Pommer & Partners   - International Marine Salvage And Commodity Traders
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General Average Definition

A principle of maritime law where in the event of emergency, if cargo is jettisoned or expenses incurred, the loss is shared proportionately by all parties with a financial interest in the voyage

In the expression "general average" the word "average" should be read as "loss" as the principle relates to the common proportionate liability of all to contribute to the loss of one or a few, incurred to save the vessel otherwise in distress (such as throwing cargo overboard to keep a boat afloat until rescued).The principle is of ancient original and is the only legal maxim which survives of the great body of law of the Island of Rhodes, circa 800 BC (known as the Lex Rhodia).   Today, the maxim is often referred to by the name of the international set of rules which purport to establish points of detail as to its application: the York-Antwerp Rules.