The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has welcomed the signing of the UN Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships which took place at a ceremony in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China, on 5 September.
The Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships, as it is now known, was developed by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) to address the problem of bona fide new owners and those financing the purchase of vessels who, for instance, find themselves dealing with previous creditors laying claim to the ship as security for a loan.
The Beijing Convention establishes a harmonized and simplified regime that secures cross-border recognition of judicial sales of ships, ensuring the smooth operation of international trade. To facilitate the operation of the recognition regime, and to safeguard the rights of parties with an interest in the ship, a notice of judicial sale and a certificate of judicial sale must be issued in the State in which the sale takes place.
IMO is supporting the establishment of the Convention by acting as the repository for these notices and certificates of judicial sale. Information on pending and completed judicial sales of ships will be accessible online via a dedicated module on IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) platform.
With the Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships having now been adopted, IMO is encouraging its Member States to ratify the agreement. Article 21 of the Convention provides that it will enter into force 180 days after the date of the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
The Convention was signed by 15 countries: 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 Syrian Arab Republic.
IMO was represented at the signing ceremony by Jan Engel de Boer, Senior Legal Officer. He went on to deliver a keynote speech at the international Symposium on the Beijing Convention organized by the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China which followed the signing.