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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

OR

 ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020

OR

 TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from ___________ to __________

OR

 SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of event requiring this shell company report ______________

Commission file number 001-33811


_________________________________

Navios Maritime Partners L.P. 

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
_________________________________

Not Applicable

(Translation of Registrant's Name into English)

Republic of Marshall Islands

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

7 Avenue de Grande Bretagne, Office 11B2

Monte Carlo, MC 98000 Monaco

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

Todd E. Mason

Thompson Hine LLP

335 Madison Ave.

New York, NY 10017

todd.mason@thompsonhine.com

(212) 908-3946

(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

 

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

   Title of each class         Trading Symbol Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Units               NMM New York Stock Exchange LLC

Securities registered or to be 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: 11,345,187 Common Units

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 reporting 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 pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes  No 

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

Large Accelerated Filer 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

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS 1
PART I 2
Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers 3
Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable 3
Item 3. Key Information 3
Item 4. Information on the Partnership 35
Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments 57
Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects 57
Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees 80
Item 7. Major Unitholders and Related Party Transaction 85
Item 8. Financial Information 93
Item 9. The Offer and Listing 96
Item 10. Additional Information 96
MATERIAL U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSIDERATIONS 99
NON-UNITED STATES TAX CONSIDERATIONS 104
Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risks 105
Item 12. Description of Securities Other than Equity Securities 106
PART II 106
Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies 106
Item 14. Material Modifications to the Rights of Unitholders and Use of Proceeds 106
Item 15. Controls and Procedures 106
Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert 106
Item 16B. Code of Ethics 106
Item 16C. Principal Accountant Fees and Services 107
Item 16D. Exemptions from the Listing Standards for Audit Committees 107
Item 16E. Purchases of Units by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers 107
Item 16F. Change in Registrant's Certifying Accountant 107
Item 16G. Corporate Governance 107
Item 16H. Mine Safety Disclosures 107
PARTIII 107
Item 17. Financial Statements 107
Item 18. Financial Statements 107
Item 19. Exhibits 108
SIGNATURES 112
INDEX F-1
EX-2.1  
EX-8.1  
EX-12.1  
EX-12.2  
EX-13.1  
EX-15.1  
EX-15.2  
EX-15.3  

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes included in this report.

Statements included in this annual report which are not historical facts (including our statements concerning plans and objectives of management for future operations or economic performance, or assumptions related thereto) are forward-looking statements. In addition, we and our representatives may from time to time make other oral or written statements which are also forward-looking statements. Such statements include, in particular, statements about our plans, strategies, business prospects, changes and trends in our business, and the markets in which we operate as described in this annual report. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “may,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “forecast,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “propose,” “potential,” “continue” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology.

Forward-looking statements appear in a number of places and include statements with respect to, among other things:

our ability to make cash distributions on our common units;
our future financial condition or results of operations and our future revenues and expenses;
future levels of operating surplus and levels of distributions, as well as our future cash distribution policy;
our current and future business and growth strategies and other plans and objectives for future operations;
our ability to take delivery of, integrate into our fleet, and employ additional vessels, whether secondhand, as the fleet being acquired in the Navios Maritime Containers L.P. (“Navios Containers”) merger, or any newbuildings we may order in the future;
future charter hire rates and vessel values;
the repayment of debt;
our ability to access debt and equity markets;
planned capital expenditures and availability of capital resources to fund capital expenditures;
future supply of, and demand for, dry cargo commodities;
increases in interest rates;
our ability to maintain long-term relationships with major commodity traders, operators and liner companies;
our ability to leverage the scale, experience, reputation and relationships of Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. (“Navios Holdings”) and our manager Navios Shipmanagement Inc. (the “Manager”);
our continued ability to enter into long-term, fixed-rate time charters;
our ability to maximize the use of our vessels, including the re-deployment or disposition of vessels no longer under long-term time charters;
timely purchases and deliveries of newbuilding vessels;
future purchase prices of newbuildings and secondhand vessels;
our ability to compete successfully for future chartering and newbuilding opportunities;
our future financial condition or results of operations and our future revenues and expenses, including revenues from any profit sharing arrangements, and required levels of reserves;
potential liability and costs due to environmental, safety and other incidents involving our vessels;
our track record, and past and future performance, in safety, environmental and regulatory matters;
our anticipated incremental general and administrative expenses as a publicly traded limited partnership and our expenses under the management agreement, as amended (the “Management Agreement”) and the administrative services agreement (the “Administrative Services Agreement”) with the Manager and for reimbursements for fees and costs of our general partner;
estimated future maintenance and replacement capital expenditures;
future sales of our common units in the public market;
a lack of sufficient cash to pay the quarterly distribution on our common units;
the cyclical nature of the international dry cargo and container shipping industry;
 
 

 

fluctuations in charter rates for dry cargo carriers and containerships;
the number of newbuildings currently under construction;
changes in the market values of our vessels and the vessels for which we have purchase options;
an inability to expand relationships with existing customers and obtain new customers;
the loss of any customer or charter or vessel;
the aging of our fleet and resultant increases in operations costs;
damage to our vessels;
global economic outlook and growth and changes in general economic and business conditions, including the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts throughout the world to contain its spread;
general domestic and international political conditions, including wars, pandemics, terrorism and piracy;
public health threats, such as COVID-19, influenza and other highly contagious diseases or viruses;
increases in costs and expenses, including but not limited to: crew wages, insurance, provisions, port expenses, lube oil, bunkers, repairs, maintenance and general and administrative expenses;
the adequacy of our insurance arrangements and our ability to obtain insurance and required certifications;
the expected cost of, and our ability to comply with, governmental regulations and maritime self-regulatory organization standards, as well as standard regulations imposed by our charterers applicable to our business;
the changes to the regulatory requirements applicable to the shipping industry, including, without limitation, stricter requirements adopted by international organizations, such as the International Maritime Organization (the “IMO”) and the European Union (sometimes referred to as “EU”), or by individual countries or charterers and actions taken by regulatory authorities and governing such areas as safety and environmental compliance;
the anticipated taxation of our partnership and our unitholders;
expected demand in the dry cargo shipping sector in general and the demand for our Panamax, Capesize, Ultra-Handymax and Container vessels in particular;
our ability to retain key executive officers;
customers' increasing emphasis on environmental and safety concerns;
changes in the availability and costs of funding due to conditions in the bank market, capital markets and other factors; and
other factors detailed from time to time in our periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).

These and other forward-looking statements are made based upon management's current plans, expectations, estimates, assumptions and beliefs concerning future events impacting us and therefore involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including those set forth below, as well as those risks discussed in “Item 3. Key Information”.

The risks and assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond our control and many of which have been and many further be, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We caution that forward-looking statements are not guarantees and that actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.

We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement or statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

A. Selected Financial Data

The selected consolidated historical financial information as of December 31, 2020 and 2019 and operating results for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018, were derived from the audited consolidated financial statements of Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (sometimes referred to as “Navios Partners”, the “Partnership”, the “Company”, “we” or “us”) which are included elsewhere in this report. The selected consolidated historical financial information as of December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016 and for the years ended December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016 have been derived from our audited financial statements not included in this report. This information is qualified by reference to, and should be read in conjunction with “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” and our consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this report.

    Year ended December 31,   
    2020     2019     2018     2017      2016   
    (Expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars-except unit and per unit data)  
Statement of Operations Data                              
Time charter and voyage revenues $ 226,771   $ 219,379   $ 231,361   $ 211,652   $ 190,524  
Time charter and voyage expenses   (11,028)     (12,331)     (10,024)     (4,158)     (5,673)  
Direct vessel expenses   (10,337)     (6,985)     (6,180)     (7,172)     (6,381)  
Vessel operating expenses (management fees entirely through related parties transactions)   (93,732)     (68,188)     (68,871)     (67,310)     (59,209)  
General and administrative expenses   (24,012)     (20,984)     (18,458)     (17,163)     (12,351)  
Depreciation and amortization   (56,050)     (53,255)     (58,334)     (72,760)     (92,370)  
Vessels impairment loss   (71,577)     (36,680)     (44,344)     (32,677)     (27,201)  
Loss on sale of securities                         (19,435)  
Interest expense and finance cost, net   (24,159)     (45,254)     (42,766)     (38,225)     (31,247)  
Interest income   639     6,172     4,408     3,277     541  
Impairment of receivable in affiliated company   (6,900)                  
Gain on change in control                 4,068      
Other income   5,055     1,053     1,554     9,884     14,523  
Other expense   (4,344)     (4,990)     (5,384)     (5,133)     (4,270)  
Equity in net earnings/ (loss) of affiliated companies   1,133     (40,071)     3,957     866        
Net loss $ (68,541)   $ (62,134)   $ (13,081)   $ (14,851)   $ (52,549)  
Balance Sheet Data (at year end)                              
Current assets, including cash $ 60,780   $ 75,990   $ 111,112   $ 60,306   $ 56,349  
Vessels, net   1,041,138     1,062,258     1,043,250     1,099,015     1,037,206  
Total assets   1,207,269     1,253,517     1,314,133     1,305,302     1,268,580  
Total long-term financial liabilities, including current portion, net   62,758     88,608     23,820          
Total long-term debt, including current portion, net   424,099     400,420     483,665     493,463     523,776  
Total operating lease liabilities, including current portion, net   13,153     14,202              
Total partners' capital   654,830     728,019     776,753     767,710     680,209  
Units issued and outstanding                              
Common unitholders   11,345,187     10,987,679     11,270,283     9,853,181     5,554,927  
Weighted average units outstanding (basic and diluted)                              
Common unitholders   10,966,518     10,830,959     10,823,591     8,840,689     5,540,471  
Loss per unit (basic and diluted)                              
Common unit $ (6.13)   $ (5.62)   $ (1.18)   $ (1.65)   $ (9.3)  
Dividends declared per unit                              
Cash dividend per common unit $ 0.45   $ 1.20   $ 1.20          
Cash dividend per general partner unit $ 0.45   $ 1.20   $ 1.20          

 

 
 

 

 

    Year ended December 31,   
    2020     2019     2018     2017     2016  
    (Expressed in thousands of U.S. dollars-except unit and per unit data)  
Cash Flow Data                              
Net cash provided by operating activities $ 94,086   $ 70,395   $ 68,319   $ 53,499 (2)  $ 61,813 (2) 
Net cash (used in)/ provided by investing activities    (83,854)     (17,034)     (67,888)     (187,211)     5,051  
Net cash (used in)/ provided by financing activities   (9,906)     (84,414)     31,091     138,557 (2)    (76,315) (2)
Fleet Data:                              
Vessels operating at end of period(1)   52     46     37     36     32  

(1)  Includes owned and bareboat chartered-in vessels.

(2)  The net cash provided by operating activities and net increase in operating assets presented in this table have been revised to reflect the adoption of ASU 2016-18, which was effective beginning the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 and applied retrospectively to all prior periods presented in the Company's financial statements.

B. Capitalization and indebtedness.

Not applicable.

C. Reasons for the offer and use of proceeds.

Not applicable.

D. Risk factors

Risks Relating to Our Business and our Industry

· Our growth depends on continued growth in demand for drybulk commodities, finished or semi-finished goods, and the shipping of drybulk cargoes as well as the shipping of containers.
· An increase in trade protectionism and the unraveling of multilateral trade agreements 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.
· We are focused on employing vessels on long-term charters and we may have difficulties in doing so if a more active short-term or spot market develops.
· Our growth 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.
· As we expand our business, we may have difficulty managing our growth, which could increase expenses.
· We may be unable to make or realize expected benefits from acquisitions, and implementing our growth strategy through acquisitions may harm our business, financial condition and operating results.
· Delays in deliveries of secondhand vessels, our decision to cancel an order for purchase of a vessel or our inability to otherwise complete the acquisitions of additional vessels for our fleet, could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
· If we purchase any newbuilding vessels, delays, cancellations or non-completion of deliveries of newbuilding vessels could harm our operating results.
· The loss of a customer, charter or vessel could result in a loss of revenues and cash flow in the event we are unable to replace such customer, charter or vessel.
· The aging of our vessels may result in increased operating costs in the future, which could adversely affect our earnings.
· Our vessels may be subject to unbudgeted periods of off-hire, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
· Vessels may suffer damage and we may face unexpected drydocking costs, which could affect our cash flow and financial condition.
· The market value of our vessels may fluctuate significantly. If vessel values are low at a time when we are attempting to dispose of a vessel, we could incur a loss.
· Charter rates in the drybulk and container shipping industry have decreased from their historically high levels and may decrease further in the future, which may adversely affect our earnings and ability to pay distributions.
· We must make substantial capital expenditures to maintain the operating capacity of our fleet, which will reduce our cash available for distribution. In addition, each quarter our board of directors is required to deduct estimated maintenance and replacement capital expenditures from operating surplus, which may result in less or no cash available to unitholders than if actual maintenance and replacement capital expenditures were deducted.
· We may be subject to litigation that, if not resolved in our favor or not sufficiently insured against, could have a material adverse effect on us.
· Because we generate all of our revenues in U.S. dollars but incur a portion of our expenses in other currencies, exchange rate fluctuations could cause us to suffer exchange rate losses thereby increasing expenses and reducing income.
· Security breaches and disruptions to our information technology infrastructure could interfere with our operations and expose us to liability which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations.
· Increased competition in technology and innovation could reduce our charter hire income and the value of our vessels.
· We may not have adequate insurance to compensate us if we lose our vessels or to compensate third parties.
· A decrease in the level of China's imports of raw materials, exports of goods, or a decrease in trade globally 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.
· We conduct a substantial amount of business in China. The legal system in China has inherent uncertainties that could limit the legal protections available to us and could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
· Charter hire rates are volatile and have declined significantly since their historic highs and may remain at low levels or decrease in the future, which may adversely affect our earnings, revenue and our profitability. The cyclical nature of the international shipping industry may lead to decreases in charter rates and lower vessel values.
· The oversupply of drybulk vessel capacity may continue to prolong or further depress the current low charter rates, which has and may continue to limit our ability to operate our drybulk vessels profitably.
· An oversupply of containership capacity may depress charter rates, as has happened in the past, or prolong the period of depressed charter rates, and adversely affect our ability to charter our containerships at profitable rates, or at all.
· A number of third party owners have ordered so-called “eco-type” vessel designs or have retrofitted scrubbers to remove sulphur from exhaust gases, which may offer substantial bunker savings as compared to older designs or vessels without exhaust gas scrubbers. Increased demand for and supply of “eco-type” or scrubber retrofitted vessels could reduce demand for our vessels that are not classified as such and expose us to lower vessel utilization and/or decreased charter rates.
· Fuel price fluctuations may have an adverse effect on our profits.
· If we expand the size of our fleet in the future, we generally will be required to make significant installment payments for acquisitions of vessels even prior to their delivery and generation of revenue. Depending on whether we finance our expenditures through cash from operations or by issuing debt or equity securities, our ability to make cash distributions to unitholders, to the extent we are making distributions, may be diminished or our financial leverage could increase or our unitholders could be diluted.
· We are subject to various laws, regulations and conventions, including environmental and safety laws, that could require significant expenditures both to maintain compliance with such laws and to pay for any uninsured environmental liabilities, including any resulting from a spill or other environmental incident.
· Climate change and government laws and regulations related to climate change could negatively impact our financial condition.
· We are subject to vessel security regulations and we incur costs to comply with adopted regulations. We may be subject to costs to comply with similar regulations that may be adopted in the future in response to terrorism.
· Changing laws and evolving reporting requirements could have an adverse effect on our business.
· Our international activities increase the compliance risks associated with economic and trade sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and other jurisdictions.
· We could be materially adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act and anti-corruption laws in other applicable jurisdictions.
· The operation of ocean-going vessels entails the possibility of marine disasters including damage or destruction of the vessel due to accident, the loss of a vessel due to piracy or terrorism, damage or destruction of cargo and similar events that may cause a loss of revenue from affected vessels and damage our business reputation, which may in turn lead to loss of business.
· Maritime claimants could arrest or attach one or more of our vessels, which could interrupt our cash flow.
· The smuggling of drugs or other contraband onto our vessels may lead to governmental claims against us.
· A failure to pass inspection by classification societies could result in one or more vessels being unemployable unless and until they pass inspection, resulting in a loss of revenues from such vessels for that period and a corresponding decrease in operating cash flows.
· Increased inspection procedures and tighter import and export controls could increase costs and disrupt our business.
· Economic conditions throughout the world, renewed terrorist activity, the growing refugee crises, trade wars and protectionist policies, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
· Disruptions in global financial markets from terrorist attacks, regional armed conflicts, general political unrest, the emergence of a pandemic crisis and the resulting governmental action could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
· Our financial and operating performance may be adversely affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak.
· Governments could requisition our vessels during a period of war or emergency, resulting in a loss of earnings.
· Acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels have increased in frequency and magnitude, which could adversely affect our business.

 

Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness

· The market value of our vessels may fluctuate significantly, which could cause us to breach covenants in our credit facilities and result in foreclosure on our mortgaged vessels.
· We may be unable to obtain additional debt financing for future acquisitions of vessels and to fund payments in respect of any newbuilding orders that we may place in the future.
· Our debt levels may limit our ability to obtain additional financing and pursue other business opportunities, and our interest rates under our credit facilities may fluctuate and may impact our operations.
· We are exposed to volatility in the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, which can affect our profitability, earnings and cash flow.
· Changes in the method of determining LIBOR, or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate, may adversely affect interest expense related to outstanding debt.
· Our credit facilities contain restrictive covenants, which may limit our business and financing activities and may prevent us from paying distributions to unitholders, if our board of directors determines to do so again in the future.

 

Risks Relating to Our Units

· Our board of directors may not declare cash distributions in the foreseeable future.
· Any dividend payments on our common units would be declared in U.S. dollars, and any unit holder whose principal currency is not the U.S. dollar would be subject to risks of exchange rate fluctuations.
· The New York Stock Exchange may delist our securities from trading on its exchange, which could limit your ability to trade our securities and subject us to additional trading restrictions.
· The price of our common units may be volatile.
· Increases in interest rates may cause the market price of our common units to decline.
· Substantial future sales of our common units in the public market, including through our continuous offering sales program, could cause the price of our common units to fall, and would dilute your ownership interests.
· Unitholders may be liable for repayment of distributions.
· Common unitholders have limited voting rights and our partnership agreement restricts the voting rights of common unitholders owning more than 4.9% of our common units.

 

Risks Relating to Our Organizational Structure, Taxes and Other Legal Matters

· Navios Holdings and Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation (“Navios Acquisition”) and their affiliates may compete with us.
· We are a holding company and we depend on the ability of our subsidiaries to distribute funds to us in order to satisfy our financial obligations and to make distributions.
· We depend on the Manager to assist us in operating and expanding our business.
· The loss of key members of our senior management team could disrupt the management of our business.
· The Manager may be unable to attract and retain qualified, skilled employees or crew necessary to operate our vessels and business or may have to pay increased costs for its employees and crew and other vessel operating costs.
· We may be subject to taxes, which may reduce our cash available for distribution to our unitholders.
· U.S. tax authorities could treat us as a “passive foreign investment company,” which could have adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. unitholders.
· We may have to pay tax on U.S.-source income, which would reduce our earnings.
· Actions taken by holders of our common units could result in our being treated as a “controlled foreign corporation,” which could have adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to certain U.S. holders.
· You may be subject to income tax in one or more non-U.S. countries, including Greece, as a result of owning our common units if, under the laws of any such country, we are considered to be carrying on business there. Such laws may require you to file a tax return with and pay taxes to those countries.
· We have been organized as a limited partnership under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which does not have a well-developed body of partnership law; as a result, unitholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests than would unitholders of a similarly organized limited partnership in the United States.
· Because we are organized under the laws of the Marshall Islands and our business is operated primarily from our office in Monaco, it may be difficult to serve us with legal process or enforce judgments against us, our directors or our management.
· We rely on the master limited partnership (“MLP”) structure and its appeal to investors for accessing debt and equity markets to finance our growth and repay or refinance our debt. The depressed trading price of our common units may affect our ability to access capital markets and, as a result, our ability to pay distributions or repay our debt.
· Our partnership agreement limits our general partner's and our directors' fiduciary duties to our unitholders and restricts the remedies available to unitholders for actions taken by our general partner or our directors.
· Our general partner has a limited call right that may require unitholders to sell their common units at an undesirable time or price.
· Our general partner may transfer its general partner interest to, and the control of our general partner may be transferred to a third party without unitholder consent.
· Our partnership agreement contains provisions that may have the effect of discouraging a person or group from attempting to remove our current management or our general partner, and even if our public unitholders are dissatisfied, they will need a qualified majority to remove our general partner
· Unitholders may not have limited liability if a court finds that unitholder action constitutes control of our business.
· We can borrow money to pay distributions, it would reduce the amount of credit available to operate our business.
· Our management will have broad discretion with respect to the use of the proceeds resulting from the issuance of common units whether under a continuous offering program or a secondary offering.
· Our general partner and its affiliates, including Navios Holdings, own a significant interest in us and may have conflicts of interest and limited fiduciary and contractual duties, which may permit them to favor their own interests to the detriment of unitholders.
· Our officers face conflicts of interest and conflicts in the allocation of their time to our business.
· Fees and cost reimbursements, which the Manager determines for services provided to us, represent significant percentage of our revenues, are payable regardless of profitability and reduce our cash available for distributions.

 

Risks Relating to Our Business and our Industry

Our growth depends on continued growth in demand for drybulk commodities, finished or semi-finished goods, and the shipping of drybulk cargoes as well as the shipping of containers.

Our growth strategy focuses on expansion in the dry cargo and container shipping sectors. Accordingly, our growth depends on continued growth in world and regional demand for drybulk commodities, finished or semi-finished goods and the shipping of dry cargoes, which could be negatively affected by a number of factors, such as declines in prices for drybulk commodities or containerized cargoes, or general political, social and economic conditions.

We anticipate that the future demand for our drybulk carriers and drybulk charter rates will be dependent upon demand for imported commodities, economic growth in the emerging markets, including the Asia Pacific region, India, Brazil and Russia. In past years, China and India have had two of the world's fastest growing economies in terms of gross domestic product and have been the main driving force behind increases in marine drybulk trade and the demand for drybulk vessels. The Asia Pacific and Indian economies have also been significant suppliers of manufactured goods currently shipped by container to the developed markets of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) and worldwide. If economic growth declines in China, Japan, India and other countries in the Asia Pacific region, we may face decreases in such drybulk and container shipping trade and demand. For example, recent slowdowns of the Chinese economy have adversely affected demand for Capesize bulk carriers and, as a result, spot and period rates, as well as asset values, are currently at low levels. A slowdown in the economies of the United States (sometimes referred to as the “US”) or the European Union, or certain other Asian countries may also adversely affect economic growth in the Asia Pacific region and India. A decline in demand for commodities transported in drybulk carriers and/or containerships, or an increase in supply of drybulk vessels or containerships could cause a further decline in charter rates, which could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. If we sell a vessel at a time when the market value of our vessels has fallen, the sale may be at less than the vessel's carrying amount, resulting in a loss.

An increase in trade protectionism and the unraveling of multilateral trade agreements 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 will adversely affect our business. In past years, government leaders have declared that their countries may turn to trade barriers to protect or revive their domestic industries in the face of foreign imports, thereby depressing the demand for shipping. For example, on January 1, 2021, the trade deal agreed between the United Kingdom and the European Union regarding Brexit went into effect on a provisional basis. The commercial, economic and financial short and long term effects of Brexit are still unknown. In addition uncertainty has been created about the future relationship between the United States, China and other exporting countries, including with respect to trade policies, treaties, government regulations and tariffs. Protectionist developments, or the perception that they may occur, may have a material adverse effect on global economic conditions, and may significantly reduce global trade.Restrictions on imports, including in the form of tariffs, could have a major impact on global trade and demand for shipping. Specifically, increasing trade protectionism in the markets that our charterers serve may cause an increase in (i) the cost of goods exported from exporting countries, (ii) the length of time required to deliver goods from exporting countries, (iii) the costs of such delivery and (iv) the risks associated with exporting goods. These factors may result in a decrease in the quantity of goods to be shipped and the distances those goods travel. Protectionist developments, or the perception they may occur, may have a material adverse effect on global economic conditions, and may significantly reduce global trade, including trade between the United States and China. These developments would have an adverse impact on our charterers' business, operating results and financial condition. This could, in turn, affect our charterers' ability to make timely charter hire payments to us and impair our ability to renew charters and grow our business. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders.

We are focused on employing vessels on long-term charters and we may have difficulties in doing so if a more active short-term or spot market develops.

One of our principal strategies is to enter into long-term charters, although we believe it is impractical to determine the typical charter length for vessels in our sectors due to factors such as market dynamics, charter strategy and the private nature of charter agreements. If a market for long-term time charters in the sectors in which we operate does not develop, we may have increased difficulty entering into long-term time charters upon expiration or early termination of the time charters for our vessels. As a result, our revenues and cash flows may become more volatile. In addition, an active short-term or spot charter market may require us to enter into charters based on changing market prices, as opposed to contracts based on fixed rates, which could result in a decrease in our revenues and cash flows, including cash available for distribution to unitholders, if we enter into charters during periods when the market price for shipping dry cargoes or containerships is depressed or these markets become depressed during the period of any adjustable rate charter.

Our growth 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.

Long-term time charters have the potential to provide income at pre-determined rates over more extended periods of time. However, the process for obtaining 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 that often extends for several months. 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 the heightened industry standards that have been set by some energy companies;
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;
the ability to finance vessels at competitive rates and overall financial stability;
relationships with shipyards and the ability to obtain suitable berths;
construction management experience, including the ability to procure on-time delivery of new vessels according to customer specifications;
willingness to accept operational risks pursuant to the charter, such as allowing termination of the charter for force majeure events; and
competitiveness of the bid in terms of overall price.

It is likely that we will face substantial competition for long-term charter business from a number of experienced companies. We may not be able to compete profitably as we expand our business into new geographic regions or provide new services. New markets may require different skills, knowledge or strategies than we use in our current markets. Many of these competitors have significantly greater financial resources than we do. It is also likely that we will face increased numbers of competitors entering into our transportation sectors, including in the containership and drybulk sector. Many of these competitors have strong reputations and extensive resources and experience. Increased competition may cause greater price competition, especially for long-term charters, as well as for the acquisition of high-quality secondhand vessels and newbuilding vessels. Further, since the charter rate is generally considered to be one of the principal factors in a charterer's decision to charter a vessel, the rates offered by our competitors can place downward pressure on rates throughout the charter market. Additionally, the consolidation among liner companies and the creation of alliances among liner companies have increased their negotiation power.

As a result of these factors, we may be unable to expand our relationships with existing customers or obtain new customers for long-term charters on a profitable basis, if at all. However, even if we are successful in employing our vessels under longer term charters, our vessels will not be available for trading in the spot market during an upturn in the dry cargo market cycle, when spot trading may be more profitable. If we cannot successfully employ our vessels in profitable time charters our results of operations and financial condition, as well as operating cash flow could be adversely affected.

As we expand our business, we may have difficulty managing our growth, which could increase expenses.

We intend to continue growing our fleet, either through purchases, ordering newbuilt vessels, the increase of the number of chartered-in vessels or through the acquisitions of businesses, as is the case with the latest acquisition of the Navios Containers’ fleet. The addition of vessels to our fleet or the acquisition of new businesses will impose significant additional responsibilities on our management. We will also have to increase our customer base to provide continued employment for the new vessels. Our growth will depend on our success in locating and acquiring suitable vessels, identifying and entering into shipbuilding contracts at acceptable prices and consummating acquisitions or joint ventures, integrating any acquired business successfully with our existing operations, enhancing our customer base, managing our expansion, and obtaining required financing.

During periods in which charter rates are high, vessel values are generally high as well, and it may be difficult to consummate ship acquisitions or potentially enter into shipbuilding contracts in the future at favorable prices. During periods in which charter rates are low and employment is scarce, vessel values are low and any vessel acquired without time charter attached will automatically incur additional expenses to operate, insure, maintain and finance the vessel thereby significantly increasing the acquisition cost. In addition, any vessel acquisition may not be profitable at or after the time of acquisition and may not generate cash flows sufficient to justify the investment. We may not be successful in executing any future growth plans and we cannot give any assurance that we will not incur significant expenses and losses in connection with such growth efforts.

Growing any business by acquisition presents numerous risks such as undisclosed liabilities and obligations, difficulty in obtaining additional qualified personnel, continuing to meet technical and safety performance standards, managing relationships with customers and suppliers, dealing with potential delays in deliveries of newbuilding vessels, and integrating newly acquired operations into existing infrastructures. We may not be successful in executing our growth plans. We may incur significant expenses and losses in connection therewith or our acquisitions may not perform as expected, which could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

We may be unable to make or realize expected benefits from acquisitions, and implementing our growth strategy through acquisitions may harm our business, financial condition and operating results.

Our growth strategy focuses on a gradual expansion of our fleet. Any acquisition of a vessel or a fleet may not be profitable to us at or after the time we acquire it and may not generate cash flow sufficient to justify our investment. We may also fail to realize anticipated benefits of our growth, such as new customer relationships, cost-savings or cash flow enhancements, or we may be unable to hire, train or retain qualified shore and seafaring personnel to manage and operate our growing business and fleet.

Our growth strategy could decrease our liquidity by using a significant portion of our available cash or borrowing capacity to finance acquisitions. To the extent that we incur additional debt to finance acquisitions, it could significantly increase our interest expense or financial leverage. We may also incur other significant charges, such as impairment of goodwill or other intangible assets, asset devaluation or restructuring charges.

Additionally, the marine transportation and logistics industries are capital intensive, traditionally using substantial amounts of indebtedness to finance vessel acquisitions, capital expenditures and working capital needs. If we finance the purchase of our vessels through the issuance of debt securities, it could result in:

default and foreclosure on our assets if our operating cash flow after a business combination or asset acquisition were insufficient to pay our debt obligations;
acceleration of our obligations to repay the indebtedness even if we have made all principal and interest payments when due if the debt security contained covenants that required the maintenance of certain financial ratios or reserves and any such covenant were breached without a waiver or renegotiation of that covenant;
our immediate payment of all principal and accrued interest, if any, if the debt security was payable on demand; and
our inability to obtain additional financing, if necessary, if the debt security contained covenants restricting our ability to obtain additional financing while such security was outstanding.

In addition, our business plan and strategy is predicated on buying vessels at what we believe is near the low end of the cycle in what has typically been a cyclical industry. However, charter rates and vessel asset values may sink lower, and shipping costs or vessel asset values may not increase in the near-term or at all.

Delays in deliveries of secondhand vessels, our decision to cancel an order for purchase of a vessel or our inability to otherwise complete the acquisitions of additional vessels for our fleet, could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We expect to purchase secondhand vessels from time to time. The delivery of these vessels could be delayed, not completed or cancelled, which would delay or eliminate our expected receipt of revenues from the employment of these vessels. The seller could fail to deliver these vessels to us as agreed, or we could cancel a purchase contract because the seller has not met its obligations. The ability and willingness of each of our counterparties to perform its obligations under a contract with us will depend upon a number of factors that are beyond our control and may include, among other things, general economic conditions, the state of the capital markets, the condition of the dry and container shipping industry and charter hire rates.

If the delivery of any vessel is materially delayed or cancelled, especially if we have committed the vessel to a charter for which we become responsible for substantial liquidated damages to the customer as a result of the delay or cancellation, we could sustain significant losses and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.

If we purchase any newbuilding vessels, delays, cancellations or non-completion of deliveries of newbuilding vessels could harm our operating results.

If we purchase any newbuilding vessels, the shipbuilder could fail to deliver the newbuilding vessel as agreed or their counterparty could cancel the purchase contract if the shipbuilder fails to meet its obligations. In addition, under charters that are related to a newbuilding, delays in our delivery of the newbuilding to our customer could result in liquidated damages payable to the customer. For prolonged delays, the customer may terminate the charter and, in addition to the resulting loss of revenues, we may be responsible for additional, substantial liquidated damages. We do not derive any revenue from a vessel until after its delivery and will be required to pay substantial sums as progress payments during construction of a newbuilding. While we expect to have refund guarantees from financial institutions with respect to such progress payments in the event the vessel is not delivered by the shipyard or is otherwise not accepted by us, there is the potential that we may not be able to collect all portion of such refund guarantees, in which case we would lose the amounts of monies we have advanced to the shipyards for such progress payments.

The completion and delivery of newbuildings could be delayed, cancelled or otherwise not completed because of:

quality or engineering problems;
changes in governmental regulations or maritime self-regulatory organization standards;
work stoppages or other labor disturbances at the shipyard;
bankruptcy or other financial crisis of the shipbuilder;
a backlog of orders at the shipyard;
epidemics, pandemics, natural or man-made disasters;
political or economic disturbances;
weather interference or catastrophic event, such as a major earthquake or fire;
requests for changes to the original vessel specifications;
shortages of or delays in the receipt of necessary construction materials, such as steel;
Shortages of or delays in the receipt of necessary component machinery or equipment;
inability to finance the construction or conversion of the vessels; or
inability to obtain requisite permits or approvals.

If delivery of a vessel is materially delayed, it could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition and our ability to make cash distributions.

The loss of a customer, charter or vessel could result in a loss of revenues and cash flow in the event we are unable to replace such customer, charter or vessel.

Payments to us by our charterers under time charters are and will be our main source of operating cash flow. Weaknesses in demand for our shipping services, increased operating costs due to changes in environmental or other regulations and the oversupply of vessels increase the likelihood of one or more of our customers being unable or unwilling to pay us contracted charter rates or going bankrupt.

For the year ended December 31, 2020, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. (“HMM”), Singapore Marine Pte Ltd. (“Singapore Marine”), and Cargill International S.A. (“Cargill”), represented approximately 23.4%, 19.5% and 11.4%, respectively, of our total revenues. For the year ended December 31, 2019, HMM, Swissmarine Asia Pte. Ltd. (“Swissmarine”) and Cargill, represented approximately 25.9%, 12.3% and 10.9%, respectively, of our total revenues. For the year ended December 31, 2018, HMM represented approximately 24.5% of total revenues. No other customers accounted for 10% or more of total revenues for any of the years presented. The charterers in the containership sector consist of a limited number of liner companies. The combination of any surplus of vessel capacity, the expected entry into service of new technologically advanced vessels, and the expected increase in the size of the world fleet over the next few years may make it difficult to secure substitute employment for any of our vessels if our counterparties fail to perform their obligations under the currently arranged time charters, and any new charter arrangements we are able to secure may be at lower rates. Furthermore, the surplus of capacity available at lower charter rates and lack of demand for our customers could negatively affect our charterers' willingness to perform their obligations under our time charters, which in many cases provide for charter rates significantly above current market rates. The number of leading liner companies which are our client base may continue to shrink and we may depend on an even more limited number of customers to generate a substantial portion of our revenues. The cessation of business with these liner companies or their failure to fulfill their obligations under the time charters for our containerships could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders.

We could lose a customer or the benefits of our time charter arrangements for many different reasons, including if the customer is unable or unwilling to make charter hire or other payments to us because of a deterioration in its financial condition, disagreements with us or if the charterer exercises certain termination rights or otherwise. Our customers may go bankrupt or fail to perform their obligations under the contracts, they may delay payments or suspend payments altogether, they may terminate the contracts prior to the agreed-upon expiration date or they may attempt to renegotiate the terms of the contracts. If any of these customers terminates its charters, chooses not to re-charter our ships after charters expire or is unable to perform under its charters and we are not able to find replacement charters on similar terms or are unable to re-charter our ships at all, we will suffer a loss of revenues that could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and our ability to make distributions to our unitholders, as we will not receive any revenues from such a vessel while it is un-chartered, but we will be required to pay expenses necessary to maintain and insure the vessel and service any indebtedness on it. Accordingly we may have to grant concessions to our charterers in the form of lower charter rates for the remaining duration of the relevant charter or part thereof, or to agree to re-charter vessels coming off charter at reduced rates compared to the charter then ended.

For example, in 2016, HMM faced financial difficulties and developed a restructuring plan, which included restructuring agreements for five of our containerships (see Note 18 — Notes Receivable). In addition, Navios Partners has filed claims for lost revenues in connection with the 2016 filing by Hanjin for rehabilitation, which was later followed by entry into liquidation in 2017. In October 2020, the bankruptcy court ruled against one of the two claims filed by the Company. The relevant court is still assessing the claim regarding the Navios Luz. The Company has fully provided for these amounts in its books (see Note 2(f) — Summary of Significant Accounting Policies).

 

The failure of a customer to perform its obligations under a contract may mean we increase our exposure to the spot market, which is subject to greater rate fluctuation than the time charter market. The loss of any of our charterers, time charters or vessels, or a decline in payments under our time charters, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders.

The aging of our vessels may result in increased operating costs in the future, which could adversely affect our earnings.

As of March 23, 2021, the vessels in our fleet had an average age of approximately 10.1 years, when most dry cargo vessels have an expected life of approximately 25 years for drybulk vessels and 30 years for containerships and we may acquire older vessels in the future. Older vessels are typically more costly to maintain than more recently constructed vessels due to improvements in engine technology. As our fleet ages, we will incur increased costs. In some instances, charterers prefer newer vessels that are more fuel efficient than older vessels. Cargo insurance rates also increase with the age of a vessel, making older vessels less desirable to charterers as well. Therefore, as vessels age it can be more difficult to employ them on profitable time charters, particularly during periods of decreased demand in the charter market. Accordingly, we may find it difficult to continue to find profitable employment for our vessels as they age. Governmental regulations, safety or other equipment standards related to the age of the vessels may require expenditures for alterations or the addition of new equipment to our vessels and may restrict the type of activities in which these vessels may engage. Older vessels may require longer and more expensive dry-dockings, resulting in more off-hire days and reduced revenue. We cannot assure you that as our vessels age, market conditions will justify those expenditures or enable us to operate our vessels profitably during the remainder of their useful lives. If we sell vessels, we may have to sell them at a loss, and if charterers no longer charter our vessels due to their age, it could materially adversely affect our earnings.

Our vessels may be subject to unbudgeted periods of off-hire, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Under the terms of the charter agreements under which our vessels operate, when a vessel is “off-hire,” or not available for service or otherwise deficient in its condition or performance, the charterer generally is not required to pay the hire rate, and we will be responsible for all costs (including the cost of bunker fuel) unless the charterer is responsible for the circumstances giving rise to the lack of availability.

As we do not maintain off-hire insurance except in cases of loss of hire up to a limited number of days due to war or piracy events any extended off-hire period could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

For more information on “off-hire” see “Item 4. Information on the Partnership - B. Business Overview – Off-hire.”

Vessels may suffer damage and we may face unexpected drydocking costs, which could affect our cash flow and financial condition.

If our owned vessels suffer damage, they may need to be repaired at a drydocking facility. The costs of drydock repairs are unpredictable and can be substantial. We may have to pay drydocking costs that insurance does not cover. The loss of earnings while these vessels are being repaired and repositioned, as well as the actual cost of these repairs, could decrease our revenues and earnings substantially, particularly if a number of vessels are damaged or drydocked at the same time. Under the terms of the Management Agreement with the Manager, the costs of drydocking repairs are not included in the daily management fee, but are be reimbursed at cost upon occurrence.

In addition, we often purchase secondhand vessels that, unlike newbuilt vessels, typically do not carry warranties as to their condition, and our vessel inspections would not normally provide us with as much knowledge of a vessel's condition as we would possess if it had been built for us and operated by us during its life. Repairs and maintenance costs for secondhand vessels are difficult to predict and may be substantially higher than for vessels we have operated since they were built. These costs could decrease our cash flows, liquidity and our ability to pay dividends to our unitholders.

The market value of our vessels may fluctuate significantly. If vessel values are low at a time when we are attempting to dispose of a vessel, we could incur a loss.

The factors that influence vessel values include:

the number of newbuilding deliveries;
prevailing economic conditions in the markets in which drybulk or containerships operate;
reduced demand for drybulk or containerships, including as a result of a substantial or extended decline in world trade;
the number of vessels scrapped or otherwise removed from the total fleet;
changes in environmental and other regulations that may limit the useful life of vessels;
changes in global dry cargo commodity supply or sources and destinations of containerized cargoes;
types, sizes and age of vessels;
advances in efficiency, such as the introduction of remote or autonomous vessels;
the development of an increase in use of other modes of transportation;
where the ship was built and as-built specification;
lifetime maintenance record;
the cost of vessel acquisitions;
governmental or other regulations (including the application of any IMO rules, including those contemplated regarding any reduction in CO2 emissions);
prevailing level of charter rates;
the availability of financing, or lack thereof, for ordering newbuildings or for facilitating ship sale and purchase transactions;
general economic and market conditions affecting the shipping industry; and
the cost of retrofitting or modifying existing ships to respond to technological advances in vessel design or equipment, changes in applicable environmental or other regulations or standards, or otherwise.

If the book value of a vessel is impaired due to unfavorable market conditions, or a vessel is sold at a price below its book value, we would incur a loss. If a charter expires or is terminated, we may be unable to re-charter the vessel at an acceptable rate and, rather than continue to incur costs to maintain the vessel, may seek to dispose of it. Our inability to dispose of a vessel at a reasonable price could result in a loss on its sale and could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders.

Charter rates in the drybulk and container shipping industry have decreased from their historically high levels and may decrease further in the future, which may adversely affect our earnings and ability to pay distributions.

The current charter rates for dry cargo vessels have significantly decreased from their historic highs reached in the second quarter of 2008. Current container charter rates have also decreased from historic highs reached in the first half of 2005. If the drybulk or container shipping industries, which have been highly cyclical and volatile, are depressed in the future when our charters expire, our earnings and available cash flow may be adversely affected. We cannot assure you that we will be able to successfully charter our vessels in the future or renew our existing charters 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 to our unitholders. Our ability to re-charter our vessels upon the expiration or termination of their current charters, or on vessels that we may acquire in the future, as well as, the charter rates payable under any replacement charters 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.

All of our drybulk time charters are scheduled to expire on dates ranging from March 2021 to June 2024. If, upon expiration or termination of these or other contracts, long-term recharter rates are lower than existing rates, particularly considering that we intend to enter into long-term charters, or if we are unable to obtain replacement charters, our earnings, cash flow and our ability to make cash distributions to our unitholders could be materially adversely affected.

Five containerships that we own are on long-term time charter for ten years until 2023 with our option to extend until 2028. The other two containerships are on time charters that expire within the third quarter of 2021 and 2022. Our ability to re-charter our containerships upon the expiration or termination of their current time charters and the charter rates payable under any renewal options or replacement time charters will depend upon, among other things, the prevailing state of the containership charter market, which can be affected by consumer demand for products shipped in containers.

If the charter market is depressed when our vessels' time charters expire or when we are otherwise seeking new charters, we may be forced to re-charter our vessels at reduced or even unprofitable rates, or we may not be able to re-charter them at all and/or we may be forced to scrap them, which may reduce or eliminate our earnings, make our earnings volatile, affect our ability to generate cash flows and maintain liquidity.

We must make substantial capital expenditures to maintain the operating capacity of our fleet, which will reduce our cash available for distribution. In addition, each quarter our board of directors is required to deduct estimated maintenance and replacement capital expenditures from operating surplus, which may result in less or no cash available to unitholders than if actual maintenance and replacement capital expenditures were deducted.

We must make substantial capital expenditures to maintain and replace, over the long term, the operating capacity of our fleet. We generally expect to finance these maintenance capital expenditures with cash balances or credit facilities. These maintenance and replacement capital expenditures include capital expenditures associated with drydocking a vessel, modifying an existing vessel or acquiring a new vessel to the extent these expenditures are incurred to maintain the operating capacity of our fleet. These expenditures could increase as a result of changes in the cost of our labor and materials, the cost of suitable replacement vessels, customer/market requirements, increases in the size of our fleet, the length of charters, governmental regulations and maritime self-regulatory organization standards relating to safety, security or the environment, competitive standards, and the age of our ships. In addition, we will need to make substantial capital expenditures to acquire vessels in accordance with our growth strategy. The inability to replace the vessels in our fleet upon the expiration of their useful lives could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders.

Our significant maintenance and replacement capital expenditures, including without limitation the management fees paid to the Manager pursuant to the Management Agreement, to maintain and replace, over the long-term, the operating capacity of our fleet, as well as to comply with environmental and safety regulations, may reduce or eliminate the amount of cash we have available for distribution to our unitholders. Our partnership agreement requires our board of directors to deduct estimated, rather than actual, maintenance and replacement capital expenditures from operating surplus each quarter in an effort to reduce fluctuations in operating surplus. The amount of estimated capital expenditures deducted from operating surplus is subject to review and change by the Conflicts Committee of our board of directors at least once a year. If our board of directors underestimates the appropriate level of estimated maintenance and replacement capital expenditures, we may have less, if any, cash available for distribution in future periods when actual capital expenditures begin to exceed previous estimates.

For detailed information on the amount of management fees owed under the Management Agreement, please see the section entitled, “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - A. Operating results – Vessel operating expenses (management fees)”. 

We may be subject to litigation that, if not resolved in our favor or not sufficiently insured against, could have a material adverse effect on us.

We have been and may be, from time to time, involved in various litigation matters. These matters may include, among other things, contract disputes, personal injury claims, environmental claims or proceedings, potential costs due to environmental damage and vessel collisions, and other tort claims, employment matters, governmental claims for taxes or duties, and other litigation that arises in the ordinary course of our business. We cannot predict with certainty the outcome or effect of any claim or other litigation matter, and the ultimate outcome of any litigation or the potential costs to resolve them may have a material adverse effect on us. Insurance may not be applicable or sufficient in all cases and/or insurers may not remain solvent which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.

Because we generate all of our revenues in U.S. dollars but incur a portion of our expenses in other currencies, exchange rate fluctuations could cause us to suffer exchange rate losses thereby increasing expenses and reducing income.

We engage in worldwide commerce with a variety of entities. Although our operations may expose us to certain levels of foreign currency risk, our transactions are at present predominantly U.S. dollar-denominated. Transactions in currencies other than the functional currency are translated at the exchange rate in effect on the date of each transaction. Expenses incurred in foreign currencies against which the U.S. dollar falls in value can increase thereby decreasing our income or vice versa if the U.S. dollar increases in value. For example, as of December 31, 2020, the value of the U.S. dollar as compared to the Euro decreased by approximately 8.5% compared with the respective value as of December 31, 2019. A greater percentage of our transactions and expenses in the future may be denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.

Security breaches and disruptions to our information technology infrastructure could interfere with our operations and expose us to liability which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations.

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. Additionally, we collect and store certain data, including proprietary business information and customer and employee data, and may have access to other confidential information in the ordinary course of our business. Despite our cybersecurity measures, which includes active monitoring, training, reporting and other activities designed to protect and secure our data, our information technology networks and infrastructure may be vulnerable to damage, disruptions, or shutdowns due to attack by hackers or breaches, employee error or malfeasance, data leakage, power outages, computer viruses and malware, telecommunication or utility failures, systems failures, natural disasters, or other catastrophic events. Any such events could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability or penalties under privacy or other laws, disruption in operations, and damage to our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations.

In addition, some of our technology networks and systems are managed by third-party service providers (including cloud-service providers) for a variety of reasons, and such providers also may have access to proprietary business information and customer and employee data, and may have access to confidential information on the conduct of our business. Like us, these third-party providers are subject to risks imposed by data breaches and disruptions to their technology infrastructure. A cyber-attack could defeat one or more of our third-party service providers' security measures, allowing an attacker access to proprietary information from our company including our employees', customers' and suppliers' data. Any such security breach or disruption to our third-party service providers could result in a disruption in operations and damage to our reputation and liability claims, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations.

Increased competition in technology and innovation could reduce our charter hire income and the value of our vessels.

The charter hire rates and the value and operational life of a vessel are determined by a number of factors including the vessel's efficiency, operational flexibility and physical life. Efficiency includes speed, fuel economy, loading and discharging speed and personnel required to operate. The potential introduction of remote controlled or autonomous vessels, which would significantly reduce or eliminate the costs of crew and victuals, could put our vessels at an efficiency disadvantage. Flexibility includes the ability to enter harbors, utilize related docking facilities and pass through canals and straits. The length of a vessel's physical life is related to its original design and construction, its maintenance and the impact of the stress of operations. If new vessels are built that are more efficient or flexible or have longer physical lives than our vessels, competition from these more technologically advanced vessels could adversely affect the amount of charter hire payments that we receive for our vessels upon expiration of their current charters and the resale value of our vessels could significantly decrease. This could adversely affect our revenues and cash flows, and our ability to service our debt or make distributions to our unitholders and repurchases of common units.

We may not have adequate insurance to compensate us if we lose our vessels or to compensate third parties.

There are a number of risks associated with the operation of ocean-going vessels, including mechanical failure, collision, fire, human error, war, terrorism, piracy, loss of life, contact with floating objects, property loss, cargo loss or damage and business interruption due to political circumstances in foreign countries, hostilities and labor strikes. Any of these events may result in loss of revenues, increased costs and decreased cash flows. In addition, the operation of any vessel is subject to the inherent possibility of marine disaster, including oil spills and other environmental mishaps.

There are also liabilities arising from owning and operating vessels in international trade. We procure insurance for our fleet in relation to risks commonly insured against by vessel owners and operators. Our current insurance includes (i) hull and machinery and war risk insurance covering damage to our vessels' hulls and machinery from, among other things, collisions and contact with fixed and floating objects, (ii) war risks insurance covering losses associated with the outbreak or escalation of hostilities and (iii) protection and indemnity insurance (which includes environmental damage) covering, among other things, third-party and crew liabilities such as expenses resulting from the injury or death of crew members, passengers and other third parties, the loss or damage to cargo, third-party claims arising from collisions with other vessels, damage to other third-party property and pollution arising from oil or other substances, and salvage, towing and other related costs, including wreck removal.

We do not currently maintain strike or off-hire insurance, which would cover the loss of revenue during extended vessel off-hire periods, such as those that occur during an unscheduled drydocking due to damage to the vessel from accidents except in cases of loss of hire up to a limited number of days due to war or a piracy event. Other events that may lead to off-hire periods include natural or man-made disasters that result in the closure of certain waterways and prevent vessels from entering or leaving certain ports. Accordingly, any extended vessel off-hire, due to an accident or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on our business and our ability to pay distributions to our unitholders.

We can give no assurance that we are adequately insured against all risks or that our insurers will pay a particular claim. Even if our insurance coverage is adequate to cover our losses, we may not be able to obtain a timely replacement vessel in the event of a vessel loss. Under the terms of our credit facilities, we are subject to restrictions on the use of any proceeds we may receive from claims under our insurance policies.

Because we obtain some of our insurance through protection and indemnity associations, 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. There is no cap on our liability exposure for such calls or premiums payable to our protection and indemnity association. Our payment of these calls could result in significant expenses to us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, we cannot assure you that we will be able to renew our insurance policies on the same or commercially reasonable terms, or at all, in the future. For example, more stringent environmental regulations have led in the past to increased costs for, and in the future may result in the lack of availability of, protection and indemnity insurance against risks of environmental damage or pollution. Any uninsured or underinsured loss could harm our business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations. In addition, our insurance may be voidable by the insurers as a result of certain of our actions, such as our vessels failing to maintain certification with applicable maritime self-regulatory organizations. Further, we cannot assure you that our insurance policies will cover all losses that we incur, or that disputes over insurance claims will not arise with our insurance carriers. Any claims covered by insurance would be subject to deductibles, and since it is possible that a large number of claims may be brought, the aggregate amount of these deductibles could be material. In addition, our insurance policies are subject to limitations and exclusions, which may increase our costs or lower our revenues, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations. A catastrophic oil spill or marine disaster could exceed our insurance coverage, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and our ability to make distributions to our unitholders. Any uninsured or underinsured loss could harm our business and financial condition. In addition, the insurance may be voidable by the insurers as a result of certain actions, such as vessels failing to maintain required certification.

Our charterers may in the future engage in legally permitted trading in locations or with persons which may still be subject to restrictions due to sanctions or boycott. However, no vessels in our fleet have called on ports in sanctioned countries or countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism by the U.S. State Department, including Iran, Syria, or Sudan. Our insurers may be contractually or by operation of law prohibited from honoring our insurance contract for such trading on such locations or countries or trading with such persons, which could result in reduced insurance coverage for losses incurred by the related vessels. Changes in the insurance markets attributable to the risk of terrorism in certain locations around the world could make it difficult for us to obtain certain types of coverage. In addition, the insurance that may be available to us may be significantly more expensive than our existing coverage. Furthermore, our insurers and we may be prohibited from posting or otherwise be unable to post security in respect of any incident in such locations or countries or as a result of trading with such persons, resulting in the loss of use of the relevant vessel and negative publicity for our Company which could negatively impact our business, results of operations, cash flows and unit price.

A decrease in the level of China's imports of raw materials, exports of goods, or a decrease in trade globally 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.

China imports significant quantities of raw materials, and exports significant amounts of finished or semi-finished goods. For example, in 2020, China imported 1.146 billion tons of iron ore by sea out of a total of 1.503 billion tons shipped globally, accounting for about 76% of the global seaborne iron ore trade. While it only accounted for approximately 20% of seaborne coal movements of coal in 2020 according to current estimates (238 million tons imported compared to 1.165 billion tons of seaborne coal traded globally), that is a decline from over 22% in 2013 (264 million tons imported compared to 1.183 billion tons of seaborne coal traded globally). Our drybulk vessels and containerships are deployed by our charterers on routes involving drybulk or container trade in and out of emerging markets, and our charterers' drybulk and container shipping and business revenue may be derived from the shipment of goods within the Asia Pacific region and to or from various overseas export markets. Any reduction in or hindrance to China-based importers or exporters could have a material adverse effect on the growth rate of China's imports and exports and on our charterers' business. For instance, the government of China has implemented economic policies aimed at reducing pollution, increasing consumption of domestically produced Chinese coal and Chinese-made goods, or promoting the export of Chinese coal or increasing consumption of natural gas or banning imports of coal or other commodities from certain countries to China or increasing the production of electricity from renewable resources. This may have the effect of (i) reducing the demand for imported raw materials and may, in turn, result in a decrease in demand for drybulk shipping, and (ii) reducing the supply of goods available for export and may, in turn, result in a decrease of demand for container shipping. Additionally, though in China there is an increasing level of autonomy and a gradual shift in emphasis to a “market economy” and enterprise reform, many of the reforms, particularly some limited price reforms that result in the prices for certain commodities being principally determined by market forces, are unprecedented or experimental and may be subject to revision, change or abolition. The level of imports to and exports from China could be adversely affected by changes to these economic reforms by the Chinese government, as well as by changes in political, economic and social conditions or other relevant policies of the Chinese government. The ongoing global trade war between the U.S. and China may contribute to an economic slowdown in China.

Our operations expose us to the risk that increased trade protectionism from China or other nations will adversely affect our business. If the global recovery is undermined by downside risks and the recent economic downturn returns, governments may turn to trade barriers to protect their domestic industries against foreign imports, thereby depressing the demand for shipping. Specifically, increasing trade protectionism in the markets that our charterers serve may cause (i) a decrease in cargoes available to our charterers in favor of Chinese charterers and Chinese owned ships and (ii) an increase in the risks associated with importing goods to China. Any increased trade barriers or restrictions on trade, especially trade with China, would have an adverse impact on our charterers' business, operating results and financial condition and could thereby affect their ability to make timely charter hire payments to us and to renew and increase the number of their time charters with us. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and our ability to pay cash distributions to our unitholders.

In addition, China has enacted a tax for non-resident international transportation enterprises engaged in the provision of services of passengers or cargo, among other items, in and out of China using their own, chartered or leased vessels, including any stevedore, warehousing and other services connected with the transportation. The regulation broadens the range of international transportation companies which may find themselves liable for Chinese enterprise income tax on profits generated from international transportation services passing through Chinese ports. This tax or similar regulations by China may reduce our operating results and may also result in an increase in the cost of goods exported from China and the risks associated with exporting goods from China, as well as a decrease in the quantity of goods to be shipped from or through China, which would have an adverse impact on our charterers' business, operating results and financial condition and could thereby affect their ability to make timely charter hire payments to us and to renew and increase the number of their time charters with us.

Similarly, an extension or expansion of the current worldwide pandemic, or withdrawals or changes to economic stimulus packages by China or other nations to combat the pandemic may reduce our operating results and may also result in an increase in the cost of goods exported from China and the risks associated with exporting goods from China, as well as a decrease in the quantity of goods to be shipped from or through China or imports of commodities to China, which would have an adverse impact on our charterers' business, operating results and financial condition and could thereby affect their ability to make timely charter hire payments to us and to renew and increase the number of their time charters with us.

We conduct a substantial amount of business in China. The legal system in China has inherent uncertainties that could limit the legal protections available to us and could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.

Many of our vessels regularly call to ports in China and we may enter into sale and leaseback transactions with Chinese financial institutions. Although our charters and sale and leaseback agreements are governed by English law, we may have difficulties enforcing a judgment rendered by an English court (or other non-Chinese court) in China. Such charters and any additional agreements that we enter into with Chinese counterparties, may be subject to new regulations in China that may require us to incur new or additional compliance or other administrative costs and pay new taxes or other fees to the Chinese government. Changes in laws and regulations, including with regards to tax matters, and their implementation by local authorities could affect our vessels chartered to Chinese customers as well as our vessels calling to Chinese ports and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders.

Charter hire rates are volatile and have declined significantly since their historic highs and may remain at low levels or decrease in the future, which may adversely affect our earnings, revenue and our profitability. The cyclical nature of the international shipping industry may lead to decreases in charter rates and lower vessel values.

The drybulk shipping industry is cyclical with attendant volatility in charter hire rates and profitability. The degree of charter hire rate volatility among different types of drybulk vessels has varied widely, and charter hire rates for drybulk vessels have declined significantly from historically high levels. For example, in the past time charter and spot market rates for drybulk vessels have declined below operating costs of vessels. The Baltic Dry Index, or BDI, an index published by the Baltic Exchange Limited of shipping rates for 26 key drybulk routes, fell 97% from a peak of 11,793 in May 2008 to a low of 290 in February 2016. While the BDI showed improvement since then, it has ranged from a high of 2,518 in September 2019 to a low of 393 in May 2020, it remains at low levels compared to historical highs and there can be no assurance that the drybulk charter market will not decline further.

The ocean-going container shipping industry is both cyclical and volatile in terms of charter rates, profitability and, consequently, vessel values. According to industry data, containership charter rates peaked in 2005, with the Containership Timecharter Rate Index (a $/day per twenty-foot equivalent units (“TEU”) weighted average of 6-12 month time charter rates of Panamax and smaller vessels (1993=100)) reaching 172 points in March and April 2005, and generally stayed above 100 points until the middle of 2008, when the effects of the economic crisis began to affect global container trade, driving the Containership Timecharter Rate Index to a 10-year low of 32 points in the period from November 2009 to January 2010. As of the end of January 2020, the Containership Timecharter Rate Index stood at 61 points, hit a bottom of 41 points as of the end of June 2020 and then rose to 115 points at the beginning of March 2021.

Fluctuations in charter rates result from changes in the supply and demand for vessel capacity and changes in the supply and demand for the major commodities carried by water internationally. Because the factors affecting the supply and demand for vessels are outside of our control and are unpredictable, the nature, timing, direction and degree of changes in charter rates are also unpredictable.

Furthermore, a significant decrease in charter rates would cause asset values to decline, and we may have to record an impairment charge in our consolidated financial statements which could adversely affect our financial results. Because the market value of our vessels may fluctuate significantly, we may also incur losses when we sell vessels, which may adversely affect our earnings. If we sell vessels at a time when vessel prices have fallen and before we have recorded an impairment adjustment to our financial statements, the sale may be at less than the vessel's carrying amount in our financial statements, resulting in a loss and a reduction in earnings.

Factors that influence demand for vessels capacity include:

global and regional economic and political conditions, including armed conflicts, wars and terrorist activities (including piracy), embargoes and strikes;
disruptions and developments in international trade, including the effects of currency exchange rate changes;
changes in seaborne and other transportation patterns, such as port congestion and canal closures or expansions;
supply and demand for energy resources, drybulk products, commodities, semi-finished and finished consumer and industrial products;
changes in the exploration or production of energy resources, commodities, semi-finished and finished consumer and industrial products;
supply and demand for products shipped in containers;
supply and demand for commodities shipped in dry cargo vessels;
changes in global production of raw materials, semi-finished or finished goods and products transported by containerships;
the distance drybulk cargo or containers are to be moved by sea;
fuel prices for the bunker fuel used aboard ships;
whether the vessel is equipped with scrubbers or not;
natural or man-made disasters;
the globalization of manufacturing;
carrier alliances, vessel sharing or container slot sharing that seek to allocate container ship capacity on routes;
weather and crop yields;
political, environmental and other regulatory developments, including but not limited to governmental macroeconomic policy changes (including the application of stimulus programs or withdrawal of same), import and export restrictions, including trade wars, central bank policies and pollution conventions or protocols;
competition from alternative sources of energy or governmental policies encouraging use of alternative energy supplies;
international sanctions, embargoes, and nationalizations; and
technical advances in ship design and construction.

The supply of vessel capacity has generally been influenced by, among other factors:

the number of vessels that are out of service (including any held in quarantine or waiting for crew changes due to health related or other restrictions), namely those that are laid-up, drydocked, awaiting or undergoing repairs or otherwise not available for hire;
the scrapping rate of older vessels;
the availability of finance or lack thereof for ordering newbuildings or for facilitating ship sale and purchase transactions;
port and canal traffic and congestion, including canal improvements that can affect employment of ships designed for older canals;
the number of shipyards and ability of shipyards to deliver vessels;
the number of newbuilding deliveries;
vessel casualties;
weather;
changes in environmental and other regulations and standards (including IMO rules requiring a reduction in the use of high sulphur fuels, the fitting of additional ballast water treatment systems and upcoming rules intended to reduce CO2 emissions) that limit the profitability, operations or useful lives of vessels;
the price of steel, fuel and other raw materials; and
the economics of slow steaming.

In addition to the prevailing and anticipated charter rates, factors that affect the rate of newbuilding, scrapping and laying-up include newbuilding prices, secondhand vessel values in relation to newbuilding and scrap prices, costs of bunkers and other operating costs, costs associated with classification society surveys, normal maintenance and insurance coverage costs, the efficiency and age profile of the existing drybulk fleet in the market and government and industry regulation of maritime transportation practices, particularly environmental protection laws and regulations. These and other 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 vessels will be dependent upon economic growth in all of the world's economies, particularly China and India, seasonal and regional changes in demand, changes in the capacity of the global dry and container fleets and the sources and supply of drybulk or containerized cargo to be transported by sea.

The oversupply of drybulk vessel capacity may continue to prolong or further depress the current low charter rates, which has and may continue to limit our ability to operate our drybulk vessels profitably.

The market supply of drybulk carriers has been increasing as a result of the delivery of numerous newbuilding orders over the last few years. Newbuildings have been delivered in significant numbers over the last few years and, as of March 1, 2021, newbuilding orders had been placed for an aggregate of about 6% of the existing global drybulk fleet, with deliveries expected during the next three years. That 6% is an all-time low since records began in January 1996, but there is no guarantee that the orderbook will continue at these low levels in the future. While vessel supply will continue to be affected by the delivery of new vessels and the removal of vessels from the global fleet, either through scrapping or accidental losses, an over-supply of drybulk carrier capacity could exacerbate decreases in charter rates or prolong the period during which low charter rates prevail which may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to pay dividends.

An oversupply of containership capacity may depress charter rates, as has happened in the past, or prolong the period of depressed charter rates, and adversely affect our ability to charter our containerships at profitable rates, or at all.

From 2005 through 2010, the containership orderbook was at historically high levels as a percentage of the in-water fleet reaching a high of 61% in November 2007, according to industry data. Since that time, deliveries of previously ordered containerships increased substantially and ordering momentum slowed somewhat with the total orderbook declining as a percentage of the existing fleet from 21% in October 2015 to an all-time low of 8% as of October 2020, but has since increased to 12% as of March 2021. The orderbook remains significantly skewed towards vessels over 8,000 TEU. An oversupply of large newbuilding vessel and/or re-chartered containership capacity entering the market, combined with any decline in the demand for containerships, may prolong or further depress current charter rates and may decrease our ability to charter our containerships when we are seeking new or replacement charters other than for unprofitable or reduced rates, or we may not be able to charter our containerships at all.

A number of third party owners have ordered so-called “eco-type” vessel designs or have retrofitted scrubbers to remove sulphur from exhaust gases, which may offer substantial bunker savings as compared to older designs or vessels without exhaust gas scrubbers. Increased demand for and supply of “eco-type” or scrubber retrofitted vessels could reduce demand for our vessels that are not classified as such and expose us to lower vessel utilization and/or decreased charter rates.

New eco-type vessel designs or scrubber retrofits purport to offer material bunker savings compared to older designs, including certain of our vessels. Fitting scrubbers will allow a ship to consume high sulphur fuel oil (“HSFO”) which is expected to be cheaper than the low sulphur fuel oil (“LSFO”) that ships without scrubbers must consume to comply with the IMO 2020 low sulphur emission requirements. Such savings could result in a substantial reduction of bunker cost for charterers compared to such vessels of our fleet which may not have scrubbers. As the supply of such “eco-type” or scrubber retrofitted vessels increases, if the differential between the cost of HSFO and LSFO remains high, or if charterers prefer such vessels over our vessels that are not classified as such, this may reduce demand for our non-”eco-type”, non-scrubber retrofitted vessels, impair our ability to re-charter such vessels at competitive rates and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations.

Fuel price fluctuations may have an adverse effect on our profits.

The cost of fuel is a significant factor in negotiating charter rates and can affect us in both direct and indirect ways. This cost will be borne by us when our vessels are not employed or are employed on voyage charters or contracts of affreightment so an increase in the price of fuel beyond our expectations may adversely affect our profitability. Even where the cost of fuel is borne by the charterer, which is the case with all of our existing time charters that cost may affect the level of charter rates that charterers are prepared to pay. Rising costs of fuel will make our older and less fuel efficient vessels less competitive compared to the more fuel efficient newer vessels or compared with vessels which can utilize less expensive fuel and may reduce their charter hire, limit their employment opportunities and force us to employ them at a discount compared to the charter rates commanded by more fuel efficient vessels or not at all.

Falling costs of fuel may lead our charterers to abandon slow steaming, thereby releasing additional capacity into the market and exerting downward pressure on charter rates or may lead our charterers to employ older, less fuel efficient vessels which may drive down charter rates and make it more difficult for us to secure employment for our newer vessels.

The price and supply of fuel is unpredictable and fluctuates based on events outside our control, including geo-political developments (such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic), supply and demand for oil, actions by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil and gas producers, economic or other sanctions levied against oil and gas producing countries, war and unrest in oil producing countries and regions, regional production patterns and environmental concerns and regulations.

If we expand the size of our fleet in the future, we generally will be required to make significant installment payments for acquisitions of vessels even prior to their delivery and generation of revenue. Depending on whether we finance our expenditures through cash from operations or by issuing debt or equity securities, our ability to make cash distributions to unitholders, to the extent we are making distributions, may be diminished or our financial leverage could increase or our unitholders could be diluted.

The actual cost of a vessel varies significantly depending on the market price, the size and specifications of the vessel, governmental regulations and maritime self-regulatory organization standards. If we purchase additional vessels in the future, we generally will be required to make installment payments prior to their delivery. If we finance these acquisition costs by issuing debt or equity securities, we will increase the aggregate amount of interest payments or distributions, to the extent we are making distributions, prior to generating cash from the operation of the vessel.

To fund the remaining portion of these and other capital expenditures, we will be required to use cash from operations or raise capital through the sale of debt or additional equity securities. Use of cash from operations may reduce or eliminate cash available for distributions to unitholders. Our ability to obtain bank financing 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 as well as by adverse market conditions resulting from, among other things, general economic conditions and contingencies and uncertainties that are beyond our control. Our failure to obtain the funds for necessary future capital expenditures could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and on our ability to make cash distributions. Even if we successfully obtain necessary funds, the terms of such financings could limit our ability to pay cash distributions to unitholders. In addition, incurring additional debt may significantly increase our interest expense and financial leverage, and issuing additional preferred and common equity securities may result in significant unitholder dilution and would increase the aggregate amount of cash required to make distributions to our common unitholders, to the extent we are making distributions, which could have a material adverse effect on our ability to make cash distributions to all of our unitholders.

We are subject to various laws, regulations and conventions, including environmental and safety laws, that could require significant expenditures both to maintain compliance with such laws and to pay for any uninsured environmental liabilities, including any resulting from a spill or other environmental incident.

Vessel owners and operators are subject to government regulation in the form of international conventions, and national, state, and local laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which their vessels operate, in international waters, as well as in the country or countries where their vessels are registered. Such laws and regulations include those governing the management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, the cleanup of oil spills and other contamination, air emissions, discharges of operational and other wastes into the water, and ballast water management. Port State regulation significantly affects the operation of vessels, as it commonly is more stringent than international rules and standards. This is the case particularly in the United States and, increasingly, in Europe. Non-compliances with such laws and regulations can give rise to civil or criminal liability, and/or vessel delays and detentions in the jurisdictions in which we operate.

Our vessels are subject to scheduled and unscheduled inspections by regulatory and enforcement authorities, as well as private maritime industry entities. This includes inspections by Port State Control authorities, including the U.S. Coast Guard, harbor masters or equivalent entities, classification societies, flag Administrations (country in which the vessel is registered), charterers, and terminal operators. Certain of these entities require vessel owners to obtain permits, licenses, and certificates for the operation of their vessels. Failure to maintain necessary permits or approvals could require a vessel owner to incur substantial costs or temporarily suspend operation of one or more of its vessels. Heightened levels of environmental and quality concerns among insurance underwriters, regulators, and charterers continue to lead to greater inspection and safety requirements on all vessels and may accelerate the scrapping of older vessels throughout the industry. Increasing environmental concerns have created a demand for vessels that conform to stricter environmental standards. Vessel owners are required to maintain operating standards for all vessels that will emphasize operational safety, quality maintenance, continuous training of officers and crews, and compliance with U.S. and international regulations.

The legal requirements and maritime industry standards to which we and our vessels are subject are set forth below, along with the risks associated therewith. We may be required to make substantial capital and other expenditures to ensure that we remain in compliance with these requirements and standards, as well as with standards imposed by our customers, including costs for ship modifications and changes in operating procedures. We also maintain insurance coverage against pollution liability risks for all of our vessels in the amount of $1.0 billion in the aggregate for any one event. The insured risks include penalties and fines, as well as civil liabilities and expenses resulting from accidental pollution. However, this insurance coverage is subject to exclusions, deductibles, and other terms and conditions. And, claims relating to pollution incidents for knowing violations of U.S. environmental laws or the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships may be considered by our protection and indemnity associations on a discretionary basis only. If any liabilities or expenses fall within an exclusion from coverage, or if damages from a catastrophic incident exceed the aggregate liability of $1.0 billion for any one event, our cash flow, profitability and financial position would be adversely impacted.

Because international conventions, laws, regulations, and other requirements are often revised, we cannot predict the ultimate cost of compliance or the impact on the fair market price or useful life of our vessels. Nor can we assure that our vessels will be able to attain and maintain certifications of compliance with various regulatory requirements.

Comparably, governmental regulation of the shipping industry, particularly in the areas of safety and environmental requirements, can be expected to become stricter in the future. We believe that the heightened environmental, quality, and security concerns of insurance underwriters, regulators, and charterers will lead to additional requirements, including enhanced risk assessment and security requirements, greater inspection and safety requirements, and heightened due diligence obligations. We also may be required to take certain of our vessels out of service for extended periods of time to address changing legal requirements, which would result in lost revenue. In the future, market conditions may not justify these expenditures or enable us to operate our vessels, particularly older vessels, profitably during the remainder of their economic lives. This could lead to significant asset write-downs.

Specific examples of expected changes that could have a significant, and potentially material, impact on our business include:

• Limitations on sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ships could cause increased demand and higher prices for low sulfur fuel due to supply constraints, as well as significant cost increases due to the implementations of measures such as fuel switching, vessel modifications such as adding distillate fuel storage capacity, or installation of exhaust gas cleaning systems or scrubbers;

Environmental requirements can affect the resale value or useful lives of our vessels, require a reduction in cargo capacity, vessel modifications or operational changes or restrictions, 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.
Under local and national laws, as well as international treaties and conventions, we could incur material liabilities, including cleanup obligations and claims for natural resource damages, personal injury and/or 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.

Climate change and government laws and regulations related to climate change could negatively impact our financial condition.

We are and will be, directly and indirectly, subject to the effects of climate change and may, directly or indirectly, be affected by local and national laws, as well as international treaties and conventions, and implementing regulations related to climate change. Any passage of climate control treaties, legislation, or other regulatory initiatives by the IMO, the European Union, the United States or other countries where we operate that restrict emissions of greenhouse gases (“GHGs”) could require us to make significant financial expenditures that we cannot predict with certainty at this time. This could include, for example, the adoption of regulatory frameworks to reduce GHG emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen oxides. The climate change efforts undertaken to date are detailed below.

We cannot predict with any degree of certainty what effect, if any, possible climate change and legal requirements relating to climate change will have on our operations. However, we believe that climate change, including the possible increases in severe weather events, and legal requirements relating to climate change may affect, directly or indirectly, (i) the cost of the vessels we may acquire in the future, (ii) our ability to continue to operate as we have in the past, (iii) the cost of operating our vessels, and (iv) insurance premiums and deductibles, and the availability of insurance coverage. As a result, our financial condition could be materially impacted by climate change and related legal requirements.

We are subject to vessel security regulations and we incur costs to comply with adopted regulations. We may be subject to costs to comply with similar regulations that may be adopted in the future in response to terrorism.

We are subject to local and national laws, including in the United States, as well as international treaties and conventions, intended to enhance and ensure vessel security. These laws are detailed below. Navios has and will continue to implement the various security measures addressed by all applicable laws and will take measures for our vessels or vessels that we charter to attain compliance with all applicable security requirements within the prescribed time periods. Although management does not believe that these additional requirements will have a material financial impact on our operations, there can be no assurance that there will not be an interruption in operations to bring vessels into compliance with the applicable requirements and any such interruption could cause a decrease in charter revenues. Furthermore, additional security measures could be required in the future that could have significant financial impact on us.

The cost of vessel security measures has also been affected by the escalation in recent years in the frequency and seriousness of acts of piracy against ships, notably off the coast of Somalia, including the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea area. Attacks of this kind have commonly resulted in vessels and their crews being detained for several months, and being released only on payment of large ransoms. Substantial loss of revenue and other costs may be incurred as a result of such detention. Although we insure against these losses to the extent practicable, the risk of uninsured losses which could significantly affect our business remains. Costs are incurred in taking additional security measures in accordance with Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy, notably those contained in the BMP3 industry standard. A number of flag States have signed the 2009 New York Declaration, which expresses commitment to Best Management Practices in relation to piracy and calls for compliance therewith them as an essential part of compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (“ISPS Code”).

Changing laws and evolving reporting requirements could have an adverse effect on our business.

Changing laws, regulations and standards relating to reporting requirements, including the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), may create additional compliance requirements for us. To maintain high standards of corporate governance and public disclosure, we have invested in, and intend to continue to invest in, reasonably necessary resources to comply with evolving standards.

Our international activities increase the compliance risks associated with economic and trade sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and other jurisdictions.

Our international operations and activities could expose us to risks associated with trade and economic sanctions prohibitions or other restrictions imposed by the U.S. or other governments or organizations, including the United Nations, the EU and its member countries, as described in this report. Under economic and trade sanctions laws, governments and organizations may seek to impose modifications to or prohibitions/restrictions on business practices and activities, and modifications to compliance programs, which may increase compliance costs, and, in the event of a violation, may subject us to fines and other penalties. To reduce the risk of violating economic sanctions, we have a policy of compliance with applicable economic sanctions laws and have implemented and continue to implement and diligently follow compliance procedures to avoid economic sanctions violations.

Considering U.S. as well as EU sanctions and the nature of our business, there is a constant sanction-related risk for us, due to the worldwide trade of our vessels, which we seek to minimize by the implementation of our corporate Economic Sanctions Compliance Policy and Procedures and our compliance with all applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations. Although we intend to maintain such Economic Sanctions Compliance Policy and Procedures, there can be no assurance that we will be in compliance in the future, particularly as the scope of certain laws may be unclear and may be subject to changing interpretations, and the law may change. Moreover, despite, for example, relevant provisions in charter parties forbidding the use of our vessels in trade that would violate economic sanctions, our charterers may nevertheless violate applicable sanctions and embargo laws and regulations and those violations could in turn negatively affect our reputation and be imputed to us.

We constantly monitor developments in the U.S., the EU and other jurisdictions that maintain economic sanctions against Iran, Russian entities, Venezuela, other countries, and other sanctions targets, including developments in implementation and enforcement of such sanctions programs. Expansion of sanctions programs, embargoes and other restrictions in the future (including additional designations of countries and persons subject to sanctions), or modifications in how existing sanctions are interpreted or enforced, could prevent our vessels from calling in ports in sanctioned countries or could limit their cargoes.

Given our relationship with Navios Holdings (and/or its affiliates), we cannot give any assurance that an adverse finding against Navios Holdings (and/or its affiliates) by a governmental or legal authority or others, with respect to sanction matters or any future matter related to regulatory compliance by Navios Holdings (and/or its affiliates) will not have a material adverse impact on our business, reputation or the market price or trading of our common units.

If any of the risks described herein materializes, it could have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

For a description of the economic and trade sanctions and other compliance requirements under which we operate please see “Item 4. Information on the Partnership. B. Business Overview - Sanction and Compliance”

We could be materially adversely affected by violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act and anti-corruption laws in other applicable jurisdictions.

As an international shipping company, we may operate in countries known to have a reputation for corruption. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (the “FCPA”) and other anti-corruption laws and regulations in applicable jurisdictions generally prohibit companies registered with the SEC and their intermediaries from making improper payments to government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Under the FCPA, U.S. companies may be held liable for some actions taken by strategic or local partners or representatives. Legislation in other countries includes the U.K. Bribery Act 2010 (the “U.K. Bribery Act”) which is broader in scope than the FCPA because it does not contain an exception for facilitation payments. We and our customers may be subject to these and similar anti-corruption laws in other applicable jurisdictions. Failure to comply with legal requirements could expose us to civil and/or criminal penalties, including fines, prosecution and significant reputational damage, all of which could materially and adversely affect our business and the results of operations, including our relationships with our customers, and our financial results. Compliance with the FCPA, the U.K. Bribery Act and other applicable anti-corruption laws and related regulations and policies imposes potentially significant costs and operational burdens on us. Moreover, the compliance and monitoring mechanisms that we have in place including our Code of Ethics and our anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy, may not adequately prevent or detect all possible violations under applicable anti-bribery and anti-corruption legislation. However, we believe that the procedures we have in place to prevent bribery are adequate and that they should provide a defense in most circumstances to a violation or a mitigation of applicable penalties, at least under the U.K.'s Bribery Act.

The operation of ocean-going vessels entails the possibility of marine disasters including damage or destruction of the vessel due to accident, the loss of a vessel due to piracy or terrorism, damage or destruction of cargo and similar events that may cause a loss of revenue from affected vessels and damage our business reputation, which may in turn lead to loss of business.

The operation of ocean-going vessels in international trade is inherently risky. The ownership and operation of ocean-going vessels in international trade is affected by a number of inherent risks, including mechanical failure, personal injury, vessel and cargo loss or damage, business interruption due to political conditions in foreign countries, unexpected port closures, hostilities, piracy, terrorism, labor strikes and/or boycotts, adverse weather conditions and catastrophic marine disaster, including environmental accidents and collisions. All of these risks could result in liability, loss of revenues, increased costs and loss of reputation.

The operation of drybulk carriers has certain unique risks. With a drybulk carrier, the cargo itself and its interaction with the vessel can be an operational risk. By their nature, certain drybulk cargoes are often heavy, dense, easily shifted, and may react badly to water exposure. In addition, drybulk carriers 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 harsh treatment during unloading procedures may be more susceptible to breach at sea. Hull breaches in drybulk carriers may lead to the flooding of the vessels' holds. For example, if a drybulk carrier 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. We have procedures and policies in place to ameliorate these risks, including a robust inspection system.

The total loss or damage of any of our vessels or cargoes could harm our reputation as a safe and reliable vessel owner and operator. Any extended vessel off-hire, due to an accident or otherwise, or strikes, could have a materially adverse effect on our business. If we are unable to adequately maintain or safeguard our vessels, we may be unable to prevent any such damage, costs, or loss that could negatively impact our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows and ability to pay distributions.

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

Crew members, suppliers of goods and services to a vessel, shippers or receivers of cargo, and other parties may be entitled to a maritime lien against a vessel for unsatisfied debts, claims or damages, including, in some jurisdictions, for debts incurred by previous owners. In many jurisdictions, a maritime lien holder may enforce its lien by arresting a vessel. The arrest or attachment of one or more of our vessels, if such arrest or attachment is not timely discharged, could cause us to default on a charter or breach covenants in certain of our credit facilities, could interrupt our cash flow and require us to pay large sums of money to have the arrest or attachment lifted. Any of these occurrences could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders.

In addition, in some jurisdictions, such as South Africa, under the “sister ship” theory of liability, a claimant may arrest both the vessel which is subject to the claimant's maritime lien and any “associated” vessel, which is any vessel owned or controlled by the same owner. Claimants could try to assert “sister ship” liability against one vessel in our fleet for claims relating to another vessel in the fleet.

The smuggling of drugs or other contraband onto our vessels may lead to governmental claims against us.

Our vessels may call in ports where smugglers may attempt to hide drugs and other contraband on vessels, with or without the knowledge of crew members. To the extent our vessels are found with contraband, whether inside or attached to the hull of our vessel and whether with or without the knowledge of any of our crew, we may face reputational damage and governmental or other regulatory claims or penalties, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders. Under some jurisdictions, vessels used for the conveyance of illegal drugs could result in forfeiture of the vessel to the government of such jurisdiction.

A failure to pass inspection by classification societies could result in one or more vessels being unemployable unless and until they pass inspection, resulting in a loss of revenues from such vessels for that period and a corresponding decrease in operating cash flows.

The hull and machinery of every commercial vessel must be inspected and approved by a classification society authorized by its country of registry. The classification society certifies that a vessel has been built and maintained, is safe and seaworthy in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the country of registry of the vessel and with SOLAS (as defined below). Our owned fleet is currently enrolled with American Bureau of Shipping, Nippon Kaiji Kiokai, Bureau Veritas, DNVGL, and Lloyd's Register.

A vessel must undergo an annual survey, an intermediate survey and a special survey. In lieu of a special survey, a vessel's machinery may be on a continuous survey cycle, under which the machinery would be surveyed periodically over a five-year period. Our vessels are on special survey cycles for hull inspection and continuous survey cycles for machinery inspection. Every vessel is also required to be drydocked every two to three years for inspection of the underwater parts of such vessel.

If any vessel fails any annual survey, intermediate survey or special survey, the vessel may be unable to trade between ports and, therefore, would be unemployable, potentially causing a negative impact on our revenues due to the loss of revenues from such vessel until she is able to trade again. Further, if any vessel fails a classification survey and the condition giving rise to the failure is not cured within a reasonable time, the vessel may lose coverage under various insurance programs, including hull and machinery insurance and/or protection and indemnity insurance, which would result in a breach of relevant covenants under our financing arrangements. Failure to maintain the class of one or more of our vessels could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations, as well as our cash flows, including cash available to make distributions to our unitholders.

Increased inspection procedures and tighter import and export controls 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 and trans-shipment points. Inspection procedures can result in the seizure of contents of our vessels, delays in the loading, offloading, trans-shipment or delivery and the levying of customs, duties, fines or other penalties.

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 future customers and may, in certain cases, render the shipment of certain types of cargo uneconomical or impractical. Any such changes or developments may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and ability to make cash distributions.

Economic conditions throughout the world, renewed terrorist activity, the growing refugee crises, trade wars and protectionist policies, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The global economy remains relatively weak, especially when compared to the period prior to the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The current global recovery is proceeding at varying speeds across regions and is still subject to downside economic risks stemming from factors like the continuing global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability of the vaccines and their global deployment, fiscal fragility in advanced economies, high sovereign and private debt levels, highly accommodative macroeconomic policies, the significant fall in the price of crude oil and other commodities and persistent difficulties in access to credit and equity financing as well as political risks such as the continuing war in Syria, renewed terrorist attacks around the world and the emergence of populist and protectionist political movements in advanced economies.

Concerns regarding terrorist threats from groups in Europe and the refugee crisis may advance protectionist policies and may negatively impact globalization and global economic growth, which could disrupt financial markets, and may lead to weaker consumer demand in the European Union, the United States, and other parts of the world which could have a material adverse effect on our business. The deterioration in the global economy has caused, and may continue to cause, a decrease in worldwide demand for dry cargo and certain goods shipped in containerized form.

In recent years, China has been one of the world's fastest growing economies in terms of gross domestic product, which has had a significant impact on shipping demand. However, if China's growth in gross domestic product declines and other countries in the Asia Pacific region experience slower or negative economic growth in the future, this may negatively affect the fragile recovery of the economies of the United States and the European Union, and thus, may negatively impact the shipping industry. For example, the possibility of the introduction of impediments to trade within the European Union member countries in response to increasing terrorist activities, and the possibility of market reforms to float the Chinese renminbi, either of which development could weaken the euro against the Chinese renminbi, could adversely affect consumer demand in the European Union. Moreover, the revaluation of the renminbi may negatively impact the United States' demand for imported goods, many of which are shipped from China. Political events such as a global trade war between the U.S. and China, or any moves by either China, the United States or the European Union to levy additional tariffs on imported goods as part of protectionist measures or otherwise, could decrease shipping demand. Such weak economic conditions or protectionist measures could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders.

Furthermore, our operations may be adversely affected by changing or adverse political and governmental conditions in the countries where our vessels are flagged or registered and in the regions where we otherwise engage in business. Any disruption caused by these factors may interfere with the operation of our vessels, which could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations. Our operations may also be adversely affected by expropriation of vessels, taxes, regulation, tariffs, trade embargoes, economic sanctions or a disruption of or limit to trading activities, or other adverse events or circumstances in or affecting the countries and regions where we operate or where we may operate in the future. Adverse economic, political, social or other developments can decrease demand and prospects for growth in the shipping industry and thereby could reduce revenue significantly.

Disruptions in global financial markets from terrorist attacks, regional armed conflicts, general political unrest, the emergence of a pandemic crisis (such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) and the resulting governmental action could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.

Terrorist attacks in certain parts of the world and the continuing response of the United States and other countries to these attacks, as well as the threat of future terrorist attacks, continue to cause uncertainty and volatility in the world financial markets and may affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. The continuing refugee crisis in the European Union, the continuing war in Syria and the presence of terrorist organizations in the Middle East, conflicts and turmoil in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, general political unrest in Ukraine, political tension, continuing concerns relating to Brexit (as defined herein), concerns regarding epidemics and pandemics, including the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, and its spread throughout Asia and other parts of the world, and other viral outbreaks or conflicts in the Asia Pacific Region such as in the South China Sea, mainland China and North Korea have led to increased volatility in global credit and equity markets. Further, as a result of the ongoing political, social and economic turmoil in Greece resulting from the sovereign debt crisis and the influx of refugees from Syria and other areas, the operations of our Manager located in Greece may be subjected to new regulations and potential shift in government policies that may require us to incur new or additional compliance or other administrative costs and may require the payment of new taxes or other fees. We also face the risk that strikes, work stoppages, civil unrest and violence within Greece, as well as any work, travel or other restrictions implemented due the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, may disrupt the shoreside operations of our Manager located in Greece.

In addition, global financial markets and economic conditions have been severely disrupted and volatile in recent years and remain subject to significant vulnerabilities, such as the deterioration of fiscal balances and the rapid accumulation of public debt, continued deleveraging in the banking sector and a limited supply of credit. Credit markets as well as the debt and equity capital markets were exceedingly distressed during 2008 and 2009 and have been volatile since that time. The resulting uncertainty and volatility in the global financial markets may accordingly affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. These uncertainties, as well as future hostilities or other political instability in regions where our vessels trade, could also affect trade volumes and patterns and adversely affect our operations, and otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows and cash available for distributions to our unitholders and repurchases of common units.

Specifically, these issues, along with the re-pricing of credit risk and the difficulties currently experienced by financial institutions, have made, and will likely continue to make, it difficult to obtain financing. As a result of the disruptions in the credit markets and higher capital requirements, many lenders have increased margins on lending rates, enacted tighter lending standards, required more restrictive terms (including higher collateral ratios for advances, shorter maturities and smaller loan amounts), or have refused to refinance existing debt at all. Furthermore, certain banks that have historically been significant lenders to the shipping industry have reduced or ceased lending activities in the shipping industry. Additional tightening of capital requirements and the resulting policies adopted by lenders, could further reduce lending activities. We may experience difficulties obtaining financing commitments or be unable to fully draw on the capacity under our committed term loans in the future if our lenders are unwilling to extend financing to us or unable to meet their funding obligations due to their own liquidity, capital or solvency issues. We cannot be certain that financing will be available on acceptable terms or at all. If financing is not available when needed, or is available only on unfavorable terms, we may be unable to meet our future obligations as they come due. Our failure to obtain such funds could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders. In the absence of available financing, we also may be unable to take advantage of business opportunities or respond to competitive pressures.

Our financial and operating performance may be adversely affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak.

Our business could be materially and adversely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus or other epidemics or pandemics could potentially result in delayed deliveries of our vessels under construction, disrupt our operations and significantly affect global markets, affecting the demand for our services, global demand for goods shipped in containerships and dry bulk vessels as well as the price of international freights and hires. If the effect of the coronavirus is ongoing, we may be unable to charter our vessels at the rates or for the length of time we currently expect. The effects of the coronavirus remain uncertain, and should customers be under financial pressure this could negatively affect our charterers' willingness to perform their obligations under our time charters. The loss or termination of any of our time charters or a decline in payments under our time charters, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders and repurchases of common units.

In addition, certain countries have introduced travel restrictions and adopted certain hygiene measures, including quarantining. European countries and the United States have previously adopted stringent measures to contain the spread of the virus. Any prolonged measure, or the reimplementation of previously lifted measures, may affect our normal operations and those of our Manager. All these measures have further affected the process of construction and repair of vessels, as well as the presence of workers in shipyards and, of administrative personnel in their offices, which could exceed previously calculated repair periods, causing our vessels to remain off-hire for longer periods than planned. We may face increased costs operating our vessels due to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. Possible delays due to quarantine of our vessels caused by COVID-19 infection of our crew or other COVID-19 related disruptions may lead to the termination of charters leaving our vessels without employmen. Any prolonged restrictive measures in order to control the novel coronavirus or other adverse global public health developments may have a material and adverse effect on our business operations and demand for our vessels generally. Furthermore, the global recession caused by the pandemic could be prolonged and could also severely affect financing institutions. If any such impact on the financial system is not addressed, we may find it difficult to finance loans that are maturing or to obtain financing for new projects, thus materially affecting our financial position.

The extent of the COVID-19 outbreak’s effect on our operational and financial performance will depend on future developments, including the duration, spread and intensity of the outbreak, any resurgence or mutation of the virus, the availability of vaccines and their global deployment, the development of effective treatments, the imposition of effective public safety and other protective measures and the public’s response to such measures. There continues to be a high level of uncertainty relating to how the pandemic will evolve, how governments and consumers will react and progress on the approval and distribution of vaccines, all of which are uncertain and difficult to predict considering the rapidly evolving landscape. As a result, the ultimate severity of the COVID-19 outbreak is uncertain at this time and therefore we cannot predict the impact it may have on our future operations, which impact could be material and adverse, particularly if the pandemic continues to evolve into a severe worldwide health crisis.

At present, it is not possible to ascertain the overall impact of COVID-19 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 COVID-19 or other epidemics could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows, financial condition, value of our vessels, and ability to pay dividends.

 

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

A government of the jurisdiction where one or more of our vessels are registered 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. Although we may 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, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders. 

Acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels have increased in frequency and magnitude, which could adversely affect our business.

Acts of piracy have historically affected ocean-going vessels trading in certain regions of the world, such as the South China Sea and the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia. Piracy continues to occur in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia and increasingly in the Gulf of Guinea. Other areas where piracy has affected shipping include the Indian Ocean, the Strait of Malacca, the Arabian Sea, and the Mozambique Channel. Acts of piracy are a material risk to the international container shipping industry. Our vessels regularly travel through regions where pirates are active. Piracy not only increases our risk of loss of property and the cost of delay or detention, but it may also increase our risk of liability for death or personal injury. We may incur increased insurance premiums for “war risk” coverage or, if such insurance is unavailable, we may not be adequately insured to cover losses from these incidents, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and ability to make distributions. While we believe the charterer remains liable for charter payments when a vessel is seized by pirates, the charterer may dispute this and withhold charter hire until the vessel is released. Crew and security costs could also increase in such circumstances. A charterer may also claim that a vessel seized by pirates was not “on-hire” for a certain number of days and it is therefore entitled to cancel the charter party, a claim that we would dispute. We may not be adequately insured to cover losses from acts of terrorism, piracy, regional conflicts and other armed actions.

Risks Relating to Our Indebtedness

The market value of our vessels may fluctuate significantly, which could cause us to breach covenants in our credit facilities and result in foreclosure on our mortgaged vessels.

If the market value of our owned vessels decreases, we may be required to record additional impairment charges in our consolidated financial statements that, among other things, could cause us to breach covenants contained in our credit facilities, which could adversely affect our financial results. We purchased the majority of our drybulk vessels from Navios Holdings based on market prices that were, for certain vessels, at historically high levels. If we breach the covenants in our credit facilities and are unable to remedy any relevant breach, our lenders could accelerate our debt and foreclose on the collateral, including our vessels. Any loss of vessels would significantly decrease our ability to generate positive cash flow from operations and therefore service our debt.

We may be unable to obtain additional debt financing for future acquisitions of vessels and to fund payments in respect of any newbuilding orders that we may place in the future.

Our ability to borrow against the ships in our existing fleet and any ships we may acquire in the future largely depends on the existence of time charter employment of the ship and on the value of the ships, which in turn depends in part on charter hire rates and the creditworthiness of our charterers. The actual or perceived credit quality of our charterers, any defaults by them, any decline in the market value of our fleet and a lack of long-term employment of our ships may materially affect our ability to obtain the additional capital resources that we will require to purchase additional vessels or may significantly increase our costs of obtaining such capital. Our inability to obtain additional financing or committing to financing on unattractive terms could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders.

Our debt levels may limit our ability to obtain additional financing and pursue other business opportunities, and our interest rates under our credit facilities may fluctuate and may impact our operations.

As of December 31, 2020, the total borrowings amounted to $491.2 million. We have the ability to incur additional debt, subject to limitations in our credit facilities. Our level of debt could have important consequences to us, including the following:

our ability to obtain additional financing, if necessary, for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or other purposes may be impaired or such financing may not be available on favorable terms;
we may need to use a substantial portion of our cash from operations to make principal and interest payments on our debt, reducing the funds that would otherwise be available for operations, future business opportunities, distributions to unitholders;
our debt level could make us more vulnerable than our competitors with less debt to competitive pressures or a downturn in our business or the economy generally; and
our debt level may limit our flexibility in responding to changing business and economic conditions.

Our ability to service our debt depends upon, among other things, our future financial and operating performance, which will be affected by prevailing economic conditions and financial, business, regulatory and other factors, some of which are beyond our control. Our ability to service debt under our credit facilities also will depend on market interest rates, since the interest rates applicable to our borrowings will fluctuate with the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”), or the prime rate. We do not currently hedge against increases in such rates and, accordingly, significant increases in such rate would require increased debt levels and reduce distributable cash. We may not be able to refinance all or part of our maturing debt on favorable terms, or at all. If our operating income is not sufficient to service our current or future indebtedness, we will be forced to take actions such as reducing or discontinuing distributions, reducing or delaying our business activities, acquisitions, investments or capital expenditures, selling assets, restructuring or refinancing our debt, or seeking additional equity capital or bankruptcy protection. We may not be able to effect any of these remedies on satisfactory terms, or at all.

We are exposed to volatility in the LIBOR, which can affect our profitability, earnings and cash flow.

The loans under our credit facilities are generally advanced at a floating rate based on LIBOR, which was volatile in prior years and has been steadily increasing in recent years. LIBOR can affect the amount of interest payable on our debt, which, in turn, could have an adverse effect on our earnings and cash flow. In addition, although in recent years LIBOR has been at relatively low levels, LIBOR increased during 2016 and may continue to rise in the future as the current low interest rate environment comes to an end.

Our financial condition could be materially adversely affected as we have not entered into interest rate hedging arrangements to hedge our exposure to the interest rates applicable to our credit facilities and may not enter into interest rate hedging arrangements for these or any other financing arrangements we may enter into in the future, including those we may enter into to finance a portion of the amounts payable with respect to newbuildings or acquisitions.

We may enter into derivative contracts to hedge our overall exposure to interest rate risk. Entering into swaps and other derivatives transactions is inherently risky and presents possibilities for incurring significant expenses. The derivatives strategies that we may employ may not be successful or effective, and we could, as a result, incur substantial additional interest and breakage costs.

Changes in the method of determining LIBOR, or the replacement of LIBOR with an alternative reference rate, may adversely affect interest expense related to outstanding debt.

Our outstanding debt bears interest rates in relation to LIBOR. On July 27, 2017, the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority, which regulates LIBOR, announced that it intends to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR to the administrator of LIBOR after 2021 (“FCA Announcement”). The FCA Announcement indicated that the continuation of LIBOR on the current basis is not guaranteed after 2021. It is unclear if at that time new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021. On November 30, 2020 the administrator of LIBOR, the ICE Benchmark Administration (“IBA”), announced that it would consult on ceasing to determine one-week and two-month U.S. dollar LIBOR with effect from the December 31, 2021 deadline but ceasing to determine the remaining U.S. dollar LIBOR tenors on June 30, 2023. This announcement coincided with an announcement by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association that the IBA announcement was not a triggering event which would set the spread to be used in its derivative contracts as part of the risk-free rate determination process.

In addition, lenders have recently insisted on provisions that entitle the lenders, in their discretion, to replace published LIBOR as the base for the interest calculation with their cost-of-funds rate. Such provisions could significantly increase our lending costs, which would have an adverse effect on our profitability, earnings and cash flow.

Uncertainty surrounding a phase-out of LIBOR may adversely affect the trading market for LIBOR-based agreements, which could negatively affect our operating results and financial condition as well as on our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders. We are continuing to evaluate the risks resulting from a termination of LIBOR and our credit facilities generally have fallback provisions in the event of the unavailability of LIBOR, but those fallback provisions and related successor benchmarks may create additional risks and uncertainties.

 

Our credit facilities contain restrictive covenants, which may limit our business and financing activities and may prevent us from paying distributions to unitholders, if our board of directors determines to do so again in the future.

We have two credit facilities with DVB Bank S.E. (the “DVB $66m Credit Facility” and the “DVB $44m Credit Facility”), a credit facility with BNP PARIBAS (the “BNP Credit Facility”), a credit facility with Nordea Bank AB, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB and NIBC Bank N.V. (the “Nordea Credit Facility”), a credit facility with NIBC Bank N.V. (the “NIBC Credit Facility”), a credit facility with DNB Bank ASA (the “DNB Credit Facility”), a credit facility with Hamburg Commercial Bank AG (the “HCOB Credit Facility”), two credit facilities with Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (“CACIB”) (the “CACIB $52.8m Credit Facility” and the “CACIB $33.0m Credit Facility”), a credit facility with ABN Amro Bank N.V. (the “ABN $32.2m Credit Facility”), a credit facility with Hellenic Bank Public Company Limited (the “Hellenic Credit Facility”) and a credit facility with Dory Funding DAC (the “Dory Credit Facility”). We also have five sale and leaseback agreements with unrelated third parties for the Navios Fantastiks, the Navios Beaufiks, the Navios Sol, the Navios Sagittarius and the Navios Ace (together, the “Financial Liabilities”). As of December 31, 2020, the outstanding loan balance under Navios Partners' borrowings, net of deferred finance costs, was $486.9 million.

The operating and financial restrictions and covenants in our credit facilities and any future credit facilities could adversely affect our ability to finance future operations or capital needs to engage, expand or pursue our business activities and reduce cash available for distribution on our common units. For example, our credit facilities require the consent of our lenders or limit our ability to (among other things):

incur or guarantee indebtedness;
charge, pledge or encumber the vessels;
merge or consolidate;
change the flag, class or commercial and technical management of our vessels;
make cash distributions;
make new investments; and
sell or change the ownership or control of our vessels.

Our credit facilities also require us to comply with the International Safety Management Code (the “ISM Code”), and the ISPS Code and to maintain valid safety management certificates and documents of compliance at all times.

The credit facilities require compliance with a number of financial covenants, including: (i) maintain a required security amount ranging from over 120% to 140%; (ii) minimum free consolidated liquidity in an amount equal to at least $0.5 million to $0.65 million per owned vessel; (iii) maintain a ratio of EBITDA to interest expense of at least 2.00:1.00; (iv) maintain a ratio of total liabilities or total debt to total assets (as defined in our credit facilities) of less than 0.75; and (v) maintain a minimum net worth to $135.0 million.

The Financial Liabilities have no financial covenants.

It is an event of default under the credit facilities if such covenants are not complied with in accordance with the terms and subject to the prepayments or cure provisions of the facilities.

In addition, our credit facilities prohibit the payment of distributions if we are not in compliance with certain financial covenants or upon the occurrence of an event of default.

Events of default under our credit facilities include, among other things, the following:

failure to pay any principal, interest, fees, expenses or other amounts when due;
failure to observe any other agreement, security instrument, obligation or covenant beyond specified cure periods in certain cases;
default under other indebtedness;
an event of insolvency or bankruptcy;
material adverse change in the financial position or prospects of us or our general partner;
failure of any representation or warranty to be materially correct; and
failure of Navios Holdings or its affiliates (as defined in the credit facilities agreements) to own at least 15% of us.

Our ability to comply with the covenants and restrictions that are contained in our credit facilities and any other debt instruments we may enter into in the future may be affected by events beyond our control, including prevailing economic, financial and industry conditions. If market or other economic conditions deteriorate, our ability to comply with these covenants may be impaired. If we are in breach of any of the restrictions, covenants, ratios or tests in our credit facilities, especially if we trigger a cross default currently contained in certain of our loan agreements, a significant portion of our obligations may become immediately due and payable, and our lenders' commitment to make further loans to us may terminate. We may not have, or be able to obtain, sufficient funds to make these accelerated payments. In addition, our obligations under our credit facilities are secured by certain of our vessels, and if we are unable to repay borrowings under such credit facilities, lenders could seek to foreclose on those vessels. We anticipate that any subsequent refinancing of our current debt or any new debt will have similar restrictions.

Risks Relating to Our Units

Our board of directors may not declare cash distributions in the foreseeable future.

The declaration and payment of cash distributions, if any, will always be subject to the discretion of our board of directors, restrictions contained in our credit facilities and the requirements of Marshall Islands law. The timing and amount of any cash distributions declared will depend on, among other things, our earnings, financial condition and cash requirements and availability, our ability to obtain debt and equity financing on acceptable terms as contemplated by our growth strategy, the terms of our outstanding indebtedness and the ability of our subsidiaries to distribute funds to us. The containership and drybulk sector of the shipping industry is highly volatile, and we cannot predict with certainty the amount of cash, if any, that will be available for distribution as cash distributions in any period. Also, there may be a high degree of variability from period to period in the amount of cash that is available for the payment of cash distributions.

We may not have sufficient cash available to pay quarterly distributions or to maintain or increase distributions following the establishment of cash reserves and payment of fees and expenses. In February 2016, we announced that our board of directors decided to suspend the quarterly cash distributions to our unitholders, including the distribution for the quarter ended December 31, 2015, in order to conserve cash and improve our liquidity. In March 2018, our board of directors determined to reinstate a distribution and any continued distribution will be at the discretion of our board of directors. The amount of cash we can distribute on our common units depends principally upon the amount of cash we generate from our operations, which may fluctuate based on numerous factors including, those set forth elsewhere in this section.

The actual amount of cash we will have available for distribution also will depend on other factors, some of which are beyond our control, such as the level of capital expenditures we make (including those associated with maintaining vessels, building new vessels, acquiring existing vessels and complying with regulations), our debt service requirements and restrictions on distributions contained in our debt instruments, interest rate fluctuations, the cost of acquisitions, if any, fluctuations in our working capital needs, our ability to make working capital borrowings, and the amount of any cash reserves, including reserves for future maintenance and replacement capital expenditures, working capital and other matters, established by our board of directors in its discretion.

In addition, the amount of cash we generate from our operations may differ materially from our profit or loss for the period, which will be affected by non-cash items. As a result of this and the other factors mentioned above, we may make cash distributions during periods when we record losses and may not make cash distributions during periods when we record net income.

Any dividend payments on our common units would be declared in U.S. dollars, and any unit holder whose principal currency is not the U.S. dollar would be subject to risks of exchange rate fluctuations.

Our common units, and any cash dividends or other distributions to be declared in respect of them, if any, will be denominated in U.S. dollars. Unitholders whose principal currency is not the U.S. dollar will be exposed to foreign currency exchange rate risk. Any depreciation of the U.S. dollar in relation to such foreign currency will reduce the value of such unitholders' units and any appreciation of the U.S. dollar will increase the value in foreign currency terms. In addition, we will not offer our unitholders the option to elect to receive dividends, if any, in any other currency. Consequently, unitholders may be required to arrange their own foreign currency exchange, either through a brokerage house or otherwise, which could incur additional commissions or expenses.

The New York Stock Exchange may delist our securities from trading on its exchange, which could limit your ability to trade our securities and subject us to additional trading restrictions.

Our securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”), a national securities exchange. The NYSE minimum listing standards, require that we meet certain requirements relating to stockholders' equity, number of round-lot holders, market capitalization, aggregate market value of publicly held shares and distribution requirements. For example, on March 13, 2019, we were notified by the NYSE that we were no longer in compliance with the NYSE's continued listing standards because the average closing price of our common stock over a consecutive 30 trading-day period was less than $1.00 per common unit. Although we regained compliance on May 21, 2019, following a reverse split of our common units, we cannot assure you that we will continue to satisfy the NYSE minimum listing standards and our securities will continue to be listed on the NYSE in the future.

If NYSE delists our securities from trading on its exchange, we could face significant material adverse consequences, including limited availability of market quotations for our securities, limited amount of news and analyst coverage for us, decreased ability for us to issue additional securities or obtain additional financing in the future, limited liquidity for our unitholders and the loss of our tax exemption under Section 883 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), loss of preferential capital gain tax rates for certain dividends received by certain non-corporate U.S. holders, and loss of “mark-to-market” election by U.S. holders in the event we are treated as a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”).

The price of our common units may be volatile.

The price of our common units may be volatile and may fluctuate due to various factors including:

actual or anticipated fluctuations in quarterly and annual results;
fluctuations in the seaborne transportation industry, including fluctuations in the containership market;
our making of distributions;
mergers and strategic alliances in the shipping industry;
changes in governmental regulations or maritime self-regulatory organization standards;
shortfalls in our operating results from levels forecasted by securities analysts;
announcements concerning us or our competitors;
general economic conditions, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic;
terrorist acts;
future sales of our common units or other securities;
investors' perceptions of us and the international container shipping industry;
the general state of the securities markets; and
other developments affecting us, our industry or our competitors.

The containership and drybulk sector of the shipping industry has been highly unpredictable and volatile. Securities markets worldwide are experiencing significant price and volume fluctuations. The market price for our securities may also be volatile. This market volatility, as well as general economic, market or political conditions, could reduce the market price of our securities in spite of our operating performance. Consequently, you may not be able to sell our securities at prices equal to or greater than those at which you pay or paid.

Increases in interest rates may cause the market price of our common units to decline.

An increase in interest rates may cause a corresponding decline in demand for equity investments in general and in particular for yield-based equity investments such as our common units. Any such increase in interest rates or reduction in demand for our common units resulting from other relatively more attractive investment opportunities may cause the trading price of our common units to decline. In addition, our interest expense will increase, since initially our debt will bear interest at a floating rate, subject to any interest rate swaps we may enter into the future.

Substantial future sales of our common units in the public market, including through our continuous offering sales program, could cause the price of our common units to fall, and would dilute your ownership interests.

In order to raise additional capital, we may in the future offer additional common units or other securities convertible into or exchangeable for our common units, including convertible debt. For instance, in 2016 we entered into a Continuous Offering Program Sales Agreement for the offer and sale of up to $25.0 million in aggregate amount of our common units from time to time through the sales agent. Whether we choose to effect future sales under the continuous offering program or through secondary offerings, will depend upon a variety of factors, including, among others, market conditions and the trading price of our common units relative to other sources of capital.

We cannot predict the size of future issuances or sales of our common units, including those made pursuant to the continuous offering program sales agreement or in connection with future acquisitions or capital activities, or the effect, if any, that such issuances or sales may have on the market price of our common units. The issuance and sale of substantial amounts of common units, including issuance and sales pursuant to the continuous offering program sales agreement, or announcement that such issuance and sales may occur, could adversely affect the market price of our common units, and decrease unitholders' proportionate ownership interest in us.

Unitholders may be liable for repayment of distributions.

Under some circumstances, unitholders may have to repay amounts wrongfully returned or distributed to them. Under the Marshall Islands Act, we may not make a distribution to unitholders if the distribution would cause our liabilities to exceed the fair value of our assets. Marshall Islands law provides that for a period of three years from the date of the impermissible distribution, limited partners who received the distribution and who knew at the time of the distribution that it violated Marshall Islands law will be liable to the limited partnership for the distribution amount. Assignees who become substituted limited partners are liable for the obligations of the assignor to make contributions to the partnership that are known to the assignee at the time it became a limited partner and for unknown obligations if the liabilities could be determined from the partnership agreement. Liabilities to partners on account of their partnership interest and liabilities that are non-recourse to the partnership are not counted for purposes of determining whether a distribution is permitted.

Common unitholders have limited voting rights and our partnership agreement restricts the voting rights of common unitholders owning more than 4.9% of our common units.

Holders of our common units have only limited voting rights on matters affecting our business. We hold a meeting of the limited partners every year to elect one or more members of our board of directors and to vote on any other matters that are properly brought before the meeting. Common unitholders may only elect four of the seven members of our board of directors. The elected directors are elected on a staggered basis and serve for three year terms. Our general partner in its sole discretion has the right to appoint the remaining three directors and to set the terms for which those directors will serve. The partnership agreement also contains provisions limiting the ability of unitholders to call meetings or to acquire information about our operations, as well as other provisions limiting the unitholders' ability to influence the manner or direction of management. Unitholders will have no right to elect our general partner and our general partner may not be removed except by a vote of the holders of at least 66 2/3% of the outstanding units, including any units owned by our general partner and its affiliates, voting together as a single class.

Our partnership agreement further restricts common unitholders' voting rights by providing that if any person or group owns beneficially more than 4.9% of the common units then outstanding, any such common units owned by that person or group in excess of 4.9% may not be voted on any matter and will not be considered to be outstanding when sending notices of a meeting of unitholders, calculating required votes, except for purposes of nominating a person for election to our board, determining the presence of a quorum or for other similar purposes, unless required by law. The voting rights of any such common unitholders in excess of 4.9% will effectively be redistributed pro rata among the other common unitholders holding less than 4.9% of the voting power of all classes of units entitled to vote. Our general partner, its affiliates and persons who acquired common units with the prior approval of our board of directors will not be subject to this 4.9% limitation except with respect to voting their common units in the election of the elected independent directors.

Risks Relating to Our Organizational Structure, Taxes and Other Legal Matters

In addition to the following risk factors, you should read the sections entitled “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” and “Non-United States Tax Considerations” for a more complete discussion of the expected material U.S. federal and non-U.S. income tax considerations relating to us and the ownership and disposition of common units.

Navios Holdings and Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation (“Navios Acquisition”) and their affiliates may compete with us.

Navios Partners has entered into an omnibus agreement with Navios Holdings (the “Omnibus Agreement”) in connection with the closing of Navios Partners’ initial public offering “IPO” governing, among other things, Navios Holdings and its controlled affiliates (other than us, our general partner and our subsidiaries) generally agreed not to acquire or own Panamax or Capesize drybulk carriers under time charters of three or more years without the consent of an independent committee of Navios Holdings. The Omnibus Agreement, however, contains significant exceptions that allow Navios Holdings or any of its controlled affiliates to compete with us under specified circumstances which could harm our business. In addition, concurrently with the successful consummation of the initial business combination by Navios Acquisition, on May 28, 2010, because of the overlap between Navios Acquisition, Navios Holdings and us, with respect to possible acquisitions under the terms of the Omnibus Agreement, we entered into a business opportunity right of first refusal agreement which provides the types of business opportunities in the marine transportation and logistics industries, we, Navios Holdings and Navios Acquisition must share with the each other.

In connection with Navios Maritime Midstream Partners L.P. (“Navios Midstream”) initial public offering and effective November 18, 2014, Navios Partners entered into the Omnibus Agreement with Navios Midstream, Navios Acquisition and Navios Holdings (the “Navios Midstream Omnibus Agreement”) pursuant to which Navios Acquisition, Navios Holdings and Navios Partners have agreed not to acquire or own any very large crude carriers (“VLCCs”), crude oil tankers, refined petroleum product tankers, liquefied petroleum gas (“LPG”) tankers or chemical tankers under time charters of five or more years and also providing rights of first offer on certain tanker vessels.

In connection with the Navios Containers private placement and listing on the Norwegian over-the-counter market effective June 8, 2017, Navios Partners entered into an omnibus agreement with Navios Containers, Navios Holdings, Navios Acquisition and Navios Midstream (the “Navios Containers Omnibus Agreement”), pursuant to which Navios Partners, Navios Holdings, Navios Acquisition and Navios Midstream have granted to Navios Containers a right of first refusal over any container vessels to be sold or acquired in the future. The omnibus agreement contains significant exceptions that will allow Navios Partners, Navios Holdings, Navios Acquisition and Navios Midstream to compete with Navios Containers under specified circumstances.

We are a holding company and we depend on the ability of our subsidiaries to distribute funds to us in order to satisfy our financial obligations and to make distributions.

We are a holding company and our subsidiaries conduct all of our operations and own all of our operating assets, including our ships. We have no significant assets other than the equity interests in our subsidiaries. As a result, our ability to pay our obligations and to make distributions depends entirely 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, or by the law of their respective jurisdiction of incorporation which regulates the payment of distributions. If we are unable to obtain funds from our subsidiaries, our Board of Directors may not exercise its discretion not to declare or make distributions.

We depend on the Manager to assist us in operating and expanding our business.

Pursuant to the Management Agreement between Navios Partners and the Manager, the Manager provides to us significant commercial and technical management services (including the commercial and technical management of our vessels, vessel maintenance and crewing, purchasing and insurance and shipyard supervision). In addition, pursuant to the Administrative Services Agreement between us and the Manager, the Manager provides to Navios Partners significant administrative, financial and other support services. Our operational success and ability to execute our growth strategy will depend significantly upon the Manager's satisfactory performance of these services. Our business will be harmed if the Manager fails to perform these services satisfactorily, if the Manager cancels either of these agreements, or if the Manager stops providing these services to us.

Our ability to enter into new charters and expand our customer relationships will depend largely on the Manager and its reputation and relationships in the shipping industry. If the Manager suffers material damage to its 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; or

•       maintain satisfactory relationships with suppliers and other third parties.

If our ability to do any of the things described above is impaired, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition and our ability to make cash distributions and repurchases of common units.

The loss of key members of our senior management team could disrupt the management of our business.

We believe that our success depends on the continued contributions of the members of our senior management team, including our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The loss of the services of our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer or one of our other executive officers or senior management members could impair our ability to identify and secure new charter contracts, to maintain good customer relations and to otherwise manage our business, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance and our ability to compete.

The Manager may be unable to attract and retain qualified, skilled employees or crew necessary to operate our vessels and business or may have to pay increased costs for its employees and crew and other vessel operating costs.

Our success will depend in part on the Manager's ability to attract, hire, train and retain highly skilled and qualified personnel. In crewing our vessels, we require technically skilled employees with specialized training who can perform physically demanding work. Competition to attract, hire, train and retain qualified crew members is intense, and crew manning costs continue to increase. If we are not able to increase our hire rates to compensate for any crew cost increases, our business, financial condition, results of operations and ability to make cash distributions to our unitholders may be adversely affected. Any inability we experience in the future to attract, hire, train and retain a sufficient number of qualified employees could impair our ability to manage, maintain and grow our business.

We may be subject to taxes, which may reduce our cash available for distribution to our unitholders.

We and our subsidiaries may be subject to tax in the jurisdictions in which we are organized or operate, reducing the amount of cash available for distribution. In computing our tax obligation in these jurisdictions, we are required to take various tax accounting and reporting positions on matters that are not entirely free from doubt and for which we have not received rulings from the governing authorities. We cannot assure you that upon review of these positions the applicable authorities will agree with our positions. A successful challenge by a tax authority could result in additional tax imposed on us or our subsidiaries, further reducing the cash available for distribution. In addition, changes in our operations or ownership could result in additional tax being imposed on us or our subsidiaries in jurisdictions in which operations are conducted.

In accordance with the currently applicable Greek law, foreign flagged vessels that are managed by Greek or foreign ship management companies having established an office in Greece are subject to duties towards the Greek state which are calculated on the basis of the relevant vessels' tonnage. The payment of said duties exhausts the tax liability of the foreign ship owning company and the relevant manager against any tax, duty, charge or contribution payable on income from the exploitation of the foreign flagged vessel. In case that tonnage tax and/or similar taxes/duties are paid to the vessel's flag state, these are deducted from the amount of the duty to be paid in Greece.

U.S. tax authorities could treat us as a “passive foreign investment company,” which could have adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. unitholders.

A non-U.S. entity treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes will be treated as a “passive foreign investment company” (“PFIC”), for U.S. federal income tax purposes if either (1) at least 75.0% of its gross income for any taxable year consists of certain types of “passive income”, or (2) at least 50.0% of the average value of the entity's assets produce or are held for the production of those types of “passive income”. Based on our current and projected methods of operations, and an opinion of counsel, we believe that we were not a PFIC for any taxable year, and we do not believe that we will be a PFIC for 2020 and subsequent taxable years. For purposes of these tests, “passive income” generally 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”. U.S. unitholders of a PFIC are subject to a disadvantageous U.S. 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 units in the PFIC, as well as additional U.S. federal income tax filing obligations.

Based on our current and projected method of operation, and on opinion of counsel, we believe that we were not a PFIC for our 2020 taxable year, and we expect that we will not become a PFIC with respect to any other taxable year. Our U.S. counsel, Thompson Hine LLP, is of the opinion that (1) the income we receive from time chartering activities and the assets we own that are engaged in generating such income should not be treated as passive income or assets, respectively, and (2) so long as our income from time charters exceeds 25.0% of our gross income from all sources for each taxable year after our initial taxable year and the fair market value of our vessels contracted under time charters exceeds 50.0% of the average fair market value of all of our assets for each taxable year after our initial taxable year, we should not be a PFIC for any taxable year. This opinion is based on representations and projections provided by us to our counsel regarding our assets, income and charters, and its validity is conditioned on the accuracy of such representations and projections. We expect that all of the vessels in our fleet will be engaged in time chartering activities and intend to treat our income from those activities as non-passive income, and the vessels engaged in those activities as non-passive assets, for PFIC purposes. However, we cannot assure you that the method of our operations, or the nature or composition of our income or assets, will not change in the future and that we will not become a PFIC. Moreover, although there is legal authority for our position, there is also contrary authority and no assurance can be given that the Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, will accept our position.

We may have to pay tax on U.S.-source income, which would reduce our earnings.

Under the Code, 50.0% of the gross transportation income of a vessel-owning or chartering corporation that is attributable to transportation that either begins or ends, but that does not both begin and end, in the United States is characterized as U.S. Source International Transportation Income. U.S. Source International Transportation Income generally is subject to a 4.0% U.S. federal income tax without allowance for deduction or, if such U.S. Source International Transportation Income is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States, U.S. federal corporate income tax (presently imposed at a 21.0% rate) as well as a branch profits tax (presently imposed at a 30.0% rate on effectively connected earnings) applies, unless the non-U.S. corporation qualifies for exemption from tax under Section 883 of the Code.

Based on an opinion of counsel, and certain assumptions and representations, we believe that we have qualified for this statutory tax exemption, and we will take this position for U.S. federal income tax return reporting purposes for our 2020 taxable year. However, there are factual circumstances, including some that may be beyond our control that could cause us to lose the benefit of this tax exemption, including the delisting of our securities from quotation on the NYSE and thereby make us subject to U.S. federal income tax on our U.S. Source International Transportation Income. See “Risks Relating to Our Units-The New York Stock Exchange may delist our securities from trading on its exchange, which could limit your ability to trade our securities and subject us to additional trading restrictions”. Furthermore, our board of directors could determine that it is in our best interests to take an action that would result in this tax exemption not applying to us in the future. In addition, our conclusion that we qualify for this exemption, as well as the conclusions in this regard of our counsel, Thompson Hine LLP, is based upon legal authorities that do not expressly contemplate an organizational structure such as ours; specifically, although we have elected to be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we are organized as a limited partnership under Marshall Islands law. Therefore, we can give no assurances that the IRS will not take a different position regarding our qualification for this tax exemption.

If we were not entitled to the Section 883 exemption for any taxable year, we generally would be subject to a 4.0% U.S. federal gross income tax with respect to our U.S. Source International Transportation Income or, if such U.S. Source International Transportation Income were effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States, U.S. federal corporate income tax as well as a branch profits tax for those years. Our failure to qualify for the Section 883 exemption could have a negative effect on our business and would result in decreased earnings available for distribution to our unitholders.

Actions taken by holders of our common units could result in our being treated as a “controlled foreign corporation,” which could have adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to certain U.S. holders.

Although we believe that Navios Partners was not a controlled foreign corporation (a “CFC”) as of December 31, 2020, or at any time during 2020, tax rules enacted by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including the imposition of so-called “downward attribution” for purposes of determining whether a non-U.S. corporation is a CFC, may result in Navios Partners being treated as a CFC for U.S. federal income tax purposes in the future. Through downward attribution, U.S. subsidiaries of Navios Holdings are treated as constructive owners of the equity interests of Navios Partners for purposes of determining whether Navios Partners is a CFC. If, in the future, U.S. holders (including U.S. subsidiaries of Navios Holdings, as discussed above) that each own 10.0% or more (by vote or value) of the equity of Navios Partners own in the aggregate more than 50% of the equity of Navios Partners (by vote or value), in each case, directly, indirectly or constructively, Navios Partners would become a CFC.

U.S. holders who at all times own less than 10% of our equity should not be affected. However, if we were to become a CFC, any U.S. holder owning 10% or more (by vote or value), directly, indirectly, or constructively (but not through downward attribution), of our equity could be subject to U.S. federal income tax in respect of a portion of our earnings. Any U.S. holder of Navios Partners that owns 10% or more (by vote or value), directly, indirectly or constructively, of the equity of Navios Partners should consult its own tax advisor regarding U.S. federal tax consequences that may result from Navios Partners being treated as a CFC (see “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations – U.S. Federal Income Taxation U,S, Holders - Controlled Foreign Corporation).

You may be subject to income tax in one or more non-U.S. countries, including Greece, as a result of owning our common units if, under the laws of any such country, we are considered to be carrying on business there. Such laws may require you to file a tax return with and pay taxes to those countries.

We intend that our affairs and the business of each of our controlled affiliates will be conducted and operated in a manner that minimizes income taxes imposed upon us and these controlled affiliates or which may be imposed upon you as a result of owning our common units. However, because we are organized as a partnership, there is a risk in some jurisdictions that our activities and the activities of our subsidiaries may be attributed to our unitholders for tax purposes and, thus, that you will be subject to tax in one or more non-U.S. countries, including Greece, as a result of owning our common units if, under the laws of any such country, we are considered to be carrying on business there. If you are subject to tax in any such country, you may be required to file a tax return with and to pay tax in that country based on your allocable share of our income. We may be required to reduce distributions to you on account of any withholding obligations imposed upon us by that country in respect of such allocation to you. The United States may not allow a tax credit for any foreign income taxes that you directly or indirectly incur.

We believe we can conduct our activities in such a manner that our unitholders should not be considered to be carrying on business in one or more non-U.S. countries including Greece solely as a consequence of the acquisition, holding, disposition or redemption of our common units. However, the question of whether either we or any of our controlled affiliates will be treated as carrying on business in any particular country will be largely a question of fact to be determined based upon an analysis of contractual arrangements, including the Management Agreement and the Administrative Services Agreement we entered into with the Manager, and the way we conduct business or operations, all of which may change over time. Furthermore, the laws of Greece or any other country may change in a manner that causes that country's taxing authorities to determine that we are carrying on business in such country and are subject to its taxation laws. Any foreign taxes imposed on us or any subsidiaries will reduce our cash available for distribution.

We have been organized as a limited partnership under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which does not have a well-developed body of partnership law; as a result, unitholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests than would unitholders of a similarly organized limited partnership in the United States.

Our partnership affairs are governed by our partnership agreement and by the Marshall Islands Act. The provisions of the Marshall Islands Act resemble provisions of the limited partnership laws of a number of states in the United States, most notably Delaware. The Marshall Islands Act also provides that it is to be applied and construed to make it uniform with Delaware law and, so long as it does not conflict with the Marshall Islands Act or decisions of the Marshall Islands courts, interpreted according to the non-statutory law (or case law) of the State of Delaware. There have been, however, few, if any, court cases in the Marshall Islands interpreting the Marshall Islands Act, in contrast to Delaware, which has a fairly well-developed body of case law interpreting its limited partnership statute. Accordingly, we cannot predict whether Marshall Islands courts would reach the same conclusions as the courts in Delaware. For example, the rights of our unitholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our general partner under Marshall Islands law are not as clearly established as under judicial precedent in existence in Delaware. As a result, unitholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions by our officers or directors than would unitholders of a similarly organized limited partnership in the United States.

Because we are organized under the laws of the Marshall Islands and our business is operated primarily from our office in Monaco, it may be difficult to serve us with legal process or enforce judgments against us, our directors or our management.

We are organized under the laws of the Marshall Islands, and all of our assets are located outside of the United States. Our business is operated primarily from our office in Monaco. In addition, our general partner is a Marshall Islands limited liability company, and our directors and officers generally are or will be non-residents of the United States, and all or 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 securities laws or otherwise. Even if you are successful in bringing an action of this kind, the laws of the Marshall Islands, the Monaco and other jurisdictions may prevent or restrict you from enforcing a judgment against our assets or the assets of our general partner or our directors or officers.

We rely on the master limited partnership structure and its appeal to investors for accessing debt and equity markets to finance our growth and repay or refinance our debt. The depressed trading price of our common units may affect our ability to access capital markets and, as a result, our ability to pay distributions or repay our debt.

We rely on the master limited partnership structure and its appeal to investors for accessing debt and equity markets to finance our growth and repay or refinance our debt.

We rely on our ability to raise capital in the equity and debt markets to grow our fleet and to refinance our debt. A protracted deterioration in the valuation of our common units would increase our cost of capital, make any equity issuance significantly dilutive and may affect our ability to access capital markets and, as a result, our capacity to pay distributions to our unitholders and refinance or repay our debt.

Our partnership agreement limits our general partner's and our directors' fiduciary duties to our unitholders and restricts the remedies available to unitholders for actions taken by our general partner or our directors.

Our partnership agreement contains provisions that reduce the standards to which our general partner and directors would otherwise be held by Marshall Islands law. For example, our partnership agreement:

permits our general partner to make a number of decisions in its individual capacity, as opposed to in its capacity as our general partner. Where our partnership agreement permits, our general partner may consider only the interests and factors that it desires, and in such cases it has no fiduciary duty or obligation to give any consideration to any interest of, or factors affecting us, our affiliates or our unitholders. Decisions made by our general partner in its individual capacity will be made by Olympos Maritime Ltd. Specifically, pursuant to our partnership agreement, our general partner will be considered to be acting in its individual capacity if it exercises its call right, pre-emptive rights or registration rights, consents or withholds consent to any merger or consolidation of the partnership;
appoints any directors or votes for the election of any director, votes or refrains from voting on amendments to our partnership agreement that require a vote of the outstanding units, voluntarily withdraws from the partnership, transfers (to the extent permitted under our partnership agreement) or refrains from transferring its units or, general partner interest or votes upon the dissolution of the partnership;
provides that our general partner and our directors are entitled to make other decisions in “good faith” if they reasonably believe that the decision is in our best interests;
generally provides that affiliated transactions and resolutions of conflicts of interest not approved by the Conflicts Committee of our board of directors and not involving a vote of unitholders must be on terms no less favorable to us than those generally being provided to or available from unrelated third parties or be “fair and reasonable” to us and that, in determining whether a transaction or resolution is “fair and reasonable,” our board of directors may consider the totality of the relationships between the parties involved, including other transactions that may be particularly advantageous or beneficial to us; and
provides that neither our general partner nor our officers or our directors will be liable for monetary damages to us, our limited partners or assignees for any acts or omissions unless there has been a final and non-appealable judgment entered by a court of competent jurisdiction determining that our general partner or directors or our officers or directors or those other persons engaged in actual fraud or willful misconduct.

In order to become a limited partner of our partnership, a common unitholder is required to agree to be bound by the provisions in the partnership agreement, including the provisions discussed above.

Our general partner has a limited call right that may require unitholders to sell their common units at an undesirable time or price.

If at any time our general partner and its affiliates, including Navios Holdings, own more than 80% of the common units, our general partner will have the right, which it may assign to any of its affiliates or to us, but not the obligation, to acquire all, but not less than all, of the common units held by unaffiliated persons at a price not less than their then-current market price. As a result, unitholders may be required to sell their common units at an undesirable time or price and may not receive any return on their investment. Unitholders may also incur a tax liability upon a sale of their units.

As of March 24, 2021, Navios Holdings directly owned 2,070,216 common units, which represented a 18.2% common interest in us based on all outstanding common units. As of March 24, 2021, our general partner owned 237,822 general partner units, which represented a 2.1% interest in us based on all outstanding common units and general partner units.

Our general partner may transfer its general partner interest to, and the control of our general partner may be transferred to a third party without unitholder consent.

Our general partner may transfer its general partner interest to a third party without the consent of the unitholders. In addition, our partnership agreement does not restrict the ability of the members of our general partner from transferring their respective membership interests in our general partner to a third party. A different general partner may make decisions or operate our business in a manner that is different, and significantly less skilled and beneficial to us, and that could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition, as well as our cash flows, including cash available for distributions to our unitholders.

Our partnership agreement contains provisions that may have the effect of discouraging a person or group from attempting to remove our current management or our general partner, and even if our public unitholders are dissatisfied, they will need a qualified majority to remove our general partner

Our partnership agreement contains provisions that may have the effect of discouraging a person or group from attempting to remove our current management or our general partner.

The vote of the holders of at least 66 2/3 % of all the then outstanding common units, voting together as a single class is required to remove the general partner. Navios Holdings currently owns approximately 18.2% of the total number of outstanding common units.
Common unitholders elect only four of the seven members of our board of directors. Our general partner in its sole discretion has the right to appoint the remaining three directors.
Election of the four directors elected by unitholders is staggered, meaning that the members of only one of three classes of our elected directors are selected each year. In addition, the directors appointed by our general partner will serve for terms determined by our general partner.
A director appointed by our general partner may be removed from our board of directors at any time without cause only by our general partner and with cause by either our general partner, the vote of holders of a majority of all classes of equity interests in us voting as a single class or the majority vote of the other members of our board. A director elected by our common unitholders may be removed from our board of directors at any time with cause by the vote of holders of a majority of our outstanding common units or the majority vote of the other members of our board. “Cause” is narrowly defined to mean that a court of competent jurisdiction has entered a final, non-appealable judgment finding our general partner or director liable for actual fraud or willful or wanton misconduct in its capacity as our general partner or as a member of the board of directors, as the case may be. Cause does not include most cases of charges of poor business decisions such as charges of poor management of our business by the directors appointed by our general partner or as a member of the Board of Directors, as the case may be.
Our partnership agreement contains provisions limiting the ability of unitholders to call meetings of unitholders, to nominate directors and to acquire information about our operations as well as other provisions limiting the unitholders' ability to influence the manner or direction of management.
Unitholders' voting rights are further restricted by the partnership agreement provision providing that if any person or group owns beneficially more than 4.9% of the common units then outstanding, any such common units owned by that person or group in excess of 4.9% may not be voted on any matter and will not be considered to be outstanding when sending notices of a meeting of unitholders, calculating required votes, except for purposes of nominating a person for election to our board, determining the presence of a quorum or for other similar purposes, unless required by law. The voting rights of any such common unitholders in excess of 4.9% will be redistributed pro rata among the other common unitholders holding less than 4.9% of the voting power of all classes of units entitled to vote. Our general partner, its affiliates and persons who acquired common units with the prior approval of our board of directors will not be subject to this 4.9% limitation except with respect to voting their common units in the election of the elected directors.
We have substantial latitude in issuing equity securities without unitholder approval.

Unitholders may not have limited liability if a court finds that unitholder action constitutes control of our business.

As a limited partner in a partnership organized under the laws of the Marshall Islands, unitholders could be held liable for our obligations to the same extent as a general partner if they participate in the “control” of our business. Our general partner generally has unlimited liability for the obligations of the partnership, such as its debts and environmental liabilities, except for those contractual obligations of the partnership that are expressly made without recourse to our general partner.

We can borrow money to pay distributions, which would reduce the amount of credit available to operate our business.

Our partnership agreement will allow us to make borrowings to make distributions. Accordingly, we can make distributions on all our units even though cash generated by our operations may not be sufficient to pay such distributions. Any borrowings by us to make distributions will reduce the amount of borrowings we can make for operating our business.

Our management will have broad discretion with respect to the use of the proceeds resulting from the issuance of common units whether under a continuous offering program or a secondary offering.

Our management will have broad discretion in the application of the net proceeds from continuous offering programs or secondary offerings, and could spend such proceeds in ways that do not improve our results of operations or enhance the value of our common units. The failure by our management to apply these funds effectively could result in financial losses and cause the price of our common units to decline. Pending their use, we may invest the net proceeds from continuous offering programs or secondary offerings in a manner that does not produce income or that loses value.

Our general partner and its affiliates, including Navios Holdings, own a significant interest in us and may have conflicts of interest and limited fiduciary and contractual duties, which may permit them to favor their own interests to the detriment of unitholders.

Navios Holdings is our main unitholder owning an approximate 18.2% limited partner interest in us. In August 2019, Navios Holdings announced that it sold certain assets, including its ship management division and the general partnership interests in the Company to N Shipmanagement Acquisition Corp. and related entities, affiliated with the Company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Our general partner owns 2.1% interest in us based on all outstanding common untis and general partner units. This concentration of ownership may delay, deter or prevent acts that would be favored by our other unitholders or deprive unitholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their common units as part of a sale of our business, and it is possible that the interests of the controlling unitholders may in some cases conflict with our unitholders. The interests of our general partner and its affiliates, including Navios Holdings, may be different from your interests. As a result of these conflicts, our general partner and its affiliates may favor their own interests over the interests of our unitholders. These conflicts include, among others, the following situations:

neither our partnership agreement nor any other agreement requires our general partner to pursue, in the operation of their businesses, a business strategy that favors us;
our general partner and our directors have limited liabilities and reduced their fiduciary duties under the laws of the Marshall Islands, while the remedies available to our unitholders are also restricted, and, as a result of purchasing common units, unitholders are treated as having agreed to the modified standard of fiduciary duties and to certain actions that may be taken by our general partner and our directors, all as set forth in the partnership agreement;
either or both of our general partner and our board of directors are involved in determining the amount and timing of our asset purchases and sales, capital expenditures, borrowings, issuances of additional partnership securities and reserves, each of which can affect the amount of cash that is available for distribution to our unitholders;
our general partner is authorized to cause us to borrow funds in order to permit the payment of cash distributions;
our general partner is entitled to reimbursement of all reasonable costs incurred by it and its affiliates for our benefit;
our partnership agreement does not restrict us from paying our general partner or its affiliates for any services rendered to us on terms that are fair and reasonable or entering into additional contractual arrangements with any of these entities on our behalf; and
our general partner may exercise its right to call and purchase our common units if it and its affiliates own more than 80% of our common units.

Although a majority of our directors will be elected by common unitholders, our general partner will likely have substantial influence on decisions made by our board of directors.

Our officers face conflicts of interest and conflicts in the allocation of their time to our business.

Certain of our executive officers and/or directors also serve as executive officers and/or directors of Navios Holdings and Navios Acquisition. Our Chief Executive Officer is also the Chief Executive Officer of Navios Acquisition and Navios Holdings. Navios Holdings and Navios Acquisition conduct substantial businesses and activities of their own. If these separate activities are significantly greater than our activities, there will be material competition for the time and effort of our officers, who also provide services to Navios Acquisition, Navios Holdings and their respective affiliates. Our officers are not required to work full-time on our affairs and, in the future, we may have additional officers that also provide services to Navios Holdings, Navios Acquisition, and their affiliates. As such these individuals have fiduciary duties to Navios Holdings and Navios Acquisition which may cause them to pursue business strategies that disproportionately benefit Navios Holdings and Navios Acquisition or which otherwise are not in our best interests or those of our unitholders. Conflicts of interest may arise between Navios Holdings and Navios Acquisition, on the one hand, and us and our unitholders on the other hand. Based solely on the anticipated relative sizes of our fleet and the fleet owned by the Navios Holdings and Navios Acquisition, over the next twelve months, we estimate that certain our officers may spend a substantial portion of their monthly business time dedicated to the business activities of the Navios Holdings, Navios Acquisition and their affiliates. However, the actual allocation of time could vary significantly from time to time depending on various circumstances and needs of the businesses, such as the relative levels of strategic activities of the businesses.

Fees and cost reimbursements, which the Manager determines for services provided to us, represent significant percentage of our revenues, are payable regardless of profitability and reduce our cash available for distributions.

A large portion of the management, staffing and administrative services that we require to operate our business are provided to us by the Manager. We pay the Manager, a commercial and technical management fee under the management agreement, as well as an administrative services fee under the Administrative Services Agreement.

Pursuant to the Management Agreement, dated November 16, 2007, as amended or supplemented from time to time, the Manager provides commercial and technical management services to our vessels. The term of the Management Agreement as amended in August 2019 and December 2019, expires on January 1, 2025. During the remaining years of the term of the management agreement, we will reimburse the Manager for all of the actual operating costs and expenses it incurs in connection with the management of our fleet.

In addition, the Manager will provide us with administrative services, pursuant to the Administrative Services Agreement dated November 16, 2007, as amended or supplemented from time to time, expiring on January 1, 2025, and we will reimburse the Manager for all costs and expenses reasonably incurred by it in connection with the provision of those services. The exact amount of these future costs and expenses are unquantifiable at this time and they are payable regardless of our profitability.

If we desire to terminate either of these agreements before its scheduled expiration, we must pay a termination fee to the Manager as per management agreement. As a result, our ability to make short-term adjustments to manage our costs by terminating one or both these agreements may be limited which could cause our results of operations and ability to pay cash distributions and repurchases of common units to be materially and adversely affected. 

For detailed information on the amount of management fees owed under the Management Agreement, please see the section entitled, “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects - A. Operating results – Vessel operating expenses (management fees)”.

Item 4. Information on the Partnership

A. History and Development of the Partnership

Navios Partners is an international owner and operator of dry cargo vessels, formed on August 7, 2007 under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands as a limited partnership, under the Marshall Islands Limited Partnership Act. Olympos Maritime Ltd. is Navios Partners' general partner (the “General Partner”) and currently owns an approximately 2.1% interest in Navios Partners based on all outstanding units and general partner units.

Navios Partners is engaged in the seaborne transportation services of a wide range of dry cargo commodities including iron ore, coal, grain and fertilizer and also containers, chartering its vessels generally under medium to long-term charters. The operations of Navios Partners are managed by the Manager from its offices in Piraeus, Greece, Singapore and Monaco.

The principal executive offices of Navios Partners are located at c/o Navios Maritime Partners L.P., 7 Avenue de Grande Bretagne, Office 11B2, Monte Carlo, MC 98000 Monaco, and its telephone number is (011) + (377) 9798-2140.

Pursuant to the IPO on November 16, 2007, Navios Partners entered into the following agreements:

(a)  the Management Agreement with the Manager (the “Management Agreement”) pursuant to which the Manager provides Navios Partners commercial and technical management services;

(b)  the Administrative Services Agreement with the Manager pursuant to which the Manager provides Navios Partners administrative services; and

(c)  the Omnibus Agreement with Navios Holdings, governing, among other things, when Navios Partners and Navios Holdings may compete against each other as well as rights of first offer on certain drybulk carriers.

The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. The address of the Company’s internet site is https://www.navios-mlp.com. Information contained on this website does not constitute part of this report.

Navios Containers Merger

On January 4, 2021, Navios Containers and the Company announced that they entered into a definitive merger agreement under which the Company will acquire all of the publicly held common units of Navios Containers in exchange for common units of the Company (the “Transaction”). Under the terms of the Transaction, public unitholders of Navios Containers will receive 0.39 of a common unit of the Company for each outstanding common unit of Navios Containers. The Transaction was approved by the necessary common unit holders of Navios Containers at a special meeting held on March 24, 2021. The general partner of Navios Containers consented to the merger, and the Company voted the Navios Containers’ common units it holds in favor of the Transaction. The Transaction is expected to close on or about March 31, 2021. The expenses of this transaction are included in the General and Administrative expenses, in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.

 

Financing Arrangements

On March 23, 2021, Navios Partners entered into a new credit facility with a commercial bank for a total amount of $58.0 million in order to refinance the CACIB $33.0m Credit Facility and to finance the acquisition of two dry bulk vessels. The credit facility matures in March 2026 and bears interest at LIBOR plus 3% per annum. On March 30, 2021, the entire amount was drawn under this loan, net of the loan’s discount of $0.4 million.

 

Navios Partners is in advance discussions with a commercial bank for a new credit facility of up to $115.0 million for the refinancing of its’ existing facility maturing in August 2021. The new facility is expected to mature in the second quarter of 2025 and bears interest at LIBOR plus 3% per annum. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, however it cannot be certain that a definitive agreement will be executed or that the refinancing will be consummated in whole or in part.

On September 30, 2020, the Company entered into a second supplemental agreement with ABN Amro Bank N.V., to extend the terms of the then outstanding balance of the ABN Amro Bank N.V. credit facility (the “ABN $23.5m Credit Facility”). The Company had initially entered into a credit facility with ABN Amro Bank N.V., on December 12, 2019, of up to $23.5 million, in order to finance the acquisition of the five containerships acquired from Navios Europe I, which had subsequently been refinanced from Hellenic Bank Public Company Limited in June 2020. The facility was due to matured in the second quarter of 2021 and bore interest at LIBOR plus 400 bps per annum up to February 28, 2021 and 600 bps per annum up to maturity date. On January 13, 2021, Navios Partners fully repaid the outstanding balance of $3.4 million.

On September 28, 2020, the Company entered into a new credit facility with Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (“CACIB”), (the “CACIB $33.0m Credit Facility”) of up to $33.0 million in order to finance the acquisition of the two drybulk vessels acquired from Navios Holdings. The facility matures in the third quarter of 2025 and bears interest at LIBOR plus 325 bps per annum up to maturity date.

On June 26, 2020, the Company entered into a new credit facility with ABN Amro Bank N.V. (the “ABN $32.2m Credit Facility”) of up to $32.2 million in order to finance the acquisition of the five drybulk vessels acquired from Navios Europe II. The facility matures in the second quarter of 2021 and bears interest at LIBOR plus 400 bps per annum up to December 31, 2020 and 425 bps per annum up to maturity date.

On June 25, 2020, the Company entered into a new credit facility with Hellenic Bank Public Company Limited (the “Hellenic Credit Facility”) in order to partially refinance the ABN $23.5m Credit Facility, relating to four of the containerships acquired from Navios Europe I, of up to $17.0 million (divided into four tranches). The facility matures in the fourth quarter of 2023 and bears interest at LIBOR plus 350 bps per annum. On January 28, 2021, Navios Partners prepaid the outstanding balance of the fourth tranche in the amount of $3.7 million. On February 11, 2021, Navios Partners prepaid the outstanding balance of the third tranche in the amount of $3.8 million.

Distributions

In January 2021, the Board of Directors of Navios Partners authorized its quarterly cash distribution for the three month period ended December 31, 2020 of $0.05 per unit. The distribution was paid on February 12, 2021 to all unitholders of common units and general partner units of record as of February 9, 2021. The aggregate amount of the declared distribution was $0.6 million.

Equity Offerings and Issuances

On November 18, 2016, Navios Partners entered into a Continuous Offering Program Sales Agreement for the issuance and sale from time to time through its agent common units having an aggregate offering price of up to $25.0 million. An amended Sales Agreement was entered into on August 3, 2020. As of March 26, 2021, since the commencement of the amended Sales Agreement, Navios Partners has issued 578,971 units and received net proceeds of $7.8 million. Pursuant to the issuance of the common units, Navios Partners issued 11,816 general partnership units to its General Partner in order to maintain its 2.0% general partner interest. The net proceeds from the issuance of the general partnership units are expected to be approximately $0.2 million.

Acquisitions and Sales of Vessels

Acquisitions of Vessels

On March 25, 2021, Navios Partners agreed to bareboat charter-in one Japanese newbuilding capesize vessel from an unrelated third party. The vessel has approximately 180,000 dwt and is being bareboat chartered-in for 15 years. Navios Partners has the option to acquire the vessel starting at the end of year four until the end of the charter period. Assuming exercise of the option at the end of the 15-year period, the implied fixed interest rate is 5.0%. The vessel is expected to be delivered into Navios Partners’ fleet during the first half of 2023.

On March 23, 2021, Navios Partners agreed to acquire from Navios Holdings the Navios Avior, a 2012 built Panamax vessel of 81,355 dwt, and the Navios Centaurus, a 2012 built Panamax vessel of 81,472 dwt. On March 30, 2021, Navios Partners completed the acquisition of the two vessels from Navios Holdings for a purchase price of $39.3 million, including working capital adjustments.

On March 23, 2021, Navios Partners agreed to acquire from an unrelated third party a newbuilding Panamax vessel for a purchase price of $31.6 million. The vessel has approximately 81,000 dwt and is expected to be delivered into Navios Partners’ fleet during the second half of 2022.

On January 25, 2021, Navios Partners agreed to bareboat charter-in three Japanese newbuilding capesize vessels from an unrelated third party. Each vessel has approximately 180,000 dwt and is being bareboat chartered-in for 15 years. Navios Partners has the option to acquire the vessels starting at the end of year four until the end of the charter period. Assuming exercise of the option at the end of the 15-year period, the implied fixed interest rate is 4.4%. The vessels are expected to be delivered into Navios Partners’ fleet during the second half of 2022.

On September 30, 2020, Navios Partners acquired the Navios Gem, a 2014-built Capesize vessel of 181,336 dwt and the Navios Victory, a 2014-built Panamax vessel of 77,095 dwt, from its affiliate, Navios Holdings, for a purchase price of $51.0 million, including working capital balances of $(4.4) million.

On June 29, 2020, Navios Partners acquired five drybulk vessels, three Panamax and two Ultra-Handymax, for a fair value of $56.1 million in total, including working capital balances of $(2.7) million, following the liquidation of Navios Europe II.

Sales of Vessels

On March 25, 2021, Navios Partners completed the sale of the Joie N, a 2011-built Ultra-Handymax vessel of 56,557 dwt, to an unrelated third party, for a net sale price of $8.2 million.

On February 10, 2021, Navios Partners completed the sale of the Castor N, a 2007-built Containership of 3,091 TEU to an unrelated third party for a net sale price of $8.9 million.

On January 28, 2021, Navios Partners completed the sale of the Solar N, a 2006-built Containership of 3,398 TEU to an unrelated third party for a net sale price of $11.1 million.

On January 13, 2021, Navios Partners completed the sale of the Esperanza N, a 2008-built Containership of 2,007 TEU to an unrelated third party for a net sale price of $4.6 million.

On December 10, 2020, Navios Partners completed the sale of the Navios Soleil, a 2009-built Ultra–Handymax vessel of 57,337 dwt, to an unrelated third party for a net sale price of $8.2 million.

 

 

B. Business Overview

Introduction

We are an international owner and operator of dry cargo vessels formed by Navios Holdings (NYSE: NM), is a global seaborne shipping and logistics company focused on the transport and transshipment of dry bulk commodities, including iron ore, coal and grain. Our vessels are generally chartered-out under medium to long-term time charters with an average remaining term of approximately two years to a strong group of counterparties, including Cargill International S.A., Singapore Marine Pte Ltd. and HMM.

Our Fleet

Navios Partners’ fleet consists of 27 Panamax vessels, 18 Capesize vessels, four Ultra-Handymax vessels and seven Containerships, including two Panamax bareboat charter-in vessels which are expected to be delivered by the first half of 2021; three Capesize bareboat charter-in vessels which are expected to be delivered by the second half of 2022; two Panamax vessels acquired on March 30, 2021 and one Panamax vessel expected to be delivered by the second half of 2022, excluding one Capesize bareboat charter-in vessel which is expected to be delivered by the first half of 2023. Pursuant to the anticipated merger, Navios Partners’ fleet will consist of 27 Panamax vessels, 18 Capesize vessels, four Ultra Handymax vessels and 36 containerships, including two Panamax bareboat charter-in vessels, which are expected to be delivered by the first half of 2021; three Capesize bareboat charter-in vessels which are expected to be delivered by the second half of 2022; two Panamax vessels acquired on March 30, 2021 and one Panamax vessel expected to be delivered by the second half of 2022, excluding one Capesize bareboat charter-in vessel which is expected to be delivered by the first half of 2023. Pursuant to the anticipated merger our fleet will have an average age of 10.7 years for drybulk vessels and containerships, which approximates the current industry average of about 10.6 years for drybulk vessels and 13.2 years for containerships, respectively (both industry averages as of March 1, 2021). Panamax vessels are highly flexible vessels capable of carrying a wide range of dry cargo commodities, including iron ore, coal, grain and fertilizer and being accommodated in most major discharge ports, while Capesize vessels are primarily dedicated to the carriage of iron ore and coal. Ultra-Handymax vessels are similar to Panamax vessels although with less carrying capacity and generally have self-loading and discharging gear on board to accommodate undeveloped ports. Containerships are specifically constructed to transport containerized cargo. We may from time to time purchase additional vessels, including vessels from Navios Holdings and other affiliates.

We generate revenues by charging our customers for the use of our vessels to transport their dry cargo commodities. In general, the vessels in our fleet are chartered-out under time charters, which range in length from one to twelve years at inception. From time to time, we operate vessels in the spot market until the vessels have been chartered under long-term charters.

 
 

 

Pursuant to the anticipated merger with Navios Containers, Navios Partners anticipates it will own and operate a fleet comprised of 49 dry bulk vessels and 36 containerships. The following table provides summary information about Navios Partners fleet and Navios Containers fleet as of March 23, 2021:

Owned Drybulk Vessels

 

Type

 

Built

 

Capacity
(DWT)

 

Charter-Out
Rate
(1)

 

Index(2)

 

Expiration Date(3)

 
Navios La Paix Ultra-Handymax 2014 61,485 111% average BSI 58 10TC February 2022
Navios Christine B Ultra-Handymax 2009 58,058 $9,548 No January 2022
Navios Amaryllis Ultra-Handymax 2008 58,735 $8,835 No August 2021
Serenitas N Ultra-Handymax 2011 56,644 $11,020 No April 2021
Navios Hyperion Panamax 2004 75,707 $8,759 No March 2021
        $10,106 No June  2021
        100% average BPI 4TC October 2021  
Navios Alegria Panamax 2004 76,466 $8,667 No March 2021
        99.5% average BPI 4TC April 2022
Navios Orbiter Panamax 2004 76,602 $8,663 No March 2021
        $13,379                    No June 2021
        100% average BPI 4TC February 2022
Navios Helios Panamax 2005 77,075 100% average BPI 4TC March 2021
        $12,031 No June 2021
        100% average BPI 4TC October 2021
Navios Sun Panamax 2005 76,619 $9,144 No March 2021
        $13,475                    No June 2021
        100% average BPI 4TC February 2022
Navios Hope Panamax 2005 75,397 $9,625 No January 2022
        100% average BPI 4TC February 2022
Navios Sagittarius(6) Panamax 2006 75,756 $10,783 No November 2021
Navios Harmony Panamax 2006 82,790 $8,740 No April 2021
Navios Prosperity I Panamax 2007 75,527 $10,213 No April 2021
Navios Libertas Panamax 2007 75,511 $8,550 No April 2021
Navios Altair I Panamax 2006 74,475 $8,075 No March 2021
Navios Symmetry Panamax 2006 74,381 $11,804 No January 2022
Navios Apollon I Panamax 2005 87,052 109% average BPI 4TC February 2022
Navios Sphera Panamax 2016 84,872 $11,954 No March 2021
        120% average BPI 4TC May 2022
Navios Camelia Panamax 2009 75,162 $9,975 No August 2021
Navios Anthos Panamax 2004 75,798 $9,595 No January 2022
Navios Azalea Panamax 2005 74,759 $11,400 No May 2021
Copernicus N Panamax 2010 93,062 95.75% average BPI 4TC April 2021
Unity N Panamax 2011 79,642 95.5% average BPI 4TC April 2021
Odysseus N Panamax 2011 79,642 $9,390 No March 2021
        95.5% average BPI 4TC June  2021
Navios Victory Panamax 2014 77,095 112% average BPI 4TC April 2021
        $12,513 No April 2022
Navios Beaufiks(7) Capesize 2004 180,310 100% average BCI 5TC April 2021
Navios Symphony Capesize 2010 178,132 100.5% average BCI 5TC October 2021
Navios Fantastiks(8) Capesize 2005 180,265 $21,650 No March 2023
Navios Aurora II Capesize 2009 169,031 $14,857 No March 2021
        95.25% average BCI 5TC April 2022
Navios Pollux Capesize 2009 180,727 100% of pool earnings June 2021
Navios Sol(9) Capesize 2009 180,274 $17,636 No March 2021
        $17,922 No April 2021
        110% average BCI 5TC March 2022
Navios Fulvia Capesize 2010 179,263 $15,561 No March 2021
        100% average BCI 5TC June 2021
Navios Buena Ventura Capesize 2010 179,259 Freight Voyage/ TCE Estimate $18,000 No April 2021
Navios Melodia Capesize 2010 179,132 $29,356

Profit sharing 50% above

$37,500/day based on

Baltic Exchange Capesize

TC Average

September 2022
Navios Luz Capesize 2010 179,144 101% average BCI 5TC March 2022
Navios Ace(10) Capesize 2011 179,016 Freight Voyage/ TCE Estimate $21,400 No May 2021
Navios Aster Capesize 2010 179,314 $16,431 No March 2021
        105% average BCI 5TC May 2021
Navios Joy Capesize 2013 181,389 $18,664 No April 2021
        113% average BCI 5TC May 2021   
Navios Gem Capesize 2014 181,336 $17,623 No February 2022
Navios Mars Capesize 2016 181,259 $22,610 No February 2022
                   

 

Owned Vessels to be delivered

 

Type

 

Delivery Date

 

Capacity
(DWT)

 

Charter-Out
Rate
(1)

 

Index(2)

 

Expiration Date(3)

 
Navios Avior(4) Panamax 2021 81,355 $14,131 No February 2022
Navios Centaurus(4) Panamax 2021 81,472 $9,310 No April 2021
TBN6(11) Panamax 2022 81,000

 

Bareboat Chartered-in
vessel

 

Type

 

Built

 

Capacity
(DWT)

 

Charter-Out
Rate
(1)

 

Index(2)

 

Expiration Date(3)

 
Navios Libra Panamax 2019 82,011 $10,638 No March 2021
        $23,070 No June 2021
        125% average BPI 4TC September 2021

 

Bareboat Chartered-in vessels to be delivered

 

Type

 

Delivery Date

 

Capacity
(DWT)

 

Charter-Out
Rate
(1)

 

Index(2)

 

Expiration Date(3)

 
Navios TBN14) Panamax 2021 81,000 110% average BPI 82 May 2024
Navios TBN2(4) Panamax 2021 81,000 110% average BPI 82 June 2024
Navios TBN3(11) Capesize 2022 180,000
Navios TBN4(11) Capesize 2022 180,000
Navios TBN5(11) Capesize 2022 180,000

 

Owned Containerships

 

Type

 

Built

 

TEU

 
Charter-Out
Rate
(1)

Index(2)

 

Expiration Date(3)

 
Hyundai Hongkong(5) Containership 2006 6,800 $30,119 No December 2023
        $21,083 No December 2028
Hyundai Singapore(5) Containership 2006 6,800 $30,119 No December 2023
        $21,083 No December 2028
Hyundai Tokyo(5) Containership 2006 6,800 $30,119 No December 2023
        $21,083 No December 2028
Hyundai Shanghai(5) Containership 2006 6,800 $30,119 No December 2023
        $21,083 No December 2028
Hyundai Busan(5) Containership 2006 6,800 $30,119 No December 2023
        $21,083 No December 2028
Protostar N Containership 2007 2,741 $17,775 No July 2022
Harmony N Containership 2006 2,824 $8,181 No July 2021

 

Navios Containers

Owned Containerships

 

Type

 

Built

 

TEU

 
Charter-Out
Rate
(1)

Index(2)

 

Expiration Date(3)

 
Navios Summer (12) Containership 2006 3,450 $16,960 No May 2022
Navios Verano (12) Containership 2006 3,450 $9,036 No May 2021
        $22,713 No May 2023
Navios Spring (12)   Containership 2007 3,450 $7,961 No July 2021
Navios Vermilion (12) Containership 2007 4,250 $21,330 No December 2021
Navios Indigo (12) Containership 2007 4,250 $22,713 No February 2022
Navios Amaranth (12) Containership 2007 4,250 $18,121 No December 2021
Navios Amarillo (12) Containership 2007 4,250 $20,845 No November 2022

Navios Containers

Owned Containerships

 

Type

 

Built

 

TEU

 
Charter-Out
Rate
(1)

Index(2)

 

Expiration Date(3)

 
Navios Verde (12) Containership 2007 4,250 $20,845 No April 2023
Navios Azure (12) Containership 2007 4,250 $22,678 No September 2022
Navios Domino (12) Containership 2008 4,250 $7,720 No March 2021
        $24,934 No June 2023
Navios Dedication (12) Containership 2008 4,250 $8,010 No June 2021
Navios Delight (12) Containership 2008 4,250 $9,023 No May 2021
Navios Destiny (12) Containership 2009 4,250 $18,022 No November 2021
Navios Devotion (12) Containership 2009 4,250 $23,700 No February 2022
Navios Lapis Containership 2009 4,250 $13,000 No April 2021
        $31,353 No May 2023
Navios Tempo Containership 2009 4,250 $13,000 No April 2021
        Index(15) November 2021
Navios Dorado Containership 2010 4,250 $21,676 No April 2023
Navios Felicitas Containership 2010 4,360 $18,121 No December 2021
Bahamas Containership 2010 4,360 $22,219 No November 2022
Bermuda Containership 2010 4,360 $11,580 No March 2022
Navios Miami Containership 2009 4,563 $18,022 No November 2021
Navios Magnolia Containership 2008 4,730 $18,022 No November 2021
Navios Jasmine Containership 2008 4,730 $21,825 No December 2022
APL Denver Containership 2008 4,730 $8,239 No April 2021
        $30,083 No July 2023
Navios Nerine Containership 2008 4,730 $24,125 No July 2021
Navios Utmost (13) Containership 2006 8,204 $21,656 No September 2022
Navios Unite (13) Containership 2006 8,204 $23,160 No May 2021
        $27,840 No January 2024
Navios Unison (14) Containership 2010 10,000 $25,301   No May 2021
        $26,276 No May 2026
Navios Constellation (14) Containership 2011 10,000 $26,276 No May 2026
(1) Daily charter-out rate per day, net of commissions.
(2) Index rates exclude commissions.
(3) Charter expiration dates shown reflect expected redelivery basis midpoint or the Company’s best estimate of full redelivery period in the charter agreement, unless otherwise noted and including Navios Partners’ extension options, not declared yet.
(4) Expected to be delivered by the first half of 2021.
(5) Upon acquisition, the vessels are fixed on ten/twelve year charters with Navios Partners’ option to terminate after year seven.
(6) The vessel is subject to a sale and leaseback transaction for a period of up to three years, at which time we have an obligation to purchase the vessel.
(7) The vessel is subject to a sale and leaseback transaction for a period of up to five years, at which time we have an obligation to purchase the vessel.
(8) The vessel is subject to a sale and leaseback transaction for a period of up to six years, at which time we have an obligation to purchase the vessel.
(9) The vessel is subject to a sale and leaseback transaction for a period of up to ten years, at which time we have an obligation to purchase the vessel.
(10) The vessel is subject to a sale and leaseback transaction for a period of up to 11 years, at which time we have an obligation to purchase the vessel.

(11) Expected to be delivered by the second half of 2022.

(12) The vessel is subject to a sale and leaseback transaction with Minsheng Financial Leasing Co. Ltd. for a period of up to five years, at which time we have an obligation to purchase the vessel.
(13) The vessel is subject to a sale and leaseback transaction with a Chinese financial institution for a period of up to five years, at which time we have an obligation to purchase the vessel.
(14) The vessel is subject to a sale and leaseback transaction with a Chinese financial institution for a period of up to seven years, at which time we have an obligation to purchase the vessel.
(15) The market rate will be calculated according to the Container Ship Time Charter Assessment Index (ConTex) as published for a 4,250 TEU vessel for a 12 month period.

 

Our Competitive Strengths

We believe that our future prospects for success are enhanced by the following aspects of our business:

•     Stable cash flows. We believe that by maintaining medium to long-term, fixed-rate charters will provide a stable base of revenue (during high market periods we seek to fix longer term charters and during low market periods we seek shorter period employment in order to take advantage of any market up turn). Our merger with Navios Containers builds scale for us through a larger, diversified asset base with an increased earnings capacity. The merger also enhances our credit profile by increasing cash flow to support our growth and deleveraging initiatives. In addition, we believe that the potential opportunity to purchase additional vessels from Navios Holdings and other affiliates and through the secondary market provides future growth in our revenue and distributable cash flow. We believe that our management agreement, which has been extended until January 1, 2025, will continue to provide us with predictable expenses and our simplified capital and organizational structure post our merger with Navios Containers will reduce our administrative costs.

•     Strong relationship with our Manager. We believe our relationship with the Manager provides us with numerous benefits that are key to our long-term growth and success, the Manager's commercial expertise and reputation within the shipping industry and its network of strong relationships with many of the world’s dry cargo raw material producers, agricultural traders and exporters, industrial end-users, shipyards and shipping companies. We benefit from the Manager's expertise in technical management, which provides efficient operations and maintenance for our vessels at fixed rates. The Manager's expertise in fleet management is reflected in their history of low number of off-hire days and in their record of no material incidents giving rise to loss of life or pollution.

•     High-quality, flexible fleet. Pursuant to the anticipated merger with Navios Containers, our fleet will consist of 27 Panamax vessels, 18 Capesize vessels, four Ultra-Handymax vessels and 36 Containerships, including two Panamax bareboat charter-in vessels, which are expected to be delivered by the first half of 2021; three Capesize bareboat charter-in vessels which are expected to be delivered by the second half of 2022; two Panamax vessels acquired on March 30, 2021 and one Panamax vessel expected to be delivered by the second half of 2022, excluding one Capesize bareboat charter-in vessel which is expected to be delivered by the first half of 2023. Our combined fleet will have an average age of 10.7 years as of March 2021 (average age of 9.8 years for drybulk fleet and 13.1 years for containerships fleet), compared to a current industry average age of about 10.6 years for the drybulk fleet and 13.2 years for the containerships fleet (both industry averages as of March 1, 2021). Our large asset base provides us a significant buffer of collateral value.

Business Strategies

Our primary business strategies are the following:

Pursue stable cash flows through long-term charters for our fleet. We intend to utilize medium to long-term, fixed-rate charters for our existing fleet. Pursuant to the anticipated merger, the vessels in our fleet have average remaining charter duration of 1.4 years. We will seek to opportunistically re-charter our vessels in order to add incremental stable cash flow and improve the long-term charter terms.

•      Continue to grow and diversify our fleet of owned and chartered-in vessels. We seek to make strategic acquisitions to expand our fleet in order to capitalize on the demand for container and drybulk vessels. We recently expanded our fleet by 29 vessels through the merger with Navios Maritime Containers. We have the right to purchase certain additional drybulk vessels currently owned or chartered-in by Navios Holdings when those vessels are fixed under long-term charters for a period of three or more years. In addition, we may seek to expand and diversify our fleet through the open market purchase of owned and chartered-in drybulk or container vessels with or without charters.

•      Capitalize on our relationship with Navios Holdings and the Manager and expand our charters with recognized charterers. We believe that we can use our relationship with Navios Holdings and the Manager and their established reputation in order to obtain favorable long-term time charters and attract new customers. We will continue to increase the number of vessels we charter to our existing charterers, as well as enter into charter agreements with new customers, in order to develop a portfolio that is diverse from a customer, geographic and maturity perspective.

•      Provide superior customer service by maintaining high standards of performance, reliability and safety. Our customers seek transportation partners that have a reputation for high standards of performance, reliability and safety. We intend to use the Manager's operational expertise and customer relationships to further expand a sustainable competitive advantage with consistent delivery of superior customer service.

 

Our Customers

We provide or will provide seaborne shipping services under long-term time charters with customers that we believe are creditworthy. For the year ended December 31, 2020 HMM, Singapore Marine and Cargill represented approximately 23.4%, 19.5% and 11.4%, respectively, of our total revenues. For the year ended December 31, 2019, HMM, Swissmarine and Cargill represented approximately 25.9%, 12.3% and 10.9%, respectively, of our total revenues. For the year ended December 31, 2018, HMM represented approximately 24.5% of total revenues. No other customers accounted for 10% or more of total revenues for any of the years presented.

Although we believe that if any one of our charters were terminated, we could recharter the related vessel at the prevailing market rate relatively quickly, the permanent loss of a significant customer or a substantial decline in the amount of services requested by a significant customer could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations if we were unable to recharter our vessel on a favorable basis due to then-current market conditions, or otherwise.

Competition

The drybulk shipping market is extensive, diversified, competitive and highly fragmented, divided among approximately 2,189 independent drybulk carrier owners. The world's active drybulk fleet consists of approximately 12,353 vessels, aggregating approximately 916.7 million dwt as of March 1, 2021. As a general principle, the smaller the cargo carrying capacity of a drybulk carrier, the more fragmented is its market, both with regard to charterers and vessel owner/operators. Even among the larger drybulk owners and operators, whose vessels are mainly in the larger sizes, only ten companies are known to have fleets of 97 vessels or more: China COSCO Shipping, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, Wisdom Marine, Fredriksen Group, China Merchants, Star Bulk Carriers, Pacific Basin Shipping, Kawasaki Kisen, Oldendorff Carriers and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines. There are about 40 owners known to have fleets of between 36 and 84 vessels. However, vessel ownership is not the only determining factor of fleet control. Many owners of bulk carriers charter their vessels out for extended periods, not just to end users (owners of cargo), but also to other owner/operators and to tonnage pools. Such operators may, at any given time, control a fleet many times the size of their owned tonnage. Navios Holdings is one such operator; others include Cargill, Pacific Basin Shipping, Bocimar, Zodiac Maritime, Louis Dreyfus/Cetragpa, Cobelfret, Torvald Klaveness, Swiss Marine and Singapore Marine.

The container shipping market is extensive, diversified, competitive and fragmented, divided among approximately 664 liner operators and independent owners. The world's active containership fleet consists of approximately 5,455 vessels, aggregating approximately 23.8 million TEU as of March 1, 2021. As a general principle, the smaller the cargo carrying capacity of a containership, the more fragmented is its market, both with regard to charterers and vessel owner/operators. Even among the larger liner companies and containership owners and operators, whose vessels are mainly in the larger sizes, only ten companies are known to control fleets of 95 vessels or more: AP Moller, China COSCO Shipping, Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC), CMA CGM, Atlas Corp (former Seaspan), Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd, Wan Hai Lines, SITC and Pacific International Lines. There are about 40 owners known to control fleets of between 29 and 86 vessels. However, vessel ownership is not the only determining factor of fleet control. Liner companies, who control the movement of containers on land and at sea, own vessels directly and charter in vessels on short and long-term charters. Many owners/managers of containerships charter their vessels out for extended periods but do not control the movement of any containers, the so called tonnage providers. Liner companies may, at any given time, control a fleet many times the size of their owned tonnage. AP Moller and MSC are such liner operators; whereas Peter Dohle, Seaspan and others including Navios Partners are tonnage providers.

It is likely that we will face substantial competition for long-term charter business from a number of experienced companies. Many of these competitors will have significantly greater financial resources than we do. It is also likely that we will face increased numbers of competitors entering into our transportation sectors, including in the container and drybulk sectors. Many of these competitors have strong reputations and extensive resources and experience. Increased competition may cause greater price competition, especially for long-term charters.

Time Charters

A time charter is a contract for the use of a vessel for a fixed period of time at a specified daily rate. Under a time charter, the vessel owner provides crewing and other services related to the vessel's operation, the cost of which is included in the daily rate and the customer is responsible for substantially all of the vessel voyage costs. All of the vessels in our fleet are hired out under time charters, and we intend to continue to hire out our vessels under time charters. The following discussion describes the material terms common to all of our time charters.

Basic Hire Rate

“Basic hire rate” refers to the basic payment from the customer for the use of the vessel. The hire rate is generally payable semi-monthly, in advance, in U.S. dollars as specified in the charter.

Expenses

The charterer generally pays the voyage expenses, which include all expenses relating to particular voyages, including any bunker fuel expenses, port fees, cargo loading and unloading expenses, canal tolls, agency fees and commissions.

Off-hire

When the vessel is “off-hire,” the charterer generally is not required to pay the basic hire rate, and we are responsible for all costs. Prolonged off-hire may lead to vessel substitution or termination of the time charter. A vessel generally will be deemed off-hire if there is a loss of time due to, among other things:

operational deficiencies; drydocking for repairs, maintenance or inspection; equipment breakdowns; or delays due to accidents or deviations from course, crewing strikes, labor boycotts, certain vessel detentions or similar problems, occurrence of hostilities in the vessel's flag state or in the event of piracy, a natural or man-made event of force majeure; or
the ship owner's failure to maintain the vessel in compliance with its specifications and contractual standards or to provide the required crew.

Under some of our charters, the charterer is permitted to terminate the time charter if the vessel is off-hire for an extended period, which is generally defined as a period of 90 or more consecutive off-hire days. Under some circumstances, an event of force majeure may also permit the charterer to terminate the time charter or suspend payment of charter hire.

Termination

We are generally entitled to suspend performance under the time charters covering our vessels if the customer defaults in its payment obligations. Under some of our time charters, either party may terminate the charter in the event of war in specified countries or in locations that would significantly disrupt the free trade of the vessel. Some of our time charters covering our vessels require us to return to the charterer, upon the loss of the vessel, all advances paid by the charterer but not earned by us.

Classification, Inspection and Maintenance

Every sea going 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 of the classification society and complies with applicable rules and regulations of the vessel's country of registry and the international conventions of which that country is a member. In addition, where surveys are required by international conventions and corresponding laws and ordinances of a flag state, the classification society will undertake them on application or by official order, acting on behalf of the authorities concerned.

The classification society also undertakes, on 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. For maintenance of the class, regular and extraordinary surveys of hull, machinery (including the electrical plant) and any special equipment classed are required to be performed as follows:

Annual Surveys: For seagoing ships, annual surveys are conducted for the hull and the machinery (including the electrical plant) and, where applicable, for 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 two and a half years after commissioning and each class renewal. Intermediate surveys may be carried out on the occasion of the second or third annual survey.
Class Renewal Surveys: Class renewal surveys, also known as special surveys, are carried out for the ship's hull, machinery (including the electrical plant), and for any special equipment classed, at the intervals indicated by the character of classification for the hull. At the special survey, the vessel is thoroughly examined, including audio-gauging, to determine the thickness of its steel structure. Should the thickness be found to be less than class requirements, the classification society would prescribe steel renewals. The classification society may grant a one-year grace period for completion of the special survey. Substantial amounts of money may have to be spent for steel renewals to pass a special survey if the vessel experiences excessive wear and tear. In lieu of the special survey every four or five years, depending on whether a grace period was granted, a ship owner has the option of arranging with the classification society for the vessel's integrated hull or machinery to be on a continuous survey cycle, in which every part of the vessel would be surveyed within a five-year cycle.

Management of Ship Operations, Administration and Safety

Pursuant to the Management Agreement and the Administrative Services Agreement with the Manager, we have access to human resources, financial and other administrative functions, including:

bookkeeping, audit and accounting services;
administrative and clerical services;
banking and financial services; and
client and investor relations.

Technical management services are also provided, including:

commercial management of the vessel;
vessel maintenance and crewing;
purchasing and insurance; and
shipyard supervision.

For more information on the Management Agreement and the Administrative Services Agreement, please read “Item 7. – Major Unitholders and Related Party Transactions”.

Crewing

The Manager crews its vessels primarily with Filipino, Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, Indian, Georgian, and Romanian officers and Filipino, Georgian, Ethiopian, Indian and Ukrainian seamen. For these nationalities, officers and seamen are referred to the Manager by local crewing agencies. The Manager is also responsible for travel and payroll of the crew. The crewing agencies handle each seaman's training. The Manager requires that all of its seamen have the qualifications and licenses required to comply with international regulations and shipping conventions.

Risk of Loss and Liability Insurance

General

The operation of any cargo vessel includes risks such as mechanical failure, physical damage, collision, property loss, cargo loss or damage, business interruption due to political circumstances in foreign countries, hostilities, and labor strikes. In addition, there is always an inherent possibility of marine disaster, including oil spills and other environmental mishaps, and the liabilities arising from owning and operating vessels in international trade. The OPA (as defined below), which imposes virtually unlimited liability upon owners, operators and demise charterers of any vessel trading in the United States exclusive economic zone for certain oil pollution accidents in the United States, has made liability insurance more expensive for ship owners and operators trading in the U.S. market. While we believe that our present 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.

Hull and Machinery and War Risk Insurances

We have marine hull and machinery and war risk insurance, which include coverage of the risk of actual or constructive total loss, for all of our owned vessels. Each of the owned vessels is covered up to at least fair market value, with a deductible of $0.1 million per Handymax and Panamax vessels and $0.2 million per Capesize vessels for the hull and machinery insurance. We have also extended our war risk insurance to include war loss of hire for any loss of time to the vessel, including for physical repairs, caused by a warlike incident and piracy seizure for up to 270 days of detention / loss of time. There are no deductibles for the war risk insurance or the war loss of hire cover.

We have arranged, as necessary, increased value insurance for our vessels. With the increased value insurance, in case of total loss of the vessel, we will be able to recover the sum insured under the increased value policy in addition to the sum insured under the hull and machinery policy. Increased value insurance also covers excess liabilities that are not recoverable in full by the hull and machinery policies by reason of underinsurance. We do not expect to maintain loss of hire insurance for our vessels. Loss of hire insurance covers business interruptions that result in the loss of use of a vessel.

Protection and Indemnity Insurance

Protection and indemnity insurance is expected to be provided by mutual protection and indemnity associations, or P&I Associations, who indemnify members in respect of discharging their tortious, contractual or statutory third-party legal liabilities arising from the operation of an entered ship. Such liabilities include but are not limited to third-party liability and other related expenses from injury or death of crew, 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. Protection and indemnity insurance is a form of mutual indemnity insurance, extended by protection and indemnity mutual associations and always provided in accordance with the applicable associations' rules and members' agreed terms and conditions.

Navios Partners' fleet is currently entered for protection and indemnity insurance with International Group associations where, in line with all International Group Clubs, coverage for oil pollution is limited to $1.0 billion per event. The 13 P&I Associations that comprise the International Group insure approximately 95% of the world's commercial tonnage and have entered into a pooling agreement to collectively reinsure each association's liabilities. Each vessel that Navios Partners acquires will be entered with P&I Associations of the International Group. Under the International Group reinsurance program for the current policy year, each P&I club in the International Group is responsible for the first $10.0 million of every claim. In every claim the amount in excess of $10.0 million and up to $100.0 million is shared by the clubs under the pooling agreement. Any claim in excess of $100.0 million is reinsured by the International Group in the international reinsurance market under the General Excess of Loss Reinsurance Contract. This policy currently provides an additional $2.0 billion of coverage for non-oil pollution claims. Further to this, an additional reinsurance layer has been placed by the International Group for claims up to $1.0 billion in excess of $2.1 billion, i.e. $3.1 billion in total. For passengers and crew claims, the overall limit is $3.0 billion for any one event on any one vessel with a sub-limit of $2.0 billion for passengers. With the exception of pollution, passenger or crew claims, should any other P&I claim exceed Group reinsurance limits, the provisions of all International Group Club's overspill claim rules will operate and members of any International Group Club will be liable for additional contributions in accordance with such rules. To date, there has never been an overspill claim, or one even nearing this level.

As a member of the P&I Associations, which is a member of the International Group, Navios Partners will be subject to calls payable to the associations based on the individual fleet record, the associations' overall claim records as well as the claim records of all other members of the individual associations, and members of the pool of P&I Associations comprising the International Group. The P&I Associations' policy year commences on February 20th. Calls are levied by means of Estimated Total Premiums (“ETP”) and the amount of the final installment of the ETP varies according to the actual total premium ultimately required by the club for a particular policy year. Members have a liability to pay supplementary calls which might be levied by the board of directors of the club if the ETP is insufficient to cover amounts paid out by the club.

Should a member leave or entry cease with any of the associations, at the Club's Managers discretion, they may be also be liable to pay release calls or provide adequate security for the same amount. Such calls are levied in respect of potential outstanding Club/Member liabilities on open policy years and include but are not limited to liabilities for deferred calls and supplementary calls.

Uninsured Risks

Not all risks are insured and not all risks are insurable. The principal insurable risks which nonetheless remain uninsured across our fleet are “loss of hire” and “strikes,” except in cases of loss of hire due to war or a piracy event or due to presence or suspected presence of Contraband on board. Specifically, Navios Partners does not insure these risks because the costs are regarded as disproportionate. These insurances provide, subject to a deductible, a limited indemnity for hire that would not be receivable by the ship owner for reasons set forth in the policy. Should a vessel on time charter, where the vessel is paid a fixed hire day by day, suffer a serious mechanical breakdown, the daily hire will no longer be payable by the charterer. The purpose of the loss of hire insurance is to secure the loss of hire during such periods. In the case of strikes insurance, if a vessel is being paid a fixed sum to perform a voyage and the ship becomes strike bound at a loading or discharging port, the insurance covers the loss of earnings during such periods.

However, in some cases when a vessel is transiting high risk war and/or piracy areas, we arrange war loss of hire insurance to cover up to 270 days of detention/loss of time. When our charterers engage in legally permitted trading in locations which may still be subject to sanctions or boycott, such as Iran, Syria and Sudan, our insurers may be contractually or by operation of law prohibited from honoring our insurance contract for such trading, which could result in reduced insurance coverage for losses incurred by the related vessels. Furthermore, our insurers and we may be prohibited from posting or otherwise be unable to post security in respect of any incident in such locations, resulting in the loss of use of the relevant vessel and negative publicity for our Company which could negatively impact our business, results of operations, cash flows and share price.

There are no deductibles for the war loss of hire cover in case of piracy and contraband cover.

Even if our insurance coverage is adequate to cover our losses, if we suffer a loss of a vessel, we may not be able to obtain a timely replacement for any lost vessel. Furthermore, in the future, we may not be able to obtain adequate insurance coverage at reasonable rates for our fleet. For example, more stringent environmental regulations have led to increased costs for, and in the future may result in the lack of availability of, insurance against risks of environmental damage or pollution. We may also be subject to calls, or premiums, in amounts based not only on our own claim records but also on the claim records of all other members of the protection and indemnity associations through which we receive indemnity insurance coverage. A catastrophic oil spill or marine disaster could exceed our insurance coverage, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Any uninsured or underinsured loss could harm our business and financial condition. In addition, the insurance may be voidable by the insurers as a result of certain actions, such as vessels failing to maintain required certification.

Credit Risk Insurance

On November 15, 2012 (as amended and supplemented in March 2014, December 2017 and July 2019), Navios Holdings and Navios Partners entered into an agreement (the “Navios Holdings Guarantee”) by which Navios Holdings would provide supplemental credit default insurance with a maximum cash payment of $20.0 million. In October 2020, Navios Holdings paid an amount of $5.0 million to Navios Partners. As of December 31, 2020, the outstanding claim receivable amounted to $5.0 million. The final settlement of the amount from Navios Holdings will take place at a specific date, in accordance with a signed letter of agreement between the parties. The guarantee claim receivable is presented under the caption “Amounts due from related parties-short term” in the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

Regulation

Sources of Applicable Maritime Laws and Standards

Shipping is one of the world's most heavily regulated industries, as it is subject to both Governmental regulation and industry standards. The Governmental regulations to which we are subject include local and national laws, as well as international treaties and conventions, and regulations in force in jurisdictions where our vessels operate and are registered. We also are subject to regulation by ship classification societies and industry associations, which often have independent standards. In the United States and, increasingly, in Europe, the national, state, and local laws and regulations are more stringent than international conventions, as well as industry standards. Violations of these laws, regulations, treaties and other requirements could result in sanctions by regulators, possibly fines, penalties, delays, and detention.

The primary areas of maritime laws and standards to which we are subject include environment, safety, and security, as provided in detail below.

International Conventions and Standards

The IMO is the United Nations agency with jurisdiction over maritime safety and the prevention of pollution by ships. The IMO has adopted a number of international conventions concerned with preventing, reducing, or managing pollution from ships; and ship safety and security. The most significant of these are described below.

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· MARPOL

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships or “MARPOL” is the primary international convention governing vessel pollution prevention and response. MARPOL includes six annexes concerning operational pollution by oil, noxious liquid substances, harmful substances, sewage, garbage and air emissions. More specifically, these annexes contain regulations for the prevention of pollution by oil (Annex I), by noxious liquid substances in bulk (Annex II), by harmful substances in packaged forms within the scope of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (Annex III), by sewage (Annex IV), by garbage (Annex V), and by air emissions, including sulfur oxides (“SOx”), nitrogen oxides (“NOx”), and particulate matter (Annex VI). The annexes also contain recordkeeping and inspection requirements. 

Under MARPOL Annex I, our ships are required to have an International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate and a Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan; under Annex IV, an International Sewage Pollution Prevention Certificate; under Annex V, a Garbage Management Plan; and under Annex VI, an International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate issued by their flag States, among other requirements, some of which must be approved by their flag States. Certain jurisdictions in which we trade have not adopted all of the MARPOL annexes, but have established various national, regional, or local laws and regulations that apply to these areas.

MARPOL Annex VI has been amended and was also designed to phase in increasingly stringent limits on sulfur emissions. On January 1, 2020, the emissions standard under MARPOL Annex VI for the reduction of sulfur oxides was lowered to 0.5% worldwide (down from the previous level of 3.5%). Current regulations also allow for special emissions control areas (“ECAs”) to be established with more stringent controls on emissions of 0.1% sulfur, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxide emissions. Depending on the type of vessel, transitioning to use of low sulfur fuel as a means of compliance may have required fuel system modification and tank cleaning. Another means of compliance is the installation of pollution control equipment (exhaust gas cleaning systems or scrubbers), allowing the vessel to use the existing, less expensive, high sulfur content fuel. 

Thus far, ECAs have been formally adopted for the Baltic Sea area (limits SOx emissions only); the North Sea area including the English Channel (limiting SOx emissions only); the North American ECA (limiting SOx, NOx and particulate matter emissions); and the U.S. Caribbean ECA (limiting SOx, NOx and particulates). The IMO approved, then adopted in 2017, the designation of the North Sea and Baltic Sea as ECAs for NOx under Annex VI as well, which took effect in January 2021 for new vessels constructed on or after January 1, 2021 or existing vessels that replace an engine with non-identical engines, or install an additional engine. 

Despite Annex VI’s extensive regulations, other jurisdictions have taken unilateral approaches to air emissions regulation. For example, the U.S. state of California adopted more stringent low sulfur fuel requirements within California-regulated waters, requiring marine gas oil, extending out to 24 nautical miles, which thus prohibits exhaust gas cleaning systems. China has also established local emissions control areas. While the Chinese areas are currently consistent with international standards in terms of sulfur content, certain Chinese local emissions control areas may become more stringent than international requirements in the future. Similarly, South Korea has established Port Air Quality Control Zones which cap the sulfur content of fuel at 0.1%. This provision took effect on September 1, 2020.

Additionally, Annex II to MARPOL prescribes requirements for carriage of designated noxious liquid substances (“NLS”) in bulk. NLS are separated into three categories (X, Y, and Z) depending upon the seriousness of the hazard presented. Coastal or flag States may issue civil or criminal penalties for the discharge of NLS into the sea depending on the category discharged, the location of the discharge, and the conditions of discharge. Similar fines and penalties may be issued for violations of other of MARPOL's Annexes.

Annex III contains general requirements for the prevention of pollution by harmful substances carried by sea in packaged form. This Annex contains requirements for safe handling of packaged substances that represent a serious risk to the environment, as well as guidelines for identification of harmful substances. For example, any relevant documents, such as the ship’s manifest, must identify the substances carried, if any, aboard our vessels. Violations of this Annex may also lead to applicable fines and penalties, as with all MARPOL annexes.

· Ballast Water

The IMO, as well as jurisdictions worldwide acting outside the scope of the IMO, have implemented requirements relating to the management of ballast water to prevent the harmful effects of foreign invasive species. The IMO's International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (the “BWM Convention”) entered into force on September 8, 2017. The BWM Convention requires ships to manage ballast water in a manner that removes, renders harmless, or avoids the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms and pathogens within ballast water and sediment. As of March 2, 2021, the BWM Convention had 86 contracting states, representing 91.12% of world gross tonnage. The United States is not party to the BWM Convention, but has similar, though not identical, requirements.

As amended, the BWM Convention requires, among other things, ballast water exchange, the maintenance of certain records, and the implementation of a Ballast Water and Sediments Management Plan. It also requires the installation of ballast water management systems for existing ships by certain deadlines, as described below.

Ships constructed prior to September 8, 2017 must install ballast water management systems by the first renewal survey following September 8, 2017 and must comply with IMO discharge standards by the due date for their International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate renewal survey under MARPOL Annex I. Ships constructed after September 8, 2017 are required to comply with the BWM Convention upon delivery. All ships must meet the IMO ballast water discharge standard by September 8, 2024, regardless of construction date. During the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (“MEPC”) session 75, held November 16-20, 2020, new amendments were adopted regarding testing and certification of ballast water management systems, which are expected to enter into force on June 1, 2022. The updated guidance for Ballast Water and Sediments Management Plan includes more robust testing and performance specifications.

· International Convention for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage and Other Pollution Liability Regimes

Several international conventions impose and limit pollution liability from vessels. For example, the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (the “Bunker Convention”) in addition to local and national environmental laws. The Bunker Convention entered into force in 2008 and imposes strict liability on shipowners for pollution damage and response costs incurred in contracting States caused by discharges, or threatened discharges, of bunker oil from all classes of ships not covered by the International Convention for Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage. The Bunker Convention also requires registered owners of ships over a certain tonnage to maintain insurance to cover their liability for pollution damage in an amount equal to the limits of liability under the applicable national or international limitation regime, including liability limits calculated in accordance with the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976, as amended (the “1976 Convention”). As of March 2, 2021, the Bunker Convention had 100 contracting States, representing 95.06% of the gross tonnage of the world's merchant fleet. In non-contracting States, such as the United States, liability for such bunker oil pollution is typically determined by the national or other domestic laws in the jurisdiction in which the spillage occurs.

The 1976 Convention is the most widely applicable international regime limiting maritime pollution liability. Rights to limit liability under the 1976 Convention are forfeited where a spill is caused by a shipowner’s intentional or reckless conduct. Certain jurisdictions have ratified the IMO’s Protocol of 1996 to the 1976 Convention, referred to herein as the “Protocol of 1996”. The Protocol of 1996 provides for substantially higher liability limits in those jurisdictions than the limits set forth in the 1976 Convention. Finally, some jurisdictions, such as the United States, are not a party to either the 1976 Convention or the Protocol of 1996, and, therefore, a shipowner’s rights to limit liability for maritime pollution in such jurisdictions may be uncertain or subject to national and local law.

· International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and the International Safety Management Code

Our vessels also must operate in compliance with the requirements set forth in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, as amended, (“SOLAS”), including the International Safety Management Code (the “ISM Code”), which is contained in Chapter IX of SOLAS.

SOLAS was enacted primarily to promote the safety of life and preservation of property. SOLAS, and the regulations and codes of practice thereunder, is regularly amended to introduce heightened shipboard safety requirements into the industry. The ISM Code requires ship operators to develop and maintain an extensive Safety Management System (“SMS”) that includes the adoption of a safety and environmental protection policy setting forth instructions and procedures for safe vessel operation and describing procedures for dealing with emergencies. The ISM Code also requires vessel operators to obtain a Document of Compliance (“DOC”) demonstrating that the company complies with the SMS and a Safety Management Certificate (“SMC”) for each vessel verifying compliance with the approved SMS by each vessel's flag State. No vessel can obtain an SMC unless its manager has been awarded a Document of Compliance, issued by the flag State for the vessel, under the ISM Code.

Noncompliance with the ISM Code and regulations contained in other IMO conventions may subject a shipowner to increased liability, lead to decreases in available insurance coverage for affected vessels, or result in the denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports. For example, the United States Coast Guard and European Union authorities have indicated that vessels not in compliance with the ISM Code may be prohibited from trading in ports in the United States and European Union. Non-compliances identified in port may lead to delays and detention. Each company's DOC and each vessel's SMC must be periodically renewed, and compliance must be periodically verified. The failure of a ship operator to comply with the ISM Code and IMO measures could subject such party to increased liability, decrease available insurance coverage for the affected vessels, or result in a denial of access to, or detention in, certain ports.

· Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Reduction

The IMO now has mandatory measures for an international greenhouse gas (“GHG”) reduction regime for a global industry sector, and recent activity indicates continued interest and regulation in this area in the coming years. Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI included energy efficiency measures took effect on January 1, 2013 and apply to all ships of 400 gross tonnage and above. A major component of this GHG regime is the development of a ship energy efficiency management plan (“SEEMP”), with which vessels across the industry must comply. Vessel SEEMPs were required to be updated by December 31, 2018 to include data collection processes and vessels were required to begin collecting data on fuel oil consumption on January 1, 2019. In November 2020, MEPC approved draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI concerning mandatory goal-based technical and operational measures to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping, with a view to adoption at the MEPC 76 meeting in June 2021. If adopted, they would enter into force on January 1, 2023.

· ISPS Code

In 2002, following the September 11 terrorist attacks, SOLAS was amended to impose detailed security obligations on vessels and port authorities, most of which are contained in the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (“ISPS Code”), which is Chapter XI-2 of SOLAS. Vessels demonstrate compliance with the ISPS Code by having an International Ship Security Certificate issued by their flag State.

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;
§ Development of Vessel Security Plans;
§ Appointment of a Ship Security Officer and a Company Security Officer; and
§ Compliance with flag State's security certification requirements.

Applicable U.S. Laws

· The Act to Prevention Pollution from Ships

The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (“APPS”) and corresponding U.S. Coast Guard regulations implement several MARPOL annexes in the United States. Violations of MARPOL, APPS, or the implementing regulations can result in liability for civil and/or criminal penalties. Numerous vessel owners and operators, as well as individual ship officers and shoreside technical personnel have been criminally prosecuted for APPS violations, which may result in significant fines and imprisonment for ship officers.

· Clean Water Act, National Invasive Species Act, Vessel General Permit, and Vessel Incidental Discharge Act.

The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances in U.S. navigable waters and imposes penalties for unauthorized discharges. The CWA also imposes substantial liability for the costs of removal, remediation and damages.

The United States is not a party to the BWM Convention discussed above. Instead, ballast water operations are governed by the National Invasive Species Act (“NISA”) and U.S. Coast Guard regulations mandating ballast water management practices for all vessels equipped with ballast water tanks entering U.S. waters, as well as the Vessel General Permit issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) under the CWA. In addition, through the CWA certification provisions that allow U.S. states to place additional conditions on EPA's Vessel General Permit, a number of states have proposed or implemented a variety of stricter ballast water requirements including, in some states, specific treatment standards.

Depending on a vessel’s compliance date for installation of a U.S. Coast Guard type-approved ballast water management system, these requirements may be met by performing mid-ocean ballast exchange, by retaining ballast water onboard the vessel, or by using another ballast water management system authorized by the U.S. Coast Guard. In the near future, ballast exchange will no longer be permissible. These U.S. Coast Guard regulations and EPA’s Vessel General Permit, however, will ultimately be replaced with the new regulatory regime being developed under Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (“VIDA”) signed into law on December 4, 2018, which is expected to contain similar requirements.

VIDA establishes a new framework for regulation of discharges incidental to the normal operation of commercial vessels into navigable waters of the United States, including management of ballast water. VIDA requires the EPA to implement a final rule setting forth standards for incidental discharges, including ballast water, by December 4, 2020 and the U.S. Coast Guard to issue a final rule implementing the EPA’s standards by December 4, 2022. However, EPA missed the statutory deadline of December 4, 2020 and EPA’s final rule is not expected to be published for several months at best. As such, the overall implementation of VIDA will be delayed, including the U.S. Coast Guard’s implementation of EPA’s final rule on standards. Implementation of VIDA is expected to create more uniformity in state and federal regulation of incidental vessel discharges and thus is expected to result in a simplification of the current patch-work of federal, state, or local ballast water regulations in the United States. However, the relevant standards and regulations implementing those standards are expected to take at least until sometime in 2023, and it is ultimately unclear what discharge limits may apply to discharges under VIDA, as well as how certain permissible state-specific standards may be implemented.

More specifically, on October 26, 2020, the EPA issued its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Vessel Incidental Discharge National Standards of Performance, which is the first step toward the final standards and regulations. The proposed rule would establish both general and specific discharge standards. The general discharge standards are preventative in nature and apply to all incidental discharges. They are organized into three categories: (1) general operation and maintenance; (2) biofouling management; and (3) oil management. These general standards mandate overall minimization of discharges and prescribe best management practices toward achieving this goal. No training or education requirements are included, as these will be set by the U.S. Coast Guard in its rulemaking once EPA’s standards are finalized. EPA’s proposal covers 20 incidental discharges from vessels, down from 27 covered by the 2013 VGP. Importantly, EPA did not significantly reduce the number of discharges covered, rather combined several discharges into one, taking a more systematic approach to managing the discharges. Two years after the EPA publishes its final standard, the U.S. Coast Guard is required to develop corresponding implementation, compliance and enforcement regulations for those standards, including any requirements governing the design, construction, testing, approval, installation and use of devices necessary to achieve the EPA standards.

· Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and State Law Regarding Oil Pollution Liability

The United States has a comprehensive regulatory and liability regime for the protection and cleanup of the environment from oil spills from all vessels, including cargo or bunker oil spills from vessels. This regime is set forth in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, or “OPA.”

OPA applies to owners and operators whose vessels trade in the United States, its territories and possessions or whose vessels operate in United States waters. Under OPA, vessel owners, operators and bareboat charterers are “responsible parties” and are jointly, severally and strictly liable for containment and clean-up costs, as well as damages, up to their limits of liability arising from discharges or substantial threats of discharges, of oil from their vessels unless the spill results solely from the act or omission of a third party, an act of God or an act of war, which is determined after the fact. As such, responsible parties must respond to a spill immediately irrespective of fault.

OPA liability limits are periodically adjusted for inflation, and the U.S. Coast Guard issued a final rule on August 13, 2019 to reflect increases in the Consumer Price Index, which resulted in higher liability limits. With this adjustment, OPA currently limits liability of the responsible party for non-tank vessels to $1,200 per gross ton or $997,100, whichever is greater. Under OPA, these liability limits do not apply if an incident was directly caused by violation of applicable U.S. federal 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.

Under OPA, 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. The Certificate of Financial Responsibility (“COFR”) program has been created by the U.S. Coast Guard to ensure that vessels carrying oil as cargo or fuel in the U.S. waters have the financial ability to pay for removal costs and damages resulting from an oil spill or threat of a spill up to their liability limits, which are based on the gross tonnage of our vessels. These limits are subject to annual increases. It is possible for our liability limits to be broken as discussed above, which could expose us to unlimited liability.

A COFR is issued in the name of the company/person financially responsible in the event of a spill or threat of a spill and this is usually the owning company or operator of the vessel. Once they have shown the capability to pay clean-up and damage costs up to the liability limits required by the OPA, and a guaranty is issued and then provided to the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard will issue a COFR. With a few limited exceptions (not applicable to Navios vessels), vessels greater than 300 gross tons and vessels of any size that are transferring oil or cargoes between vessels or shipping oil in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) are required to comply with the COFR regulations in order to operate in U.S. waters.

The guarantor used throughout the Navios fleet is SIGCO/The Shipowners Insurance and Guaranty Company. SIGCO issues the guaranty noted above and confirms that if the responsible party does not respond to an oil spill or threat of a spill, the guarantor will be called upon to provide the funds to do so. This would be a rare occurrence because any guaranty issued by SIGCO is contingent on protection and indemnity cover.

The COFR is renewed on a three-year basis whereas the COFR guaranty is renewed annually. The U.S. Coast Guard checks that a vessel has a valid COFR prior to or upon entering the U.S. waters. Some states have COFR requirements in addition to the federal requirement under OPA, which may be more stringent than the requirement under OPA.

Trading in the United States without a valid COFR may result in the vessel being detained and/or fined up to USD 48,192.00 per day or prevented from entering U.S. ports or U.S. protectorates until the COFR is in place, or possible seizure by, and forfeiture to, the United States We have provided satisfactory evidence of financial responsibility to the U.S. Coast Guard for all of our vessels and all have valid COFRs.

In addition to potential liability under OPA, individual states may impose their own and more stringent liability regimes with regard to oil pollution incidents occurring within their boundaries. Some states' environmental laws impose unlimited liability for oil spills and contain more stringent financial responsibility and contingency planning requirements.

· Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

CERCLA contains a liability regime and provides for cleanup, removal and natural resource damages for the release of hazardous substances (other than oil) whether on land or at sea. In some cases, CERCLA could be applicable to potential cargo spills from our vessels rather than OPA.

Under CERCLA, the owner or operator of a vessel from which there is a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance is liable for certain removal costs, other remedial action, damages due to injury of natural resources, and the costs of any required health assessment for releases that expose individuals to hazardous substances. Liability for any vessel that carries any hazardous substance as cargo or residue is limited to the greater of $300 per gross ton or $5 million. For any other vessel, the limitation is the greater of $300 per gross ton or $500,000.

These liability limits do not apply if the release resulted from willful misconduct or willful negligence within the privity or knowledge of the responsible person, or from a violation of applicable safety, construction, or operating standards or regulations within the privity or knowledge of the responsible person. In addition, the liability limits also do not apply if the responsible person fails to provide all reasonable cooperation and assistance requested by a responsible public official in connection with response activities conducted under the National Contingency Plan.

Further, any person who is liable for a release or threat of release, and who fails to provide removal or remedial action ordered by the EPA is subject to punitive damages in an amount equal to three times the costs incurred by the federal Superfund trust fund as a result of such failure to act.

· Clean Air Act and Emissions Regulations

The Federal Clean Air Act (“CAA”) requires the EPA to develop standards applicable to emissions of volatile organic compounds and other air contaminants. Our vessels are subject to CAA vapor control and recovery standards (“VCS”) for cleaning fuel tanks and conducting other operations in regulated port areas.

Also, under the CAA, since 1990 the U.S. Coast Guard has regulated the safety of VCSs that are required under EPA and state rules. Our vessels operating in regulated port areas have installed VCSs that are compliant with EPA, state and U.S. Coast Guard requirements. The U.S. Coast Guard has adopted regulations that made its VCS requirements more compatible with new EPA and state regulations, reflected changes in VCS technology, and codified existing U.S. Coast Guard guidelines.

· State Laws

In the United States, there is always a possibility that state law could be more stringent than federal law. Such is the case with certain state laws concerning marine environmental protection. A few examples include:

§ California adopted more stringent low sulfur fuel requirements within California-regulated waters, requiring marine gas oil and prohibiting exhaust gas cleaning systems.
§ California also requires the use of shore power or equivalent emissions reductions strategies for vessels at all California ports.
§ Vessel owners may in some instances incur liability on an even more stringent basis under state law in the particular state where the spillage occurred. For example, many U.S. states have unlimited liability and more stringent requirements for financial responsibility and contingency planning.
§ Most states do not have comprehensive laws relating specifically to the discharge of hazardous substances into state waters as they do for oil discharges, but many states have general water pollution prevention laws that apply to hazardous substances and other materials and others have broadly written hazardous substance cleanup laws based on CERCLA that would provide a cause of action for discharges of hazardous substances from vessels.
· Ship Safety and Security Laws

With respect to ship safety, the requirements contained in SOLAS and the ISM Code generally have been implemented into U.S. law and are largely captured within U.S. Coast Guard regulations.

Ship security in the United States is governed primarily by the Marine Transportation Security Act of 2002 (“MTSA”). MTSA was implemented by U.S. Coast Guard regulations that imposed certain security requirements aboard vessels operating in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Because the MTSA regulations were intended to be aligned with international maritime security standards contained in the ISPS Code, the regulations exempt non-U.S.-flag vessels from MTSA vessel security measures, provided such vessels have on board a valid International Ship Security Certificate (“ISSC”) that attests to the vessel's compliance with SOLAS security requirements and the ISPS Code.

Applicable EU Laws

European regulations in the maritime sector are in general based on international law. However, since the Erika incident in 1999 and subsequent court decisions, the European Community has become increasingly active in the field of regulation of maritime safety and protection of the environment. It has been the driving force behind a number of amendments to MARPOL (including, for example, changes to accelerate the time-table for the phase-out of single hull tankers, and to prohibit the carriage in such tankers of heavy grades of oil), and if dissatisfied either with the extent of such amendments or with the time-table for their introduction it has been prepared to legislate on a unilateral basis.

In some instances, EU regulations may impose burdens and costs on shipowners and operators beyond the requirements under international rules and standards.

· Liability for Pollution and Interaction between MARPOL and EU Law

The EU has implemented certain EU-specific pollution laws, most notably a 2005 directive on ship-source pollution. This directive imposes imposing criminal sanctions for pollution caused by intent or recklessness (which would be an offense under MARPOL), as well as by “serious negligence.” The directive could therefore result in criminal liability being incurred in a European port state in circumstances where it may not be incurred in other jurisdictions.

There is skepticism that the notion of “serious negligence” is likely to prove any narrower in practice than ordinary negligence. Either way, however, criminal liability for a pollution incident could result in the imposition of substantial penalties or fines and also facilitate civil liability claims for greater compensation than would otherwise have been payable.

· Regulation of Emissions and Emissions Trading System

The EU has a ship emissions regime. This regime primarily mirrors the IMO regime, but is more stringent than IMO regulations in some respects.

In December 2016, the EU signed into law the National Emissions Ceiling (“NEC”) Directive, which entered into force on December 31, 2016. The NEC required implementation by individual members States through particular laws in each State by June 30, 2018. The NEC aims to set stricter emissions limits on SO2, ammonia, non-methane volatile organic compounds, NOx and fine particulate (PM2.5) by setting new upper limits for emissions of these pollutants. While the NEC is not specifically directed toward the shipping industry, the EU specifically mentions the shipping industry in its announcement of the NEC as a contributor to emissions of PM2.5, SO2 and NOx. 

In February 2017, EU member States met to consider independently regulating the shipping industry under the Emissions Trading System (“ETS”), which requires certain businesses to report on carbon emissions and provides for a credit trading system for carbon allowances. On February 15, 2017, European Parliament voted in favor of a bill to include maritime shipping in the ETS by 2023 if the IMO has not promulgated a comparable system by 2021. In November 2017, the Council of Ministers, EU's main decision-making body, agreed that Europe should act on shipping emissions from 2023 if the IMO fails to deliver effective global measures.

· Ship Recycling and Waste Shipment Regulations

On December 31, 2018, EU-flagged vessels became subject to Regulation (EU) No. 1257/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on ship recycling (the “EU Ship Recycling Regulation” or “ESRR”) and exempt from Regulation (EC) No. 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste (the “European Waste Shipment Regulation” or “EWSR”), which had previously governed their disposal and recycling. The EWSR continues to be applicable to Non-European Union Member State-flagged (“non-EU-flagged”) vessels.

Under the ESRR, commercial EU-flagged vessels of 500 gross tonnage and above may be recycled only at shipyards included on the European List of Authorised Ship Recycling Facilities (the “European List”). Additionally, shipowners will need to carry a certified Inventory of Hazardous Materials (“IHM”) on board their vessels. The IHM Part shall be properly maintained and updated throughout the operational life of the ship, reflecting new installations containing any hazardous materials. As of December 31, 2019, 33 of our EU-flagged vessels met this tonnage specification. The European List presently includes eight facilities in Turkey, but no facilities in the major ship recycling countries in Asia The combined capacity of the European List facilities may prove insufficient to absorb the total recycling volume of EU-flagged vessels. This circumstance, taken in tandem with the possible decrease in cash sales, may result in longer wait times for divestment of recyclable vessels as well as downward pressure on the purchase prices offered by European List shipyards. Furthermore, facilities located in the major ship recycling countries generally offer significantly higher vessel purchase prices, and as such, the requirement that we utilize only European List shipyards may negatively impact revenue from the residual values of our vessels.

In addition, the EWSR requires that non-EU-flagged ships departing from European Union ports be recycled only in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. In March 2018, the Rotterdam District Court ruled that the sale of four recyclable vessels by third party Dutch shipowner Seatrade to cash buyers, who then reflagged and resold the vessels to non-OECD country recycling yards, were effectively indirect sales to non-OECD country yards, in violation of the EWSR. If European Union Member State courts widely adopt this analysis, it may negatively impact revenue from the residual values of our vessels and we may be subject to a heightened risk of non-compliance, due diligence obligations and costs in instances in which we sell older ships to cash buyers.

Laws and International Standards to Stem Climate Change and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In February 2005, the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the “UNFCCC”) 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 GHGs, which are suspected of contributing to global warming. Currently, the GHG emissions from international shipping do not come under the Kyoto Protocol.

Some attention has been paid to GHGs in Europe. On June 28, 2013, the European Commission (“EC”) adopted a communication setting out a strategy for progressively including GHG emissions from maritime transport in the EU's policy for reducing its overall GHG emissions. The first step proposed by the EC was an EU Regulation to an EU-wide system for the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from large ships starting in 2018. The Regulation was adopted on April 29, 2015 and took effect on July 1, 2015, with monitoring, reporting and verification requirements beginning on January 1, 2018. This Regulation appears to be indicative of an intent to maintain pressure on the international negotiating process. The EC also adopted an Implementing Regulation, which entered into force in November 2016, setting templates for monitoring plans, emissions reports and compliance documents pursuant to Regulation 2015/757.

There are varying approaches on whether to add additional regulations on GHG emissions in the United States, which has re-entered international commitments relating to GHG regulation. However, the Transportation Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, in January 2020, held a hearing on “Decarbonizing the Maritime Industry,” which highlighted alleged health impacts of GHG, the IMO’s goal of decarbonization, and what next steps can be taken in reducing emissions from vessels. Further, in March 2020 legislation was introduced in the U.S. Congress which would have required emissions reductions of 80% below the 2005 emissions level. The bill would also have required each U.S. state to develop its own Strategic Action Plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Although this bill did not become law, similar legislation has been introduced in the current Congress. The current legislation under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives would aspire to reduce GHGs by at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. The bill would also authorize changes to the standards used to regulate engines in vessels and incentivize the use of shore power while in port. It is notable that both bills targeted the transportation sector in particular for GHG regulation. In addition, the IMO has developed and intends to continue developing limits on emissions before 2023. The IMO is also considering its position on market-based measures through an expert working group. Among the numerous proposals being considered by the working group are the following: a port State levy based on the amount of fuel consumed by the vessel on its voyage to the port in question; and a global emissions trading scheme which would allocate emissions allowances and set an emissions cap, among others. The IMO's current strategy encompasses a reduction in total GHG emissions from international shipping. The IMO's goal is to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 2008, while, at the same time, pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely. 

In 2018, IMO's call to action on GHGs was met with industry pushback in many countries. Despite this, work on GHG continues to be an important issue at the IMO, and recent indications show the potential for further regulation of GHG in shipping. Specifically, at the MEPC 75 meeting held November 16-20, 2020, draft regulations to cut the cargo intensity of existing ships were approved. The draft amendments will be put forward for formal adoption at MEPC 76, to be held in June 2021. Also, MEPC 75 adopted amendments to MARPOL, Annex VI to significantly strengthen the Energy Efficiency Design Index (“EEDI”) “phase 3” requirements, which are expected to enter into force on April 1, 2022. This means that new container ships and general cargo ships will have to be built significantly more energy efficient than the baseline. Further, MEPC will consider draft amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, which would regulate GHG beginning in 2023. MEPC additionally also issued comments on the IMO’s “Fourth IMO GHG Study.” These developments signal continued and potentially increasing interest in GHG regulation from the IMO and the MEPC in particular.

Sanction and Compliance

We constantly monitor developments in the U.S., the EU and other jurisdictions that maintain economic sanctions against Iran, Russian entities, Venezuela, other countries, and other sanctions targets, including developments in implementation and enforcement of such sanctions programs. Expansion of sanctions programs, embargoes and other restrictions in the future (including additional designations of countries and persons subject to sanctions), or modifications in how existing sanctions are interpreted or enforced, could prevent our vessels from calling in ports in sanctioned countries or could limit their cargoes.

Iran Sanctions

Prior to January 2016, the scope of sanctions imposed against Iran, the government of Iran and persons engaging in certain activities or doing certain business with and relating to Iran was expanded by a number of jurisdictions, including the U.S., the EU and Canada. In 2010, the U.S. enacted the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act (“CISADA”), which expanded the scope of the former Iran Sanctions Act. The scope of U.S. sanctions against Iran were expanded subsequent to CISADA by, among other U.S. laws, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (the “2012 NDAA”), the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (“ITRA”), and the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (“IFCA”). The foregoing laws, among other things, expanded the application of prohibitions to non-U.S. companies such as our company and to transactions with no U.S. nexus, and introduced limits on the ability of non-U.S. companies and other non-U.S. persons to do business or trade with Iran when such activities relate to specific activities such as investment in Iran, the supply or export of refined petroleum or refined petroleum products to Iran, the supply and delivery of goods to Iran which could enhance Iran's petroleum or energy sectors, and the transportation of crude oil from Iran to countries which do not enjoy Iran crude oil sanctions waivers (Navios Acquisition's tankers called in Iran but did not engage in the prohibited activities specifically identified by these sanctions).

U.S. economic sanctions on Iran fall into two general categories: “Primary” sanctions, which prohibit U.S. persons or U.S. companies and their foreign branches, U.S. citizens, foreign owned or controlled subsidiaries, U.S. permanent residents, persons within the territory of the U.S. from engaging in all direct and indirect trade and other transactions with Iran without U.S. government authorization, and “secondary” sanctions, which are mainly nuclear-related sanctions. While most of the U.S. nuclear-related sanctions with respect to Iran (including, inter alia, CISADA, ITRA, and IFCA) and the EU sanctions on Iran were initially lifted on January 16, 2016 through the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the “JCPOA”) entered into between the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.) and Germany, there are still certain limitations under that sanctions framework in place with which we need to comply. The primary sanctions with which U.S. persons or transactions with a U.S. nexus must comply are still in force and have not been lifted or relaxed. However, the following sanctions which were lifted under the JCPOA were reimposed (“snapped back”) on May 8, 2018 as a result of the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA:

Sanctions on the purchase or acquisition of U.S. dollar banknotes by the Government of Iran;
Sanctions on Iran's trade in gold or precious metals;
Sanctions on the direct or indirect sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of graphite, raw, or semi-finished metals such as aluminum and steel, coal, and software for integrating industrial processes;
Sanctions on significant transactions related to the purchase or sale of Iranian rials, or the maintenance of significant funds or accounts outside the territory of Iran denominated in the Iranian rial;
Sanctions on the purchase, subscription to, or facilitation of the issuance of Iranian sovereign debt; and
Sanctions on Iran's automotive sector.

Following a 180-day wind-down period ending on November 4, 2018, the U.S. government re-imposed the following sanctions that were lifted pursuant to the JCPOA, including sanctions on associated services related to the activities below:

Sanctions on Iran's port operators, and shipping and shipbuilding sectors, including on the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), South Shipping Line Iran, or their affiliates;
Sanctions on petroleum-related transactions with, among others, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), including the purchase of petroleum, petroleum products, or petrochemical products from Iran;
Sanctions on transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran and designated Iranian financial institutions under Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA);
Sanctions on the provision of specialized financial messaging services to the Central Bank of Iran and Iranian financial institutions described in Section 104(c)(2)(E)(ii) of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA);
Sanctions on the provision of underwriting services, insurance, or reinsurance; and
Sanctions on Iran's energy sector.

In two Executive Orders issued in 2019, U.S. secondary sanctions against Iran were expanded to include the Iron, Steel, Aluminum, and Copper Sectors of Iran. The new, additional sanctions, which are pursuant to an Executive Order issued on January 10, 2020, may be imposed against any individual owning, operating, trading with, or assisting sectors of the Iranian economy including construction, manufacturing, textiles, and mining. As a result, trade with Iran in almost all industry sectors is now off limits for U.S. as well as non-U.S. persons, except for trade in medicine/medical items and food and agricultural commodities.  

The new sanctions imposed in 2020 also authorize the imposition of sanctions on a foreign financial institution upon a determination that the foreign financial institution has, on or after January 10, 2020, knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant financial transaction: i) for the sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of significant goods or services used in connection with a prohibited sector of the Iranian economy, or (ii) for or on behalf of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked.

U.S. Iran sanctions also prohibit U.S. as well as non-U.S. persons from engaging in significant transactions with any individual or entity that the U.S. Government has designated as an Iran sanctions target.

EU sanctions remain in place in relation to the export of arms and military goods listed in the EU common military list, missiles-related goods and items that might be used for internal repression. The main nuclear-related EU sanctions which remain in place include restrictions on:

Graphite and certain raw or semi-finished metals such as corrosion-resistant high-grade steel, iron, aluminum and alloys, titanium and alloys and nickel and alloys (as listed in Annex VIIB to EU Regulation 267/2012 as updated by EU Regulation 2015/1861 (the “EU Regulation”);
Goods listed in the Nuclear Suppliers Group list (listed in Annex I to the EU Regulation);
Goods that could contribute to nuclear-related or other activities inconsistent with the JCPOA (as listed in Annex II to the EU Regulation); and
Software designed for use in nuclear/military industries (as listed in Annex VIIA to the EU Regulation).

The above EU sanctions activities can only be engaged if prior authorization (granted on a case-by-case basis) is obtained. The remaining restrictions apply to the sale, supply, transfer or export, directly or indirectly to any Iranian person/for use in Iran, as well as the provision of technical assistance, financing or financial assistance in relation to the restricted activity. Certain individuals and entities remain sanctioned and the prohibition to make available, directly or indirectly, economic resources or assets to or for the benefit of sanctioned parties remains. “Economic resources” is widely defined and it remains prohibited to provide vessels for a fixture from which a sanctioned party (or parties related to a sanctioned party) directly or indirectly benefits. It is therefore still necessary to carry out due diligence on the parties and cargoes involved in fixtures involving Iran.

Russia/Ukraine Sanctions

As a result of the crisis in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, both the U.S. and the EU have implemented sanctions against certain Russian individuals and entities.

The EU has imposed travel bans and asset freezes on certain Russian persons and entities pursuant to which it is prohibited to make available, directly or indirectly, economic resources or assets to or for the benefit of the sanctioned parties. Certain Russian ports including Kerch Commercial Seaport; Sevastopol Commercial Seaport and Port Feodosia are subject to the above restrictions. Other entities are subject to sectoral sanctions which limit the provision of equity financing and loans to the listed entities. In addition, various restrictions on trade have been implemented which, amongst others, include a prohibition on the import into the EU of goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol as well as restrictions on trade in certain dual-use and military items and restrictions in relation to various items of technology associated with the oil industry for use in deep water exploration and production, Arctic oil exploration and production or shale oil projects in Russia. As such, it is important to carry out due diligence on the parties and cargoes involved in fixtures relating to Russia.

The U.S. has imposed sanctions against certain designated Russian entities and individuals (“U.S. Russian Sanctions Targets”). These sanctions block the property and all interests in property of the U.S. Russian Sanctions Targets. This effectively prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any economic or commercial transactions with the U.S. Russian Sanctions Targets unless the same are authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department. Similar to EU sanctions, U.S. sanctions also entail restrictions on certain exports from the U.S. to Russia and the imposition of Sectoral Sanctions which restrict the provision of equity and debt financing to designated Russian entities. While the prohibitions of these sanctions are not directly applicable to us, we have compliance measures in place to guard against transactions with U.S. Russian Sanctions Targets which may involve the U.S. or U.S. persons and thus implicate prohibitions. The U.S. also maintains prohibitions on trade with Crimea.

With respect to Russia, the U.S. has also taken a number of steps toward implementing aspects of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”), a major piece of sanctions legislation.

Under CAATSA, the U.S. may impose secondary sanctions relating to Russia's energy export pipelines, and investments in special Russian crude oil projects. CAATSA has a provision that requires the U.S. President to sanction persons who knowingly engage in significant transactions with parties affiliated with Russia's defense and intelligence sectors.

Venezuela-Related Sanctions

The U.S. sanctions with respect to Venezuela prohibit various financial and other transactions and activities, dealings with designated Venezuelan government officials and entities, curtail the provision of financing to Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (“PdVSA”) and other government entities, and they also prohibit U.S. persons from purchasing oil rom PdVSA. Additionally, U.S. (blocking) sanctions may be imposed on any (non-U.S.) person that has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, or any blocked entity such as PdVSA.

EU sanctions against Venezuela are primarily governed by EU Council Regulation 2017/2063 of 13 November 2017 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Venezuela. This includes financial sanctions and restrictions on listed persons and an, arms embargo, and related prohibitions and restrictions including restrictions related to internal repression.

U.S. Executive Orders

The following Executive Orders govern the U.S. sanctions with respect to Venezuela:

13884 - Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela - (August 5, 2019)
13857 - Taking Additional Steps to Address the National Emergency With Respect to Venezuela (January 25, 2019)
13850 - Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela (November 1, 2018)
13835 - Prohibiting Certain Additional Transactions with Respect to Venezuela (May 21, 2018)
13827 - Taking Additional Steps to Address the Situation in Venezuela (March 19, 2018) - prohibits all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by a U.S. person or within the U.S., in any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token, (the Petro) that was issued by, for, or on behalf of the Government of Venezuela on or after January 9, 2018.
13808 - Imposing Additional Sanctions with Respect to the Situation in Venezuela (August 24, 2017) - This executive Order prohibits transactions involving, dealings in, and the provision of financing for (by (US persons) of:
New debt with a maturity of greater than 90 days of PdVSA;
New debt with a maturity of greater than 30 days or new equity of the Government of Venezuela, other than debt of PdVSA;
Bonds issued by the Government of Venezuela prior to August 25, 2017, the EO's effective date;
Dividend payments or other distributions of profits to the Government of Venezuela from any entity directly or indirectly owned or controlled by the Government of Venezuela; or
Direct or indirect purchase by U.S. persons or persons within the U.S. of securities from the Government of Venezuela, other than securities qualifying as new debt with a maturity of less than or equal to 90 or 30 days as covered by the EO (Section 1).
13692-Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela (March 8, 2015) - blocks designated Venezuelan government officials.

Other U.S. Economic Sanctions Targets

In addition to Iran and certain Russian entities and individuals, as indicated above, the U.S. maintains comprehensive economic sanctions against Syria, Cuba, North Korea, and sanctions against entities and individuals (such as entities and individuals in the foregoing targeted countries, designated terrorists, narcotics traffickers) whose names appear on the List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department (collectively, the “Sanctions Targets”). We are subject to the prohibitions of these sanctions to the extent that any transaction or activity we engage in involves Sanctions Targets and a U.S. person or otherwise has a nexus to the U.S.

Other EU Economic Sanctions Targets

The EU also maintains sanctions against Syria, North Korea and certain other countries and against individuals listed by the EU. These restrictions apply to our operations and as such, to the extent that these countries may be involved in any business it is important to carry out checks to ensure compliance with all relevant restrictions and to carry out due diligence checks on counterparties and cargoes.

Taxation of the Partnership

United States Taxation

The following is a discussion of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to us. This discussion is based upon provisions of the Code, final and temporary regulations thereunder (“Treasury Regulations”), and administrative rulings and court decisions, all as in effect currently and during our year ended December 31, 2020 and all of which are subject to change, possibly with retroactive effect. Changes in these authorities may cause the tax consequences to vary substantially from the consequences described below. The following discussion is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be a comprehensive description of all of the U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to us.

Election to be Treated as a Corporation: We have elected to be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As such, we are subject to U.S. federal income tax on our income to the extent it is from U.S. sources or otherwise is effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the Unites States as discussed below.

Taxation of Operating Income: Substantially all of our gross income is attributable to the transportation of drybulk and related products. For this purpose, gross income attributable to transportation (“Transportation Income”) includes income derived from, or in connection with, the use, the hiring for use, or the leasing for use (if any) of a vessel to transport cargo, or the performance of services directly related to the use of any vessel to transport cargo, and thus includes both time charter income and bareboat charter income (if any).

Transportation Income that is attributable to transportation that either begins or ends, but that does not both begin and end in the United States (“U.S. Source International Transportation Income”) is considered to be 50.0% derived from sources within the United States. Transportation Income attributable to transportation that both begins and ends in the United States (“U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Income”) is considered to be 100.0% derived from sources within the United States. Transportation Income attributable to transportation exclusively between non-U.S. destinations is considered to be 100.0% derived from sources outside the United States. Transportation Income derived from sources outside the United States generally is not subject to U.S. federal income tax.

We believe that we did not earn any U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Income for our fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and expect that we will not earn any such income for future years. However, certain of our activities gave rise to U.S. Source International Transportation Income, and future expansion of our operations could result in an increase in the amount of U.S. Source International Transportation Income, which generally would be subject to U.S. federal income taxation, unless the exemption from U.S. federal income taxation under Section 883 of the Code (the “Section 883 Exemption”) applied.

The Section 883 Exemption: In general, the Section 883 Exemption provides that if a non-U.S. corporation satisfies the requirements of Section 883 of the Code and the Treasury Regulations thereunder (the “Section 883 Regulations”), it will not be subject to the net basis and branch profit taxes or the 4.0% gross basis tax described below on its U.S. Source International Transportation Income. The Section 883 Exemption applies only to U.S. Source International Transportation Income and does not apply to U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Income. We qualify for the Section 883 Exemption if, among other matters, we meet the following three requirements:

We are organized in a jurisdiction outside the United States that grants an equivalent exemption from tax to corporations organized in the United States with respect to the types of U.S. Source International Transportation Income that we earn (an “Equivalent Exemption”);
We satisfy the Publicly Traded Test (as described below) or the Qualified Shareholder Stock Ownership Test (as described below); and
We meet certain substantiation, reporting and other requirements.

We are organized under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The U.S. Treasury Department has recognized the Republic of the Marshall Islands as a jurisdiction that grants an Equivalent Exemption with respect to the type of income we have earned and are expected to earn. Consequently, our U.S. Source International Transportation Income (including for this purpose, any such income earned by our subsidiaries, that have elected to be disregarded as entities separate from us for U.S. federal income tax purposes) will be exempt from U.S. federal income taxation provided we meet the Publicly Traded Test or the Qualified Shareholder Stock Ownership Test and we satisfy certain substantiation, reporting and other requirements.

In order to meet the “Publicly Traded Test”, the equity interests in the non-U.S. corporation at issue must be “primarily traded” and “regularly traded” on an established securities market either in the United States or in a jurisdiction outside the United States that grants an Equivalent Exemption. The Section 883 Regulations generally provide, in pertinent part, that a class of equity interests in a non-U.S. corporation will be considered to be “primarily traded” on an established securities market in a given country if the number of units of such class that are traded during any taxable year on all established securities markets in that country exceeds the number of units in such class that are traded during that year on established securities markets in any other single country. Equity interests in a non-U.S. corporation will be considered to be “regularly traded” on an established securities market under the Section 883 Regulations provided one or more classes of such equity interests representing more than 50.0% of the aggregate vote and value of all of the outstanding equity interests in the non-U.S. corporation satisfy certain listing and trading volume requirements. These listing and trading volume requirements are satisfied with respect to a class of equity interests listed on an established securities market provided trades in such class are effected, other than in de minimis quantities, on such market on at least 60 days during the taxable year and the aggregate number of units in such class that are traded on such market or markets during the taxable year are at least 10% of the average number of units outstanding in that class during the taxable year (with special rules for short taxable years). In addition, a class of equity interests traded on an established securities market in the United States will be considered to satisfy the listing and trading volume requirements if the equity interests in such class are “regularly quoted by dealers making a market” in such class (within the meaning of the Section 883 Regulations). Notwithstanding these rules, a class of equity that would otherwise be treated as “regularly traded” on an established securities market will not be so treated if, for more than half of the number of days during the taxable year, one or more “5.0% unitholders” (i.e., unitholders owning, actually or constructively, at least 5.0% of the vote and value of that class) own in the aggregate 50.0% or more of the vote and value of that class (the “Closely Held Block Exception”), unless the corporation can establish that a sufficient proportion of such 5.0% unitholders are Qualified Shareholders so as to preclude other persons who are 5.0% unitholders from owning 50.0% or more of the value of that class for more than half the days during the taxable year.

Because substantially all of our common units are and have been traded on the NYSE, which is considered to be an established securities market, our common units are and have been “primarily traded” on an established securities market for purposes of the Publicly Traded Test.

Further, although the matter is not free from doubt, based upon our expected cash flow and distributions on our outstanding equity interests, we believe that our common units represented more than 50.0% of the total value of all of our outstanding equity interests, and we believe that we satisfied the trading volume requirements described previously for our fiscal year ended December 31, 2020. We believe that we did not lose eligibility for the Section 883 Exemption as a result of the Closely Held Block Exception for such year, and consequently, we believe we satisfied the Publicly Traded Test for our fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.

While there can be no assurance that we will continue to satisfy the requirements for the Publicly Traded Test in the future, and our board of directors could determine that it is in our best interests to take an action that would result in our not being able to satisfy the Publicly Traded Test, we presently expect, subject to the possibility that our common units may be delisted by a qualifying exchange, to continue to satisfy the requirements for the Publicly Traded Test and the Section 883 Exemption for future years. Please see below for a discussion of the consequences in the event we do not satisfy the Publicly Traded Test or otherwise fail to qualify for the Section 883 Exemption.

Please also see the risk factor entitled “Item 3. D. Risk Factors-Risks Relating to Our Units-The New York Stock Exchange may delist our securities from trading on its exchange, which could limit your ability to trade our securities and subject us to additional trading restrictions”.

The Net Basis Tax and Branch Profits Tax: If we earn U.S. Source International Transportation Income and the Section 883 Exemption does not apply, the U.S. source portion of such income may be treated as effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business in the United States (“Effectively Connected Income”) if we have a fixed place of business in the United States and substantially all of our U.S. Source International Transportation Income is attributable to regularly scheduled transportation or, in the case of bareboat charter income (if any), is attributable to a fixed place of business in the United States.

We believe that, for our fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, none of our U.S. Source International Transportation Income was attributable to regularly scheduled transportation or received pursuant to bareboat charters. As a result, we believe that none of our U.S. Source International Transportation Income for such year would be treated as Effectively Connected Income even in the event we did not qualify for the Section 883 Exemption. However, there is no assurance that we will not earn income pursuant to regularly scheduled transportation or bareboat charters attributable to a fixed place of business in the United States in the future, which would result in such income being treated as Effectively Connected Income. In addition, any U.S. Source Domestic Transportation Income may be treated as Effectively Connected Income. Any income we earn that is treated as Effectively Connected Income would be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax (presently imposed at a 21.0% rate) as well as 30.0% branch profits tax imposed under Section 884 of the Code. In addition, a 30.0% branch interest tax could be imposed on certain interest paid or deemed paid by us.

On the sale of a vessel that has produced Effectively Connected Income, we could be subject to the net basis corporate income tax as well as branch profits tax with respect to the gain recognized up to the amount of certain prior deductions for depreciation that reduced Effectively Connected Income. Otherwise, we would not be subject to U.S. federal income tax with respect to gain realized on the sale of a vessel, provided the gain is not attributable to an office or other fixed place of business maintained by us in the United States under U.S. federal income tax principles.

The 4.0% Gross Basis Tax: If the Section 883 Exemption does not apply and the net basis tax does not apply, we would be subject to a 4.0% U.S. federal income tax on the U.S. source portion of our gross U.S. Source International Transportation Income, without benefit of deductions.

Marshall Islands Taxation

Based on the opinion of Reeder and Simpson, P.C., our counsel as to matters of the law of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, because we, our operating subsidiary and our controlled affiliates do not, and do not expect to, conduct business or operations in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, neither we nor our controlled affiliates will be subject to income, capital gains, profits or other taxation under current Marshall Islands law. As a result, distributions by our operating subsidiary and our controlled affiliates to us will not be subject to Marshall Islands taxation.

Other Tax Jurisdictions

Certain of Navios Partners' subsidiaries are incorporated in countries which impose taxes, such as Malta, however such taxes are immaterial to Navios Partners' operations.

In accordance with the currently applicable Greek law, foreign flagged vessels that are managed by Greek or foreign ship management companies having established an office in Greece are subject to duties towards the Greek state which are calculated on the basis of the relevant vessel's tonnage. The payment of said duties exhausts the tax liability of the foreign ship owning company and the relevant manager against any tax, duty, charge or contribution payable on income from the exploitation of the foreign flagged vessel. In case that tonnage tax and/or similar taxes/duties are paid to the vessel's flag state, these are deducted from the amount of the duty to be paid in Greece.

C. Organizational Structure

Please read exhibit 8.1 to this Annual Report for a list of our significant subsidiaries as of December 31, 2020.

Affiliates included in the financial statements accounted for under the equity method:

In the consolidated financial statements of Navios Partners, the following entities are included as affiliates and are accounted for under the equity method for such periods: (i) Navios Containers and its subsidiaries with an ownership interest of 35.7% as of December 31, 2020; (ii) Navios Europe I and its subsidiaries with an ownership interest of 5% through the date of its liquidation on December 13, 2019; and (iii) Navios Europe II and its subsidiaries with an ownership interest of 5% through the date of its liquidation on June 29, 2020.

D. Property, plants and equipment

Other than our vessels, we do not have any material property, plants or equipment.

Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments

None

Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects

The following is a discussion of Navios Partners’ financial condition and results of operations for each of the fiscal years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018. Navios Partners’ financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. You should read this section together with the consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes to those financial statements, which are included in this document.

This report contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on Navios Partners’ current expectations and observations. Included among the factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this report are those discussed under “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements”.

Overview

We are an international owner and operator of dry cargo vessels, formed in August 2007 by Navios Holdings, a vertically integrated seaborne shipping and logistics company with over 60 years of operating history in the dry cargo shipping industry. We have been a public company since November 2007.

As of March 24, 2021, there were outstanding 11,345,187 common units and 237,822 general partnership units. Navios Holdings currently owns an approximately 18.2% common unit interest in Navios Partners and Olympos Maritime Ltd, our general partner, currently owns 2.1% interest in Navios Partners based on all outstanding common units and general partner units.

Please see “Item 4. - Information on the Partnership”.

Fleet Developments

On December 10, 2020, Navios Partners completed the sale of the Navios Soleil, a 2009-built Ultra–Handymax vessel of 57,337 dwt, to an unrelated third party for a net sale price of $8.2 million.

On September 30, 2020, Navios Partners acquired the Navios Gem, a 2014-built Capesize vessel of 181,336 dwt and the Navios Victory, a 2014-built Panamax vessel of 77,095 dwt, from its affiliate, Navios Holdings, for a purchase price of $51.0 million, including working capital balances of $(4.4) million.

On June 29, 2020, Navios Partners acquired five drybulk vessels, three Panamax and two Ultra-Handymax, for a fair value of $56.1 million in total, including working capital balances of $(2.7) million, following the liquidation of Navios Europe II.

 

On December 16, 2019, Navios Partners acquired four drybulk vessels, from an entity affiliated with the Company's Chairman and CEO, for a fair value of $40.4 million, in total.

 

On December 13, 2019, Navios Partners acquired three Sub-Panamax and two Panamax Containerships for a fair value of $56.1 million in total, including working capital balances of $14.4 million, following the liquidation of Navios Europe I.

 

On April 23, 2019, Navios Partners completed the sale of the Navios Galaxy I, a 2001-built Panamax vessel of 74,195 dwt, to an unrelated third party, for a net sale price of $6.0 million.

On December 14, 2018, Navios Partners completed the sale of the Navios Libra II, a 1995-built Panamax vessel of 70,136 dwt. The vessel was sold to an unrelated third party for a net sale price of $4.6 million.

On December 4, 2018, Navios Partners completed the sale of the Navios Felicity, a 1997-built Panamax vessel of 73,867 dwt. The vessel was sold to an unrelated third party for a net sale price of $4.7 million.

On August 31, 2018, Navios Partners acquired from its affiliate, Navios Holdings, the Navios Sphera, a 2016-built Panamax vessel of 84,872 dwt and the Navios Mars, a 2016-built Capesize vessel of 181,259 dwt, for an acquisition cost $79.0 million, in total.

 

On July 2, 2018, Navios Partners completed the sale of the YM Unity and the YM Utmost, two 2006-built containerships of 8,204 TEU each. The vessels were sold to its affiliate, Navios Containers, for a total sale price of $67.0 million.

On June 7, 2018, Navios Partners acquired from an unrelated third party the Navios Altair I, a 2006-built Panamax vessel of 74,475 dwt, for an acquisition cost of $11.8 million.

On May 21, 2018, Navios Partners acquired from an unrelated third party the Navios Symmetry, a 2006-built Panamax vessel of 74,381 dwt, for an acquisition cost of $11.8 million.

On May 9, 2018, Navios Partners acquired from an unrelated third party the Navios Apollon I, a 2005-built Panamax vessel of 87,052 dwt, for an acquisition cost of $13.4 million.

The historical results discussed below, and the historical financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this annual report, present operating results of the fleet for the periods beginning from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2020.

      Country of

Statements of Operations

 
 

Company name

 
Vessel name

incorporation

 

2020

 

2019

 

2018

 
  Libra Shipping Enterprises Corporation(1) Navios Libra II Marshall Is. 1/01 – 12/31 1/01 – 12/31 1/01 – 12/31
  Alegria Shipping Corporation Navios Alegria Marshall Is. 1/01 – 12/31 1/01 – 12/31 1/01 – 12/31
  Felicity Shipping Corporation(2) Navios Felicity Marshall Is. 1/01 – 12/31 1/01 – 12/31 1/01 – 12/31
  Gemini Shipping Corporation(3) Navios Gemini S Marshall Is. 1/01 – 12/31 1/01 – 12/31 1/01 – 12/31
  Galaxy Shipping Corporation(4) Navios Galaxy I Marshall Is. 1/01 – 12/31 1/01 – 12/31 1/01 – 12/31
  Aurora Shipping Enterprises Ltd. Navios Hope Marshall Is. 1/01 – 12/31