Comparison of the Aircraft and MAC International Registries

  • Rob Cowan


In this, not-so-new, world of e-commerce, lawyers and engineers must work together to properly design online systems, to ensure these systems are effective, legally and practically. Poor technical design can undermine the acceptance of the system, no matter how well thought out the underlying legal regime. An interesting example is the set of registries pursuant to the Cape Town Convention. These specialist collateral registries are global with significant legal and commercial effect. However, that effect could be nullified with poor design. The registry operating under the Cape Town Convention’s Aircraft Protocol since 2006 has recorded over 1 million registrations. In designing its sister registry which will operate under the proposed protocol on mining, agricultural and construction equipment, engineers and lawyers must resist the temptation to simply copy and paste. Respecting the success of the Aircraft Protocol registry is fine, but blindly aping its approach would lead to failure for its sister registry.