2. Significant Accounting Policies
(a) Principles of consolidation: The consolidated financial statements incorporate the financial statements of the Company and its wholly‑owned subsidiaries. Income and expenses of subsidiaries acquired or disposed of during the period are included in the consolidated statements of operations from the effective date of acquisition and up to the effective date of disposal, as appropriate. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated.
(b) Use of estimates: The preparation of the financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
(c) Other comprehensive income/(loss): We follow the accounting guidance relating to comprehensive income, which requires separate presentation of certain transactions that are recorded directly as components of shareholders’ equity. We have no other comprehensive income/(loss) items and, accordingly, comprehensive income/(loss) equals net income/(loss) for the periods presented and thus we have not presented this in the consolidated statement of operations or in a separate statement.
(d) Foreign currency translation: Our functional currency is the U.S. Dollar. Foreign currency transactions are measured and recorded in the functional currency using the exchange rate in effect at the date of the transaction. As of balance sheet date, monetary assets and liabilities that are denominated in a currency other than the functional currency are adjusted to reflect the exchange rate at the balance sheet date and any gains or losses are included in the statement of operations. For the periods presented, we had no foreign currency derivative instruments.
(e) Cash and cash equivalents: We consider highly liquid investments such as time deposits and certificates of deposit with an original maturity of three months or less to be cash equivalents.
(f) Short-term investments: We consider short-term, highly-liquid time deposits placed with financial institutions, which are readily convertible into known amounts of cash with original maturities of more than three months, but less than 12 months at the time of purchase to be short-term investments.
(g) Trade receivables, net and accrued revenues: Trade receivables, net and accrued revenues, reflect receivables from vessel charters, net of an allowance for doubtful accounts. At each balance sheet date, all potentially uncollectible accounts are assessed individually for purposes of determining the appropriate provision for doubtful accounts. Provision for doubtful accounts for the periods presented was zero.
(h) Due from related parties: Due from related parties reflect receivables from the Helios Pool and other related parties. Distributions of earnings due from the Helios Pool are classified as current and working capital contributed to the Helios Pool is classified as non-current.
(i) Inventories: Inventories consist of bunkers on board the vessels when vessels are unemployed or are operating under voyage charters and lubricants and stores on board the vessels. Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value. Cost is determined by the first in, first out method. Net realizable value is the estimated selling price, less reasonably predictable costs of disposal and transportation.
(j) Vessels, net: Vessels, net are stated at cost net of accumulated depreciation and impairment charges. The costs of the vessels acquired as part of a business acquisition are recorded at their fair value on the date of acquisition. The cost of vessels purchased consists of the contract price, less discounts, plus any direct expenses incurred upon acquisition, including improvements, commission paid, delivery expenses and other expenditures to prepare the vessel for her initial voyage. The initial purchase of LPG coolant for the refrigeration of cargo is also capitalized. Allocated interest costs incurred during construction are capitalized. Subsequent expenditures for conversions and major improvements, including scrubbers, are also capitalized when they appreciably extend the life, increase the earning capacity or improve the efficiency or safety of the vessels. Repairs and maintenance are expensed as incurred.
(k) Impairment of long‑lived assets: We review our vessels “held and used” for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the assets may not be recoverable. When the estimate of future undiscounted cash flows, excluding interest charges, expected to be generated by the use of the asset is less than its carrying amount, the asset is evaluated for an impairment loss. Measurement of the impairment loss is based on the fair value of the asset.
(l) Vessel depreciation: Depreciation is computed using the straight‑line method over the estimated useful life of the vessels, after considering the estimated salvage value. Each vessel’s salvage value is equal to the product of its lightweight tonnage and estimated scrap rate. Management estimates the useful life of its vessels to be 25 years from the date of initial delivery from the shipyard. Secondhand vessels are depreciated from the date of their acquisition through their remaining estimated useful life.
(m) Drydocking and special survey costs: Drydocking and special survey costs are accounted under the deferral method whereby the actual costs incurred are deferred and are amortized on a straight‑line basis over the period through the date the next survey is scheduled to become due. The classification societies provide guidelines applicable to LPG vessels relating to extended intervals for drydocking. Generally, we are required to drydock each of our vessels every five years until they reach 15 years of age unless an extension of the drydocking to seven and one-half years is requested and granted by the classification society and the vessel is not older than 20 years of age. Costs deferred are limited to actual costs incurred at the yard and parts used in the drydocking or special survey. Costs deferred include expenditures incurred relating to shipyard costs, hull preparation and painting, inspection of hull structure and mechanical components, steelworks, machinery works, and electrical works. If a survey is performed prior to the scheduled date, the remaining unamortized balances are immediately written off. Unamortized balances of vessels that are sold are written‑off and included in the calculation of the resulting gain or loss in the period of the vessel’s sale. The amortization charge is presented within Depreciation and amortization in the consolidated statement of operations.
(n) Financing costs: Financing costs incurred for obtaining new loans and credit facilities are deferred and amortized to interest expense over the respective term of the loan or credit facility using the effective interest rate method. Any unamortized balance of costs relating to loans repaid or refinanced is expensed in the period the repayment or refinancing is made, subject to the accounting guidance regarding Debt—Modifications and Extinguishments. Any unamortized balance of costs related to credit facilities repaid is expensed in the period. Any unamortized balance of costs relating to credit facilities refinanced are deferred and amortized over the term of the respective credit facility in the period the refinancing occurs, subject to the provisions of the accounting guidance relating to Debt—Modifications and Extinguishments. The unamortized financing costs are reflected as a reduction of Long-term debt—net of current portion and deferred financing fees in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet.
(o) Restricted cash: Restricted cash represents minimum liquidity to be maintained with certain banks under our borrowing arrangements and pledged cash deposits. The restricted cash is classified as non-current in the event that its obligation is not expected to be terminated within the next twelve months as they are long-term in nature.
(p) Leases: We adopted the new lease guidance as described in Note 2 effective April 1, 2019 and applied the modified retrospective approach. Refer to Note 10 for a description of our operating lease expenses for the years ended March 31, 2020, 2019, and 2018 and to Note 18 for a description of commitments related to our leases as of March 31, 2020. The following is a description of our arrangements that were impacted by this new guidance.
Time charter-out contracts
Our time charter revenues are generated from our vessels being hired by a third-party charterer for a specified period in exchange for consideration, which is based on a monthly hire rate. The charterer has the full discretion over the ports subject to compliance with the applicable charter party agreement and relevant laws. In a time charter contract, we are responsible for all the costs incurred for running the vessel such as crew costs, vessel insurance, repairs and maintenance, and lubricants. The charterer bears the voyage related costs such as bunker expenses, port charges and canal tolls during the hire period. The performance obligations in a time charter contract are satisfied on a straight-line basis over the term of the contract beginning when the vessel is delivered to the charterer until it is redelivered back to us. The charterer generally pays the charter hire monthly in advance. We determined that our time charter contracts are considered operating leases and therefore fall under the scope of the guidance because (i) the vessel is an identifiable asset, (ii) we do not have substantive substitution rights, and (iii) the charterer has the right to control the use of the vessel during the term of the contract and derives the economic benefits from such use. Under the guidance, we elected the practical expedient available to lessors to not separate the lease and non-lease components included in the time charter revenue because (i) the pattern of revenue recognition for the lease and non-lease components is the same as it is earned by the passage of time and (ii) the lease component, if accounted for separately, would be classified as an operating lease. The adoption of the guidance did not impact our accounting for time charter out contracts.
Time charter revenues are recognized when an agreement exists, the price is fixed, service is provided and the collection of the related revenue is reasonably assured. We record time charter revenues on a straight-line basis over the term of the charter as service is provided. Time charter revenues received in advance of the provision of charter service are recorded as deferred income and recognized when the charter service is rendered. Deferred income or accrued revenue also may result from straight‑line revenue recognition in respect of charter agreements that provide for varying charter rates. Deferred income and accrued revenue amounts that will be recognized within the next twelve months are presented as current, with amounts to be recognized thereafter presented as non‑current. Revenues earned through the profit-sharing arrangements in the time charters represent contingent rental revenues that are recognized when earned and amounts are reasonably assured based on estimates provided by the charterer. Revenue generated from time charters is accounted for as revenue earned under the new leasing guidance further described below.
Net pool revenues—related party
As from April 1, 2015, we began operation of a pool. Net pool revenues—related party for each vessel in the pool is determined in accordance with the profit-sharing terms specified within the pool agreement. In particular, the pool manager calculates the net pool revenues using gross revenues less voyage expenses of all the pool vessels and less the general and administrative expenses of the pool and distributes the net pool revenues as time charter hire to participants based on:
pool points (vessel attributes such as cargo carrying capacity, fuel consumption, and speed are taken into consideration); and
number of days the vessel participated in the pool in the period.
We recognize net pool revenues—related party on a monthly basis, when the vessel has participated in the pool during the period and the amount of net pool revenues for the month can be estimated reliably. Revenue generated from the pool is accounted for as revenue from operating leases, pursuant to the accounting standard on leases, as further described below.
Time charter-in contracts
Our time charter-in contracts relate to the charter-in activity of vessels from third parties for a specified period of time in exchange for consideration, which is based on a monthly hire rate. We elected the practical expedient of the guidance that allows for contracts with an initial lease term of 12 months or less to be excluded from the operating lease right-of-use assets and lease liabilities recognized on our consolidated balance sheets.
Under the guidance, we elected the practical expedients available to lessees to not separate the lease and non-lease components included in the charter hire expense because (i) the pattern of revenue recognition for the lease and non-lease components is the same as it is earned by the passage of time and (ii) the lease component, if accounted for separately, would be classified as an operating lease. We elected not to separate the lease and non-lease components included in charter hire expense, but to recognize operating lease expense as a combined single lease component for all time charter-in contracts.
We carried forward our historical assessments of (i) whether contracts are or contain leases, (ii) lease classifications, and (iii) initial direct costs. For leases with terms greater than 12 months, we record the related right-of-use asset and lease liability as the present value of fixed lease payments over the lease term. For leases that do not provide a readily determinable discount rate, we use our incremental borrowing rate to discount lease payments to present value.
Under the guidance, we elected the practical expedients available to lessees to not separate the lease and non-lease components included in the office lease expense because (i) the pattern of revenue recognition for the lease and non-lease components is the same as it is earned by the passage of time and (ii) the lease component, if accounted for separately, would be classified as an operating lease. We elected not to separate the lease and non-lease components included in general and administrative expenses, but to recognize operating lease expense as a combined single lease component for all office leases.
(q)Voyage charter revenues: In a voyage charter contract, a charterer hires a vessel to transport a specific agreed-upon cargo for a single voyage, which may contain multiple load ports and discharge ports. The consideration in such a contract is determined on the basis of a freight rate per metric ton of cargo carried or occasionally on a lump sum basis. The charter party generally has a minimum amount of cargo. The charterer is liable for any short loading of cargo or "dead" freight. The contract generally has standard payment terms of freight paid within three to five days after completion of loading. The contract generally has a "demurrage" or "despatch" clause. As per this clause, the charterer reimburses us for any potential delays exceeding the allowed laytime as per the charter party clause at the ports visited which is recorded as demurrage revenue. Conversely, the charterer is given credit if the loading/discharging activities happen within the allowed laytime, known as despatch, resulting in a reduction in revenue. The voyage contracts generally have variable consideration in the form of demurrage or despatch. Revenue from voyage charters is recognized when (i) the parties to the contract have approved the contract in the form of a written charter agreement and are committed to perform their respective obligations, (ii) we can identify each party’s rights regarding the services to be transferred, (iii) we can identify the payment terms for the services to be transferred, (iv) the charter agreement has commercial substance (that is, the risk, timing, or amount of our future cash flows is expected to change as a result of the contract) and (v) it is probable that we will collect substantially all of the consideration to which we will be entitled in exchange for the services that will be transferred to the charterer.
Voyage charter agreements do not contain a lease and are therefore considered service contracts that fall under the provisions of Accounting Standard Codification (“ASC”) 606 Revenue from Contracts with Customers. Voyage contracts are considered service contracts which fall under the provisions of ASC 606 because we retain control over the operations of the vessel, including directing the routes taken and vessel speed. Voyage contracts generally have variable consideration in the form of demurrage or despatch. We determined that a voyage charter agreement includes a single performance obligation, which is to provide the charterer with an integrated transportation service within a specified time period. In addition, we have concluded that a contract for a voyage charter meets the criteria to recognize revenue over time because the charterer simultaneously receives and consumes the benefits of the our performance as the voyage progresses and therefore revenues are recognized on a pro rata basis over the duration of the voyage determined on a load-to-discharge port basis. In the event a vessel is acquired or sold while a voyage is in progress, the revenue recognized is based on an allocation formula agreed between the buyer and the seller. Demurrage income represents payments by the charterer to the vessel owner when loading or discharging time exceeds the stipulated time in the voyage charter and is recognized when earned and collection is reasonably assured. Despatch expense represents payments by us to the charterer when loading or discharging time is less than the stipulated time in the voyage charter and is recognized as incurred. Voyage charter revenue relating to voyages in progress as of the balance sheet date are accrued and presented in Trade receivables and accrued revenue in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet.
We adopted ASC 606 on April 1, 2018 using the modified retrospective approach. The adoption of the amended guidance did not have any material impact on the consolidated financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2019 or for prior periods, given our revenues are primarily generated by pool and time charter arrangements, and there were no voyage charter arrangements in progress as of March 31, 2019 or 2018.
(r) Voyage expenses: Voyage expenses are expensed as incurred, except for expenses during the ballast portion of the voyage (period between the contract date and the date of the vessel’s arrival to the load port). Any expenses incurred during the ballast portion of the voyage such as bunker expenses, canal tolls and port expenses are deferred and are recognized on a straight-line basis, in voyage expenses, over the voyage duration as we satisfy the performance obligations under the contract provided these costs are (1) incurred to fulfill a contract that we can specifically identify, (2) able to generate or enhance resources of the company that will be used to satisfy performance of the terms of the contract, and (3) expected to be recovered from the charterer. These costs are considered contract fulfillment costs because the costs are direct costs related to the performance of the contract and are expected to be recovered.
(s) Commissions: Charter hire commissions to brokers or managers, if any, are deferred and amortized over the related charter period and are included in Voyage expenses.
(t) Charter hire expenses: Charter hire expenses in relation to vessels that we may occasionally charter in from third parties are recorded on a straight-line basis over the term of the charter as service is provided. Charter hire expenses paid in advance of the provision of charter service are recorded as a current asset and recognized when the charter service is rendered. Deferred expenses also may result from straight-line recognition in respect of charter agreements that provide for varying charter rates. Deferred expense amounts that will be recognized within the next twelve months are presented as current, with amounts to be recognized thereafter presented as noncurrent.
(u) Vessel operating expenses: Vessel operating expenses are accounted for as incurred on the accrual basis. Vessel operating expenses include crew wages and related costs, the cost of insurance, expenses relating to repairs and maintenance, the cost of spares and consumable stores and other miscellaneous expenses.
(v) Repairs and maintenance: All repair and maintenance expenses, including underwater inspection costs are expensed in the period incurred. Such costs are included in Vessel operating expenses.
(w) Stock-based compensation: Stock-based payments to employees and directors are determined based on their grant date fair values and are amortized against income over the vesting period. The fair value is considered to be the closing price recorded on the grant date. We account for restricted stock award forfeitures upon occurrence.
(x) Stock repurchases: We record the repurchase of our shares of common stock at cost based on the settlement date of the transaction. These shares are classified as treasury stock, which is a reduction to shareholders’ equity. Treasury shares are included in authorized and issued shares, but excluded from outstanding shares.
(y) Segment reporting: Each of our vessels serve the same type of customer, have similar operations and maintenance requirements, operate in the same regulatory environment, and are subject to similar economic characteristics. Based on this, we have determined that it operates in one reportable segment, the international transportation of liquid petroleum gas with its fleet of vessels. Furthermore, when we charter a vessel to a charterer, the charterer is free to trade the vessel worldwide and, as a result, the disclosure of geographic information is impracticable.
(z) Derivative instruments: All derivatives are stated at their fair value, as either a derivative asset or a liability. The fair value of the interest rate derivatives is based on a discounted cash flow analysis and their fair value changes are recognized in current period earnings. When the derivatives do qualify for hedge accounting, depending upon the nature of the hedge, changes in fair value of the derivatives are either recognized in current period earnings or in other comprehensive income/(loss) (effective portion) until the hedged item is recognized in the consolidated statements of operations. For the periods presented, no derivatives were accounted for as accounting hedges.
(aa) Fair value of financial instruments: In accordance with the requirements of accounting guidance relating to Fair Value Measurements, the Company classifies and discloses its assets and liabilities carried at fair value in one of the following three categories:
Quoted market prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.
Observable market-based inputs or unobservable inputs that are corroborated by market data.
Unobservable inputs that are not corroborated by market data.
(bb) Recent accounting pronouncements:
Accounting Pronouncements Recently Adopted
In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standard Update (“ASU”) 2016-2 (codified as ASC 842) to update the requirements of financial accounting and reporting for lessees and lessors. The updated guidance, for lease terms of more than 12 months, will require a dual approach for lessee accounting under which a lessee would account for leases as finance leases or operating leases. Both finance leases and operating leases will result in the lessee recognizing a right-of-use asset and a corresponding lease liability. For finance leases, the lessee would recognize interest expense and amortization of the right-of-use asset, and for operating leases, the lessee would recognize a straight-line total lease expense. Lessor accounting remained largely unchanged from previous U.S. GAAP. The new standard requires a modified retrospective transition approach for all leases existing at, or entered into after, the date of initial application, with an option to use certain transition relief. In July 2018, the FASB issued amended guidance to provide entities with relief from the cost of implementing certain aspects of the new leasing guidance. Entities may elect not to recast comparative periods presented when transitioning to the new leasing guidance and, furthermore, lessors may elect not to separate lease and nonlease components when certain conditions are met. The pronouncement is effective prospectively for public business entities for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods within that reporting period. Early adoption is permitted for all entities. We adopted the guidance effective April 1, 2019 and applied the modified retrospective approach. Comparative information has not been restated and continues to be reported under the accounting guidance in effect for those periods. We elected to adopt the “package of practical expedients,” which permitted us not to reassess under the new standard our prior conclusions about lease identification, lease classification and initial direct costs. We elected the short-term lease recognition exemption for all leases that qualified. This means, for those leases that qualified, we did not recognize right-of-use assets or lease liabilities, and this included not recognizing right-of-use assets or lease liabilities for existing short-term leases of those assets in transition. We also elected the practical expedient to not separate lease and non-lease components for all leases other than leases of real estate, and this included not separating lease and non-lease components for all leases other than leases of real estate in transition. The adoption did not have a material effect on our consolidated statements of operations or cash flows. We recognized operating lease right-of-use assets and operating lease liabilities related to our office leases (described in Note 10) on our consolidated balance sheet of approximately $1.2 million as of April 1, 2019. Refer to Note 18 for a description of our operating lease expenses for the years ended March 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018 and commitments related to our leases as of March 31, 2020. In relation to our time chartered-in VLGC (described in Note 10), the adoption of the new guidance had no impact on our financial statements since the length of the time charter was not more than 12 months. Refer to Note 10 — Leases for additional information regarding the adoption of ASC 842 from a lessor as well as from a lessee perspective.