General AverageGeneral average (G/A) is more than three thousand years old. Nevertheless, it is still widely acknowledged as a fair legal institution. It means that, where ship and cargo are in common peril, the cost of preserving the endangered property shall be mutually borne by all parties gaining the benefit from such action.
The clearest example may be a salvage case, but also sacrificial damage by jettison of cargo or extinguishing fire on board are typical general average situations. Sacrificial damages are foreseeable and accepted for the purpose of salving the remaining property values, whilst particular average (P/A) accidentally strikes single or several parts of the property.
General average is handled by average adjusters and usually settled in accordance with the York Antwerp Rules Claims for contribution in general average are secured by a lien on the property under obligation. This lien will usually be lifted after adequate other security has been provided.
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