On June 30, 2022 the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) approved a draft convention on the effects of judicial sales of vessels as well as a resolution forwarding the draft convention to the UN General Assembly with recommendation that the convention be approved at the General Assembly’s next session and open for signature by the nations of the world.

The object of the convention is to facilitate the deletion of foreclosed vessels from their prior registries in order to support purchase bids at foreclosures assuring bidders and their financiers that such sales will be final and predictable. In the past decades there have been reported cases around the world in which some registrars and State parties failed to respect the import of vessel foreclosure sales free and clear.”

The convention originated in 2008 as a project of the Comite Maritime International (CMI), from which a draft known as the “Beijing Draft” emerged in 2014 and was approved at CMI’s Hamburg Meeting. The Beijing Draft was taken up by UNCITRAL in 2018 and assigned to its Working Group VI.

MLA Past President Francis X. Nolan III represented the US MLA in the CMI Working Group and, by invitation of the US state Department, served as legal advisor and US delegate to UNCITRAL on Working Group VI, seeing this effort through from its origins to its approval by UNCITRAL.