Cape Town Convention – proposed UK ratification

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The government recently ran a consultation process - which closed on 11 August 2014 - to gather views from the aviation industry on how the UK should implement the Convention. A response to this consultation, in which the government will detail how it intends to implement the treaty and the timetable for ratification, is due before the end of 2014.

The UK government is committed to ratifying the Convention to bring the UK within the harmonised international legal framework for the creation and registration of "international interests" (such as mortgages and leases) in respect of helicopters, aircraft frames and aircraft engines.

The Convention falls into the category of EU legislation which does not have direct and binding effect in the UK and so requires the passage of secondary legislation by Parliament in order to become effective in national law and to allow the UK courts to interpret and apply it. The government recently published draft legislation designating the Convention as an "EU treaty" for the purposes of the European Communities Act 1972. This designation allows Parliament to pass national legislation to implement Convention provisions (to the extent that the UK has competence to do so under the Convention).