The British International Freight Association is reminding its members that have been affected by the news that General Average has been declared by the owner of the Ever Given that if they have incorporated the BIFA Standard Trading Conditions into their contract with their clients there is an indemnity concerning General Average costs in clause 20 D.
Furthermore, Clause 22 states: “Where liability arises in respect of claims of a General Average nature in connection with the Goods, the Customer shall promptly provide security to the Company, or to any other party designated by the Company, in a form acceptable to the Company.”
Robert Keen, Director General of BIFA says: “When our members receive 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.
“Our advice to members is that with General Average being declared, any standard marine 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 has been organised then a cash deposit will be needed.”
Sea News, April 7