The Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment (FSCE) had four bills – one regarding the registration and licensing of directors, and three relating to the aviation sector – passed after debate in the Legislative Assembly this month.

The Directors (Registration and Licensing) (Amendment) Bill 2015, which is a minor change to existing legislation, adds an additional overseas regulatory body to the list of foreign authorities in the Schedule to the Directors Registration and Licensing Law, 2014 as well as clarifies the section regarding appeals to the Grand Court.

The International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) Bill 2015; The Civil Aviation Authority (Amendment) Bill 2015; and The Bill of Sale (Amendment) Bill 2015 are intended to increase the international prestige of Cayman's aviation sector and attract additional aircraft finance business to Cayman.

All of the bills were passed on April 17 and they are expected to be gazetted shortly.

FSCE Minister Wayne Panton said all of the legislation seeks to strengthen Cayman's international standing and boost the local aviation sector.

'Ultimately, these amendments speak to increasing our jurisdictional reputation, which is a key to all aspects of commerce', he said. 'Being current and compliant with all major global treaties assists our efforts to maintain Cayman's place as a major international financial centre'.

The International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) Bill 2015 seeks to enable the extension of the Cape Town Convention to the Cayman Islands.

The Cape Town Convention is an international treaty that aims to standardise transactions involving movable property, such as aircraft, which often utilise Cayman. In 2009, the Cayman Islands enacted the Cape Town Convention Law, 2009, which was designed to mirror the provisions of the Cape Town Convention.

While this law was welcomed by some, it did not provide the desired result as many important financial institutions focused on the fact that the Cayman Islands does not have international recognition as a contracting party to the Cape Town Convention.

As a result, Cayman business vehicles were unable to participate in certain aircraft finance transactions which, instead, were conducted using business vehicles domiciled in competing jurisdictions that are a party to the Cape Town Convention.

The Civil Aviation Authority (Amendment) Bill 2015 intends to add the registration of aircraft mortgages as a function of the Civil Aviation Authority, which that regulatory body currently deals with on a day-to-day basis. However, for historical reasons, this function is presently governed under a UK statutory instrument.

Following consultation with the UK, the Cayman Islands may, similar to other overseas territories, enact local legislation in respect of the registration of aircraft mortgages.

The other amendment introduced in connection with the Cape Town Convention is the Bill of Sale (Amendment) Bill 2015 – which will make express reference to the Cape Town Convention and incorporate certain Cape Town Convention terms.

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