General average is considered to be one of the most uniformly regulated topics of maritime law. This study concludes that this perception is flawed. The invariably applicable York-Antwerp Rules do not provide a full regime, whereas their applicability is generally contractual only. As a result, questions arise as to which law applies to general average obligations, how the applicable national law is to be determined (taking into consideration the impact of the European Rome I and II Regulations), and what is provided in the national regimes. In addition, questions arise as to what the influence is of contractual provisions set out in contracts for the carriage of goods by sea and general average security forms, and how the various sources interact. This study contains an in depth assessment of these questions.
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