It was expected and would have been just a matter of time..
We reported previously that part of the 16-year-old Yantian Express the 7,510 TEU, 320m German-flagged ship of Hapag Lloyd went up in flames on the 3rd of Jan 2019 while on its way from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal..
The container fire that broke out was largely contained and brought under control after one week and the ship sailed to the Port of Freeport (Bahamas) for further recovery and cargo damage assessment. when it arrives in Freeport around the 1st of Feb 2019..
On January 25, 2019, Hapag Lloyd declared “General Average” for the Yantian Express..
Rule A1 of the York-Antwerp rule states “There is a general average act when, and only when, any extraordinary sacrifice or expenditure is intentionally and reasonably made or incurred for the common safety for the purpose of preserving from peril the property involved in a common maritime adventure.”
General Average is declared when an extraordinary event occurs that threatens the safety of a ship, its cargo and its personnel..
General Average is a legal principle of Maritime Law under which, all parties who are involved in that voyage, shall be asked to proportionally share the losses resulting from such sacrifice..
All parties including the merchants whose cargoes landed safely would also be called upon to contribute a portion (based upon a share or percentage) to the affected parties which could be the shipowner, merchant or merchants whose goods were jettisoned or damaged in the process of preserving the safety of the ship and/or crew..
This means that prior to anyone’s cargo being released, all cargo interests will be required to contribute to the General Average fund..
When General Average is declared, the owners of the ship will appoint Average Adjusters..
Average Adjusters are responsible to coordinate the collection of General Average securities, all documentation from parties with interest in cargo, containers, vessel, and fuel..
Once the Average Adjusters have been identified and appointed, the Cargo owners (irrespective of whether their cargo is damaged or not) and/or their insurance companies should contact the Average Adjusters to discuss further on the process and steps to be taken..
No cargo will be released to any party without the authorisation from the ship’s agent or owners representative at the following ports of call..