ICS pushes for a better balance in recovery rules
At the International Maritime Committee (CMI) conference in New York this week, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) will lobby to ensure that the proposed revision of the York Antwerp general average rules brings a marked improvement. compared to the current system and does not affect the fundamental principles.
“General average” is a method of equitably apportioning and distributing the costs of dealing with a maritime accident between the parties who benefit from the economy of the ship and the cargo. York Antwerp’s rules set out rules for distributing losses and expenses, for example in the event of an incident when cargo is jettisoned in order to save the vessel and the remaining cargo. The system helps to avoid delays in transporting the cargo to its final destination and ensures that the costs of this operation are distributed evenly. The CMI, which is the international association of maritime lawyers, is the depositary of the York Antwerp rules.
Speaking from New York, Kiran Khosla, ICS Legal Director, explained: Transport still incorporates the 1994 version because the 2004 revision is considered unsatisfactory by shipowners.
The ICS has played a long-standing role in representing the views of shipowners whenever General Average issues are discussed and has coordinated its position regarding the CMI review through its Maritime Law Committees and insurance.
ICS states that the previous revision of the Regulations was not acceptable as it did not reflect a fair balance of interests of all parties involved.
“It is fair to say that the 2004 version failed to gain wide acceptance or use in the marine industry.” Khosla said.
After nearly four years of work, the CMI project is now in the conclusion phase. The ICS notes that so far there has been little appetite for a complete overhaul of the current system which works well on the basis of the 1994 rules. Instead, work has focused on improving practice, for example on financial matters (commission, interest, balancing currency).
But the review also touches on some areas that have been controversial in the past, including the rules around clawback. Changes have been proposed to address the concern in the commercial interests of freight that the use of the rules can be costly and, in some cases where there has been a salvage payout, unnecessary. This is because the general average valuation is frequently a duplication of the salvage indemnity, usually with only minor changes due to the different methods of calculating the ship’s cargo values that are necessary to determine the respective contributions. to rescue / general average.
Draft guidelines have also been prepared by CMI to help adjusters interpret the proposed new rules and the increased discretion that would be granted to them.
Khosla added, “The proposed ‘YAR 2016’ must continue to ensure a fair balance between the interests of all parties in order to achieve consensus and the end use of the revised rules in commercial transport contracts. This is what ICS hopes the CMI will achieve in New York. Remembering what happened in 2004, it is essential that the end result be acceptable to all interests if the new rules are to succeed and be widely used in practice.
The CMI Conference is meeting in New York from May 3-6.
The CMI holds a Conference every three to four years during which the work of the International Working Groups and / or International Sub-Committees is discussed and, if necessary, concluded by a resolution in plenary session at the end of the meeting. Conference.