general average

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Senior Member
English - Southeastern USA
Good day!

The following is excerpted from a 1924 international shipping agreement called the Hague Rules. The latter half of article 4.6 reads: "If any such goods shipped with such knowledge and consent shall become a danger to the ship or cargo, they may in like manner be landed at any place, or destroyed or rendered innocuous by the carrier without liability on the part of the carrier except to general average, if any."

The goods in question are goods not declared to be potentially dangerous or harmful within the shipper's bill of lading. My question is what exactly does "general average" mean in this context?

Thanks for your comments!
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    This makes no sense in standard English. So, I asked my friend Google for help. He (or she) found this, in the Terms and Conditions of a logistics company:
    20. General Average

    (1) The Carrier may declare General Average which shall be adjustable according to the York/Antwerp Rules of 1974 at any place at the option of the Carrier and the amended Jason Clause as approved by BIMCO is to be considered as incorporated herein and the Merchant shall provide such security as may be required by the Carrier in this connection.

    (2) Notwithstanding (1) above, the Merchant shall defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Carrier in respect of any claim and any expense arising therefrom) of a General Average nature which maybe made on the Carrier and shall provide such security as may be required by the Carrier in the connection.

    (3) The Carrier shall be under no obligation to take any steps whatsoever to collect security for General Average contributions due to the Merchant.
    That makes no sense to me either. Clearly, this is specialized terminology. I think you have to ask a specialist, such as a lawyer who works in the field of cargo shipments.
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