AMENDED AND RESTATED AUDIT COMMITTEE CHARTER
SEANERGY MARITIME HOLDINGS CORP.
The Audit Committee of Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. (the "Company") has been established by the board of directors of the Company (the "Board") to assist the Board in fulfilling its responsibilities to oversee the Company's financial and accounting operations. The Audit Committee will review and be responsible for, among other things, the Company's system of internal controls, its financial reporting process, the audit process, and the Company's processes for monitoring compliance with laws and regulations. In performing its duties, the Audit Committee will maintain effective working relationships with the Board, management, the Company's internal auditors, and the independent auditors. The Audit Committee will confirm with the independent auditor its understanding that it has access to the Audit Committee at any time.
ORGANIZATION AND MEETINGS
Audit Committee Composition
The Audit Committee shall consist of such number of members as the Board shall determine, [but in no event less than two members until the first anniversary of the effective date of the Company's initial public offering, after] which the Audit Committee shall consist of not less than three members. The Board shall designate one member of the Audit Committee to be the Chairperson. Each member of the Audit Committee must be independent, as defined under applicable Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and stock exchange rules and regulations as they currently exist and as they may be amended from time to time.
Each member must be able to read and understand fundamental financial statements, including a company's balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement or, if and so long as permitted under applicable stock exchange rules, become able to do so within a reasonable period of time after his or her appointment to the Audit Committee. Audit Committee members shall have such other qualifications as the Board may from time to time deem appropriate in light of the mission of the Audit Committee.
At least one member of the Audit Committee shall qualify as a "audit committee financial expert" in compliance with the requirements established under applicable SEC and stock exchange laws and regulations as they currently exist and as they may be amended from time to time.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this charter, if permitted by applicable SEC and stock exchange laws and regulations in effect from time to time, one director who (i) is not independent as defined under applicable stock exchange rules, and (ii) is not a current employee or an immediate family member (as defined under applicable stock exchange rules) of such employee, may be appointed to the Audit Committee if the Board, under exceptional and limited circumstances, determines that membership on the Audit Committee by the individual is required in the best interests of the Company and its stockholders. In such event, the Board will disclose in the Company's next annual proxy statement the nature of that director's relationship with the Company and the reasons for that determination.
If the Company fails to comply with the Audit Committee composition requirements under applicable SEC and stock exchange rules and regulations, the Company shall have an opportunity to cure such defect as provided under such rules.
The Committee shall meet at least quarterly, or more frequently as it deems appropriate and as circumstances dictate. Any member of the Committee may call a special meeting of the Committee. Meetings of the Committee may be held telephonically.
The Committee shall periodically meet with each of management (including the Chief Financial Officer) and the independent auditors (including the audit engagement partner) in separate executive sessions to discuss any matters that the Committee or each of these groups believe would be appropriate to discuss privately. In addition, the Committee expects to meet with the independent auditors and management quarterly to review the Company's financial statements.
The Committee may invite to its meetings any director, member of management of the company and such other persons as it deems appropriate in order to carry out its responsibilities. The Committee may also exclude from its meetings any persons it deems appropriate in order to carry out its responsibilities.
ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Committee's primary responsibility is one of oversight and it recognizes that the Company's management is responsible for preparing the Company's financial statements and that the independent auditors are responsible for auditing those financial statements. The Committee also recognizes that financial management, as well as the independent auditors, have more time, knowledge and more detailed information on the Company than do Committee members; consequently, in carrying out its oversight responsibilities, the Committee is not providing any expert or special assurance as to the Company's financial statements or any professional certification as to the independent auditor's work. The Committee shall also perform any other activities consistent with this Charter as the Audit Committee or the Board deems necessary or appropriate or as may be required under applicable SEC and stock exchange rules and regulations in effect from time to time.
The Committee may form and delegate authority to subcommittees consisting of one or more members when appropriate, including the authority to grant pre-approvals of audit and permitted non-audit services provided that the decisions of such subcommittee to grant pre-approvals shall be presented to the full Committee at its next scheduled meeting.
1. Report on its meetings, proceedings and other activities at each regularly scheduled meeting of the Board, to the extent appropriate.
2. Review and reassess the adequacy of this Charter at least annually. Submit changes to this Charter to the Board for approval.
3. Review and approve all transactions with affiliates, related parties, directors and executive officers.
4. Review the procedures for the receipt and retention of, and the response to, complaints received regarding accounting, internal control or auditing matters.
5. Review the procedures for the confidential and anonymous submission by employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.
6. Review with management and the independent auditors, at least once annually, all correspondence with regulatory authorities and all employees complaints or published reports that raise material issues regarding the financial statements or accounting policies.
1. Appoint, compensate, retain and oversee the work of any independent auditor engaged (including resolution of disagreements between management and the auditor regarding financial reporting) for the purpose of conducting the annual audit of the Company's books and records, preparing or issuing an audit report or performing other audit review or attest services for the Company.
2. Obtain and review, at least once annually, a report by the independent auditors describing (i) their internal quality control procedures, (ii) any material issues raised by the most recent internal quality control review or peer review or by any inquiry or investigation by any governmental or professional authority within the preceding five years, in each case with respect to one or more independent audits carried out by them, (iii) all material steps taken to deal with any such issues and (iv) all relationships between them and the Company.
3. Review annually the independence of the independent auditors by (i) receiving from the independent auditors a formal written statement delineating all relationships between the independent auditors and the Company in accordance with Independence Standards Board Standard No. 1, (ii) discuss with the independent auditors all disclosed relationships between the independent accounts and the Company and all other disclosed relationships that may impact the objectivity and independence of the independent auditors and (iii) discussing with management its evaluation of the independence of the independent auditors.
4. Obtain from the independent auditors assurance that the lead audit partner and the audit partner responsible for reviewing the audit have been and will be rotated at least once every five years and each other audit partner has been and will be rotated at least once every seven years, in each case, in accordance with Section 10A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Act") and the rules promulgated thereunder.
5. Review and pre-approve, all audit, review or attest services (including comfort letters in connection with securities underwritings and tax services) and all non-audit services to be provided by the independent auditors as permitted by Section 10A of the Exchange Act and the rules promulgated thereunder, and, in connection therewith, the terms of engagement. The Audit Committee may designate one member to approve such non-audit services, but that member must inform the Audit Committee of the approval at the next meeting of the Audit Committee. All such approvals and procedures must be disclosed in periodic reports filed with the SEC.
6. Review and approve all compensation to the independent auditors for all audit and non-audit services.
7. Review regularly with the independent auditors any audit problems or difficulties and management's response, including restrictions on the scope of activities of the independent auditors or access by the independent auditors to requested information, and significant disagreements between the independent auditors and management.
8. Present conclusions with respect to the independent auditors to the Board.
Audits and Accounting
Before the commencement of the annual audit, the Audit Committee will meet with financial management and the independent auditor to review and approve the plan, scope, staffing, fees and timing of the annual audit. The Audit Committee shall:
1. After completion of the audit of the financial statements, review with management and the independent auditors the results of the audit, the audit report, the management letter relating to the audit report, all significant questions (resolved or unresolved) that arose and all significant difficulties that were encountered during the audit, the disposition of all audit adjustments identified by the independent auditors, all significant financial reporting issues encountered and judgments made during the course of the audit (including the effect of different assumptions and estimates on the financial statements) and the cooperation afforded or limitations (including restrictions on scope or access), if any, imposed by management on the conduct of the audit.
2. Review, prior to filing, all annual reports on Form 20-F and all quarterly reports in quarterly earnings press releases on Form 6-K, to be filed with the SEC. Discuss with management and the independent auditors, where practicable, prior to filing, the financial statements (including the notes thereto) and the disclosures under "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations".
3. Review with management and the independent auditors, at least annually, (i) all significant accounting estimates, (ii) all significant off balance sheet financing arrangements and their effect on the financial statements, (iii) all significant valuation allowances and liability, restructuring and other reserves, (iv) the effect of regulatory and accounting initiatives, and (v) the adequacy of financial reporting.
4. Review with management and the independent auditors all reports delivered by the independent auditors in accordance with Section 10A(k) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 with respect to critical accounting policies and practices used, alternative treatments of financial information available under GAAP and other written communications (including letters under SAS No. 50) between the independent auditors and management, together with their ramifications and the preferred treatment by the independent auditors.
5. Discuss with the independent auditor and management the independent auditor's judgment about the quality, not just the acceptability, of the Company's accounting principles, as applied in the Company's financial reporting in accordance with SAS No. 61.
6. Review and discuss with management and the independent auditors the Company's earnings press releases (paying particular attention to the use of any "pro forma" or "adjusted" non-GAAP information), as well as financial information and earnings guidance provided to analysts and rating agencies. This review may be generally of disclosure and reporting policies. The Committee need not discuss in advance each earnings press release or each instance in which the Company may provide earnings guidance.
7. Prepare the report required by the SEC to be included in the Company's annual proxy statement and any other reports of the Audit Committee required by applicable securities laws or stock exchange listing requirements or rules.
Monitoring of Internal Controls Systems
- 1. Meet separately in executive session, at least annually, with the Company's principal accounting officer to discuss:
- a. the scope of internal accounting and auditing procedures then in effect;
- b .the Company's means for monitoring compliance by Company personnel with Company policies and procedures and applicable law; and
- c. the extent to which recommendations made by the principal accounting officer or independent auditor have been implemented.
- 2. Review, based upon the recommendation of the independent auditors and financial management, the scope and plan of the work to be done by the internal audit group and the responsibilities, budget and staffing needs of the internal audit group.
- 3. Review on an annual basis the performance of the internal audit group.
- 4. In consultation with the independent auditors and the internal audit group, the accounting and financial controls, review the adequacy of the Company's internal control structure and procedures designed to insure compliance with laws and regulations, and any special audit steps adopted in light of material deficiencies and controls.
- 5. Review (i) the internal control report prepared by management, including management's assessment of the effectiveness of the design and operation of the Company's internal control structure and procedures for financial reporting, as well as the Company's disclosure controls and procedures, with respect to each annual and quarterly report that the Company is required to file under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and (ii) the independent auditors' attestation, and report, on the assessment made by management.
- 1. Engage and determine funding for independent counsel and other advisors as it determines necessary to carry out its duties.
- 2. Conduct any and all investigations it deems necessary or appropriate.