null Reforms to legislation on Average Adjuster

Reforms to legislation on Average Adjuster

Press release 14.04.2020 10.30 fi sv en

A ship coming to Helsinki harbour, Vuosaari (Photo: Shutterstock)

On 25 March 2020, the Ministry of Transport and Communications invited comments on the draft government proposal on amending the Maritime Act. The provisions on the Average Adjuster are proposed to be reformed and included in the Maritime Act.

The aim of the reform is to improve the legal status of the parties of marine and ship insurance agreements so that in matters involving the Average Adjuster it would be clear how matters are initiated, what the procedures and timetables related to the preparation of adjustments, statements and decisions are and which indemnity schemes are involved.

The Ministry also proposes that in addition to the indemnity adjustments drawn up under marine and ship insurance, a statement issued by the Average Adjuster be introduced as an alternative that would not, however, be binding or subject to appeal. Consideration of a dispute before a court of law would still require a binding indemnity adjustment.

The Average Adjuster is an authority appointed by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The duties are carried out as a secondary activity. 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.

The responsibilities of the Average Adjuster include indemnity adjustments concerning particular or general averages, settlement of disputes relating to charter parties on distance freight, amount and division of ship manager’s responsibilities as well as indemnity adjustments drawn up under ship insurance.

What are the next steps?

The consultation period on the amendment of the Maritime Act ends on 23 April 2020. The request for comments has been published at www.lausuntopalvelu.fi.

Comments may be submitted by all organisations and private individuals.

Following the consultation round, the preparations for amending the Maritime Act will continue by Ministry officials. The aim is to submit the government proposal to Parliament in autumn 2020. The amendments would enter into force at the beginning of 2021.

Inquiries:

Risto Saari, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 342 311

Tiina Ranne, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 342 004