For information only – not an official document

5 September 2023

The United Nations “Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships” opens for signature in Beijing

15 States sign the United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships at signing ceremony

VIENNA, 5 September (UN Information Service) – The United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships (the "Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships") opened for signature at a ceremony in Beijing today, 5 September 2023.  Fifteen States, Burkina Faso, China, Comoros, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Kiribati, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Switzerland and Syria, signed the Convention at the ceremony, which was attended by senior officials and representatives of more than 30 States.

Formal opening remarks were delivered by Wang Shouwen (China International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce), Sima Hong (Vice Mayor of the Beijing Municipal People’s Government), and Anna Joubin-Bret (Director of the International Trade Law Division of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, Secretary of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law). The ceremony was followed by an international symposium, which highlighted the main features of the Convention and its expected impact on shipping, and addressed current topics of interest in the field of international carriage of goods by sea.

The Convention was prepared by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 7 December 2022. The Convention establishes a harmonized regime for giving international effect to judicial sales, while preserving domestic law governing the procedure of judicial sales and the circumstances in which judicial sales confer clean title. By ensuring legal certainty as to the title that the purchaser acquires in the ship as it navigates internationally, the Convention is designed to maximize the price that the ship is able to attract in the market and the proceeds available for distribution among creditors, and to promote international trade. The General Assembly has called on all States wishing to strengthen the international legal framework for shipping and navigation to consider becoming a party to the Convention.

Up-to-date information about the parties and signatories to the Convention, is available on the UNCITRAL website:


The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. Its mandate is to remove legal obstacles to international trade by progressively modernizing and harmonizing trade law. It prepares legal texts in a number of key areas such as international commercial dispute settlement, electronic commerce, insolvency, international payments, sale of goods, transport law, procurement and infrastructure development. 

UNCITRAL also provides technical assistance to law reform activities, including assisting Member States to review and assess their law reform needs and to draft the legislation required to implement UNCITRAL texts. The UNCITRAL secretariat is located in Vienna, Austria. For more information,

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For information, please contact:

José Angelo Estrella-Faria 
Principal Legal Officer and Head, Legislative Branch 
UNCITRAL Secretariat 
Email: joseangelo.estrella-faria[at]

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