The International Trade Council acknowledges the recent signing of the United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships. The ceremony took place in Beijing, People's Republic of China, on September 5, 2023.
Formulated by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the convention, now known as the Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships, aims to address the complications faced by genuine new owners and financiers in purchasing vessels. Specifically, the convention provides a solution for situations where new owners encounter claims from prior creditors who regard the ship as collateral for loans.
The Beijing Convention offers a standardized and streamlined system to facilitate cross-border recognition of judicial sales of ships, thereby contributing to the seamless conduct of international trade. To support the implementation of this recognition mechanism, a notice of judicial sale and a certificate of judicial sale will be issued by the state where the sale occurs.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is serving as the repository for these notices and certificates. Details about pending and finalized judicial sales of ships will be made publicly available via a specialized module on IMO's Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) platform.
The International Trade Council encourages Member States of the IMO to ratify the agreement. According to Article 21 of the Convention, it will become effective 180 days after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession.
The Convention was endorsed by 15 countries, including the People’s Republic of China, Burkina Faso, Comoros, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Kiribati, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Switzerland, and the Syrian Arab Republic.
Jan Engel de Boer, Senior Legal Officer, represented the IMO during the signing ceremony and subsequently presented a keynote address at the international Symposium on the Beijing Convention, organized by the Supreme People’s Court of the People's Republic of China.