York Antwerp Rules

Page 251


General Average and Salvage Security

General average security

37.01 The shipowner is responsible for the adjustment and collection of general average and, for this purpose, the common law confers upon him a possessory lien over the cargo in respect of the cargo’s contribution to general average. This possessory lien, which ceases once the shipowner delivers the goods, entitles the shipowner to withhold delivery of the cargo until his reasonable demands for security have been met. It is to be noted that the shipowner must exercise this lien, not only for his own benefit, but also for the benefit of any other interest who may have suffered a general average sacrifice or incurred general average expenditure and whose interests the shipowner has a duty to protect. 37.02 General average security generally encompasses salvage and special charges. The protection for salvage is to cover situations where the shipowner settles a claim for salvage on behalf of all parties to the adventure; and special charges is to cover instances where services are rendered for the benefit of individual cargo interests which go beyond the carriers’ obligations under the contract of carriage. 37.03 Adequate security usually consists of an agreement by the consignees or owners of the cargo to pay the general average contribution which is legally due in respect of their cargo. This agreement is generally known as an average bond and the most widely used form is the Lloyd’s Average Bond (LAB 77) which provides as follows:

In consideration of the delivery to us or to our order, on payment of the freight due, of the goods noted above we agree to pay the proper proportion of any salvage and/or general average and/or special charges which may hereafter be ascertained to be due from the goods or the shippers or owners thereof under an adjustment prepared in accordance with the provisions of the contract of affreightment governing the carriage of the goods or, failing any such provision, in accordance with the law and practice of the place where the common maritime adventure ended and which is payable in respect of the goods by the shippers or owners thereof.

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