Grenada has etched its name in history as the first CARICOM member state to embrace the United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships.
Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Andall signed this groundbreaking agreement last week Tuesday during a ceremony hosted in Beijing, China.
The Convention, now recognised as the ‘Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships,’ is a product of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).
It is specifically designed to tackle the intricate challenges faced by new ship owners and financiers when confronted with previous creditors asserting claims over vessels used as collateral for loans.
The agreement establishes a unified framework for bestowing international recognition upon judicial sales, all the while upholding the integrity of each nation’s domestic laws governing these transactions and meticulously delineates the circumstances under which clear ownership is conferred.
At its core, the Convention seeks to provide an unassailable legal foundation for a ship’s title during international navigation.
This pursuit aims to unlock a vessel’s full market potential and enhance financial returns for creditors, thereby promoting and streamlining international trade.
Minister Andall expressed his enthusiasm for the Convention, emphasising its role in enabling Grenada to delve into the intricacies of the marine industry.
He envisions how Grenada can both reap benefits from and actively contribute to the global maritime sector and its continued growth.
The Chinese Global Times newspaper quotes Minister Andall as saying that the Convention presents a valuable opportunity for Grenada “to learn more about the intricacies of the marine industry, and to see how Grenada can derive some benefits from it as well as contribute to the whole global maritime industry and movement.”
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is playing a pivotal role in this monumental endeavour by acting as the repository for notices and certificates of judicial sale, facilitating the exchange of vital information.
According to a statement in the IMP website, details pertaining to pending and completed judicial sales of ships will be readily accessible through a dedicated module on IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) platform.
As the Convention gains traction, the IMO urges Member States to ratify this transformative agreement.
Article 21 of the Convention outlines its entry into force 180 days following the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession.
Notably, 14 other States have already signed onto this Convention, reaffirming its significance on the international stage.
These nations include Burkina Faso, China, Comoros, El Salvador, Honduras, Kiribati, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Switzerland, and Syria.