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(York-Antwerp Rules of General Average, Y.A.R.), a collection of navigational rules generally accepted in international commerce that regulate the allocation between shipowners and cargo owners of losses incurred by either of them as a result of expenses and sacrifices intentionally made during transport to save the ship and cargo from any common danger; the losses are allocated in proportion to the value of the ship and cargo.
The York-Antwerp Rules were drawn up in 1864 in the city of York (Great Britain) by an international conference of representatives of the chambers of commerce, shipowners and cargo owners, and insurance companies of a number of countries engaged in maritime commerce; in 1877 a conference in Antwerp made substantial amendments in the rules.
The present version of the York-Antwerp Rules, which was adopted at the conference of the International Maritime Committee in Amsterdam in 1950, is in wide use. Although the rules have neither the power of law nor of an international agreement, their application in each single case being based on agreement between the shipowner and the cargo owner, the majority of the standard forms of freight charters and bills of lading, including those used by Soviet shipping, provide for use of the rules.
The York-Antwerp Rules are subdivided into “lettered” rules (from A to G) and “numbered” rules (from I to XXII). The numbered rules cover specific incidents of general average (the allocation of losses from jettisoning part of the cargo to save the ship and the remaining cargo, from extinguishing fires on board, and the like), as well as determination of the amount of certain kinds of losses and the value of the salvaged property. The lettered rules contain the definition of the general average (rule A) and a number of other general provisions.
The York-Antwerp Rules significantly influenced the legisla-tion concerning general average in many states; with some sharp-ening of definitions and some changes, they are reproduced in theMaritime Code of the USSR.