The accession by Spain to the Cape Town Convention: a first assessment Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2014

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 23


  • 1


  • 19

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1124-3694

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2050-9065


  • On 28 June 2013, Spain's instrument of accession to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment was deposited with UNIDROIT together with several declarations. The Cape Town system represents a magnificent achievement by UNIDROIT aimed at providing a uniform legal framework for facilitating asset-based financing schemes, in particular in relation to high-value mobile equipment (hitherto aircraft equipment, railway rolling stock and space assets). The accession by Spain is definitively a clear signal of support for the Cape Town system as an enabler and promoter of the strategic industrial sectors covered thereby, and may be reasonably understood as a commitment to carry out a more profound and more extensive modernization at a domestic level of rules governing security interest in personal property. Spain has, however, not deposited any instrument of ratification, approval, acceptance or accession to any of the Protocols. This lack of ratification requires a closer examination since it gives rise to interesting issues concerning the design and operation of the Cape Town system and has a significant impact on its expected application within the Spanish legal system. The aim of this paper is, firstly, to study the extent and implications of the accession by Spain to the Convention in the above-mentioned conditions, and, secondly, to discuss some selected issues underpinning the Cape Town system from the perspective of Spanish legislation. Even so, the accession by Spain to the Convention is a significant step forward and is a decision to be applauded. Needless to say, an early adoption of the Protocols is expected and highly desirable.