PA (Particular Average) - See "Average Clauses." Packing List

An itemized list of commodities shipped showing marks and numbers but no values.


A low platform, usually wooden, on which several packages or pieces of cargo are stacked for efficient movement by a forklift or for storage; a skid. See "Cargo Packing" Appendix A.

PandI - See "Protection and Indemnity."

Partial Loss

Any loss to cargo or a vessel that is less than a total loss. If the partial loss is directly caused by a peril insured against, it is a particular average loss. See "Particular Average."

Particular Average (PA)

A partial loss of the property insured (vessel or cargo, including total loss of part of a cargo shipment) caused by a peril insured against, and which is not a General Average loss. See "Average Clauses" and "General Average."

Particular Average Adjustment / PA Adjustment

Cargo is insured at an agreed valuation; therefore, the surveyor establishes the percentage of damage to the goods which is then applied to the agreed value to determine the amount of claim. Where a percentage of damage cannot be agreed, it is common for the damaged goods to be sold. The amount of claim is then computed by determining the sound market value of the goods on the date of sale (as if undamaged), comparing it to the amount for which they were sold, thereby obtaining a percentage of depreciation which can be applied to the agreed value. See "Salvage Loss Adjustment."

Particular Average Clauses - see "Average Clauses."

Partlow Chart - See "Temperature Recording Devices."

Peak Value

The market price of certain traded commodities is established on a daily basis in Commodity Markets. If a consignment of such a commodity is shipped, Peak Value represents the highest market value reached during the voyage. A Peak Value Endorsement establishes the highest value as the insured value of the commodity for that voyage.

Pennsylvania Rule

A legal case against the vessel "PENNSYLVANIA" that has become a general point of law. The case held that where a vessel violates any statutory duty or navigational rule of the road, it must prove not only that the violation did not cause a subsequent collision, incident, or tort but could not have contributed to it in any way.

Perils Clause

One of the clauses in a Marine Policy that specifies the risks or hazards insured against.

Perils Of the Sea

Fortuitous accidents or casualties, peculiar to transportation on navigable water, such as stranding, sinking, collision of the vessel, striking a submerged object, or encountering heavy weather or other unusual forces of nature.

Perils On the Sea

Perils which are named and covered by the policy which are other than "Perils of the Seas"; e.g. fire, which is not a peril unique to the sea.

Phytosanitary Certificate

A certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to satisfy import regulations of foreign countries; indicates that a U.S. shipment has been inspected and found free from harmful pests and plant diseases.

P&I - See "Protection & Indemnity."


A fixed platform (usually on pilings) extending perpendicular to the shore over the water to provide access to vessels or boats. See "Wharf" and "Dock."


A rail service in which intermodal containers are carried on rail cars with their truck trailer chassis’ attached. See "Stacktrain" and "Container."


The theft of part or all of the contents from a shipping package where the package itself is delivered at destination.


A navigator who is expert at navigating the waters of a particular port. Many ports require that vessels over a specified tonnage have a licensed Pilot take the vessel into and out of port.


The deckhouse which encloses the steering wheel, compass, and navigational equipment; and from which the helmsman steers the vessel. Also known as wheelhouse.


  1. The angle of a propeller blade to its axis.
  2. Caulking material used as a sealant between planks of a wooden vessel.
  3. See "Vessel Movement."

Plimsoll Mark - See "Load Line."

Point of Origin

Location (City and Country) where a cargo shipment begins transit.

Pollution Liability

Contamination of the water, land or air from oil, oil products, hazardous chemicals or effluent. In additional to legislation in individual states, private and Federal Government responses to pollution concerns include the following:

TOVALOP - 1968 (Tanker Owners' Voluntary Agreement Concerning Liability for Oil Pollution). An agreement subscribed by most of the world's tanker operators whereby they agree to reimburse governments for pollution clean‑up costs in the event of an oil spill. Each member insures its potential liability under the agreement.

CRISTAL - (The Contract Regarding an Interim Supplement to the Tanker Liability for Oil Pollution 1971). A voluntary fund contributed by oil cargo owners to satisfy damages suffered by governments and individuals from an oil spill. The fund will pay a maximum of $135 million. Participation in TOVALOP is a prerequisite for coverage under Cristal.

FWPCA - (Federal Water Pollution Prevention and Control Act). The original federal law enacted in 1948 to address marine pollution, was extensively revised in 1972 and 1977 and became commonly known as the "Clean Water Act."

CERCLA - (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980). Applies to the discharge of hazardous substances such as chemical waste, solid waste, garbage, biological materials, heat, discarded equipment and industrial waste, in addition to petroleum.

OPA 90 - (Oil Pollution Act of 1990). A federal law supplementing the Federal Water Pollution Prevention and Control Act (FWPCA) in the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster setting stringent liabilities and criminal and civil penalties for pollution in U.S. waters.

OPRC - (The Oil Pollution Preparedness Response and Cooperation Convention) was adopted by IMO (International Maritime Organization of the United Nations) in 1990 as a cooperative agreement between signatory nations to establish pre-positioned pollution response equipment and cooperate with equipment and manpower in the event of an oil spill.

Pomerene Act - See "Carrier's Liability Acts (Ocean)."


  1. The left side of the vessel or airplane when onboard facing the bow. It is so named because the rudder (steering oar) of early sailing vessels was located on the right side, making it impossible to dock the vessel with the right side facing the pier, so the left side had to face the pier and the port. Port was originally referred to as the "larboard" side, but that was confused with "starboard," so it was officially changed by order of the British Navy in 1844. See "Starboard."
  2. A harbor with piers or docks where vessels load and unload cargo or passengers.
  3. A large opening in a vessel's side for handling cargo and passengers. Automobiles are often loaded this way.


A container crane.

Port of Call

Port where a vessel loads or discharges cargo.

Port of Entry

Port where cargo is unloaded in an importing country.

Port Of Refuge

Nearest port available to a vessel in a storm or other emergency.

Port Risk

Insurance on a vessel which is laid‑up and out of commission, not navigating, and confined to the port area.

Power takeoff (PTO)

A device attached to an engine that supplies power to a stationary pump or other auxiliary equipment.

P P I (Policy Proof of Interest)

A notation on an insurance policy used to indicate that the policy itself is proof of an Assured’s insurable interest in the property; no further proof of such interest need be submitted by the Assured to collect a covered loss. PPI policies are not written for parties who have no insurable interest in the property and who are gambling that there may be a loss, since gambling policies are illegal in all maritime countries. See ''FIA ."


Clearance granted by a Health Officer certifying the vessel and crew to be clear of contagious diseases and releasing the vessel from quarantine. A foreign vessel must fly a yellow "Q" flag upon entering port and anchor in a designated anchorage until a local health officer grants clearance.

Preference Cargo

Government owned (e.g. defense) or subsidy cargo (such as A.I.D. shipments of grain) is required to be carried by U.S. flag carriers to help support the U.S. merchant marine and personnel. Refer to Cargo Preference Act of 1904 and 1954 ( Public Law 83-664).

Prima Facie

A fact presumed to be true so far as can be judged from the first disclosure, until disproved by some evidence to the contrary. A "clean" Bill of Lading is prima facie evidence of the apparent good order of cargo, i.e. cargo is presumed to be in good order when received by the carrier, and the burden is on the carrier to prove otherwise.

Primary Insurance

The first layer of insurance on a risk. Excess policies can provide higher limits of coverage when stacked above the primary layer. See "Excess Insurance."

Privileged Vessel - See "Stand-On Vessel."


Knowledge of a condition.

Processing Cover

Endorsement that extends coverage of the Warehouse-to-Warehouse Clause to continue while the merchandise is being assembled or worked on.

Pro Forma Invoice

An invoice provided by a supplier prior to the shipment of merchandise, informing the buyer of the kinds and quantities of goods to be sent, their value and specifications (weight, size, etc.).

Prompt Notice

Notification by an Assured to the insurance company or the company's representative within a reasonable period of time after the occurrence of a loss.


The metal "wheel" or "screw" with two or more blades mounted at an angle to the hub. It is attached to the end of the propeller shaft and turns in the water providing a vessel with propulsion by pushing against the water. See "Shaft."

Proportionate Fault

A method of apportioning liability for damages when two vessels collide, where each vessel’s liability for the total damages (percentage) is based on that vessel’s degree of fault or negligence for the collision. It replaced the doctrine of Divided Damages in the United States in 1975 (U.S. v. Reliable Transfer Co.) to agree with the custom and practice of the other maritime nations of the world. See "Divided Damages."

Protection & Indemnity (P&I)

Insurance against the shipowner's third party legal liability for damage to property (such as cargo, harbors, docks, buoys, etc.), collision liability (insofar as such liability is not already covered under the Collision Clause in the hull policy), personal injury, and loss of life. Also known as "PandI."

Protest - See "Master’s Protest."

Proximate Cause

Doctrine of "causa proxima non remota spectator," or that it is to be the direct, primary, and immediate cause of loss that is to be considered, and not the remote or incidental cause.

Pulp Temperature

The temperature of the internal flesh of refrigerated commodities.

Punitive Damages

Damages in excess of the amount of the actual loss, that are awarded by the court as punishment of a defendant or to set an example for others. Also known as "exemplary damages" or "extra contractual damages."