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Landmark signing of Beijing convention on judicial sale of ships boosts global maritime trade – IMO takes center stage

IMO Welcomes Adoption Of UN Convention On The Judicial Sale Of Ships

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has expressed its support and approval for the signing of the UN Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships. This signing ceremony took place in Beijing, China, on September 5th.

This convention, now known as the Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships, was created by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). It aims to address a common problem in the maritime industry. Often, new ship owners or those financing the purchase of vessels find themselves in a difficult situation when previous creditors claim the ship as collateral for a loan. The Beijing Convention seeks to establish a consistent and simplified system that ensures that judicial sales of ships are recognized across borders. This is crucial for the smooth functioning of international trade.

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To make this recognition system work effectively and protect the rights of parties involved in the ship, the convention mandates that a notice of judicial sale and a certificate of judicial sale must be issued in the country where the sale occurs. The IMO plays a role in supporting this convention by serving as the repository for these notices and certificates of judicial sale. Information about ongoing and completed ship sales will be accessible online through IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) platform.

Now that the Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships has been adopted, the IMO is encouraging its member states to ratify the agreement. According to Article 21 of the convention, it will come into force 180 days after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession.

Fifteen countries have already signed the convention at the Beijing ceremony, including 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.

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At the signing event, the IMO was represented by Jan Engel de Boer, Senior Legal Officer, who also delivered a keynote speech at the international Symposium on the Beijing Convention, organized by the Supreme People’s Court of China following the signing ceremony.

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