Recently I had a customer buy a Cessna 421 and the finance company required him to get an international registration. This process takes time, escrow accounts and cost more money. This is a stage of the purchase process that I don’t see, so a little research was in order.
What I discovered was that while it takes time and money, international registration (known as the Cape Town Treaty) is not only required, but it is in the best interest for the buyers of certain aircraft.
Where does this registration come from?
The Cape Town Treaty establishes the right for owners of these aircraft to grant an “Irrevocable De-Registration and Export Request Authorization” (IDERA) to a secured party. The treaty was adopted in the United States by The Cape Town Treaty Implementation Act of 2004, on August 9, 2004. This also establishes the “Civil Aviation Registry”. The effective date of these changes was March 1st, 2006.
Still confused about the Cape Town Treaty?
Well so am I. This thing was voted on and adopted with little if any fanfare in the aviation industry (except maybe the NBAA (National Business Aircraft Association)) but for most of us general aviation pilots it is a new requirement.
Even if you are not planning on flying internationally, when you buy a certain plane you will be required register the plane not only through the FAA but also through this international registry program called the “The Cape Town International Registry” (CTIR).
The CTIR was designed to protect financial interests in certain aircraft and engines. The International Registry is recognized by a number of countries (not all, but yes, the USA) as an additional place for the filing of interests, including prospective interests, in certain airframes, helicopters, and aircraft engines. From what can tell, countries like Canada and Mexico opted out of the treaty.
Depending on who you talk to, it appears to have been started by a big aircraft company that wanted to find a way to protect their interest in planes and engines around the world. It was decided that an international registry would be a way to keep control of those interests outside of the FAA’s boundaries. But what wasn’t really planned was the trickle down to the general aviation flying public. I’m talking owner/pilots of smaller twins and singles.
What planes are included?
Basically any airplanes that are:
1.Certified with at least eight (8) seats including crew; or carrying “goods” in excess of 2750 kilograms (6050 pounds).
2.Helicopters that are type certificated to transport: At least five (5) persons including crew; or “goods” in excess of 450 kilograms (990 pounds)
3.Jet propulsion aircraft engines with at least 1750 pounds of thrust or its equivalent.
4.Turbine-powered or Piston-powered aircraft engines with at least 550 rated take-off horsepower or its equivalent.
The registration process is fairly simple, but does require a procedure through a title company, registration with CTIR which is based; it appears, in Ireland and of course additional funds. This registration can cost the new owner into the thousands of dollars.
Do you have to do this even if you never plan on flying internationally?
Yes, it is a registration requirement. But also, it appears to be in the best interest of the buyer/owner and financial institution because the priority of your lien will be at risk. The explanation I was given was that a person or company could register your aircraft on the international registry (before you) and that registration would take priority over the FAA registration and they would be come the “owner” of your aircraft. IF that is true, you might have to pay the internationally registered “owner” to release your aircraft registration to you. This could be a nightmare. Fear of fraudulent filing makes it important to take this serious.
I am not an expert in this by any means. But I do think that if you own an aircraft that meets these registrations requirements such as a Cessna 421 or even a Malibu Jet Prop, you should look into it. Call your bank or go online to the FAA at:
Still have more questions (I did) about the International Registry you need to go to the International Registry website at https//www.internationalregistry.aero.