net profits in the future to pay dividends.

The amount of cash we generate from our operations may differ materially from our net income or loss for the period, which will be affected by non-cash items. We may incur other expenses or liabilities that could reduce or eliminate the cash



available for distribution as dividends. As a result of these and the other factors mentioned above, we may pay dividends during periods when we record losses and may not pay dividends during periods when we record net income.

We are a holding company and we depend on the ability of our subsidiaries to distribute funds to us in order to make dividend payments.

We are a holding company and our subsidiaries, which are all wholly-owned by us, conduct all of our operations and own all of our operating assets. We have no significant assets other than the equity interests in our wholly-owned subsidiaries and cash and cash equivalents held by us. As a result, our ability to make dividend payments depends on our subsidiaries and their ability to distribute funds to us. The ability of a subsidiary to make these distributions could be affected by a claim or other action by a third party, including a creditor, and the laws of the Republic of Liberia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands where our vessel-owning subsidiaries are incorporated, and of the Republic of Cyprus, where one of our subsidiaries, the holding company of four of our vessel-owning subsidiaries, is incorporated, which regulate the payment of dividends by companies. If we are unable to obtain funds from our subsidiaries, our board of directors may exercise its discretion not to declare or pay dividends.

We depend on our Managers to operate our business and our business could be harmed if our Managers fail to perform their services satisfactorily.

Pursuant to our management agreements with our Managers (the “Management Agreements”), our Managers provide us with technical, administrative and commercial services (including vessel maintenance, crewing, purchasing, shipyard supervision, insurance, assistance with regulatory compliance, financial services and office space) and our executive officers. Our operational success depends significantly upon our Managers’ satisfactory performance of these services. Our business would be harmed if our Managers failed to perform these services satisfactorily. In addition, if either of the Management Agreements were to be terminated, expire or if their terms were to be altered, our business could be adversely affected, as we may not be able to immediately replace such services, and even if replacement services were immediately available, the terms offered could be less favorable than those under our Management Agreements.

Our ability to compete for and enter into charters and to expand our relationships with our existing charterers will depend largely on our relationship with our Managers and their reputation and relationships in the shipping industry. If our Managers suffer material damage to their reputation or relationships, it may harm our ability to:

renew existing charters upon their expiration;
obtain new charters;
successfully interact with shipyards during periods of shipyard construction constraints;
obtain financing on commercially acceptable terms;
maintain satisfactory relationships with our charterers and suppliers; and
successfully execute our business strategies.
If our ability to do any of the things described above is impaired, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Although we may have rights against our Managers if they default on their obligations to us, investors in us will have no recourse against our Managers.

Our Managers are permitted to provide certain management services to affiliates and third parties under the specific restrictions of our Management Agreements. Although our Managers are required to provide preferential treatment to our vessels with respect to chartering arrangements under the Management Agreements, our Managers’ time and attention may be diverted from the management of our vessels in such circumstances. Further, we will need to seek approval from our lenders to change our Managers.

Management fees are payable to our Managers regardless of our profitability, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Pursuant to our Management Agreements, we pay our Managers a daily ship management fee of €875 per vessel and Safe Bulkers Management an annual ship management fee of €3.5 million for providing commercial, technical and administrative services (see the section entitled “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - A. Operating Results - General and



Administrative Expenses” for more information). In addition, we pay our Managers certain commissions and fees with respect to vessel purchases, sales and newbuilds. The management fees do not cover expenses such as voyage expenses, vessel operating expenses, maintenance expenses, crewing costs, insurance premiums, commissions and certain company administration expenses such as directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, legal and accounting fees and other similar company administration expenses, which are reimbursed or paid by us. The management fees are payable whether or not our vessels are employed, and regardless of our profitability, and we have no ability to require our Managers to reduce the management fees if our profitability decreases, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. The latest expiration date of the Management Agreements with our Managers is May 2027. We expect to enter into new agreements with the Managers upon their expiration; however, the terms upon which the new management agreements will be entered into are unknown at this time and may be less favorable to the Company than those currently in place.

Both of our Managers are privately held companies, and there is little or no publicly available information about them; an investor could have little advance warning of problems affecting our Managers that could have a material adverse effect on us.

The ability of our Managers to continue providing services for our benefit will depend in part on their own financial strength. Circumstances beyond our control could impair our Managers’ financial strength. Because our Managers are privately held, it is unlikely that information about their financial strength would become public or available to us prior to any default by our Managers under the Management Agreements. As a result, we may, and our investors might, have little advance warning of problems that affect our Managers, even though those problems could have a material adverse effect on us.

Our chief executive officer also controls our Managers, which could create conflicts of interest between us and our Managers.

Our chief executive officer, Polys Hajioannou, controls both of our Managers. Polys Hajioannou, directly and through entities controlled by him, owns approximately 39.77% of our outstanding Common Stock as of March 18, 2022 (see “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions—A. Major Shareholders” for more information). These relationships could create conflicts of interest between us, on the one hand, and our Managers, on the other hand. These conflicts may arise in connection with the chartering, purchase, sale and operation of the vessels in our fleet versus vessels owned or chartered-in by other companies affiliated with our Managers or our chief executive officer. To the extent we elect not to exercise our right of first refusal with respect to any drybulk vessel that may be acquired by companies affiliated with our chief executive officer, such companies could acquire and operate such drybulk vessels in competition with us. In addition, although under our Management Agreements our Managers will be required to first provide us any chartering opportunities in the drybulk sector, our Managers are not prohibited from giving preferential treatment in other areas of its management to vessels that are beneficially owned by related parties. In addition, under our restrictive covenant arrangements with Mr. Hajioannou and certain entities affiliated with him, he and such entities may own, operate or finance a maximum of eight drybulk vessels on the water at any one time or enter into an unlimited number of contracts with shipyards for newbuild drybulk vessels as part of his estate or family planning. Any such drybulk vessels are not required to be managed by either of our Managers, and Mr. Hajioannou and his related entities are not required to first provide chartering opportunities to us with respect to such vessels. These conflicts of interest may have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

While we adhere to high standards of evaluating related party transactions, agreements between us and other affiliated entities may be challenged as less favorable than agreements that we could obtain from unaffiliated third parties.

We have entered into various transactions with Mr. Hajioannou, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and entities controlled by and/or affiliated with Mr. Hajioannou. For example, in 2017, we sold one drybulk vessel to an entity owned by Mr. Hajioannou. While we believe this transaction was properly evaluated and approved by an independent special committee of our board of directors, certain terms related to the transaction, including price, may be challenged to be on terms that are less favorable to us than terms that would have otherwise been agreed upon with unaffiliated third-parties. Future transactions with Mr. Hajioannou and entities controlled by and/or affiliated with Mr. Hajioannou may undergo scrutiny by our shareholders, the media or others and result in a challenge of the terms associated with any such transaction.

Our business depends upon certain employees who may not necessarily continue to work for us; if such employees were no longer to be affiliated with us, our business, financial condition and results of operation could suffer.

Our future success depends, to a significant extent, upon our chief executive officer, Polys Hajioannou, and certain other members of our senior management and of our Managers. Polys Hajioannou has substantial experience in the drybulk shipping industry and for 33 years has worked with us, our Managers and their predecessor. He and other members of our senior management and of our Managers manage our business and their performance is crucial to the execution of our business



strategies and to the growth and development of our business. If these individuals were no longer to be affiliated with us or our Managers, or if we were to otherwise cease to receive advisory services from them, we may be unable to recruit other employees with equivalent talent and experience, and our business and financial condition could suffer. We do not maintain, and do not intend to maintain, “key man” life insurance on any of our executive officers.

The provisions in our restrictive covenant arrangements with our chief executive officer and certain entities affiliated with him restricting their ability to compete with us, like restrictive covenants generally, may not be enforceable.

Our chief executive officer, Polys Hajioannou, and certain entities affiliated with him have entered into restrictive covenant agreements with us under which they are precluded from competing with us during either (i) with respect to Polys Hajioannou, the term of his service with us as executive and director and for one year thereafter, or (ii) with respect to entities affiliated with Polys Hajioannou, during the term of the Management Agreements and for one year following the termination of both Management Agreements, in each case subject to certain exceptions. Courts generally do not favor the enforcement of such restrictions, particularly when they involve individuals and could be construed as infringing on such individuals’ ability to be employed or to earn a livelihood. Our ability to enforce these restrictions, should it ever become necessary, will depend upon the circumstances that exist at the time enforcement is sought. A court may not enforce the restrictions as written by way of an injunction and we may not necessarily be able to establish a case for damages as a result of a violation of the restrictive covenants.

Our vessels call on ports located in Iran and Syria, which are identified by the United States government as state sponsors of terrorism and are subject to United States economic sanctions, which could be viewed negatively by investors and adversely affect the trading price of our Common Stock and Preferred Shares.

From time to time, vessels in our fleet have called and/or may call on ports located in countries identified by the United States government as state sponsors of terrorism and subject to United States economic sanctions. From January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2011, vessels in our fleet made 20 calls on ports in Iran and three calls on ports in Syria out of a total of 2,327 calls on worldwide ports. From January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2015, vessels in our fleet did not make any calls on ports in Iran or Syria. From January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016, vessels in our fleet made three calls on ports in Iran and no calls on ports in Syria out of a total of 750 calls on worldwide ports. From January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017, vessels in our fleet made four calls on ports in Iran and no calls on ports in Syria out of a total of 712 calls on worldwide ports. From January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018, vessels in our fleet made five calls on ports in Iran and no calls on ports in Syria out of a total of 731 calls on worldwide ports. From January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, vessels in our fleet made ten calls on ports in Iran and no calls on ports in Syria out of a total of 773 calls on worldwide ports. From January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, vessels in our fleet did not make any calls on ports in Iran and Syria out of a total of 809 calls made on worldwide ports. From January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021, vessels in our fleet did not make any calls on ports in Iran and Syria out of a total of 680 calls made on worldwide ports. Iran and Syria are identified by the United States government as state sponsors of terrorism. Although these designations and controls do not prevent our vessels from making calls on ports in these countries, potential investors could view such port calls negatively, which could adversely affect our reputation and the market for our Common Stock. Investor perception of the value of our Common Stock may be adversely affected by the consequences of war, the effects of terrorism, civil unrest and governmental actions in these and surrounding countries.

Our policy is for our vessels to avoid making calls on ports in Iran and Syria unless, in the case of Iran, the charterer represents to us that the cargo is not in contravention with any E.U., U.S. or United Nation sanctions and the export of such cargo has been authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

If our vessels call on ports located in countries that are subject to sanctions and embargoes imposed by the U.S. or other governments, it could adversely affect our reputation and the market for our shares. The U.S. government and other authorities have made certain countries subject to certain sanctions and embargoes or have identified countries or other authorities as state sponsors of terrorism. From time to time, on charterers’ instructions, our vessels may call on ports located in such countries. 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 or strengthened over time.In addition, 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 become the subject of sanctions imposed by the U.S. government, the E.U. and/or other international bodies. 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 interpretation. 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 our securities. For example, 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. 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. The determination by these investors not to invest in, or to divest, our shares may adversely affect the price at which our shares trade. 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 result in liability for the Company or 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 subject to U.S. sanctions and embargo laws that are not controlled by the governments of those countries, or engaging in operations associated with those countries pursuant to contracts with third-parties that are unrelated to those countries or entities controlled by their governments.

See “Item 4. Information on the Company—B. Business Overview—Disclosure of activities pursuant to Section 13(r) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934” for more information.

We are incorporated in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which does not have a well-developed body of corporate law; therefore, you may have more difficulty protecting your interests than shareholders of a U.S. corporation.

Our corporate affairs are governed by our articles of incorporation, our bylaws and by the Marshall Islands Business Corporations Act (“BCA”). The provisions of the BCA resemble provisions of the corporation laws of a number of states in the United States. However, there have been few judicial cases in the Republic of the Marshall Islands interpreting the BCA. The rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands are not as clearly established as the rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under statutes or judicial precedent in existence in certain United States jurisdictions. The rights of shareholders of companies incorporated in the Republic of the Marshall Islands may differ from the rights of shareholders of companies incorporated in the United States. While the BCA provides that it is to be interpreted according to the non-statutory laws of the State of Delaware and other states with substantially similar legislative provisions, there have been few, if any, court cases interpreting the BCA in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and we cannot predict whether Marshall Islands courts would reach the same conclusions as United States courts. Thus, you may have more difficulty in protecting your interests in the face of actions by our management, directors or controlling shareholders than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a United States jurisdiction which has developed a more substantial body of case law in the corporate law area.

It may be difficult to serve us with legal process or enforce judgments against us, our directors or our management.

We are incorporated under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and our Managers’ business is operated primarily from their offices in Limassol, Cyprus and Athens, Greece. In addition, a majority of our directors and officers are or will be non-residents of the United States, and all of our assets and a substantial portion of the assets of these non-residents are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for you to bring an action against us or against these individuals in the United States if you believe that your rights have been infringed under the securities laws or otherwise. You may also have difficulty enforcing, both within and outside of the United States, judgments you may obtain in the United States courts against us or these persons in any action, including actions based upon the civil liability provisions of United States federal or state securities laws. There is also substantial doubt that the courts of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Cyprus or Greece would enter judgments in original actions brought in those courts predicated on United States federal or state securities laws.

We may be subject to lawsuits for damages and penalties.

The nature of our business exposes us to the risk of lawsuits for damages or penalties relating to, among other things, personal injury, property casualty and environmental contamination. From time to time, we may be subject to legal proceedings and claims in the ordinary course of business, principally personal injury and property casualty claims. We expect that these claims would be covered by insurance, subject to customary deductibles. However, such claims, even if lacking merit, could result in the expenditure of significant financial and managerial resources.

Regulatory and legal risks as a result of our global operations could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial conditions.
 



Our global operations increase both the number and the level of complexity of U.S. or foreign laws and regulations applicable to us. These laws and regulations include international labor laws; U.S. laws such as the FCPA and other laws and regulations established by the Office of Foreign Assets Control; local laws such as the U.K. Bribery Act 2010; data privacy requirements like the European General Data Protection Regulation, enforceable as of May 25, 2018; and the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, adopted by the European Commission on July 12, 2016. We may inadvertently breach some provisions of those laws and regulations which could result in cease of business activities, criminal sanctions against us, our officers or our employees, fines and materially damage our reputation. In addition, detecting, investigating and resolving such cases of actual or alleged violations may be expensive and time consuming for our senior management.
 
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.
 
We have significant legal, accounting and compliance expenses in order to comply with the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and the other rules and regulations of the SEC, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Compliance with certain corporate governance requirements and financial reporting obligations, such as the systems and processes evaluation and testing of our internal control over financial reporting, which allow management to report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, as required by Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, is time consuming for our management and increases legal and compliance costs. 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 which could harm the price of our Common Stock.

Risks Relating to Our Common Stock and Preferred Shares

Polys Hajioannou the largest shareholder of the Company, is able to significantly influence the outcome of matters on which our shareholders are entitled to vote and its interests may be different from yours.

As of March 18, 2022, Polys Hajioannou owns or controls approximately 39.77%, of our outstanding Common Stock (see “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions – A. Major Shareholders” for more information). Polys Hajioannou is the largest shareholder of the Company and is able to significantly influence the outcome of matters on which our shareholders are entitled to vote, including the election of our entire board of directors and other significant corporate actions including mergers, sales of assets or other similar transactions. The interests of Polys Hajioannou may be different from yours.

Our status as a foreign private issuer within the rules promulgated under the Exchange Act exempts us from certain requirements of the SEC and NYSE.

We are a “foreign private issuer” within the rules promulgated under the Exchange Act. Under the NYSE listing rules, a foreign private issuer may elect to comply with the practice of its home country and to not comply with certain NYSE corporate governance requirements, including the requirements that (a) a majority of the board of directors consist of independent directors, (b) a nominating and corporate governance committee be established that is composed entirely of independent directors and has a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities, (c) a compensation committee be established that is composed entirely of independent directors and has a written charter addressing the committee’s purpose and responsibilities, (d) an annual performance evaluation of the nominating and corporate governance and compensation committees be undertaken and (e) the obligation to obtain shareholder approval in connection with certain issuances of authorized stock or the approval of, and material revisions to, equity compensation plans. Moreover, we are not required to comply with certain requirements of the SEC that domestic issuers are required to comply with, including (a) the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K, (b) the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act, (c) the provisions of Regulation FD aimed at preventing issuers from making selective disclosures of material information and (d) the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and establishing insider liability for profits realized from any “short-swing” trading transaction (i.e., a purchase and sale, or sale and purchase, of the issuer’s equity securities within less than six months). Therefore, you will not have the same protections afforded to shareholders of companies that are subject to all NYSE corporate governance requirements or SEC requirements.

For example, in reliance on the foreign private issuer exemption to the NYSE listing rules, a majority of our board of directors may not consist of independent directors; our board’s approach may therefore be different from that of a board with a majority of independent directors, and as a result, the management oversight of our Company may be more limited than if we were subject to the NYSE listing rules. Because of these exemptions, investors are not afforded the same protections or information generally available to investors holding shares in public companies organized in the U.S.




See “Item 16G. Corporate Governance” for more information.

Future sales of our Common Stock could cause the market price of our Common Stock to decline and our existing shareholders may experience significant dilution.

We may issue additional shares of our Common Stock in the future and our shareholders may elect to sell large numbers of shares held by them from time to time, subject to applicable restrictions and limitations under Rule144 of the Securities Act.

In April 2011, we issued and sold 5,000,000 shares of Common Stock in a public offering. The gross proceeds of the April 2011 public offering were approximately $42.0 million. In March 2012, we issued and sold 5,750,000 shares of Common Stock in a public offering. The gross proceeds of the March 2012 public offering were approximately $37.4 million. In November 2013, we issued and sold 5,750,000 shares of Common Stock in a public offering. Concurrently with that public offering, we issued and sold 1,000,000 shares of Common Stock to an entity associated with our chief executive officer, Polys Hajioannou, in a private placement. The gross proceeds of the November 2013 public offering and private placement were approximately $50.2 million. In December 2016, we issued and sold 15,640,000 shares of Common Stock in a public offering, in which an entity associated with Polys Hajioannou purchased 2,727,272 shares of Common Stock. The gross proceeds of the December 2016 public offering were approximately $17.2 million. In April 2017, we completed an exchange offer (the “Exchange Offer”) for our Series B Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Shares, par value $0.01 per share, liquidation preference $25.00 per share (“Series B Preferred Shares”), in which we issued an additional 2,212,508 shares of Common Stock to holders of Series B Preferred Shares who tendered such preferred shares in the Exchange Offer.
 
In November 2018, one of our subsidiaries entered into a memorandum of agreement with an unaffiliated seller to acquire a Japanese-built, dry-bulk Post-Panamax class resale newbuild vessel. We had the option to finance up to 50% of the purchase price of the vessel through the issuance of our Common Stock to the seller. In November 2018, November 2019 and April 2020, we exercised our option and issued 1,441,048, 3,963,964 and 2,951,699 shares of our Common Stock respectively to the seller, to finance the first instalment of $3.3 million, the second instalment of $6.6 million and part of the third installment of $3.3 million, respectively of the purchase price of the vessel.

Sales of a substantial number of shares of our Common Stock in the public market, or the perception that these sales could occur, may depress the market price for our Common Stock. These sales could also impair our ability to raise additional capital through the sale of our equity securities in the future.

Our existing shareholders may also experience significant dilution in the future as a result of any future offering.

We also entered into a registration rights agreement in connection with our initial public offering with Vorini Holdings Inc., one of our principal shareholders, pursuant to which we have granted it and certain of its transferees the right, under certain circumstances and subject to certain restrictions, to require us to register under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), shares of our Common Stock held by them. Under the registration rights agreement, Vorini Holdings Inc. and certain of its transferees have the right to request us to register the sale of shares held by them on their behalf and may require us to make available shelf registration statements permitting sales of shares into the market from time to time over an extended period. In addition, those persons have the ability to exercise certain piggyback registration rights in connection with registered offerings initiated by us. Registration of such shares under the Securities Act would, except for shares purchased by affiliates, result in such shares becoming freely tradable without restriction under the Securities Act immediately upon the effectiveness of such registration.

The market price of our Common Stock may be adversely affected by sales of substantial amounts of our Common Stock pursuant to our ATM Program.

In August 2020, the Company filed a prospectus supplement with the SEC and entered into a sales agreement (the “Sales Agreement”) with a sales agent (the “Sales Agent”), under which we may offer and sell shares of Common Stock from time to time up to aggregate net offering proceeds of $23.5 million through an ATM Program. In May 2021, the Company filed a supplement to the August 2020 prospectus supplement and increased its potential net offering proceeds under the ATM Program to $100.0 million. As of December 31, 2021, the Company had offered to sell and had sold 19,417,280 shares of common stock and had received aggregate net offering proceeds of $71.5 million under the ATM Program. The Company had not offered to sell and has not sold any additional common shares under the ATM Program in the fourth quarter of 2021 or in 2022, as of March 18, 2022.




Subject to certain limitations in the Sales Agreement and compliance with applicable law, we have the discretion to deliver notices to the sales agent at any time throughout the term of the Sales Agreement. The number of shares that are sold by the Sales Agent after delivering a notice will fluctuate based on the market price of the shares of Common Stock during the sales period and limits we set with the Sales Agent. Because the sales of the shares offered hereby are made directly into the market or in negotiated transactions, the prices which we sell these shares will vary and these variations may be significant. Purchasers of the shares we sell, as well as our existing shareholders, will experience significant dilution if we sell shares at prices significantly below the price at which they invested. Furthermore, all of our shares of Common Stock sold in the offering will be freely tradable without restriction or further registration under the Securities Act. As a result of this offering, a substantial number of our shares of Common Stock may be sold in the public market or may cause the perception that these sales could occur, either of, which may cause the market price of our Common Stock to decline. This could make it more difficult for you to sell your shares of Common Stock at a time and price that you deem appropriate and could impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities.

We may adopt share repurchase programs which may affect the market for our Common Stock and Preferred Shares, including affecting our share price or increasing share price volatility.
 
The Company may, from time to time, repurchase Common Stock or Preferred Shares in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions or otherwise, depending upon several factors, including market and business conditions, the trading price of our Common Stock and other investment opportunities. The repurchase programs may be limited, suspended or discontinued at any time without prior notice. In June 2019, we announced a share repurchase program under which we could, from time to time, purchase up to 5,000,000 shares of Common Stock in the aggregate on the open market. In March 2020, we expanded such share repurchase program to provide for the repurchase of an additional 1,500,000 shares of Common Stock on the open market. In March 2020, we announced a preferred share repurchase program under which we could, from time to time, purchase up to 100,000 shares of each of our Series C Preferred Shares and Series D Preferred Shares on the open market. Repurchases of our Common Stock or Preferred Shares pursuant to any repurchase programs could affect our stock price and increase trading volatility. As of March 18, 2022, we have no active repurchase program for Common Stock or Preferred Shares.

There is no guarantee of a continuing public market for you to resell our common or preferred stock.

Our Common Stock and Preferred Shares trade on the NYSE. We cannot assure you that an active and liquid public market for our Common Stock or Preferred Shares will continue, which would likely have a negative effect on the price of our Common Stock or Preferred Shares, as applicable, and impair your ability to sell or purchase our Common Stock or Preferred Shares, as applicable, when you wish to do so.

If our Common Stock falls below the continued listing standard of $1.00 per share again or otherwise fails to satisfy any of the NYSE continued listing requirements, and if we are unable to cure such deficiency during any subsequent cure period, our Common Stock could be delisted from the NYSE. If our Common Stock ultimately were to be delisted for any reason, we could face significant material adverse consequences, including:

limited availability of market quotations for our Common Stock;
a limited amount of news and analyst coverage for us;
a decreased ability for us to issue additional securities or obtain additional financing in the future;
limited liquidity for our shareholders due to thin trading; and
loss of preferential tax rates for dividends received by certain non-corporate United States holders, loss of “mark-to-market” election by United States holders in the event we are treated as a ''passive foreign investment company'', and loss of our tax exemption under Section 883 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).
We have adopted a shareholders rights plan which could make it more difficult for a third-party to acquire us while the plan remains in effect.
We have in effect a shareholders rights plan that is intended to enable all shareholders to realize the long-term value of their investment in the Company and to protect against any person or group from gaining control of the Company through coercive or otherwise unfair takeover tactics. The shareholders rights plan is not intended to deter offers that are fair and otherwise in the best interests of the Company’s shareholders. In connection with the Company’ s adoption of the shareholders rights plan, the Company declared a dividend of one preferred share purchase right (a “Right”) for each outstanding share of our Common Stock. The Rights will be exercisable on the earlier of (1) the tenth day after the public announcement that a person or group acquires ownership of 10% or more of the Company’s Common Stock without the approval of the Board or (2) the tenth



business day (or such later date as determined by the Board) after a person or group announces a tender or exchange offer which would result in that person or group holding 10% or more of the Company’s Common Stock. Polys Hajioannou, the Company’s Chairman and chief executive officer, and his brother Nicolaos Hadjioannou are excluded persons for purposes of the shareholders rights plan and shares of our Common Stock held by Mr. Hajioannou or Mr. Hadjioannou and entities controlled by and/or affiliated or associated with Mr. Hajioannou or Mr. Hadjioannou or members or their respective families are not subject to the restrictions of the shareholders rights plan.
The Rights also become exercisable if a person or group that already beneficially owns 10% or more of our Common Stock (other than one or more of the excluded persons described above) acquires any additional shares of our Common Stock without the approval of the Board. If the Rights become exercisable, all Rights holders (other than the person or group triggering the Rights) will be entitled to acquire certain of our securities at a substantial discount. The Rights may substantially dilute the stock ownership of a person or group attempting to take over our company without the approval of the Board, and the rights plan could make it more difficult for a third-party to acquire our company or a significant percentage of our outstanding shares of Common Stock, without first negotiating with the Board.

Anti-takeover provisions in our organizational documents and Management Agreements could make it difficult for our shareholders to replace or remove our current board of directors and together with our adoption of a shareholders rights plan could have the effect of discouraging, delaying or preventing a merger or acquisition, which could adversely affect the market price of the shares of our Common Stock.

Several provisions of our articles of incorporation and bylaws could make it difficult for our shareholders to change the composition of our board of directors in any one year, preventing them from changing the composition of our management. In addition, the same provisions may discourage, delay or prevent a merger or acquisition that shareholders may consider favorable. These provisions:

authorize our board of directors to issue “blank check” preferred stock without shareholder approval;
provide for a classified board of directors with staggered, three-year terms;
prohibit cumulative voting in the election of directors;
authorize the removal of directors only for cause;
prohibit shareholder action by written consent unless the written consent is signed by all shareholders entitled to vote on the action;
establish advance notice requirements for nominations for election to our board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted on by shareholders at shareholder meetings; and
provide that special meetings of our shareholders may only be called by the chairman of our board of directors, chief executive officer or a majority of our board of directors.
Pursuant to our shareholders rights plan any person that attempts to acquire us without the approval of our board of directors may have their shareholdings substantially diluted.

Each Manager may terminate the applicable Management Agreement prior to the end of its term if there is a change in directors after which at least one of the members of our board of directors is not a continuing director. “Continuing directors” means, as of any date of determination, any member of our board of directors who was (a) a member of our board of directors on May 29, 2018 or (b) nominated for election or elected to our board of directors with the approval of a majority of the directors then in office who were either directors on May 29, 2018 or whose nomination or election was previously so approved. In the event that either Management Agreement is so terminated, the Company shall pay to Safe Bulkers Management an amount in cash equal to the Management Fees paid or payable to either Manager, in the aggregate, during the 36 months preceding the applicable termination.

These anti-takeover provisions, including the provisions of our shareholders rights plan, could substantially impede the ability of public shareholders to benefit from a change in control and, as a result, may adversely affect the market price of our Common Stock and your ability to realize any potential change of control premium.

The amount of cash we have available for dividends on or to redeem our Preferred Shares will not depend solely on our profitability.

The actual amount of cash we will have available for dividends or to redeem our Preferred Shares will depend on many factors, including the following:




changes in our operating cash flow, capital expenditure requirements, working capital requirements and other cash needs;
restrictions under our existing or future credit facilities or any future debt securities, including existing restrictions under our existing credit facilities on our ability to pay dividends if an event of default has occurred and is continuing or if the payment of the dividend would result in an event of default and restrictions on our ability to redeem securities;
the amount of any cash reserves established by our board of directors; and
restrictions under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which generally prohibits the payment of dividends other than from surplus (retained earnings and the excess of consideration received for the sale of shares above the par value of the shares) or while a company is insolvent or would be rendered insolvent by the payment of such a dividend.

The amount of cash we generate from our operations may differ materially from our net income or loss for the period, which will be affected by non-cash items, and our board of directors in its discretion may elect not to declare any dividends. As a result of these and the other factors mentioned above, we may pay dividends during periods when we record losses and may not pay dividends during periods when we record net income.

The laws of the Republic of Liberia and of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, where our vessel-owning subsidiaries are incorporated, generally prohibit the payment of dividends other than from surplus or net profits, or while a company is insolvent or would be rendered insolvent by the payment of such a dividend. Our subsidiaries may not have sufficient funds, surplus or net profits to make distributions to us. In addition, under guarantees we have entered into with respect to certain of our subsidiaries’ existing credit facilities, we are subject to financial and other covenants, which may limit our ability to pay dividends and redeem the Preferred Shares. These and future agreements may limit our ability to pay dividends on and to redeem the Preferred Shares. We also may not have sufficient surplus or net profits in the future to pay dividends.

Our Preferred Shares represent perpetual equity interests, they are subordinate to our debt and your interests could be diluted by the issuance of additional preferred shares, including additional Preferred Shares and by other transactions.

The Preferred Shares represent perpetual equity interests in us and, unlike our indebtedness, will not give rise to a claim for payment of a principal amount at a particular date. As a result, holders of the Preferred Shares may be required to bear the financial risks of an investment in the Preferred Shares for an indefinite period of time. Our Preferred Shares are subordinate to all of our existing and future indebtedness and to any other senior securities we may issue in the future with respect to assets available to satisfy claims against us. Each series of our Preferred Shares rank pari passu with one another and any class or series of capital stock established after the original issue date of such preferred shares that is not expressly subordinated or senior to such preferred shares as to the payment of dividends and amounts payable upon liquidation, dissolution or winding up. As of December 31, 2021, we had aggregate debt outstanding of $360.3 million, of which $41.2 million payable within the next 12 months. Our existing indebtedness restricts, and our future indebtedness may include restrictions on, our ability to pay dividends on or redeem preferred shares. Our articles of incorporation currently authorize the issuance of up to 20,000,000 shares of blank check preferred stock, par value $0.01 per share, of which, as of December 31, 2021, 2,297,504 shares of Series C Preferred Shares and 3,195,050 shares of Series D Preferred Shares were issued and outstanding. Of the blank check preferred stock, 1,000,000 shares have been designated Series A Participating Preferred Stock in connection with our adoption of a shareholders rights plan as described under “Item 10. Additional Information—B. Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws—Shareholders Rights Plan.” The issuance of additional preferred shares on a parity with or senior to the Preferred Shares would dilute the interests of holders of such shares, and any issuance of preferred shares senior to such preferred shares or of additional indebtedness could affect our ability to pay dividends on, redeem or pay the liquidation preference on our Preferred Shares.

The liquidation preference amount on our Preferred Shares is fixed and Preferred shareholders will have no right to receive any greater payment regardless of the circumstances.

The payment due upon a liquidation to holders of any series of our Preferred Shares is fixed at the redemption preference of $25.00 per share plus accumulated and unpaid dividends to the date of liquidation. If, in the case of our liquidation, there are remaining assets to be distributed after payment of this amount, you will have no right to receive or to participate in these amounts. Furthermore, if the market price for our Preferred Shares is greater than the liquidation preference, Preferred shareholders will have no right to receive the market price from us upon our liquidation.

Holders of Preferred Shares have extremely limited voting rights.




The voting rights of holders of Preferred Shares are extremely limited. Our Common Stock is the only class or series of our shares carrying full voting rights. Holders of Preferred Shares have no voting rights other than the ability (voting together as a class with all other classes or series of preferred stock upon which like voting rights have been conferred and are exercisable, including all of the Preferred Shares), subject to certain exceptions, to elect one director if dividends for six quarterly dividend periods (whether or not consecutive) payable on our Preferred Shares are in arrears and certain other limited protective voting rights.

Our ability to pay dividends on and to redeem our Preferred Shares is limited by the requirements of the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the laws of the Republic of Liberia and existing and future agreements.

The laws of the Republic of Liberia and of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, where our vessel-owning subsidiaries are incorporated, generally prohibit the payment of dividends other than from surplus or net profits, or while a company is insolvent or would be rendered insolvent by the payment of such a dividend. Our subsidiaries may not have sufficient funds, surplus or net profits to make distributions to us. In addition, under guarantees we have entered into with respect to certain of our subsidiaries’ existing credit facilities, we are subject to financial and other covenants, which may limit our ability to pay dividends and redeem the Preferred Shares. These and future agreements may limit our ability to pay dividends on and to redeem the Preferred Shares. We also may not have sufficient surplus or net profits in the future to pay dividends.

Tax Risks

In addition to the following risk factors, you should read “Item 10. Additional Information—E. Tax Considerations—Marshall Islands Tax Considerations,” “Item 10. Additional Information—E. Tax Considerations—Liberian Tax Considerations,” and “Item 10. Additional Information —E. Tax Considerations—United States Federal Income Tax Considerations” for a more complete discussion of expected material Marshall Islands, Liberian and United States federal income tax consequences of owning and disposing of our Common Stock and Preferred Shares.

We may earn shipping income that will be subject to United States income tax, thereby reducing our cash available for distributions to you.

Under United States tax rules, 50% of our gross income attributable to shipping that begins or ends in the United States may be subject to a 4% United States federal income tax (without allowance for deductions). The amount of this income may fluctuate, and we may not qualify for any exemption from this United States tax. Many of our charters contain provisions that obligate the charterers to reimburse us for this 4% United States tax. To the extent we are not reimbursed by our charterers, the 4% United States tax will decrease our cash that is available for dividends.

For a more complete discussion, see the section entitled “Item 10. Additional Information—Tax Considerations—E. United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—Taxation of Operating Income in General.”

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 holders.

A non-United States corporation will be treated as a “passive foreign investment company,” or PFIC, for United States federal income tax purposes if either (a) at least 75% of its gross income for any taxable year consists of certain types of “passive income” or (b) 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, gains from the sale or exchange of investment property, and rents and royalties other than rents and royalties that 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. In particular, United States holders who are individuals would not be eligible for preferential tax rates otherwise applicable to qualified dividends.

Based on our current operations and anticipated future operations, we believe that it is more likely than not that we currently will not be treated as a PFIC. In this regard, we intend to treat gross income we derive or are deemed to derive from our period time chartering activities as services income, rather than rental income. Accordingly, we believe that our income from our period time chartering activities should not constitute “passive income,” and that the assets we own and operate in connection with the production of that income should not constitute passive assets.




There are legal uncertainties involved in this determination. In Tidewater Inc. v. United States, 565 F.3d 299 (5th Cir. 2009), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that, contrary to the position of the United States Internal Revenue Service, or the “IRS,” in that case, and for purposes of a different set of rules under the Code, income received under a period time charter of vessels should be treated as rental income rather than services income. If the reasoning of this case were extended to the PFIC context, the gross income we derive or are deemed to derive from our period time chartering activities would be treated as rental income, and we would probably be a PFIC. The IRS has stated that it disagrees with the holding in Tidewater and has specified that income from period time charters should be treated as services income. However, the IRS’ statement with respect to the Tidewater decision was an administrative action that cannot be relied upon or otherwise cited as precedent by taxpayers. In light of these authorities, the IRS or a United States court may not accept the position that we are not a PFIC, and there is a risk that the IRS or a United States court could determine that we are a PFIC. Moreover, we may constitute a PFIC for a future taxable year if there were to be changes in our assets, income or operations.

If the IRS were to find that we are or have been a PFIC for any taxable year, our United States shareholders will face adverse United States tax consequences. See “Item 10. Additional Information—E. “Tax Considerations—United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—United States Federal Income Taxation of United States Holders” for a more comprehensive discussion of the United States federal income tax consequences to United States shareholders if we are treated as a PFIC.

ITEM 4.INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

A.    History and Development of the Company

Safe Bulkers, Inc. was incorporated in the Republic of the Marshall Islands on December 11, 2007, under the BCA, for the purpose of acquiring ownership of various subsidiaries that either owned or were scheduled to own vessels. Polys Hajioannou our chief executive officer, has a long history of operating and investing in the international shipping industry, including a long history of vessel ownership. Vassos Hajioannou, the late father of Polys Hajioannou, our chief executive officer, first invested in shipping in 1958. Polys Hajioannou has been actively involved in the industry since 1987, when he joined the predecessor of Safety Management.

Over the past 28 years under the leadership of Polys Hajioannou, we have sold or contracted to sell 23 drybulk vessels during periods of what we viewed as favorable second-hand market conditions and have contracted to acquire 58 drybulk newbuilds and 12 drybulk second-hand vessels. Also under his leadership, we have expanded the classes of drybulk vessels in our fleet and the aggregate carrying capacity of our fleet has grown from 887,900 dwt prior to our initial public offering in May 28, 2008 to 3,925,500 dwt as of March 18, 2022. Information on our capital expenditure requirements are discussed in “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—B. Liquidity and Capital Resources.” The quality and size of our current fleet, together with our long-term relationships with several of our charter customers, are, we believe, the results of our long-term strategy of maintaining a high quality fleet, our broad knowledge of the drybulk industry and our strong management team. In addition to benefiting from the experience and leadership of Polys Hajioannou, we also benefit from the expertise of our Managers which, along with their predecessor, have specialized in drybulk shipping since 1965, providing services to over 50 drybulk vessels. In June 2008, we completed an initial public offering of our Common Stock in the U.S. and our Common Stock began trading on the NYSE. Our principal executive office is located at Apt. D11, Les Acanthes, 6, Avenue des Citronniers MC 98000 Monaco. Our registered address in the Republic of the Marshall Islands is Trust Company Complex, Ajeltake Road, Ajeltake Island, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, MH96960 and telephone numbers are +30 2 111 888 400 and +357 25 887 200. The name of our registered agent at such address is The Trust Company of the Marshall Islands, Inc.

The SEC maintains an internet site at http://www.sec.gov that contains reports, information statements, and other information regarding issuers that we file electronically with the SEC.


B.    Business Overview

We are an international provider of marine drybulk transportation services, transporting bulk cargoes, particularly coal, grain and iron ore, along worldwide shipping routes for some of the world’s largest consumers of marine drybulk transportation services. As of March 18, 2022, we had a fleet of 40 drybulk vessels, with an aggregate carrying capacity of 3,925,500 dwt.

We employ our vessels on both period time charters and spot time charters, according to our assessment of market conditions, with some of the world’s largest consumers of marine drybulk transportation services. The vessels we deploy on period time charters provide us with relatively stable cash flow and high utilization rates, while the vessels we deploy in the



spot market allow us to maintain our flexibility in low charter market conditions. We have currently 17 Scrubbers installed on our vessels materializing financial benefits on the basis of the price differential between HFO and the Compliant fuel.

Our Fleet, Newbuilds and Employment Profile

As of March 18, 2022, our fleet comprised 40 vessels, (including a second-hand acquisition of a 2014-built Japanese, Capesize class vessel delivered to us in February 2022), of which 12 are Panamax class vessels, 7 are Kamsarmax class vessels, 15 are Post-Panamax class vessels and 6 are Capesize class vessels, with an aggregate carrying capacity of 3,925,500 dwt and an average age of 10.4 years.

Our orderbook consists of nine environmentally advanced Japanese newbuild vessels, of which six Kamsarmax and three Post-Panamax class vessels, two of which are scheduled to be delivered to us in 2022, five in 2023 and two in 2024. All nine newbuilds are designed to comply with the requirements of the IMO for EEDI Phase 3 and NOx Tier III.

Assuming delivery of the nine contracted to be acquired newbuild vessels through 2024, our fleet by the first quarter of 2024, will comprise of 12 Panamax class vessels, 13 Kamsarmax class vessels, 18 Post-Panamax class vessels and 6 Capesize class vessels, and the aggregate carrying capacity of our 49 vessels will be 4,678,500 dwt.

The majority of vessels in our fleet have sister ships with similar specifications. We believe using sister ships provides cost savings because it facilitates efficient inventory management and allows for the substitution of sister ships to fulfill our period time charter obligations.

The table below presents additional information with respect to our drybulk vessel fleet, including our newbuilds, and their deployment as of March 18, 2022. Scrubber benefit for scrubber fitted vessels, (the ''Scrubber Benefit'') is calculated on the basis of the price differential between high sulfur fuel oil with 3.5% sulfur content and the new fuel with reduced sulfur content below 0.5% for the specific voyage. In cases where the Scrubber Benefit can be calculated or it is a part of the charter rate, it is included in the referenced charter rate. A special notation on the table is provided in cases where the Scrubber Benefit is not part of the referenced charter rate and it cannot be calculated. Certain vessels that are chartered on time charters at a daily gross charter rate linked to the Baltic Panamax Index ("BPI"),or the Baltic Capesize Index ("BCI"), are shown in the below table with the special notation BPI or BCI, plus or minus the relevant charter hire adjustments, where applicable.

Vessel NameDwtYear
Built 1
Country of
Construction
Charter
Type
Charter
Rate 2
Commissions 3Charter Period 4Sister
Ship 5
CURRENT FLEET
Panamax
Katerina76,0002004JapanPeriod$23,000 5.00 %December 2020May 2022
Period10,950 + 50% *101% BPI 745.00 %June 2022April 2023
Maritsa76,0002005JapanPeriod10,950 + 50% *101% BPI 745.00 %February 2022January 2023
Paraskevi 275,0002011JapanPeriod$13,800 5.00 %April 2021July 2022
Efrossini75,0002012JapanPeriod103% BPI 743.75 %March 2022February 2023
Zoe 12
75,0002013JapanPeriod104.25% BPI 745.00 %August 2021May 2022
Koulitsa 278,1002013JapanPeriod$24,000 3.75 %July 2021June 2022
Kypros Land 12
77,1002014Japan
Period14
$13,800 3.75 %August 2020August 2022
BPI 82 5TC * 97% - $2,1503.75 %August 2022August 2025



Kypros Sea77,1002014Japan
Period14
$13,800 3.75 %July 2020July 2022
BPI 82 5TC * 97% - $2,1503.75 %July 2022September 2022
$24,123 3.75 %September 2022December 2022
BPI 82 5TC * 97% - $2,1503.75 %December 2022July 2025
Kypros Bravery78,0002015Japan
Period13
$11,750 3.75 %August 2020August 2022
BPI 82 5TC * 97% - $2,1503.75 %August 2022August 2025
Kypros Sky 10
77,1002015Japan
Period13
$11,750 3.75 %August 2020August 2022
BPI 82 5TC * 97% - $2,1503.75 %August 2022August 2025
Kypros Loyalty78,0002015Japan
Period13
$11,750 3.75 %July 2020July 2022
BPI 82 5TC * 97% - $2,1503.75 %July 2022September 2022
$23,153 3.75 %September 2022December 2022
BPI 82 5TC * 97% - $2,1503.75 %December 2022July 2025
Kypros Spirit 10
78,0002016Japan
Period14
$13,800 3.75 %August 2020August 2022
BPI 82 5TC * 97% - $2,1503.75 %August 2022July 2025
Kamsarmax
Pedhoulas Merchant82,3002006JapanPeriod$25,900 3.75 %March 2022March 2023
Pedhoulas Trader82,3002006JapanPeriod15,500 + 50% *98% BPI 825.00 %November 2021June 2022
Pedhoulas Leader82,3002007JapanPeriod$28,750 5.00 %November 2021July 2022
Pedhoulas Commander83,7002008JapanPeriod$20,500 5.00 %August 2021July 2022
Pedhoulas Cherry82,0002015China
Period19
$23,000 5.00 %July 2021May 2022
Period19
$24,000 5.00 %May 2022June 2023
Pedhoulas Rose
82,0002017ChinaDrydockMarch 2022April 2022
Period19
12,750 + 50% *104% BPI 825.00 %April 2022October 2022
Pedhoulas Cedrus15
81,8002018Japan
Period24
$27,800 3.75 %July 2021June 2022
Post-Panamax
Marina87,0002006Japan
Spot 18
$22,900 5.00 %February 2022March 2022
Spot19
$32,500 5.00 %March 2022June 2022
Xenia87,0002006Japan
Period 19
$24,200 5.00 %September 2021June 2022



Sophia87,0002007Japan
Spot19
$12,750 3.75 %February 2022March 2022
Spot19
$22,000 3.75 %March 2022April 2022
Eleni87,0002008Japan
Period 19
$29,000 5.00 %November 2021January 2022
P1A BPI 825.00 %January 2022March 2022
Martine87,0002009Japan
Period 19
$15,100 5.00 %June 2021August 2022
Andreas K92,0002009South Korea
Spot18,21
$52,000 5.00 %March 2022May 2022
Panayiota K 11
92,0002010South Korea
Spot19,26
$32,331 5.00 %February 2022May 2022
Agios Spyridonas 11
92,0002010South Korea
Spot18
$24,000 5.00 %December 2021April 2022
Venus Heritage 12
95,8002010Japan
Spot18
$19,250 5.00 %February 2022April 2022
Venus History 12
95,8002011Japan
Period 19
$26,250 5.00 %January 2022December 2022
Venus Horizon95,8002012Japan
Spot19
$18,000 4.38 %February 2022March 2022
Period19
$27,950 5.00 %April 2022February 2023
Venus Harmony95,7002013JapanSpot$20,500 5.00 %February 2022April 2022
Troodos Sun 17
85,0002016Japan
Period 19
BPI 82 5TC * 114%5.00 %June 2021March 2023
Troodos Air85,0002016Japan
Period 19
$16,350 5.00 %March 2021May 2022
Troodos Oak85,0002020Japan
Period 25
$29,400 3.75 %July 2021May 2022
Capesize
Mount Troodos181,4002009Japan
Spot19,23
BCI C10 * 105%3.75 %February 2022April 2022
Period 19
$34,500 3.75 %April 2022March 2023
Kanaris178,1002010China
Period 6
$25,928 2.50 %September 2011September 2031
Pelopidas176,0002011ChinaDry-dockJanuary 2022March 2022
Lake Despina 8
181,4002014Japan
Period 7
$25,200 5.00 %February 2022February 2025
Stelios Y181,4002012Japan
Period 16
$24,400 3.75 %November 2021November 2024
Maria181,3002014Japan
Spot22
BCI C14 * 111%3.75 %February 2022May 2022
Subtotal3,925,500
Newbuilds orderbook
TBN982,000Q2 2022Japan
TBN82,000Q4 2023Japan



TBN82,000Q4 2023Japan
TBN82,000Q4 2023Japan
TBN82,000Q1 2024Japan
TBN82,000Q1 2024Japan
TBN87,000Q3 2022Japan
TBN87,000Q1 2023Japan
TBN87,000Q2 2023Japan
Subtotal753,000
Total4,678,500
(1)    For existing vessels, the year represents the year built. For our newbuild, the date shown reflects the expected delivery dates.
(2)    Quoted charter rates are the recognized daily gross charter rates. For charter parties with variable rates among periods or consecutive charter parties with the same charterer, the recognized gross daily charter rate represents the weighted average gross daily charter rate over the duration of the applicable charter period or series of charter periods, as applicable. In the case of a charter agreement that provides for additional payments, namely ballast bonus to compensate for vessel repositioning, the gross daily charter rate presented has been adjusted to reflect estimated vessel repositioning expenses. Gross charter rates are inclusive of commissions. Net charter rates are charter rates after the payment of commissions. In the case of voyage charters, the charter rate represents revenue recognized on a pro rata basis over the duration of the voyage from load to discharge port less related voyage expenses.
(3)    Commissions reflect payments made to third-party brokers or our charterers.
(4)    The start dates listed reflect either actual start dates or, in the case of contracted charters that had not commenced as of March 18, 2022, the scheduled start dates. Actual start dates and redelivery dates may differ from the referenced scheduled start and redelivery dates depending on the terms of the charter and market conditions and does not reflect the options to extend the period time charter.
(5)    Each vessel with the same letter is a “sister ship” of each other vessel that has the same letter, and under certain of our charter contracts, may be substituted with its “sister ships.”
(6) Charterer of MV Kanaris agreed to reimburse us for part of the cost of the scrubbers and BWTS to be installed on the vessel, which is recorded by increasing the recognized daily charter rate by $634 over the remaining tenor of the time charter party.
(7) A period time charter for a duration of 3 years at a gross daily charter rate of $22,500 plus an one-off $3.0 million payment upon charter commencement. The charter agreement also grants the charterer an option to extend the period time charter for an additional year at a gross daily charter rate of $27,500.
(8) MV Lake Despina was sold and leased back in April 2021 on a bareboat charter basis for a period of seven years with a purchase option in favor of the Company five years and six months following the commencement of the bareboat charter period at a predetermined purchase price.
(9) The newbuild vessel will be sold and leased back upon delivery in 1H 2022, on a bareboat charter basis for a period of ten years with a purchase option in favor of the Company three years following the commencement of the bareboat charter period and a purchase obligation at the end of the bareboat charter period, all at predetermined purchase prices.
(10) MV Kypros Sky and MV Kypros Spirit were sold and leased back in December 2019 on a bareboat charter basis for a period of eight years, with purchase options in favor of the Company commencing three years following the commencement of the bareboat charter period and a purchase obligation at the end of the bareboat charter period, all at predetermined purchase prices.
(11) MV Panayiota K and MV Agios Spyridonas were sold and leased back in January 2020 on a bareboat charter basis for a period of six years, with purchase options in favor of the Company commencing three years following the commencement of the bareboat charter period and a purchase obligation at the end of the bareboat charter period, all at predetermined purchase prices.
(12) MV Zoe, MV Kypros Land, MV Venus Heritage and MV Venus History were sold and leased back in November 2019, on a bareboat charter basis, one for a period of eight years and three for a period of seven and a half years, with a purchase option in favor of the Company five years and nine months following the commencement of the bareboat charter period at a predetermined purchase price.
(13) A period time charter of 5 years at a daily gross charter rate of $11,750 for the first two years and a gross daily charter rate linked to the BPI-82 5TC times 97% minus $2,150, for the remaining period.
(14) A period time charter of 5 years at a daily gross charter rate of $13,800 for the first two years and a gross daily charter rate linked to the BPI-82 5TC times 97% minus $2,150, for the remaining period.
(15) MV Pedhoulas Cedrus was sold and leased back in February 2021 on a bareboat charter basis for a period of ten years with a purchase option in favor of the Company three years following the commencement of the bareboat charter period and a purchase obligation at the end of the bareboat charter period, all at predetermined purchase prices.
(16) In October 2021, the Company entered into a new period time charter for MV Stelios Y, for a duration of 3 years at a gross daily charter rate of $24,400, which is expected to commence in November 2021 upon delivery of the vessel to the Company by her present owners. The charter agreement also grants the charterer an option to extend the period time charter for an additional year at a gross daily charter rate of $26,500.
(17) MV Troodos Sun was sold and leased back in August 2021 on a bareboat charter basis for a period of ten years, with purchase options in favor of the Company commencing three years following the commencement of the bareboat charter period and a purchase obligation at the end of the bareboat charter period, all at predetermined purchase prices.
(18) Scrubber benefit was agreed on the basis of fuel consumption of heavy fuel oil and the price differential between the heavy fuel oil and the compliant fuel cost for the voyage and is included on the daily gross charter rate presented.
(19) Scrubber benefit was agreed on the basis of fuel consumption of heavy fuel oil and the price differential between the heavy fuel oil and the compliant fuel cost for the voyage and is not included on the daily.
(20) A period time charter at a daily gross charter rate linked to the BPI.
(21) A spot time charter at a gross daily charter rate of $36,000 an one-off $0.8 million payment upon charter commencement.
(22) A spot time charter at a gross daily charter rate linked to the Baltic Exchange Capesize Index C14 times 111%.
(23) A spot time charter at a gross daily charter rate linked to the Baltic Exchange Capesize Index C10 times 105%.
(24) A period time charter duration of 11 to 14 months at a daily gross charter rate of $16,400 plus an one-off $3.7 million payment upon charter commencement.
(25) A period time charter duration of 11 to 14 months at a daily gross charter rate of $18,000 plus an one-off $3.7 million payment upon charter commencement.
(26) A spot time charter at a gross daily charter rate of $29,000 plus ballast bonus of $1.0 million.






Chartering of Our Fleet

Our vessels are used to transport bulk cargoes, particularly coal, grain and iron ore, along worldwide shipping routes. We may employ our vessels in time charters or in voyage charters.

A time charter is a contract to charter a vessel for a fixed period of time at a set daily rate and can last from a few days up to several years, where the vessel performs one or more trips between load port(s) and discharge port(s). Based on the duration of vessel’s employment, a time charter can be either a long-term, or period, time charter with duration of more than three months, or a short-term, or spot, time charter with duration of up to three months. Under our time charters, the charterer pays for most voyage expenses, such as port, canal and fuel costs, agents’ fees, extra war risks insurance and any other expenses related to the cargoes, and we pay for vessel operating expenses, which include, among other costs, costs for crewing, provisions, stores, lubricants, insurance, maintenance and repairs, tonnage taxes, drydocking and intermediate and special surveys.

Voyage charters are generally contracts to carry a specific cargo from a load port to a discharge port, including positioning the vessel at the load port. Under a voyage charter, the charterer pays an agreed upon total amount or on a per cargo ton basis, and we pay for both vessel operating expenses and voyage expenses. We infrequently enter into voyage charters. Voyage charters together with spot time charters are referred to in our industry as employment in the spot market.

We intend to employ our vessels on both period time charters and spot time charters, according to our assessment of market conditions, with some of the world’s largest consumers of marine drybulk transportation services. The vessels we deploy on period time charters provide us with relatively stable cash flow and high utilization rates, while the vessels we deploy in the spot market allow us to maintain our flexibility in low charter market conditions. As of March 18, 2022, the average remaining duration of the charters for our existing fleet was 1.2 years.

Our Customers

Since 2005, our customers have included over 30 national, regional and international companies, including Bunge, Cargill, Glencore, Daiichi, Intermare Transport G.m.b.H., Energy Eastern Pte. Ltd., NYK, NS United Kaiun Kaisha, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Oldendorff GmbH and Co. KG, Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, ArcelorMittal or their affiliates. During 2021, two of our charterers, namely Viterra B.V (ex-Glencore Agriculture B.V.) and Cargill International S.A., accounted for 30.70% of our revenues, with each one accounting for more than 10.0% of total revenues. During 2020, two of our charterers, namely Viterra B.V. and Cargill International S.A., accounted for 26.14% of total revenues with each one accounting for more than 10.0% of total revenues. During 2019, two of our charterers, namely Viterra B.V. and Bunge S.A., accounted for 31.40% of total revenues. We seek to charter our vessels primarily to charterers who intend to use our vessels without sub-chartering them to third parties. A prospective charterer’s financial condition and reliability are also important factors in negotiating employment for our vessels.

Management of Our Fleet

In May 2008, we entered into a management agreement with Safety Management and in May 2015, we entered into a management agreement with Safe Bulkers Management, pursuant to which our Managers provided us with our executive officers, technical, administrative, commercial and certain other services. Each of these management agreements expired on May 28, 2018. In May 2018, we entered into new Management Agreements, pursuant to which our Managers continue to provide us with technical, administrative, commercial and certain other services. Each of the Management Agreements was effective as of May 29, 2018 and had an initial three-year term which could be extended on a three-year basis on May 29, 2021 and May 29, 2024 upon mutual agreement with the Managers. On May 29, 2021, the Company and the Managers agreed to extend the term of the Management Agreements until May 28, 2024. Our arrangements with our Managers and their performance are reviewed by our board of directors. Our management team collectively referred to in this annual report as our “executive officers,” provide strategic management for our company and also supervise the management of our day-to-day operations by our Managers. Our Managers report to us and our board of directors through our executive officers. The Management Agreements with our Managers have a maximum expiration date in May 2027 and we expect to enter into new agreements with the Managers upon their expiration. The terms of any such new agreements have not yet been determined.
 
Pursuant to the Management Agreements, in return for providing such services our Managers receive a ship management fee of €875 per day per vessel and one of our Managers receives an annual ship management fee of €3.50 million. For the three year period from May 29, 2018 to May 28, 2021 the annual ship management fee was €3.0 million. Our Managers also receive a commission of 1.0% based on the contract price of any vessel sold by it on our behalf, and a commission of 1.0% based on the contract price of any vessel bought by it on our behalf, including the acquisition of each of our contracted newbuilds. We also



pay our Managers a supervision fee of $550,000 per newbuild, of which 50% is payable upon the signing of the relevant supervision agreement, and 50% upon successful completion of the sea trials of each newbuild, which we capitalize, for the on-premises supervision by selected engineers and others on the Managers’ staff of newbuilds we have agreed to acquire pursuant to shipbuilding contracts, memoranda of agreement, or otherwise.

Our Managers have agreed that, during the term of our Management Agreements and for a period of one year following their termination, our Managers will not provide management services to, or with respect to, any drybulk vessels other than (a) on our behalf or (b) with respect to drybulk vessels that are owned or operated by companies affiliated with our chief executive officer or his family members, and drybulk vessels that are acquired, invested in or controlled by companies affiliated with our chief executive officer or his family members, subject in each case to compliance with, or waivers of, the restrictive covenant agreements entered into between us and such companies. Our Managers have also agreed that if one of our drybulk vessels and a drybulk vessel owned or operated by any such company are both available and meet the criteria for a charter being arranged by our Managers, our drybulk vessel will receive such charter.

The foregoing description of the Management Agreements does not purport to be complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the Management Agreements, copies of which are attached as Exhibit 4.1 and Exhibit 4.2 and incorporated herein by reference.

See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions—B. Related Party Transactions—Management Agreements” for more information.

Competition

We operate in highly competitive markets that are based primarily on supply and demand. Our business fluctuates in line with the main patterns of trade of the major drybulk cargoes and varies according to changes in the supply and demand for these items. We believe we differentiate ourselves from our competition by providing modern vessels with advanced designs and technological specifications. As of March 18, 2022, our fleet had an average age of 10.4 years. The majority of our fleet has been built in Japanese shipyards, which we believe provides us with an advantage in attracting large, well-established customers, including Japanese customers.

The drybulk sector is characterized by relatively low barriers to entry, and ownership of drybulk vessels is highly fragmented. In general, we compete with other owners of Panamax class or larger drybulk vessels for charters based upon price, customer relationships, operating expertise, professional reputation and size, age, location and condition of the vessel.

Crewing and Shore Employees

Our management team consists of our chief executive officer, president, chief financial officer and assistant chief financial officer, chief operating officer, chief financial controller and assistant chief financial controller, chief compliance officer and our internal auditor. Our Managers are responsible for the technical management of our fleet and therefore also handle the recruiting, either directly or through crewing agents, of the senior officers and all other crew members for our vessels. As of December 31, 2021, approximately 790 people served on board the vessels in our fleet, and our Managers employed approximately 126 people on shore.

Permits and Authorizations

We are required by various governmental and other agencies to obtain certain permits, licenses, certificates and financial assurances with respect to each of our vessels. The kinds of permits, licenses, certificates and financial assurances required by governmental and other agencies depend upon several factors, including the commodity being transported, the waters in which the vessel operates, the nationality of the vessel’s crew and the type and age of the vessel. All permits, licenses, certificates and financial assurances currently required to operate our vessels have been obtained. Additional laws and regulations, environmental or otherwise, may be adopted which could limit our ability to do business or increase the cost of doing business.

Risk of Loss and Liability Insurance

General

The operation of our fleet involves risks such as mechanical failure, collision, property loss, cargo loss or damage as well as personal injury, illness and loss of life. In addition, the operation of any oceangoing vessel is subject to the inherent possibility of marine disaster, including oil spills and other environmental mishaps, the risk of piracy and the liabilities arising



from owning and operating vessels in international trade. The U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (“OPA 90”), which imposes virtually unlimited liability upon owners, operators and demise charterers of vessels trading in the United States exclusive economic zone for certain oil pollution accidents in the United States, has made liability insurance more expensive for vessel owners and operators trading in the United States market.

Our Managers are responsible for arranging insurance for all our vessels on the terms specified in our Management Agreements, which we believe are in line with standard industry practice. In accordance with our Management Agreements, our Managers procure and maintain hull and machinery insurance, war risks insurance, freight, demurrage and defense coverage and protection and indemnity coverage with mutual assurance associations. Due to our low incident rate and the relatively young age of our fleet, we are generally able to procure relatively low rates for all types of insurance.

While our insurance coverage for our drybulk vessel fleet is in amounts that we believe to be prudent to protect us against normal risks involved in the conduct of our business and consistent with standard industry practice, our Managers may not be able to maintain this level of coverage throughout a vessel’s useful life. Furthermore, all risks may not be adequately insured against, any particular claim may not be paid and adequate insurance coverage may not always be obtainable at reasonable rates.

Hull and machinery insurance

Our marine hull and machinery insurance covers risks of partial loss or actual or constructive total loss from collision, fire, grounding, engine breakdown and other insured risks up to an agreed amount per vessel. Our vessels will each be covered up to at least their fair market value after meeting certain deductibles per incident per vessel. We also maintain increased value coverage for each of our vessels. Under this increased value coverage, in the event of the total loss of a vessel, we are entitled to recover amounts in excess of the total loss amount recoverable under our hull and machinery policy.

Protection and indemnity insurance

Protection and indemnity insurance is a form of mutual indemnity insurance provided by mutual marine protection and indemnity associations (“P&I Associations”) formed by vessel owners to provide protection from large financial loss to one club member by contribution towards that loss by all members.

Protection and indemnity insurance covers our third-party liabilities in connection with our shipping activities. This includes third-party liability and other related expenses of injury or death of crew members, passengers and other third parties, loss or damage to cargo, claims arising from collisions with other vessels, damage to other third party property, pollution arising from oil or other substances and salvage, towing and other related costs, including wreck removal. Our coverage, except for pollution, will be unlimited. Furthermore, within this aggregate limit, club coverage is also limited to the amount of the member’s legal liability.

Our protection and indemnity insurance coverage for pollution is limited to $1.0 billion per vessel per incident. Our protection and indemnity insurance coverage in respect of passengers is limited to $2.0 billion and in respect of passengers and seamen is limited to $3.0 billion per vessel per incident. The 13 P&I Associations that comprise the International Group of P&I Clubs (the “International Group”) insure approximately 90.0% of the world’s commercial blue-water tonnage and have entered into a pooling agreement to reinsure each P&I Association’s liabilities. As a member of a P&I Association that is a member of the International Group, we are subject to calls payable to the P&I Association based on the International Group’s claim records, as well as the claim records of all other members of the individual associations.

Although the P&I Associations compete with each other for business, they have found it beneficial to mutualize their larger risks among themselves through the International Group. This is known as the “Pool.” This pooling is regulated by a contractual agreement which defines the risks that are to be covered and how claims falling on the Pool are to be shared among the participants in the International Group. The Pool provides a mechanism for sharing all claims in excess of $10.0 million up to, currently, approximately $8.2 billion. On that basis, all claims up to $10.0 million will be covered by each Club’s Individual Retention and all claims in excess of $10.0 million up to $100.0 million will be covered by the Pool. The Pool is structured in three layers from $10 million to $100 million. For amounts in excess of $30 million, the Pool is reinsured by the Group captive reinsurance vehicle, Hydra Insurance Company Limited. Hydra is a Bermuda incorporated Segregated Accounts company in which each of the 13 Group Clubs has its own segregated account (or “cell”) ring fencing its assets and liabilities from those of the company or any of the other Club cells. Hydra reinsures each Club in respect of that Club's liabilities within the Pool and reinsurance layers in which it participates. Through the participation of Hydra, the Group Clubs can retain, within their Hydra cells, premium which would otherwise have been paid to the commercial reinsurance markets.




For the 2022/2023 policy year, the International Group maintained a three layer GXL reinsurance program, together with an additional Collective Overspill layer, which combine to provide commercial reinsurance cover of up to $3.1 billion per vessel per incident, comprising of reinsurance for all claims of up to $2.1 billion per vessel per incident in excess of the $100.0 million insured by the Pool and an additional $1.0 billion in excess of the aforesaid $2.1 billion per vessel per incident in respect of claims for overspill.

War Risks Insurance

Our war risk insurance covers hull or freight damage, detention or diversions risks and P&I liabilities (including crew) arising out of confiscations, seizure, capture, vandalism, sabotage and/or other war risks and is subject to separate limits of:

(i) each vessel’s hull and machinery value and each vessel’s corresponding increased value, and

(ii) for war risks P&I liabilities including crew up to $500.0 million per vessel per incident.

Inspection by Classification Societies

Every oceangoing vessel must be “classed” by a classification society. The classification society certifies that the vessel is “in class,” signifying that the vessel has been built and maintained in accordance with the rules and regulations of the classification society. In addition, each vessel must comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations of the vessel’s country of registry, or “flag state,” as well as the international conventions of which that flag state is a member. A vessel’s compliance with international conventions and corresponding laws and ordinances of its flag state can be confirmed by the applicable flag state, port state control or, upon application or by official order, the classification society, acting on behalf of the authorities concerned.

The classification society also undertakes, upon request, other surveys and checks that are required by regulations and requirements of the flag state. These surveys are subject to agreements made in each individual case or to the regulations of the country concerned.

All areas subject to survey as defined by the classification society are required to be surveyed at least once per class period, unless shorter intervals between surveys are prescribed elsewhere. The period between two subsequent surveys of each area must not exceed five years. The maintenance of class, regular and extraordinary surveys of a vessel’s hull and machinery, including the electrical plant, and any special equipment classed are required to be performed as follows:

Annual Surveys. For oceangoing vessels, annual surveys are conducted for their hulls and machinery, including the electrical plants, and for any special equipment classed, at intervals of 12 months from the date of commencement of the class period indicated in the certificate.
Intermediate Surveys. Extended annual surveys are referred to as “intermediate surveys” and typically are conducted on the occasion of the second or third annual survey after commissioning and after each class renewal.
Class Renewal / Special Surveys. Class renewal surveys, also known as “special surveys,” are more extensive than intermediate surveys and are carried out at the end of each five-year period. During the special survey the vessel is thoroughly examined, including thickness-gauging to determine any diminution in the steel structures. Should the thickness be found to be less than class requirements, the classification society would prescribe steel renewals. It may be expensive to have steel renewals pass a special survey if the vessel is aged or experiences excessive wear and tear. A vessel owner has the option of arranging with the classification society for the vessel’s machinery to be on a continuous survey cycle, according to which all machinery would be surveyed within a five-year cycle. At an owner’s application, the surveys required for class renewal may be split according to an agreed schedule to extend over the entire period of class.
Vessels are drydocked during intermediate and special surveys for repairs of their underwater parts. Intermediate surveys may not be required for vessels under the age of 15 years. If “in water survey” notation is assigned by class, as is the case for our vessels, the vessel owner has the option of carrying out an underwater inspection of the vessel in lieu of drydocking, subject to certain conditions. In the event that an “in water survey” notation is assigned as part of a particular intermediate survey, drydocking would be required for the following special survey thereby generally achieving a higher utilization for the relevant vessel. Drydocking can be undertaken as part of a special survey if the drydocking occurs within 15 months prior to the special survey due date. Special survey may be extended under certain provisions for a period of up to three months from their due date. BWTS and Scrubber installations and vessels' upgrades are usually undertaken concurrently with the scheduled drydocking. A detailed schedule of expected drydockings and special surveys is provided in the following table:



Vessel NameDrydocking/BWTS/Scrubber(1)Special Survey(2)
Pelopidas (3),(4)February 2022February 2022
Venus Horizon (3)March 2022March 2022
Pedhoulas Rose March 2022March 2022
Katerina May 2022May 2024
Sophia (3)June 2022June 2022
Marina December 2022January 2026
Lake Despina January 2023January 2024
Maritsa January 2023January 2025
Koulitsa 2 February 2023February 2023
Eleni February 2023November 2023
Xenia April 2023April 2026
Pedhoulas CommanderMay 2023May 2023
Pedhoulas Cedrus June 2023June 2023
Maria (3),(4)June 2023January 2024
Zoe July 2023July 2023
Andreas KAugust, 2023August, 2024
Venus HarmonyAugust 2023November 2023
Pedhoulas TraderSeptember 2023May 2026
Kypros BraveryJanuary 2024January 2025
Kypros LandNovember 2023January 2024
MartineJanuary 2024February 2024
Kypros SeaJanuary 2024March 2024
Agios SpyridonasJanuary 2024January 2025
KanarisMarch 2024March 2025
Kypros Sky March 2024March 2025
Mount Troodos March 2024November 2024
Stelios YMarch 2024March 2025
Troodos OakApril 2024April 2025
Panayiota KApril, 2024April, 2025
Pedhoulas MerchantMay, 2024March, 2026
Kypros LoyaltyJuly 2024June 2025
Pedhoulas Cherry July 2024July 2025
Venus Heritage October 2024December 2025
Pedhoulas LeaderNovember 2024February 2027
Paraskevi 2April 2025April 2026
Troodos SunApril, 2025January, 2026
Troodos AirMay, 2025March, 2026
Efrossini (3)February 2026February 2027
Kypros SpiritJuly, 2026July, 2026
Venus HistorySeptember 2026September 2026
(1) Scheduled date for initiation of a drydocking, BWTS retrofit and/or Scrubber retrofit.
(2) Special survey date.
(3) BWTS retrofit.
(4) Scrubber retrofit.


Failure to timely complete repairs, surveys, or dry-dockings may affect our results of operations.

Following a survey, if any defects are found, the classification surveyor will issue a “recommendation or condition of class” which must be rectified by the vessel owner within the prescribed time limits.

In general, insurance underwriters make it a condition for insurance coverage that a vessel be certified as “in class” by a classification society which is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies (“IACS”). All of our vessels are certified as being “in class” by either Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, the American Bureau of Shipping or Bureau Veritas, each of which is a member of IACS.




Regulations: Safety and the Environment

General

Our vessels are subject to international conventions and national, state and local laws and regulations in force in international waters and the countries in which they operate or are registered, including environmental protection requirements governing the management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, the cleanup of oil spills and the management of other contamination, air emissions, water discharges and ballast water.

These laws and regulations include regulations imposed by the IMO, the United Nations agency for maritime safety and the prevention of pollution by ships, such as the International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships (“MARPOL”), the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (“SOLAS”), International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (“BWM Convention”) and in general implementing all related regulations adopted by the IMO, the E.U. and other international, national and local regulatory bodies in the jurisdictions where our vessels travel and in the ports where our vessels call. In the U.S., the requirements include OPA 90, the U.S. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), the U.S. Clean Water Act (“CWA”) and U.S. Clean Air Act (“CAA”). Compliance with these environmental protection requirements has imposed significant cost and expense, including the cost of vessel modifications and implementation of certain operating procedures.

Our fleet complies with all current requirements. However, we incurred significant vessel modification expenditures in 2019, 2020 and 2021 mainly in BWTS and Scrubbers and we anticipate to incur additional expenditures in the current or subsequent fiscal years to comply with certain requirements, including mainly the installation of BWTS on vessels that have not yet been installed, two additional Scrubbers and the environmental upgrading of certain vessels in relation to existing and forthcoming GHG emission regulations.

Under our Management Agreements, our Managers have assumed technical management responsibility for our fleet, including compliance with all applicable government and other regulations. If the Management Agreements with our Managers terminate, we would attempt to hire another party to assume this responsibility. In the event of termination, we might be unable to hire another party to perform these and other services for the present fee structure and related costs. However, due to the nature of our relationship with our Managers, we do not expect our Management Agreements to be terminated early.

A variety of governmental and private entities subject our vessels to both scheduled and unscheduled inspections. These entities include the local port authorities (such as the U.S. Coast Guard, harbor master or equivalent), classification societies, flag state administration (country of registry), charterers and terminal operators. Certain of these entities require us to obtain permits, licenses, financial assurances and certificates for the operation of our vessels. Failure to maintain necessary permits or approvals or identification of deficiencies during inspections could require us to incur substantial costs or result in the temporary suspension of the operation of one or more of our vessels.

We believe that the heightened level of environmental and quality concerns among insurance underwriters, regulators and charterers is leading to greater inspection and safety requirements on all vessels and may accelerate the scrapping of older vessels throughout the drybulk shipping industry. Increasing environmental concerns have created a demand for vessels that conform to the stricter environmental standards. We are required to maintain operating standards for all of our vessels that emphasize efficiency, operational safety, quality maintenance, reduced environmental footprint, continuous training of our officers and crews and compliance with U.S. and international regulations. Our Managers and our vessels are certified in accordance with ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 relating to environmental standards and energy efficiency. Moreover we have obtained additional class notation for most of our fleet for the prevention of sea and air pollution while we are in the process of obtaining such class notation for the remaining vessels. We believe that the operation of our vessels is in substantial compliance with all environmental laws and regulations applicable to us as of the date of this annual report. However, because such laws and regulations are subject to frequent change and may impose increasingly stricter requirements, such future requirements could limit our ability to do business, increase our operating costs, force the early retirement of our vessels and/or affect their resale value, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.


Regulations by IMO and Other Related Bodies

Regulations issued by IMO and other related bodies may affect our operations, impose restrictions on our vessels, or require additional investments.For example MARPOL convention of IMO regulates marine pollution, emissions and discharges.



IMO and other jurisdictions have regulated or are considering the further regulation of GHG emissions from vessels and emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides. 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 business, financial condition and results of operations. Because such conventions, laws and regulations are often revised, or the required additional measures for compliance are still under development, 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. We are also required by various governmental and quasi-governmental agencies to obtain certain permits, licenses, certificates and financial assurances with respect to our operations.

These requirements can also affect the resale prices or useful lives of our vessels or require reductions in cargo capacity, ship modifications or operational changes or restrictions. Failure to comply with these requirements could lead to decreased availability of, or more costly insurance coverage for environmental matters or result in the denial of access to certain jurisdictional waters or ports, or detention in certain ports. Under local, national and foreign laws, as well as international treaties and conventions, we could incur material liabilities, including cleanup obligations and claims for natural resource, personal injury and property damages in the event that there is a release of petroleum or other hazardous materials from our vessels or otherwise in connection with our operations. Violations of, or liabilities under, environmental regulations can result in substantial penalties, fines and other sanctions, including, in certain instances, seizure or detention of our vessels. In addition, we are subject to the risk that we, our affiliated entities, or our or their respective officers, directors, shore employees, crew on board and agents may take actions determined to be in violation of such environmental regulations and laws and our environmental policies. Any such actual or alleged environmental laws regulations and policies violation, under negligence, willful misconduct or fault, could result in substantial fines, civil and/or criminal penalties or curtailment of operations in certain jurisdictions, and might adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition. In addition, actual or alleged violations could damage our reputation and ability to do business. Furthermore, detecting, investigating and resolving actual or alleged violations is expensive and can consume significant time and attention of our senior management. Events of this nature would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Such regulations are presented in the following paragraphs:

Nitrogen and Sulfur Oxide Emission Regulations: In 1997, the IMO adopted Annex VI to MARPOL to address air pollution from vessels. Annex VI became effective in 2005, and sets limits on sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from vessel exhausts and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons. Annex VI also includes a global cap on the sulfur content of marine fuels and allows for the establishment of Emission Control Areas (“ECAs”) with more stringent controls on sulfur emissions. Presently, designated ECAs include specified areas of North America, the Caribbean, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The Mediterranean Sea has been proposed as an additional ECA. In 2008, the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (“MEPC”) adopted amendments to Annex VI regarding particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxide emissions. These amendments, which entered into force in 2010, are designed to reduce air pollution from vessels by, among other things, (i) establishing new tiers of stringent nitrogen oxide emissions standards for new marine engines, depending on their date of installation and (ii) implementing a progressive reduction of sulfur oxide emissions from ships:

(i) Control of Nitrogen Oxides

Nitrogen oxides emission regulations require the installation of advanced Tier III engines in newbuilds and modifications are not expected to be required in existing vessels.

(ii) Control of Sulfur Oxides

A global 0.5% sulfur cap on marine fuels came into force on January 1, 2020, as agreed in amendments adopted in 2008 for Annex VI to MARPOL. reducing the previous sulfur cap of 3.5%. Vessels may use either Compliant Fuel or HFO if they are equipped with Scrubbers. The viability of Scrubber investments mainly depends on the price differential between Compliant Fuels which usually are more expensive and HFO. The use of Compliant Fuels has raised concerns in relation to excess wear of piston liners and fuel pumps. On the other hand shortage of HFO in certain ports has been experienced as only a small percentage of the global fleet is equipped with Scrubbers and the trading of HFO may not be economical to fuel suppliers. Furthermore, restrictions of effluents from Scrubbers have been or are considered to be imposed in various jurisdictions, mainly in ports, which may affect the viability of such investments.

In response to sulfur oxides emissions regulations, we have installed Scrubbers in 17 of our vessels and we expect to install two additional Scrubbers, one in 2022 and one in 2023. In all vessels the Company had introduced critical spares inventory on board in order to secure smooth operation and compliance with existing regulations. If the price differential between Compliant



Fuels and HFO is narrower than expected due to among other things, a drop in oil prices and/or a reduced demand for oil, then we may not realize any return, or we may realize a lower return on our investment in Scrubbers than that which we expected, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial position. Conversely, if the price differential between Compliant Fuels and HFO is wider than expected, about half of our vessels that will not be equipped with Scrubbers may face difficulties in competing with vessels equipped with Scrubbers, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial position.

Reduced limits of sulfur content of fuel oil for ECA passage are implemented, resulting to the use of lighter fuels, namely low sulfur marine gas oil with a maximum sulfur content of 0.1% ("MGO"). Additional or new requirements, conventions, laws or regulations, including the adoption of additional ECAs, or other new or more stringent emissions requirements adopted by the IMO, the E.U., the U.S. or individual states, or other jurisdictions in which we operate, could require vessel modifications or otherwise increase the costs of our operations. All our vessels may use MGO for ECA passage and the Scrubber-fitted vessels which use HFO are able to reduce the sulfur emissions of HFO to levels corresponding to 0.1% sulfur content suitable for ECA passage.

Examples of additional requirements imposed locally from time to time are: (i) the Domestic Emission Control Areas (“DECAs”) introduced by China, in 2015, which have designated the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai-Rim Area (Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei) as areas where vessels navigating, berthing and operating are required to use Compliant Fuels. As of January 1, 2019, China expanded the scope of the DECAs to include all coastal waters within 12 nautical miles of the mainland, and (ii) US Vessel General Permit (the “VGP”) areas. Our Scrubbers do not operate in such areas.

Greenhouse Gas Regulation – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: In February 2005, the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change entered into force. Pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol, adopting countries are required to implement national programs to reduce emissions of certain gases, generally referred to as greenhouse gases, which are suspected of contributing to global warming. Currently, the emissions of greenhouse gases from international shipping are not subject to the Kyoto Protocol. The Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015 contemplates commitments from each nation party thereto to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit increases in global temperatures but did not include any restrictions or other measures specific to shipping emissions. In January 2021, the U.S. President announced that the United States intended to rejoin the Paris Agreement. A new treaty may be adopted in the future that includes restrictions on shipping emissions. International and multinational bodies or individual countries also may adopt their own climate change regulatory initiatives. The IMO recently announced its intention to develop reduction measures for greenhouse gases from international shipping. The E.U.enacted a regulation requiring ships over 5,000 gross tons docking in E.U. ports to monitor, report and verify greenhouse gas emissions which went into effect in 2018. The United States or individual U.S. states could also enact environmental regulations that could affect our operations. These or other developments may result in regulations relating to the control of greenhouse gas emissions. Any passage of climate control legislation or other regulatory initiatives in the jurisdictions where we operate could result in financial impacts on our operations that we cannot predict with certainty at this time. Even in the absence of climate control legislation, our business may be indirectly affected to the extent that climate change may result in sea level changes or more intense weather events.

The European Parliament and the Council of the E.U. have adopted regulation 2015/757, the EU-MRV on the monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport. It entered into force on July 1, 2015 and monitoring began January 1, 2018. The maritime EU-MRV regulation applies to all merchant ships of 5,000 gross tons or above on voyages from, to and between ports under jurisdiction of E.U. member states. Companies operating the vessels will have to monitor the CO2 emissions released while in port and for any voyages to or from a port under the jurisdiction of an E.U. member state and to keep records on CO2 emissions on both per-voyage and annual bases. Furthermore, as of January 1, 2018, our vessels began monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions pursuant to the IMO DCS regulation, which is part of the IMO’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions from ships by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008. On February 4, 2019, the European Commission tabled a proposal concerning the amendment of the EU-MRV. The main objective of the proposal was to amend the EU-MRV in order to take account of the new IMO DCS for fuel oil consumption of ships that was introduced by the IMO in March 2018. As part of the IMO’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions from ships, an initial IMO GHG strategy envisaged a reduction in carbon intensity of international shipping (a 40 % reduction of average CO2 emissions per transport work by 2030 and a 70 % reduction by 2050, compared to 2008) and a 50 % reduction in total annual GHG emissions from international shipping by 2050, compared to 2008. The globally applicable IMO DCS system, currently runs in parallel with the EU-MRV, thus duplicating regulation for shipping companies whose ships sail both inside and outside the EU. The EU recently included international carbon emissions from the maritime sector in the EU emissions trading system. These monitoring and reporting processes adopted by the EU-MRV and the IMO DCS regulations is considered to be part of a market-based mechanism for a carbon tax to be adopted.




The MEPC has adopted the EEDI for newbuild vessels, which requires a minimum energy efficiency level per capacity mile (e.g. tonne mile) for different vessel type and size segments, mandating an up to 30% improvement in design performance depending on vessel type and size. The EEDI provides a specific figure for an individual vessel design, expressed in grams of CO2 per ship's capacity-mile (the smaller the EEDI the more energy efficient vessel design) and is calculated by a formula based on the technical design parameters for a given ship. Since 1 January 2013, following an initial two year EEDI Phase 0, new vessel design needs to meet the reference level for their vessel type. The CO2 reduction level (grams of CO2 per tonne mile) for the Phase 1 was set to 10% and will be tightened every five years (20% for Phase 2 and 30% for Phase 3) to keep pace with technological developments of new efficiency and reduction measures. Reduction rates have been established until the period 2025 and onwards (Phase 3) when a 30% reduction is mandated for applicable ship types calculated from a reference line representing the average efficiency for ships built between 2000 and 2010. Furthermore, research is conducted to identify and develop alternative fuels (e.g. ammonia, hydrogen, biofuels) to replace fossil fuels in future newbuild designs that will be able to meet the more stringent GHG regulations 2030 onwards, including as interim solution propulsion by dual fuel engines using liquified natural gas with HFO or Compliant Fuels.

Like the EEDI, the ‘Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index’ (“EEXI”) is a technical or ‘design’ efficiency index which requires a vessel to achieve a required level of technical efficiency (Required EEXI) under specified reference conditions. Compliance is determined by the vessel’s design and arrangements. This means an attained EEXI can only be changed through alterations to the vessel’s design or machinery and not day to day operational action such as speed reduction or reduced cargo. In its simplest form, the attained EEXI is the vessel’s grams of CO2 emitted per capacity tonne mile under the ship specific reference conditions. This is a function of the installed engine power (kW), the specific fuel consumption of the main and auxiliary engines and a carbon factor representing the conversion of fuel to CO2, vessel capacity and vessel reference speed. The Required EEXI is the vessel’s required maximum grams of CO2 emitted by the vessel per capacity dwt tonne mile under reference conditions, given its type and capacity. To comply with the regulation, the attained EEXI for a vessel must be less than or equal to the Required EEXI.

The EEDI phases for newbuild vessels and its retroactive application of the EEDI to all existing and in service cargo above a certain size, known as the EEXI, sets new technical efficiency standard for existing ships. This will impose a requirement equivalent to EEDI Phase 2 or 3 (with some adjustments) to all existing ships regardless of year of build and is intended an a one-off certification. Entry into force is expected to be in the fourth quarter of 2022, but no later than 1 January 2023. Demonstration of compliance will be required by the vessel’s first survey for the issue or endorsement of the International Air Pollution Prevention Certification, following entry into force. In addition to the upcoming EEDI Phase 3, a possible Phase 4 can be introduced later this decade, further tightening requirements for newbuilds.

Furthermore, a mandatory Carbon Intensity Indicator (“CII”) – e.g. Annual Efficiency Ratio – grams of CO2 per dwt-mile, and rating scheme is introduced, where all cargo vessels above 5,000 GT are given a rating of A to E every year. The rating thresholds will become increasingly stringent towards 2030. For ships that achieve a D rating for three consecutive years or an E rating, a corrective action plan needs to be developed as part of the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (“SEEMP”) and approved. Technical specifications regarding baselines, methods of calculations and ship-specific requirements were established through guidelines to be finalized and approved at MEPC. The USCG plans to develop and propose regulations to implement these provisions in the United States.

In addition, the SEEMP will be strengthened (Enhanced SEEMP) to include mandatory content, such as an implementation plan on how to achieve the CII targets, and making it subject to approval. These new requirements for existing ships will be reviewed by the end of 2025, with particular focus on the enforcement of the carbon intensity rating requirements.

GHG reduction measures adopted, or further additional measures to be adopted by the IMO, EU and other jurisdictions for reaching 2030 goals may impose operational and financial restrictions, carbon tax or an emission trading system on less efficient vessels starting from 2023, gradually affecting younger vessels, even newbuilds after 2030, reducing their trade and competitiveness, increasing their environmental compliance costs, imposing additional energy efficiency investments, or even making such vessels obsolete. This or other developments may result in financial impacts on our operations that we cannot predict with certainty at this time, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In response to the above GHG environmental regulations we monitor CO2 vessel emissions pursuant to the IMO DCS and EU-MRV, assessing in parallel the applicability of relevant energy efficiency measures. Furthermore, we pursue a fleet renewal strategy having sold 7 of our older or Chinese built less efficient vessels, and for the acquisition of 9 Japanese dry-bulk newbuild vessels with EEDI complying with IMO Phase 3 requirements.




Ballast Water Treatment System: In 2004 the IMO adopted the BWM Convention, implementing regulations calling for a phased introduction of mandatory ballast water exchange requirements, to be replaced in time with mandatory concentration limits. The BWM Convention took effect in September 2017. Many of the implementation dates in the BWM Convention had already passed prior to its effectiveness, so that the period of installation of mandatory ballast water exchange requirements would be extremely short, with several thousand ships a year needing to install BWTS. For this reason, on December 4, 2013, the IMO Assembly passed a resolution revising the application dates of the BWM Convention so that they are triggered by the entry into force date and not the dates originally in the BWM Convention. This, in effect, makes all vessels constructed before September 8, 2017 “existing vessels” and allows for the installation of a BWTS on such vessels at the first renewal survey following entry into force of the convention. In July 2017, the implementation scheme was further changed to require vessels with International Oil Pollution Prevention (“IOPP”) certificates expiring between September 8, 2017 and September 8, 2019 to comply at their second IOPP renewal. Each vessel in our current fleet has been issued a Ballast Water Management Plan Statement of Compliance by the classification society with respect to the applicable IMO regulations and guidelines. In addition, we are required to install BWTS in each vessel in our fleet during the next drydocking and as of March 18, 2022 we had 35 of our vessels equipped with U.S. Coast Guard approved BWTS and plan to install BWTS on the remaining vessels of our fleet the following years.

Polar Code: In November 2014 and May 2015, the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee and MEPC, respectively, each adopted relevant parts of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Water (the “Polar Code”). The Polar Code entered into force on January 1, 2017. The Polar Code covers design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue as well as environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in the waters surrounding the two poles. It also includes mandatory measures regarding safety and pollution prevention as well as recommendatory provisions. Ships intending to operate in the applicable areas must have a Polar Ship Certificate. This requires an assessment of operating in said waters and includes operational limitations, additional safety equipment and plans or procedures, necessary to respond to incidents involving possible safety or environmental consequences. A Polar Water Operational Manual is also needed on board the ship for the owner, operator, master, and crew to have sufficient information regarding the ship to assist in their decision-making process. The Polar Code applies to new ships constructed after January 1, 2017. After January 1, 2018, ships constructed before January 1, 2017 are required to meet the relevant requirements by the earlier of their first intermediate, or renewal survey. These requirements have not had and we do not expect they will have a material effect on our operations.

Discharge of garbage: MARPOL Annex V seeks to eliminate and reduce the amount of garbage being discharged into the sea from ships. MARPOL Annex V generally prohibits the discharge of all garbage into the sea, except as provided. Under MARPOL Annex V, garbage includes all kinds of food, domestic and operational waste, all plastics, cargo residues, incinerator ashes, cooking oil, fishing gear, and animal carcasses generated during the normal operation of the ship and liable to be disposed of continuously or periodically. The IMO adopted new guidelines in 2012 under the revised Annex V to MARPOL, which prohibit discharge of garbage into the open sea, with certain exceptions, and require vessels to dispose of garbage at port garbage reception facilities. These guidelines became effective in January 2013. These requirements have not had and we do not expect they will have a material effect on our operations.

Discharges of oily substances, at sea: MARPOL Annex I covers all the fluids which contain oil and can be discharged overboard at sea. The affirmed objective of MARPOL Annex I, which entered into force on 2nd October 1983, is to protect the marine environment through the complete elimination of pollution by oil and other damaging elements and to lessen the chances of accidental discharge of any such elements.

Discharges of sewage: MARPOL Annex IV contains a set of regulations regarding the discharge of sewage into the sea from ships, including regulations regarding the ships' equipment and systems for the control of sewage discharge, the provision of port reception facilities for sewage, and requirements for survey and certification.
 
Bunker Convention: In 2001, the IMO adopted the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (the “Bunker Convention”), which imposes strict liability on ship owners for pollution damage in jurisdictional waters of ratifying states caused by discharges of bunker fuel. The Bunker Convention also requires registered owners of ships over 1,000 gross tons to maintain insurance in specified amounts to cover their liability for relevant pollution damage. The Bunker Convention became effective on November 21, 2008. Liability limits under the Bunker Convention were increased as of June 2015. With respect to non-ratifying states, including the United States, liability for spills and releases of oil carried as bunker in ship’s bunkers typically is determined by the national or other domestic laws in the jurisdiction where the events or damages occur. The IMO also adopted a requirement, which became effective in 2011, that vessels traveling through the Antarctic region (waters south of latitude 60 degrees south) must use lower density fuel. This requirement has not had and we do not expect that it will have a material effect on our operations, which do not involve Antarctic travel.
 



ISM Code: The operation of our vessels is also affected by the requirements set forth in the IMO’s International Safety Management (“ISM”) Code. The ISM Code requires vessel owners or any other person, such as a manager or bareboat charterer, who has assumed responsibility for the operation of a vessel from the vessel owner and on assuming such responsibility has agreed to take over all the duties and responsibilities imposed by the ISM Code, to develop and maintain an extensive SMS that includes the adoption of a safety and environmental protection policy setting forth instructions and procedures for safe operation and describing procedures for dealing with emergencies. The ISM Code requires that vessel operators obtain a “Safety Management Certificate” for each vessel they operate from the government of the vessel’s flag state. The certificate verifies that the vessel operates in compliance with its approved SMS. Currently, our Managers have the requisite documents of compliance and safety management certificates for each of the vessels in our fleet for which the certificates are required by the IMO. Our Managers are required to renew these documents of compliance and safety management certificates every five years. Compliance is externally verified on an annual basis for the Managers and between the second and third years for each vessel by the applicable flag state.
 
Although all our vessels are currently ISM Code-certified, such certification may not be maintained by all our vessels at all times. Non-compliance with the ISM Code may subject such party to increased liability, invalidate existing insurance or decrease available insurance coverage for the affected vessels and result in a denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard and E.U. authorities have indicated that vessels not in compliance with the ISM Code will be prohibited from trading in U.S. and E.U. ports.

The Maritime Labour Convention: The International Labour Organization’s Maritime Labour Convention was adopted in 2006 (“MLC 2006”). The basic aims of the MLC 2006 are to ensure comprehensive worldwide protection of the rights of seafarers (the MLC 2006 is sometimes called the Seafarers’ Bill of Rights) and, to establish a level playing field for countries and ship owners committed to providing decent working and living conditions for seafarers, protecting them from unfair competition on the part of substandard ships. The MLC 2006 was ratified on August 20, 2012, and all our vessels were certified by August 2013, as required. The MLC 2006 requirements have not had, and we do not expect that the MLC 2006 requirements will have, a material effect on our operations.


U.S. Regulations

The U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990: OPA 90 established an extensive regulatory and liability regime for the protection of the environment from oil spills and cleanup of oil spills. OPA 90 applies to discharges of any oil from a vessel, including discharges of fuel and lubricants. OPA 90 affects all owners and operators whose vessels trade in the U.S., its territories and possessions or whose vessels operate in U.S. waters, which includes the U.S.’ territorial sea and its two hundred nautical mile exclusive economic zone. While our vessels do not carry oil as cargo, they do carry lubricants and fuel oil (“bunkers”), which subjects our vessels to the requirements of OPA 90.

Under OPA 90, vessel owners, operators and bareboat charterers are “responsible parties” and are jointly, severally and strictly liable (unless the discharge of pollutants results solely from the act or omission of a third party, an act of God or an act of war) for all containment and clean-up costs and other damages arising from discharges, or threatened discharges, of pollutants from their vessels, including bunkers.

OPA 90 preserves the right to recover damages under other existing laws, including maritime tort law.

Effective December 21, 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard adopted regulations that adjust the limits of liability of responsible parties under OPA 90 and established a procedure for adjusting the limits for inflation every three years. Effective November 12, 2019, those limits were adjusted to the greater of $1,200 per gross ton or $997,100 per non-tank vessel. These limits of liability do not apply if an incident was directly caused by violation of applicable U.S. safety, construction or operating regulations or by a responsible party’s gross negligence or willful misconduct, or if the responsible party fails or refuses to report the incident or to cooperate and assist in connection with oil removal activities.

All owners and operators of vessels over 300 gross tons are required to establish and maintain with the U.S. Coast Guard evidence of financial responsibility sufficient to meet their potential aggregate liabilities under OPA 90 and CERCLA, which is discussed below. An owner or operator of a fleet of vessels is required only to demonstrate evidence of financial responsibility in an amount sufficient to cover the vessel in the fleet having the greatest maximum liability under OPA 90 and CERCLA. We have complied with these requirements by providing a financial guarantee evidencing sufficient self-insurance. We have satisfied these requirements and obtained a U.S. Coast Guard certificate of financial responsibility for all of our vessels.




The U.S. Coast Guard’s regulations concerning certificates of financial responsibility provide, in accordance with OPA 90, that claimants may bring suit directly against an insurer or guarantor that furnishes certificates of financial responsibility and that the insurer or guarantor may only assert limited defenses. Certain organizations that had typically provided certificates of financial responsibility under pre-OPA 90 laws, including the major protection and indemnity organizations, have declined to furnish evidence of insurance for vessel owners and operators if they are subject to direct actions or required to waive insurance policy defenses. This requirement may limit the availability of coverage required by the U.S. Coast Guard and could increase our costs of obtaining this insurance for our fleet, as well as the costs of our competitors that also require such coverage.

We currently maintain, for each of our vessels, oil pollution liability coverage insurance in the amount of $1.0 billion per incident. Although our vessels carry a relatively small amount of bunkers, a spill of oil from one of our vessels could be catastrophic under certain circumstances. We also carry hull and machinery protection and indemnity insurance to cover the risks of fire and explosion.

Losses as a result of fire or explosion could be catastrophic under some conditions. While we believe that our existing insurance coverage is adequate, not all risks can be insured and there can be no guarantee that any specific claim will be paid, or that we will always be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates. If the damages from a catastrophic spill exceed our insurance coverage, the payment of those damages could have a severe, adverse effect on us and could possibly result in our insolvency.

OPA 90 requires the owner or operator of any non-tank vessel of 400 gross tons or more that carries oil of any kind as a fuel for main propulsion, including bunkers, to prepare and submit a response plan for each vessel. These vessel response plans include detailed information on actions to be taken by vessel personnel to prevent or mitigate any discharge or substantial threat of such a discharge of ore from the vessel due to operational activities or casualties. All of our vessels have U.S. Coast Guard-approved response plans.

OPA 90 specifically permits individual states to impose their own liability regimes with regard to oil pollution incidents occurring within their boundaries, and some states have enacted legislation providing for unlimited liability for oil spills. In some cases, states which have enacted such legislation have not yet issued implementing regulations defining vessels owners’ responsibilities under these laws. We intend to comply with all applicable state regulations in the ports where our vessels call.

The U.S. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act: CERCLA applies to spills or releases of hazardous substances other than petroleum or petroleum products, whether on land or at sea. CERCLA imposes joint and several liability, without regard to fault, on the owner or operator of a ship, vehicle or facility from which there has been a release, and on other specified parties. Liability under CERCLA is generally limited to the greater of $300 per gross ton or $0.5 million per vessel carrying non-hazardous substances ($5.0 million for vessels carrying hazardous substances), unless the incident is caused by gross negligence, willful misconduct or a violation of certain regulations, in which case liability is unlimited. As described above, owners and operators of vessels must establish and maintain with the U.S. Coast Guard evidence of financial responsibility sufficient to meet their potential liabilities under CERCLA.

The U.S. Clean Water Act: The CWA prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances in navigable waters and imposes strict liability in the form of penalties for any unauthorized discharges. It also imposes substantial liability for the costs of removal, remediation and damages and complements the remedies available under the more recently enacted OPA 90 and CERCLA, discussed above. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) regulates the discharge in U.S. ports of ballast water and other substances incidental to the normal operation of vessels. Under EPA regulations, commercial vessels greater than 79 feet in length are required to obtain coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) the VGP to discharge ballast water and other wastewater into U.S. waters by submitting a Notice of Intent (a “NOI”). The VGP requires vessel owners and operators to comply with a range of best management practices and reporting and other requirements for a number of incidental discharge types and incorporates current U.S. Coast Guard requirements for ballast water management, as well as supplemental ballast water requirements. We have submitted NOIs for our vessels operating in U.S. waters and anticipate incurring costs to meet the requirements of the VGP. In addition, various states have enacted legislation restricting ballast water discharges and the introduction of non-indigenous species considered to be invasive. These and any similar ballast water discharge restrictions enacted in the future could increase the costs of operating in the relevant waters.

The 2013 VGP became effective in December 2013 and remains in effect during the implementation of the 2018 Vessel Incident Discharge Act (the “VIDA”), as discussed below. The 2013 VGP requires most vessels to meet numeric ballast water discharge limits on a staggered schedule based on the first dry docking after January 1, 2014, or January 1, 2016 (depending on vessel ballast capacity). The 2013 VGP also imposes more strict technology-based limits in the form of best management practices for discharges related to oil-to-sea interfaces and requires routine inspections, monitoring, reporting, and



recordkeeping. The 2013 VGP also requires vessel modifications and the installation of ballast treatment equipment which will significantly increase the cost of investments to comply with such requirements.
 
For the first time, the 2013 VGP contains numeric ballast water discharge limits for most vessels. The 2013 VGP also contains more stringent effluent limits for oil to sea interfaces and exhaust gas scrubber washwater, which will improve environmental protection of U.S. waters. The EPA has also improved the efficiency of several of the VGP’s administrative requirements, including allowing electronic recordkeeping, requiring an annual report in lieu of the one-time report and annual noncompliance report, and requiring small vessel owners and/or operators to obtain coverage under the VGP by completing and agreeing to the terms of a Permit Authorization and Record of Inspection form. The 2013 vessel general permit requires the use of an environmentally acceptable lubricant for all oil to sea interfaces for vessels or alternative seal systems, unless technically infeasible. The intent of this new requirement is to reduce the environmental impact of lubricant discharges on the aquatic ecosystem by increasing the use of environmentally acceptable lubricants for vessels operating in waters of the U.S. We believe all our vessels are in compliance with the 2013 VGP.
 
On December 4, 2018, the VIDA was signed into law, establishing a new framework for the regulation of vessel incidental discharges under the CWA. The VIDA requires the EPA to develop performance standards for those discharges within two years of enactment and requires the U.S. Coast Guard to develop implementation, compliance and enforcement regulations within two years of the EPA’s promulgation of standards. Under the VIDA, all provisions of the 2013 VGP will remain in force and effect until the U.S. Coast Guard’s regulations are finalized. On October 26, 2020, the EPA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Vessel Incident Discharge National Standards of Performance in the Federal Register for public comment. The comment period closed on November 25, 2020.

U.S. Air Emission Requirements: In 2008, the U.S. ratified the amended Annex VI of MARPOL, addressing air pollution from ships, which went into effect in 2009. In December 2009, the EPA announced its intention to publish final amendments to the emission standards for new marine diesel engines installed on ships flagged or registered in the U.S. that are consistent with standards required under recent amendments to Annex VI of MARPOL. The regulations include near-term standards that began in 2011 for newly built engines requiring more efficient use of engine technologies in use today and long-term standards that began in 2016 requiring an 80 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions below current standards. The CAA also requires states to adopt State Implementation Plans (“SIPs”) designed to attain air quality standards. Several SIPs regulate emissions resulting from vessel loading and unloading operations by requiring the installation of vapor control equipment.

New or more stringent air emission regulations which may be adopted could require significant capital expenditures to retrofit vessels and could otherwise increase our investment and operating costs.

Other Environmental Initiatives

The E.U. has adopted legislation that (1) requires member states to refuse access to their ports by certain substandard vessels, according to vessel type, flag and number of previous detentions; (2) obliges member states to inspect at least 25.0% of vessels using their ports annually and increase surveillance of vessels posing a high risk to maritime safety or the marine environment; (3) provides the E.U. with greater authority and control over classification societies, including the ability to seek to suspend or revoke the authority of negligent societies; and (4) requires member states to impose criminal sanctions for certain pollution events, such as the unauthorized discharge of tank washings. It is also considering legislation that will affect the operation of vessels and the liability of owners for oil pollution. While we do not believe that the costs associated with our compliance with these adopted and proposed E.U. initiatives will be material, it is difficult to predict what additional legislation, if any, may be promulgated by the E.U. or any other country or authority.

Several U.S. states, such as California, adopted more stringent legislation or regulations relating to the permitting and management of ballast water discharges compared to EPA regulations. These requirements do not currently impact our operational costs, as such technologies are not currently available. However if a decision is made to comply with such requirements, we could incur additional investment during the installation of any such ballast water treatment plants.

On June 29, 2017, the Global Industry Alliance (the “GIA”) was officially inaugurated. The GIA is a program, under the Global Environmental Facility-United Nations Development Program-IMO project, which supports shipping, and related industries, as they move towards a low carbon future. Organizations including, but not limited to, ship owners, operators, classification societies, and oil companies, signed to launch the GIA.

The China Maritime Safety Administration (the “China MSA”) issued the Regulation on Data Collection of Energy Consumption for Ships in November 2018. This regulation is effective as of January 1, 2019 and requires ships calling on Chinese ports to report fuel consumption and transport work details directly to the China MSA. This regulation also contains



additional requirements for Chinese-flagged vessels (domestic and international) and other non-Chinese-flagged international navigating vessels.

The United States is 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 the environment that targets the United States’ offshore energy strategy, which affects parts of the maritime industry and may affect our business operations. In 2021, the United States announced its commitment to working with the IMO to adopt a goal of achieving zero emissions from international shipping by 2050. Additional legislation or regulation applicable to the operation of our ships that may be implemented in the future could negatively affect our profitability.

Inventory of Hazardous Materials
 
Hong Kong Convention: On May 15, 2009, the IMO adopted the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (the “Hong Kong Convention”). The Hong Kong Convention will enter into force two years after it has been ratified by 15 states representing 40% of the world fleet. The Hong Kong Convention has not yet entered into force. One of the key requirements of the Hong Kong Convention will be for ships over 500 gross tonnes operating in international waters to maintain an Inventory of Hazardous Materials (an “IHM”). Only warships, naval auxiliary and governmental, non-commercial vessels are exempt from the requirements of the Hong Kong Convention. The IHM has three parts:

Part I - hazardous materials inherent in the ship’s structure and fitted equipment;

Part II - operationally generated wastes; and

Part III - stores.
 
Once the Hong Kong Convention has entered into force, each new and existing ship will be required to maintain Part I of IHM.
 
E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation: On November 20, 2013, the E.U. adopted Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 (the “E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation”), which seeks to facilitate the ratification of the Hong Kong Convention and sets forth rules relating to vessel recycling and management of hazardous materials on vessels. In addition to new requirements for the recycling of vessels, the E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation contains rules for the control and proper management of hazardous materials on vessels and prohibits or restricts the installation or use of certain hazardous materials on vessels. The E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation applies to vessels flying the flag of an E.U. member state and certain of its provisions apply to vessels flying the flag of a third country calling at a port or anchorage of a member state. For example, when calling at a port or anchorage of a member state, a vessel flying the flag of a third country will be required, among other things, to have on board an IHM that complies with the requirements of the E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation and the vessel must be able to submit to the relevant authorities of that member state a copy of a statement of compliance issued by the relevant authorities of the country of the vessel’s flag verifying the inventory. The E.U. Ship Recycling Regulation took effect on non-E.U.-flagged vessels calling on E.U. ports of call beginning as of December 31, 2020.

Vessel Security Regulations
 
Several initiatives have been implemented to enhance vessel security. On November 25, 2002, the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (the “MTSA”) came into effect. To implement certain portions of the MTSA, the U.S. Coast Guard issued regulations in July 2003 requiring the implementation of certain security requirements aboard vessels operating in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Similarly, in December 2002, amendments to SOLAS created a chapter of the convention dealing specifically with maritime security. This chapter came into effect in July 2004 and imposes various detailed security obligations on vessels and port authorities, most of which are contained in the International Ship and Port Facilities Security Code (the “ISPS Code”). Among the various requirements are:

on-board installation of automatic information systems to enhance vessel-to-vessel and vessel-to-shore communications;
on-board installation of ship security alert systems;
the development of vessel security plans; and
compliance with flag state security certification requirements.
The U.S. Coast Guard regulations, intended to align with international maritime security standards, exempt non-U.S. vessels from MTSA vessel security measures, provided such vessels have on board a valid “International Ship Security Certificate” that attests to the vessel’s compliance with SOLAS security requirements and the ISPS Code. We have



implemented the various security measures addressed by the IMO, SOLAS and the ISPS Code, and we have approved ISPS certificates and plans on board all our vessels, which have been certified by the applicable flag state.

Cyber Security

Recent action by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee and U.S. agencies indicate that cyber security regulations for the maritime industry are likely to be further developed in the near future in an attempt to combat cyber security threats. The Maritime Safety Committee, at its 98th session in June 2017, adopted Resolution MSC.428(98) - Maritime Cyber Risk Management in Safety Management Systems. The resolution encouraged administrations to ensure that cyber risks are appropriately addressed in existing safety management systems (as defined in the ISM Code) no later than the first annual verification of the company's Document of Compliance after January 1, 2021. In response to the above cyber security resolution we performed a cyber security risk assessment for our vessels and implemented next generation firewall and incident reporting for the majority of the vessels in our fleet, while we are in the process of concluding such implementation for the remaining vessels. We also incorporated the cyber risk management system into the ship management system (SMS) for all vessels in our fleet.

Regulations on the Economic Substance Situation of the Marshall Islands

On January 1, 2019, the Economic Substance Regulations (ESRs), adopted by the Republic of the Marshall Islands, entered into force. ESRs apply to all non-resident entities based in the Marshall Islands and to foreign shipping entities registered in the Marshall Islands that meet the definition of "relevant entity" and derive income from "related activity". The term "relevant entity" according to the ESRs includes any non-domestic entity based in the Marshall Islands or a "foreign maritime entity" established under Marshall Islands law which is centrally managed and controlled outside the Marshall Islands and is a taxable entity of a state other than the Marshall Islands. The term "relevant activity" according to the ESRs refers to certain restrictively mentioned activities, including "shipping" and "holding business", which may apply to us and our Subsidiaries governed by the law of the Marshall Islands. According to the ESRs, for each annual reporting period, each relevant entity that earns income from a related activity should demonstrate in the context of an audit of its financial position that (i) its administration and management in relation to the relevant activity is carried out on Marshall Islands, (ii) its main business-related activity is in the Marshall Islands (although regulators understand and recognize that the core income-generating activities of shipping companies generally take place in international waters), and (iii) (a) has a sufficient amount of expenditure in the Marshall Islands, (b) has a sufficient physical presence in the Marshall Islands, and (c) has a sufficient number of qualified employees in the Marshall Islands, taking into account the size of the relevant activities in the Marshall Islands. As of July 1, 2020, all non-resident entities based in the Marshall Islands and the foreign shipping entities of the Marshall Islands are required to submit a declaration of financial status within twelve (12) months of their anniversary. The statement of financial situation is submitted to the corporate register on an annual basis. If the Corporate Registry finds that an entity does not meet the financial status criteria for the relevant reporting period, it will issue a non-compliance notice and impose penalties, which will be described in the notice. Penalties can range from fines of up to $ 100,000 and / or revocation of the entity's founding documents and dissolution. We intend to comply with all relevant ESR reporting requirements.

Coronavirus Outbreak

As of March 2020, the outbreak of the 2019-nCoV was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. The 2019-nCoV has resulted in globally reduced industrial activity with lower demand for cargoes such as iron ore and coal, contributing to lower drybulk rates in 2020. The outbreak of the 2019-nCoV in China and other countries in early 2020, led to a number of countries, ports and organizations to take measures against its spread, such as quarantines and restrictions on travel. Such measures were taken initially in Chinese ports, where we conduct a large part of our operations, and gradually expanded to other countries globally covering most ports where we conduct business. These measures have and to the extent that the pandemic is not controlled may continue to cause trade disruptions due to, among other things, the unavailability of personnel, increased risks to our crew and personnel's wellbeing and operations and delays and increased expenses in substituting crew members. We operate in a sector of the economy that has been and to the extent that the pandemic is not controlled may continue to be adversely impacted by the effects of trade disruptions due to the spread of the 2019-nCoV, including the Delta variant, the Omicron variant, or other potential new 2019-nCoV variants. Such trade disruptions had adversely affected the level of imports to and exports from China and other countries, which in turn had adversely affected the demand for our services, our business and results of operations, dry bulk shipping rates and the international shipping industry as a whole. The global slowdown of manufacturing as a result of 2019-nCov, also reflected in the GDP drop by 3.5% in 2020 according to the international monetary fund (“IMF”) data, had an impact on the global supply chain along with a consequential impact on construction projects and other downstream industries which had an adverse effect on our business. Disruption had spread to other markets, including key dry bulk and other commodity markets (e.g., copper, iron ore, zinc, nickel and lithium). Our business and the drybulk shipping industry as a whole has been impacted not only from a reduced demand for drybulk shipping



services, but also from a reduced workforce and delays of crew changes as a result of quarantines applicable in several countries and ports, delays of vessels as a result of port checks due to cases, or suspected cases, of the 2019-nCoV, and its variants, amongst crew and diversion of vessels to ports where crew changes continued to take place.

Furthermore, scheduled dry-dockings, annual and intermediate surveys and unscheduled ship repairs and upgrades, have been delayed as a result of the impact of the 2019-nCoV outbreak on the repair yard workforce and the availability and transportation ability of technical teams to attend vessels. Any such delays or any failures to conduct repairs or upgrades, drydockings or surveys in a timely manner may affect our results of operations. Difficulties have also been presented in relation to secondhand vessel acquisitions and vessel sales deliveries. The Company has also entered into agreements for the acquisition of nine newbuilds, two of which with delivery in 2022. If the pandemic continues in 2022 and similar restrictive measures are adopted for its control the following year, delays may be expected in relation to the deliveries of our newbuilds and our newbuild program, which will affect our results of operations and our financial condition.

The extent and duration to which the 2019-nCoV outbreak and measures taken in response thereto may continue to negatively impact our business, financial performance and operating results, remain largely uncertain and dependent on future developments that cannot be accurately predicted at this time, such as the severity and transmission rate of the various new 2019-nCoV types, the extent to which vaccines are available to our crew, and the effectiveness of the containment actions taken, including travel and cargo restrictions, and the impact of these and other factors on the shipping industry as a whole. As a result, it is not possible to ascertain the overall impact of the 2019-nCoV on our business. However, the occurrence of any of the foregoing events or other epidemics or an increase in the severity or duration of the 2019-nCoV and any new virus wave, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition, value of our vessels, and our ability to pay dividends.


Disclosure of Activities Pursuant to Section 13(r) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Section 219 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 added Section 13(r) to the Exchange Act. Section 13(r) requires an issuer to disclose whether it or any of its affiliates knowingly engaged in certain activities, transactions or dealings relating to Iran. Disclosure is required even where the activities, transactions or dealings are conducted in compliance with applicable law. Provided in this section is information concerning the activities of us and our affiliates that occurred in 2021 and which we believe may be required to be disclosed pursuant to Section 13(r) of the Exchange Act.

In 2021, our vessels did not make any port calls to Iran.

Our charter party agreements for our vessels restrict the charterers from calling in Iran in violation of E.U., U.S. or United Nation sanctions and that has not been authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. There can be no assurance that our vessels will not, from time to time in the future on charterer’s instructions, perform voyages which would require disclosure pursuant to Exchange Act Section 13(r).

On January 16, 2016, the U.S. and the E.U. lifted nuclear-related sanctions on Iran through the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) among the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.), the E.U. and Iran to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. All activities, transactions and dealings reported in this section occurred after the implementation of the JCPOA. However, U.S. nuclear-related sanctions have been re-imposed effective August 7, 2018 and November 5, 2018 as a result of the withdrawal of the U.S. from the JCPOA. We may charter our vessels to charterers and sub-charterers, including, as the case may be, Iran-related parties, who may make, or may sublet the vessels to sub-charterers who may make, port calls to Iran, so long as the activities continue to be permissible and not sanctionable under applicable U.S. and E.U. and other applicable laws.

Seasonality

We operate our vessels in markets that have historically exhibited seasonal variations in demand and, as a result, in charter rates. Seasonality is related to several factors and may result in quarter-to-quarter volatility in our results of operations, which could affect the amount of dividends, if any, that we pay to our shareholders. For example the market for marine drybulk transportation services is typically stronger in the fall months in anticipation of increased consumption of coal in the northern hemisphere during the winter months and the grain export season from North America. Similarly, the market for marine drybulk transportation services is typically stronger in the spring months in anticipation of the South American grain export season due to increased distance traveled known as ton mile effect, as well as increased coal imports in parts of Asia due to additional electricity demand for cooling during the summer months. Demand for marine drybulk transportation services is



typically weaker at the beginning of the calendar year and during the summer months. In addition, unpredictable weather patterns during these periods tend to disrupt vessel scheduling and supplies of certain commodities.

C.    Organizational Structure

Safe Bulkers, Inc. is a holding company with 58 subsidiaries, 23 of which are incorporated in Liberia, 34 in the Republic of the Marshall Islands and 1 in the Republic of Cyprus, each as of March 18, 2022. Our subsidiaries are wholly-owned by us. A list of our subsidiaries as of March 18, 2022 is set forth in Exhibit 8.1 to this annual report.

D.    Property, Plant and Equipment

We have no freehold or material leasehold interest in any real property. We occupy office space at Apt. D11, Les Acanthes, 6, Avenue des Citronniers, MC98000 Monaco, where our principal executive office is established. We also occupy office space at 5th floor, 61 rue du Rhone, 1204, Geneva, Switzerland, where a representation office is established. Other than our vessels, we do not have any material property. Our vessels are subject to priority mortgages, which secure our obligations under our various credit facilities. For further details regarding our credit facilities, see “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—B. Liquidity and Capital Resources—Credit Facilities.”

ITEM 4A.UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
 
None.
ITEM 5.OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

 
The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and the notes to those statements included elsewhere in this annual report. This discussion includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, such as those set forth under “Item 3. Key Information—D. Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this annual report, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Please see the section “Forward-Looking Statements” at the beginning of this annual report.
 
Overview
 
Our business is to provide international marine drybulk transportation services by operating vessels in the drybulk sector of the shipping industry. We deploy our vessels on a mix of period time and spot time charters according to our assessment of market conditions, adjusting the mix of these charters to take advantage of the relatively stable cash flow and high utilization rates associated with period time charters, or to profit from attractive spot time charter rates during periods of strong charter market conditions, or to maintain employment flexibility that the spot market offers during periods of weak time charter market conditions. We believe our customers, some of which have been chartering our vessels for over 26 years, enter into period time and spot time charters with us because of the quality of our modern vessels and our record of safe and efficient operations.
 
Our Managers
 
Our operations are managed by our Managers, Safety Management and Safe Bulkers Management, under the supervision of our executive officers and our board of directors. Under our Management Agreements, our Managers provide us with technical, administrative and commercial services and our executive management. Both of our Managers are controlled by Polys Hajioannou. See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions—B. Related Party Transactions—Management Agreements” for more information.

Selected Financial Data

The following table presents selected consolidated financial and other data of Safe Bulkers, Inc. for each of the five years in the five year period ended December 31, 2021. The selected consolidated financial data of Safe Bulkers, Inc. is a summary of, is derived from, and is qualified by reference to, our audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto, which have been prepared in accordance with United States (the “U.S.”) generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”).




Our audited consolidated statements of operations, shareholders’ equity and cash flows for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021 and the consolidated balance sheets at December 31, 2020 and 2021, together with the notes thereto, are included in “Item 18. Financial Statements” and should be read in their entirety.

The historical results included below and elsewhere in this document are not necessarily indicative of our future performance.
Year Ended December
20172018201920202021
(in thousands of U.S. dollars except share data)
STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS
Revenues$154,040 $201,548 $206,682 $206,035 $343,475 
Commissions(6,008)(8,357)(8,921)(7,877)(14,444)
Net revenues148,032 193,191 197,761 198,158 329,031 
Voyage expenses(3,932)(6,378)(13,715)(41,582)(9,753)
Vessel operating expenses(52,794)(63,512)(68,569)(70,086)(72,049)
Depreciation and amortization(51,424)(48,067)(50,310)(54,269)(52,364)
General and admini