The Office operates in compliance with the accepted international practice for settlement of international private law commercial and maritime disputes for the establishment of general averages.
"General average" is a legal institute of maritime law and practice related to commercial navigation. It has been known from ancient times. The principles and mechanisms of the “general average” allow a just settlement and distribution of interests of the participants in sea transport.
"General average" is a legal term referring to damages, extraordinary expenses and sacrifices made deliberately, reasonably and consciously for saving the vessel, freight and cargo from a common danger for them during sea transport. The definition of the “general average” is given by Art. 290 para 1 of the Commercial Maritime Code.
The existence of a general average, the expenses and sacrifices made, and the distribution of interests between vessel, freight and cargo is established by means of a “general average adjustment” per request of the interested party. The “general average adjustment” is a document drawn up by an "average adjuster", i.e. a person with a special qualification, evaluating and recognizing general average losses and expenses, calculating them and distributing them among the participants in the sea transport. The average adjuster makes a general average adjustment upon authorization by one of the interested parties - ship owner, sea carrier, cargo owner, insurer. The request for an average adjustment is usually made by the ship owner and has to be accompanied by all documents and evidence, which would allow the average adjuster to make a ruling whether there is or not a general average and then proceed to the average adjustment issuance.
The “general average adjustment” is the document which establishes the amount of the loss and its distribution among the participants in the transportation, in proportion to the value of cargo, ship and freight. General average adjustments can only be drawn up by the average adjuster included in the list of average adjusters with BCCI.