null Amendments to legislation on the Average Adjuster
Amendments to legislation on the Average Adjuster
The Government proposes that the provisions on the Average Adjuster be reformed and included in the Maritime Act. The aim of the proposal is to clarify the initiation process of matters that are to be referred to the Average Adjuster as well as the involved indemnity schemes.
The Government submitted its proposal to Parliament on 28 January 2021.
In future, the Average Adjuster would be appointed by the Government instead of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The office of the Average Adjuster would be considered comparable to the office of a district court judge.
The Average Adjuster is a traditional part of the maritime law and insurance system in the Nordic countries. The relevant provisions are laid down in the countries’ national maritime legislation. In Finland, the duties are carried out on a secondary basis.
In future, a replacement of the Average Adjuster would also have to be appointed. The deputy would be responsible for those matters referred to the Average Adjuster in which the Adjuster is unable to act.
The responsibilities of the Average Adjuster would continue to include the following:
1. indemnity adjustments drawn up under ship insurance
2. amount and division of ship manager’s responsibilities in certain cases
3. settlement of disputes relating to charter parties on distance freight and
4. indemnity adjustments concerning particular or general averages.
In future, disputes concerning ship insurance would no longer require an indemnity adjustment by the Average Adjuster in order for the matter to be submitted to a court of law for decision, unless the ship is used as a merchant vessel for business purposes.
The Average Adjuster would issue an indemnity adjustment by virtue of ship insurance, if so agreed in the terms of the insurance contract. In other cases, the parties to a ship insurance contract could, however, request for an expert statement from the Average Adjuster.
A preliminary debate will be held on the proposal now submitted by the Government to Parliament. The timetable for the debate will be listed on Parliament’s website (upcoming plenary sessions).
After the referral debate, the proposal will be sent to the Transport and Communications Committee. Once the committee’s report is ready, the matter will be discussed in a plenary session again.
The Act is scheduled to enter into force on 1 June 2021.
Risto Saari, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 40 829 8132