What Are York Antwerp Rules?

The York Antwerp Rules are a set of maritime regulations concerning protocols surrounding jettisoned cargo.

How York Antwerp Rules Work

The York Antwerp Rules are a set of maritime rules that were established in 1890. Amended several times since their inception, this set of maritime rules outlines the rights and obligations of both ship and cargo owners in the case that cargo must be jettisoned in order to save a ship. Generally, bills of lading, contracts of affreightment and marine insurance policies all include the York Antwerp Rules in their language.

The York Antwerp Rules state three clear principles, all of which must be met in order for the rule to be applied. The first stipulation is that danger to the ship must be imminent. Second, there must be a voluntary jettison of a portion of the ship’s cargo in order to save the whole. Third, the attempt to avoid the danger must be successful. If a situation meets all the stipulations, all parties involved in the maritime adventure must share proportionately in the financial burden of the losses incurred to the owner or owners of any of the cargo that was jettisoned in order to save the vessel.

All three principles of the York Antwerp Rules must be met for the rules to apply.

Origins of the York Antwerp Rules

The York Antwerp Rules are a codification of a principle called the law of general average. Though the York Antwerp Rules are quite old themselves, the law of general average is a much older maritime principle with roots that go back to Ancient Greece. The law specifies that all parties involved in a sea venture must proportionately share in any losses that result from sacrifices made to the cargo to save the remainder.

Key Takeaways

  • The York Antwerp Rules are a set of maritime regulations regulating surrounding jettisoned cargo.
  • The York Antwerp Rules are a set of maritime rules dating back to 1890.
  • The rules are a codification of the law of general average.

When Do You Use the York Antwerp Rules?

In a life-threatening situation at sea, the captain and crew may deem it necessary to jettison cargo. To jettison cargo is a maritime term that is the last resort in an emergency situation where the crew throws the cargo overboard in order to stabilize the vessel. If there is a threat to a ship, due to damage to the hull, weather conditions, etc., the staff will jettison the cargo.

While jettisoning happens as a last resort, the crew must move quickly when they throw the cargo overboard, which means they do not have time to see whose cargo gets tossed. This is when the York Antwerp Rules come into play, as those who lost their cargo will receive compensation from the profits of the ship’s owner and the owners of the other cargo.