For information only – not an official document

18 March 2024

Belgium and the European Union sign the “Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships”

VIENNA, 18 March (UN Information Service) – Belgium and the European Union signed the United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships (the "Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships") at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 14 March 2024. Belgium is the eighteenth State to sign the treaty. The European Union signs in accordance with Article 18(1) of the Beijing Convention on Judicial Sale of Ships which provides that a Regional Economic Integration Organization that is constituted by sovereign States and has competence over certain matters governed by the Convention may sign the Convention. Article 18(2) of the Convention provides that the Regional Economic Integration Organization is to make a declaration specifying the matters governed by the Convention in respect of which competence has been transferred to that organization by its member States. The European Union has made that declaration indicating its competence in the matters governed by the Convention. Belgium and the European Union join Burkina Faso, China, Comoros, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Kiribati, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Switzerland, Syria and Tanzania as a signatory to the treaty.

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 Convention is open for signature, ratification, accession or approval by States and regional economic integration organizations. It will enter into force 180 days after the date of deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

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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