At an impressive signing ceremony held at Beijing on 5 September 2023, the UN Convention on the International Effects of the Judicial Sale of Ships was signed by no less than 15 States. Initial signatories are China, Burkina Faso, Comoros, El Salvador, Kiribati, Grenada, Honduras, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Switzerland and Syria. A series of EU member states is expected to accede to the Convention later this year once Brussels gives green light.

The UN Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships has been nearly two decades in the making, under the sponsorship of the Comité Maritime International (CMI), the federation of the world’s national maritime law associations that works toward improving and harmonising international maritime law. This is a very important step for international maritime law because, for the first time, we will have a convention which ensures that when a vessel is sold in a judicial sale free and unencumbered in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, that that title is given full effect all over the world.

ETL issued a special edition on the Beijing Convention containing not only the text of the Convention in all 6 authentic language versions, but also a commentary co-authored by experts who have actively contributed to the genesis of the Convention within UNCITRAL Working Group VI (Judicial Sale of Ships), as well as the Explanatory Note prepared by the UNCITRAL Secretariate and reflecting the deliberations of UNCITRAL Working Group VI (Judicial Sale of Ships). This‘bible’ on the Beijing Convention concludes with contributions by a number of professional organisations, representing amongst others the ship owning community, shipping financiers, flag states and the judiciary, expressing their support for the Convention and the need for States to sign and ratify it. Interested in a copy of this special edition? Enquiries at