General average means literally a general loss. It is a principal of maritime law whereby all stakeholders share any losses from a voluntary sacrifice of part of the ship or cargo to save whole in an emergency.

York-Antwerp convention ( 1890 ) has determined the principals of general average. The set of rules amended several times by the time.

In geneal average ocean carriers are not responsible for damage or loss. Every cargo owner is liable in part for the cargo of others and ship.

Jettision is the common geneal average sacrifice in which overboard cargo or equipments are thrown to the sea to lighten stranded vessel. Fires, collisions are other examples.

General aveage rules are so complex but I tried to mention some practical rules here.

– Demurrage, loss of market and delay shall not be allowed in general average.
– Run on shore for common safety is allowed in general average.
-Loss of freight arising from damage to or loss of cargo is allowed
– Damage or loss to goods loaded without knowledge of ship owner or cargoes willfully misdescribed are not allowed in general average but they are liable to contribute if saved.
– Cargoes that are declared wrongfully at lower value, the damage or loss shall be allowed on their declared value but they shall contribute on their actual value.