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What is general average security, and why is it required?

A ship-owner has a common law lien on cargo in his possession for its contribution to a general average.

However, because GA contributions take many months to be assessed, it is not normal for the shipowner to exercise his lien on cargo for the full contribution. Instead, he exercises the lien on some form of security pending the final adjustment. This usually takes the form of an Average Bond and an Average Guarantee in respect of each consignment.

 

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Who arranges general average security?

What steps should the shipowner take after declaring general average?