Cape Town Treaty

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Cape Town Treaty
Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment
  Parties, also covered by EU's accession
  Signatories, also covered by EU's accession
  covered by EU's accession
Signed16 November 2001
Location Cape Town, South Africa
Effective1 March 2006
Condition3 ratifications
Depositary International Institute for the Unification of Private Law
Citations2307 U.N.T.S. 285
LanguagesEnglish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish
Full text
Wikisource-logo.svg Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment at Wikisource

The Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, or Cape Town Treaty is an international treaty intended to standardize transactions involving movable property. The treaty creates international standards for registration of contracts of sale (including dedicated registration agencies), security interests (liens), leases and conditional sales contracts, and various legal remedies for default in financing agreements, including repossession and the effect of particular states' bankruptcy laws.


Four protocols to the convention are specific to four types of movable equipment: Aircraft Equipment (aircraft and aircraft engines; signed in 2001), railway rolling stock (signed in 2007), space assets (signed in 2012) and "Mining, Agricultural and Construction Equipment" (signed in 2019). The aircraft Protocol entered into force in 2006, while the others are not in effect.

The treaty resulted from a diplomatic conference held in Cape Town, South Africa in 2001. The conference was attended by 68 countries and 14 international organizations. 53 countries signed the resolution proposing the treaty. [1] The treaty came into force on 1 March 2006, [2] and has been ratified by 57 parties. The Aircraft Protocol (which applies specifically to aircraft and aircraft engines) took effect on 1 March 2006 when it was ratified by 9 countries: Ethiopia, Ireland, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Pakistan, and the United States.

Signatures and ratifications

As of 2018, the convention has been ratified by 77 states as well as the European Union. The railway rolling stock and the space protocols have been ratified by respectively three countries (Gabon, Luxembourg and Sweden), as well as the European Union, and no countries and thus have not taken effect. An overview of the status of the treaty and protocols is shown below:

InstrumentSignatureLocationEntry into forceSignaturesRatifications
(required for entry into force)
Convention16 November 2001Cape Town1 March 20062884 (3)
Aircraft Protocol16 November 2001Cape Town1 March 20062380 (8)
Railway Rolling Stock Protocol23 February 2007Luxembourg-83 (4)
Space Assets Protocol9 March 2012Berlin-40 (10)
Mining, Agricultural and Construction Equipment (MAC)22 November 2019Pretoria-50 (5)

European Union

The European Union joined the convention and the Aircraft Protocol as a Regional Economic Integration Organization. On the subject of the convention, both the Member states of the European Union and the Union itself have competence: e.g. while the substantive law regarding insolvency is regulated by the states, the conflict of law-rules (which county has jurisdiction etc.) is regulated by the European Union. According to the Government of the Netherlands the acceptance of the European Union in a member state which itself is not a party to the convention has no practical consequences. [3] The European Union ratified the Luxembourg Rail protocol in December 2014 as a Regional Economic Integration Organization on the same basis.


Aircraft Protocol

Parties, also covered by EU's accession
Signatories, also covered by EU's accession
covered by EU's accession AircraftProtocol.svg
Aircraft Protocol
  Parties, also covered by EU's accession
  Signatories, also covered by EU's accession
  covered by EU's accession

Aircraft Protocol

The aircraft Protocol (officially: Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on matters specific to aircraft equipment) was signed immediately with the treaty and the only protocol currently entered into force. It applies to aircraft which can carry at least eight people or 2750 kilograms of cargo, aircraft engines with thrust exceeding 1,750 pounds-force (7,800 N) or 550 horsepower (410 kW), and helicopters carrying five or more passengers. The International Registry of Mobile Assets established to record international property interests in the aircraft equipment covered by the treaty is located in Ireland. Mediation cases for leasing disputes are to be heard in the High Court of Ireland. [4] As of 2022, the protocol has 81 contracting parties, which includes 80 states and the European Union.

StateDate of Ratification/
Flag of the Taliban.svg  Afghanistan 25 July 2006
Flag of Albania.svg  Albania 30 October 2007
Flag of Angola.svg  Angola 30 April 2006
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 10 January 2018
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 26 May 2015
Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain 27 November 2012
Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh 15 December 2008
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus 27 September 2011
Flag of Bhutan.svg  Bhutan 4 July 2014
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 30 November 2011
Flag of Burkina Faso.svg  Burkina Faso 8 September 2017
Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon 14 April 2011
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 21 December 2012New Brunswick: effective 1 July 2016
Yukon: effective 1 October 2014
others: 1 April 2013
Flag of Cape Verde.svg  Cape Verde 26 September 2007
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 3 February 2009Excluding
Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong
Flag of Macau.svg  Macao
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 19 February 2007
Flag of the Republic of the Congo.svg  Congo 13 March 2013
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg  Democratic Republic of Congo 6 May 2016
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica 8 August 2018
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg  Côte d'Ivoire 1 March 2016
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 28 January 2009
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 26 October 2015
Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt 10 December 2014
Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Ethiopia 21 November 2003
Flag of Europe.svg  European Union 28 April 2009Only as far as it has competency over subjects of the convention/ protocol. Not applicable to Denmark
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 30 May 2012
Flag of Gabon.svg  Gabon 4 April 2017
Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana 20 December 2018
Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland 23 June 2020
Flag of India.svg  India 31 March 2008
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 16 March 2007
Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland 23 August 2005
Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan 31 August 2010
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan 1 June 2011
Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya 13 October 2006
Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait 31 October 2013
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan 13 May 2021
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia 8 February 2011
Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg 27 June 2008
Flag of Madagascar.svg  Madagascar 15 December 2008
Flag of Malawi.svg  Malawi 10 April 2013
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia 16 January 2014
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta 1 October 2010
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 31 July 2007
Flag of Moldova.svg  Moldova 19 February 2019
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia 19 October 2006
Flag of Mozambique.svg  Mozambique 18 July 2013
Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar 3 December 2012
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 23 July 2018
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Kingdom of the Netherlands 17 May 2010Not European Netherlands
Only for Flag of Aruba.svg  Aruba
Flag of Curacao.svg  Curaçao
Flag of Sint Maarten.svg  Sint Maarten
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Caribbean Netherlands
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 20 July 2010
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 16 December 2003
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 20 December 2010
Flag of Oman.svg  Oman 21 March 2005
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan 22 January 2004
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama 28 July 2003
Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay 19 December 2018
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 8 January 2020
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 30 March 2018
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 25 May 2011
Flag of Rwanda.svg  Rwanda 28 January 2010
Flag of San Marino.svg  San Marino 9 September 2014
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 27 June 2008
Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal 9 January 2006
Flag of Sierra Leone.svg  Sierra Leone 26 July 2016
Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore 28 January 2009
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 18 January 2007
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 27 November 2015
Flag of Eswatini.svg  Swaziland 17 November 2016
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 30 December 2015
Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan 31 May 2011
Flag of Tanzania.svg  Tanzania 30 January 2009
Flag of Togo.svg  Togo 1 December 2011
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 23 August 2011
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 31 July 2012
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 29 April 2008
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom 27 July 2015Extended to Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and Guernsey (2015), and the Isle of Man and Bermuda (2017)
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 28 October 2004
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan 31 January 2018
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam 17 September 2014
Flag of Zambia.svg  Zambia 7 September 2020

Railway Rolling Stock

The Railway Rolling Stock Protocol, or Luxembourg Rail Protocol, officially the Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Railway Rolling Stock was adopted on 23 February 2007 at a diplomatic conference in Luxembourg and applies to railway rolling stock (broadly defined as "vehicles movable on a fixed railway track or directly on, above or below a guideway").

The protocol establishes an international registry located in Luxembourg at which all international interests under the protocol will be registrable. The registry will also issue unique identifiers for rolling stock on request. Regulis S.A., a subsidiary of SITA, was appointed in November 2014 to act as Registrar. The protocol requires ratification by 4 countries, together with a certification by the secretariat to the Supervisory Authority that the registry is fully operational, in order to enter into force. Currently, it has been signed by France, Gabon, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Mozambique, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK as well as the European Union, while it has been ratified by the European Union and 3 states: Gabon, Luxembourg and Sweden.

Space Assets

The Space Assets protocol, or Berlin Space Protocol [5] (officially Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters specific to Space Assets) was concluded on 9 March 2012 and requires 10 ratifications before entry into force. [6] The protocol applies to objects functioning in space like satellites or satellite parts. [7] The convention was strongly opposed by the satellite industry, claiming that it would lead to increased bureaucracy and "make the financing of new satellite projects more difficult and expensive". [8] The convention has been signed by 5 countries (Burkina Faso, Germany, Saudi Arabia, United States and Zimbabwe), but no country has ratified it.

Mining, Agricultural, and Construction (MAC) Equipment

On 22 November 2019, a fourth protocol to the convention was adopted to extend the convention's framework to mining, agricultural, and construction (MAC) equipment, named 'Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters specific to mining, agricultural, and construction equipment. [9] The protocol was signed by 4 states (Congo, Gambia, Nigeria and Paraguay) upon its adoption and requires 5 ratifications before entry into force (provided the registry is operational then). On 1 October 2020, the United States of America signed the MAC Protocol bringing the total number of signatories to 5 [10]

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  2. "The Cape Town Convention - Now coming into force" (PDF). Hogan Lovells. 1 March 2006. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
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  4. "Aircraft leasing disputes to be heard in Dublin". Sunday Business Post. 11 May 2008.[ permanent dead link ]
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Aircraft Protocol
Luxembourg Rail Protocol