After the re-floating of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal last week, the owners of the ship have declared a General Average.
Commenting on this development, the British International Freight Association (BIFA), said that those who have containers on board will be asked for an indemnity or a deposit.
Any standard marine insurance policy will include General Average losses so if the goods have been insured the importer should obtain a General Average guarantee from the insurers. If no insurance is in place, then a cash deposit will be needed
In addition, BIFA notes that whatever the position, the first action is to give immediate notice to the customers. The appointed average adjusters will need to be in possession of a completed guarantee and bond form, or a cash deposit before release of cargo so it is vital that your customer takes immediate action.
What is a General Average?
The law of general average is a principle of maritime law whereby all stakeholders in a sea venture proportionally share any losses resulting from a voluntary sacrifice of part of the ship or cargo to save the whole in an emergency.
Commenting on the necessary course of action following the declaration of general average by the Ever Given owners, Robert Keen, Director General of BIFA, explains that when an operator receives notification that a General Average has been declared for a vessel, whatever the position, their first action must be to give the importer immediate notice.
The appointed average adjusters will need to be in possession of completed guarantees and bond forms, or a cash deposit before release of cargo, so it is vital that the importer takes immediate action
BIFA also informs operators that with General Average being declared, any standard marine policy will include General Average losses. Thus, if the goods have been insured the importer should obtain a General Average guarantee from the insurers.
As far as the Suez Canal is concerned, all ships stranded by the grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal in March have now passed through the canal.
After days of being stranded, the backlog that had built up during the blockage stopped the Suez Canal Authority informed.
Specifically, the last 61 ships, out of 422 ships that were queuing, passed through the canal on April 3.