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The Global Scheme Realised by the International Registry

The Cape Town Convention provides that an International Registry is established under each Protocol to register international interests in the equipment covered by the Protocol. The International Registry for aircraft equipment has been in operation since 2006, operated by Aviareto Ltd. as registrar. The International Registry for railway rolling stock is to be operated by Regulis SA in Luxembourg as registrar. For the Space Protocol, the Preparatory Commission is still working on the preparation to establish the International Registry.

With the International Registry for aircraft equipment, 613,900 registrations are recorded against 340,000 objects as of 2014.[1] Not only has it received such a large number of registrations, but also the quality of the services it offers has met a high standard. The records are stored by the technology adaptable to the future innovations. While keeping the accessibility open to the public, the security over the identity of the users is controlled by using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). The integrity of the data is securely protected against tampering by the original software.[2]

The International Registry has also been responsive to the demands of the users. From 2013 it has entered “the Generation II” by developing the functions not foreseen in the Base Convention and Aircraft Protocol.[3] The Generation II of the International Registry started when multiple object registration became acceptable in 2013. When the parties create international interests in several aircraft objects under the same agreement, such as international interests in airframe and two engines of the same aircraft or those in a fleet of aircrafts, the creditor can now register all the international interests by one application instead of registering the international interests one by one. In the next year, the Closing Room was created to enable coordination among the parties to a series of transactions regarding the same aircraft object.[4] As if it were an electronic folder of documents, the data to be registered are entered into a closing room with a sequential order for registration, and “locked” when negotiations are completed. Then the consents are sought from all the parties, followed by the payment of registration fee to the International Registry. After everything is set, all the registrations in the electronic folder are submitted and recorded.[5]

The International Registry has taken advantage of its global scale to achieve both the high quality of service and responsiveness to the industry’s demands. Without sufficient funding from a large number of registrations, it could not have been possible. It is argued that the United States took this point seriously when deciding to ratify the Aircraft Protocol.[6] By making the volume of transactions recorded within the United States registrable under the Cape Town Convention, the International Registry became viable, which in turn has helped asset-based financing to develop globally.

  • [1] Ludwig Weber, Public and private features of the Cape Town Convention, The Cape TownConvention Journal, Vol.4, p.53 (2015).
  • [2] Rob Cowan and Donal Gallagher, The International Registry for Aircraft Equipment - The FirstSeven Years, What We Have Learned, Uniform Commercial Code Law Journal, Vol.45, p.225(2014).
  • [3] William B. Piels & Tan Siew Huay, Generation II Of The International Registry Website - TheClosing Room: A Transactional Approach to Registries, The Cape Town Convention Journal,Issue 2, p.165 (2013); Cowan and Gallagher, supra note 168, p.243.
  • [4] By borrowing the example in Cowan and Gallagher, supra note 168, if an aircraft is sold,financed by a senior lender and a junior lender, and leased to an airline, there will be five parties(seller, buyer (lessor), bank 1, bank 2, airline (lessee)) and five registrations to be made (sale, loan1, loan 2, lease and assignment of lease).
  • [5] Piels and Tan, supra note 169, p.175; Cowan and Gallagher, supra note 168, p.243.
  • [6] See Chap. 11.
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