General Average

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General Average

Provision in maritime law where all shippers on a given voyage would reimburse the ship line in the event of vessel sinking or catastrophic damage. It also provides for the reimbursement to those shippers whose cargo was thrown overboard in order to save the vessel.

General Average

In maritime law, a form of insurance with the condition that if one company's cargo must be thrown overboard in order to save the ship from sinking, all other companies with cargo on the ship pay restitution. The form of the general average is agreed upon in advance; normally, the companies pay in proportion to the amount of cargo they each had on the ship. This is done to reduce risk to all companies using a ship to transport their goods.
References in periodicals archive ?
The impact of the correlation between general average and trade could be seen in the divergence of the concept in the English common law and continental legal systems that resulted in differing definitions, principles and practices of general average within these legal systems.
The Emergence of General Average from the Rhodian Sea Law to the English Common Law
22) From the Rhodian Sea Law, the law of general average was incorporated into Roman law (23) as reflected in the Justinian Digest.
Recognising as general average the jettison of cargo for the safety of the common maritime adventure and the liability of the parties to make contributions towards compensating the party whose cargo was jettisoned for the benefit of all.
Most of the medieval sea codes of Europe that were adopted after the Rolls of Oleron copied and reflected the law of general average exemplified in the Rolls of Oleron, albeit with less vivacity.
The law of general average epitomised in the Rolls of Oleron was also received into French civil law (32) and it seems that the Rolls of Oleron was adopted as the official sea law of France by 1364.
Thus, the Ordonnance extended the concept of general average to every extraordinary expense made both for the safety of the vessel and cargo and for the successful completion of the voyage.
Thus, it is argued that the dictates of international maritime trade led to both the "birth" and expansion of general average that resulted in the divergence of its principles and practice in most states before the advent of the YAR; however, a few of these differences still exist (though not major differences) because the YAR is not a complete code of principles and practices of general average.
As a consequence of the historical evolution of general average highlighted above, a divergence exists in the respective conceptions of general average under the English common law and continental law.
In contrast, the continental notion of general average encompasses both sacrifices made and expenses incurred in preserving the common maritime adventure from peril and further expenses incurred in ensuring the successful completion of the adventure.
The common benefit principle is preferable to the common safety principle as it underlines the very essence of a general average act, which is to ensure the safety of the vessel and the successful completion of the voyage.
One should learn all they can about general average so they have a feel for the risks they may face, however rare the occasion may be.

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