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Department of International Law > OAS

Secured Transactions - December 2013

International Interests in Mobile Equipment – Possible 4th Protocol to Cape Town Convention

The Department of International Law (DIL) was invited to take part in discussions to consider the possible preparation of a fourth protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment. The Cape Town Convention is intended to establish a legal framework for international interests in such equipment and for that purpose to create an international registration system. The Convention, together with the first protocol covering aircraft, entered into force in 2006. The second protocol, covering railway rolling stock, and the third protocol, covering space assets, were opened for signature in 2007 and 2012, respectively, but neither one has yet entered into force. The fourth protocol, presently under discussion, would cover mining, agricultural and construction (MAC) equipment.

The Cape Town Convention and its protocols have been developed by the International Institute for the Unification of Private International Law (UNIDROIT). The meeting to discuss a possible fourth protocol was initiated by the UNIDROIT Secretariat and was held at the International Law Institute in Washington, D.C on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013. OAS DIL was represented by Ms. Jeannette Tramhel, Senior Legal Officer, and Mr. Eugenio Briales, Legal Consultant and Secured Transactions Expert.

After a brief introduction to the Cape Town Convention, participants discussed the potential economic impact of a MAC protocol, guidelines for setting the initial scope of the work, methodologies for determining the type of MAC equipment to be covered, and identification of the legal issues and challenges that would need to be addressed.

The work of UNIDROIT on the Cape Town Convention, its protocols and a possible fourth protocol is of interest to the OAS DIL in relation to our current Secured Financing Project. As OAS DIL works with OAS Member States towards capacity building for secured transactions reform, it is important to take into consideration other relevant international instruments in the field. Participation of the OAS DIL at this meeting precipitated a broader discussion of the policy implications and practical challenges of encouraging domestic registries and reforms at national levels while development of international registries for high value equipment is also underway. Once again, the meeting illustrated the benefits of inter-organizational collaboration in the field of private international law.

To see OAS Booklet — Secured Transactions Reform in the Americas, click here »

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