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The Solution Provided by the Cape Town Convention

Under the Cape Town Convention, there is only the International Registry to consult. It is an asset-based registry of notice-filing system, operated all electronically and accessible on 24 h/7 days basis. Under the Cape Town Convention, the priority between registered international interests is determined solely by the first-to-file rule, and a registered international interest enjoys priority over any right or interest not registered with the International Registry, except the non-consensual rights or interests specified in the declaration of a Contracting State. It is no longer necessary to look up the registry of floating charges, because a floating charge, not registrable with an asset-based International Registry by definition, will never have priority over a registered international interest.

What the Cape Town Convention introduces here is the modernisation of outdated or complicated domestic system. As a single and simple system with a clear rule on priority, it will improve the practice of aircraft financing. Unlike the modest unification discussed above (see Sect. 2.2.4), the modernisation effect of the Cape Town Convention is significant, as no compromise has been made with the simplicity of first-to-file principle.

Still, even after a State becomes a Party to the Cape Town Convention, the domestic registry need not be abandoned. It may be used as the entry point, as in the case of the FAA recordation in the United States.[1] Registration with the domestic registry may also be considered useful to benefit from the remedies under the domestic law, in particular, to obtain proceeds from the object, which fall outside the limited definition in the Convention except under the Space Protocol.

  • [1] It is possible that the domestic registry remains valid with regard to internal transactions. Forthis, however, it will be necessary for the Contracting State to make a declaration under Article 50of the Base Convention. In Malaysia, the Regulations based on the Civil Aviation Act 1969 havenot been abolished when it became a Party to the Base Convention and Aircraft Protocol. AsMalaysia has not made a declaration to opt in to the exclusion of internal transactions, the usefulness of the retained domestic registry for internal transactions is doubted. See Chap. 6.
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