German liner shipping company Hapag-Lloyd has declared General Average on its fire-stricken containership Yantian Express.
General Average is a principal in maritime law under which all parties with a financial interest in the voyage are to proportionally share the losses resulting from an incident. It allows the costs to preserve a vessel and its cargo, and it also means that prior to cargo being released, all cargo interests will be required to contribute to the General Average fund.
In conjunction with declaring General Average, the owners will appoint Average Adjusters, who will be responsible for coordinating the collection of securities and all documentation required from parties with interest in cargo, containers, vessel, and fuel.
“At this point in time we would ask that all US consignees and brokers retract their US customs entries, if previously made for the MV Yantian Express on the intended port calls. This should be performed as soon as possible, however no later than January 28, 2019,” Hapag-Lloyd said in a customer advisory.
“As Hapag-Lloyd, we intend to remove the manifest for this vessel from the USCBP/ACE files on January 29, 2019. Any subsequent customs handling instructions will be provided once more details are available.”
Based on the latest update, Yantian Express is headed for the Port of Freeport, Bahamas, where the recovery and assessment efforts of the cargo will be resumed. The ship is expected to arrive in the port by the middle of this week.
The fire broke out in one of the containers on the ship’s deck on January 3, while the 7,510 TEU boxship was on its way from Colombo to Halifax, spreading to additional containers. No injuries to the crew were reported. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.