General average is a right of contribution as between the various interests in a sea voyage: the ship; the cargo owners; and the party entitled to freight. It is imposed throughout the world as part of the law of the sea. It is a form of mutual insurance that developed before the emergence of marine insurance. The right arises whenever extraordinary sacrifices have been made or extraordinary expenses incurred by one interest for the preservation of the other interests in the common adventure. The cost of such sacrifices or expenses must be borne proportionately among all of the interests in the voyage, including the interest that made the sacrifice or bore the expense. That interest will then have a direct action against the other interests in respect of their proportionate contributions.
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