The Comité Maritime International (CMI) approved, last May, the 2016 version for the York and Antwerp Rules, which lay down the procedures to be abided by in general average adjustment procedures.

These rules were created for the first time in 1890 as of the international maritime community desire to standardize the general average rules, in view of frequent problems occurred to identify the general average adjustment law, when the maritime adventure ended in more than one port of discharge subject to different jurisdictions. These rules are periodically revised.

The main alterations brought by the 2016 version in relation to the last version are:

i) Alteration in the rules for calculating the interest that should be levied upon the value defined by the adjustment procedure, which will henceforth be set out by the ICE LIBOR rate;

ii) Introduction of measures that speed up the adjustment procedure, among which stand out the exclusion of contribution of cargoes of small value cargo and also the freedom of the general average adjuster to estimate contributions when there is no information from the parties.

In general, the legislation of the countries admit that the contracting parties freely stipulate the rules for general average adjustment, and this is the case of Brazil, and consequently, almost all charter agreements, bills of lading, and insurance policies make reference to the York and Antwerp rules

The new version received the approval of renowned international associations of the shipping industry, such as International Chamber of Shipping (ICS); International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), and Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.