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Priorities Between Interests in the Object

The registration of an international interest with the International Registry determines the priorities among the competing interests by the timing of registration. The first to register is granted the first priority. Whether or not the first registrant had actual knowledge of the existence of a subsequently registered international interest or unregistered interest does not matter.[1]

The establishment of the International Registry does not, by itself, abolish the domestic registry that has existed. However, an interest registered only with the domestic registry and not with the International Registry is treated as an unregistered interest and cannot claim its priority vis-a-vis a registered international interest, unless it is a pre-existing right or interest protected its priority under the transitional provision.[2] Even after the Cape Town Convention enters into force with a Contracting State, the State may designate the office for the domestic registration as the entry point for the International Registry.[3] There are a few States that have made a declaration to designate such entry points with regard to the Aircraft Protocol.

As an exception to the rule that the first to register is granted the first priority, a Contracting State may declare that a non-consensual right or interest of a certain category enjoys priority without any registration.[4] Besides that, a Contracting State may declare that other categories of non-consensual rights or interests may be registered with the International Registry, in which case the priority between such a non-consensual right or interest and a registered international interest is to be determined according to the timing of registration.[5]

  • [1] Art.29 of the Base Convention.
  • [2] Article 60(1) of the Base Convention.
  • [3] Article XIX of the Aircraft Protocol; Article XIII of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol; Article XXXIof the Space Protocol.
  • [4] Article 39(1) of the Base Convention.
  • [5] Article 40 of the Base Convention. Further on non-consensual right or interest, John Prichard &David Lloyd, Analysis of Non-Consensual Rights and Interests under Article 39 of the Cape TownConvention, The Cape Town Convention Journal, Issue 2, p.3 (2013).
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