On April 1, 2021, Expeditors was advised that the Ever Given vessel owner, Shoe Kisen, had declared General Average. The Ever Given ran aground in the Suez Canal on March 23, 2021, blocking all traffic. After the engagement of multiple tugboats and dredgers, the vessel was successfully refloated on March 29, 2021. The vessel is currently in Great Bitter Lake on anchor undergoing inspections.
What is General Average?
General Average is a legal principle of maritime law. In order for there to be a General Average, the following principle applies:
There is a general average act where any extraordinary sacrifice or expenditure is voluntarily and reasonably made or incurred in time of peril for the purpose of preserving the property imperiled in the common adventure.
In other words, a sacrifice or expenditure is incurred to preserve the voyage, and all parties who benefited from this action will pay proportionally for the sacrifice or expenditure. Even if your cargo is not damaged, you or your insurance company will still need to make a financial contribution based on the total value of the voyage and your cargo in order for your goods to be released. Once the declaration has been made, the vessel owner will appoint a General Average adjuster.
General Average Documents Needed
If the below documentation is not completed before your cargo reaches its destination, it will be held until it is completed. If never finished, it will be auctioned off. This document states that you or your insurance company promise to pay your share once the total expenditure is calculated. At a minimum, the General Average Adjuster will require the below to release your container(s). Expeditors has been advised that Richards Hogg Lindley has been appointed the General Average adjuster. Contact information is below.
- A copy of the commercial invoice for your cargo
- A copy of the bill of lading
- An Average Bond Form that needs to be completed and signed by the owners of the cargo
- An Average Guarantee form that needs to be completed, signed or stamped by your insurance company
The Average Bond and Guarantee are unique to each General Average which are prepared and distributed by the General Average Adjuster.
This process is entirely outside the control of Expeditors. We can assist you, but we cannot complete these forms for you.
What do cargo owners need to do now?
If your shipment was insured with Expeditors, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have Insurance elsewhere, contact your insurance company or broker now to advise them of the situation, and tell them Richards Hogg Lindley has been appointed the General Average Adjuster. Your insurance company will open a file, contact the adjuster, and should follow up with you for any required documentation. You will need to ensure your insurance company does this timely or your cargo will be delayed at destination.
Richards Hogg Lindley
4th Floor, Royal Liver Building
Pier Head, Liverpool
T 44 151 227 2175
F 44 151 227 2179
If you do not have insurance, you will need to contact Richards Hogg Lindley directly to discuss the process for posting security to have your containers released. This may involve a cash deposit or other form of guarantee.
Contact your local Expeditors representative for more information and operational assistance.