Cape Town Convention in the UK - date of entry into force set by UNIDROIT

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UNIDROIT, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, has published dates for accession and entry into force of the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (the “Convention”), and associated Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on matters specific to Aircraft Equipment (the “Protocol”) in the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom ratified the Convention and Protocol on 27 July 2015, both of which will enter into force in the United Kingdom on 1 November 2015.

As expected, the United Kingdom declarations made pursuant to the Convention preserve the priority of the following types of interest over international interests created pursuant to the Convention: (i) non-consensual rights of the type described in the United Kingdom’s declaration made pursuant to Article 39(1) of the Convention, and (ii) statutory rights of detention, such as those pursuant to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, as well as the more traditional rights such as navigation and airport charges.

The United Kingdom has also declared that ratification shall extend to the territories of Guernsey, Cayman Islands and Gibraltar – making the Convention and Protocol and relevant declarations applicable to these territorial units, each of which has different systems of law. The United Kingdom has also specified the applicable courts for such territorial units.

Pursuant to the Protocol, the United Kingdom has made specific declarations per territorial unit, declaring that:

(1) For both Cayman Islands and Guernsey:

(i) the parties to an agreement may agree/choose the governing law (wholly or in part), and relevant domestic courts shall co-operate to the maximum extent possible with foreign courts as regards insolvency matters and in accordance with the applicable domestic law; and

(ii) Alternative A (the Protocol’s regime for enforcement or default scenarios) applies, which sets out a definite deadline for the insolvency administrator or debtor, as appropriate, and the creditor to negotiate the retention or return of the relevant aircraft object. The Alternative A “waiting period” shall be 60 days.

(3) For the United Kingdom, Cayman Islands, and Guernsey: Irrevocable de-registration and export request authorisations (IDERAs) in the form provided by the Protocol can be recorded at the registry authority and the person in whose favour the authorisation has been issued shall be the sole person entitled to exercise the remedies associated with such IDERAs, subject to any safety concerns of that authority.

(3) For the Cayman Islands only: a creditor, having adduced evidence of default by a debtor, may obtain “speedy” relief through the courts within 10 working days from making an application to the court for same.

(4) For Guernsey only: a creditor, having adduced evidence of default by a debtor, may obtain “speedy” relief through the courts within 10 working days from making an application to the court for the same, for requests regarding (i) preservation of the object and its value, (ii) possession, control or custody of the object, and (iii) immobilisation of the object. The creditor has 30 working days for the same purpose for requests regarding (i) leasing or (ii) management of the object and income derived from it.

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