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The International Registry and Priority of International Interests

When the Cape Town Convention is applicable, the creditor can constitute an “international interest” according to the rules of the Convention. An international interest under the Cape Town Convention includes a security interest granted by the chargor under a security agreement, an interest vested in a person who is the conditional seller under a title reservation agreement, and an interest vested in a person who is the lessor under a leasing agreement.[1] These types of interests are non-possessory security interests, which do not require the creditors (holders of the security interest) to take possession of the secured object.

Creation and Registration of an International Interest

The creditor may constitute a valid international interest by concluding an agreement that satisfies certain formalities with the debtor. The required formalities are that the agreement: (a) is in writing; (b) relates to an object of which the debtor has the power to dispose; (c) enables the object to be identified in conformity with the

Protocol; and (d) in the case of a security agreement, enables the secured obligations to be determined.[2]

To register international interests and publicise them, the International Registry is set up under the Cape Town Convention. For each type of objects covered by each Protocol, different Registries may be established.[3] There is required to be a Supervisory Authority for the International Registry.[4] The Supervisory Authority appoints the Registrar that operates the International Registry and supervises it.[5]

  • [1] Art.2 (2) of the Base Convention.
  • [2] Article 7 of the Base Convention.
  • [3] Article 16 of the Base Convention.
  • [4] Article 17 (1) of the Base Convention.
  • [5] Article 17 (2) (b), (f) of the Base Convention. More details of the appointment of the Registrar isprovided in the Protocols. For the Aircraft Protocol, the Registrar’s term of appointment is 5 years(Article XVII (5) of the Aircraft Protocol). The Luxembourg Rail Protocol does not specify theexact term, but provides that the first Registrar shall be appointed for a period of not less than 5 andmore than 10 years and that the following terms shah not exceed ten years (Article XII (11) of theLuxembourg Rail Protocol). The Space Protocol has no equivalent provision.
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