The Cape Town Treaty and International Registry of Mobile Assetss
The Cape Town Treaty and International Registry of Mobile Assets (IR) went into effect in the United States on March 1, 2006, and provides an electronic system to establish the priority of interests in airframes, aircraft engines and helicopters, otherwise known as “aircraft objects”. The Cape Town Treaty excludes the registration of any interest in propellers, avionics, and other parts and accessories.
The International Registry of Mobile Assets operates under the legal framework of the Cape Town Treaty and Aircraft Protocol, and its role is to electronically record international interests in aircraft objects, for the purpose of establishing the priority of those interests. Priority of the interests is determined on a first-to-register basis.
In order for your transaction to qualify under the Cape Town Treaty, both of the following must apply:
- The debtor/buyer or seller must be situated in a contracting state*
- The equipment must be large enough to qualify as an “aircraft object” under the Cape Town Treaty.
An “aircraft object” as defined by the Cape Town Treaty must fit into at least one of the following four categories:
- An aircraft that is type certificated to transport at least eight (8) persons including crew or goods in excess of 2,750 kilograms (6,050 pounds)
- A helicopter that is type certificated to transport at least five (5) persons including crew or goods in excess of 450 kilograms (990 pounds).
- A jet propulsion aircraft engine with at least 1,750 pounds of thrust or its equivalent
- A turbine-powered or piston-powered aircraft engine with at least 550 rated takeoff horsepower or its equivalent
The Cape Town Treaty will apply whether the transaction is domestic or international. Until the international interest is registered, your lien will not be perfected. Once you have determined that your transaction meets the requirements under the Cape Town Treaty, IATS will be able to assist you in registering the international interest.
*The IR website has a Contracting State search that features which countries have ratified the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol and allows parties to view the declarations and designations of the respective Contracting State or States.
International Registry Administration Service
Parties that seek to register as a Transacting User Entity (TUE) with the IR can elect to use our International Registry Administrator Service. We will establish the entity as a user on the International Registry through the acquisition of a user license and act as the entity’s Administrator. This service allows our office to grant or deny registrations and authorizations approved by the entity for an unlimited number of transactions for as long as the user license is current and valid.
As a protocol matter, this service is invaluable to parties that may not be able to log on to the International Registry website when closings occur in order for international interests to be registered on a priority basis.