While the Netherlands has a long-standing reputation in the international aviation, banking and taxation practice, this is the first international aviation sales, finance and lease conference that is organised in this state. Its goal is to announce the new legal and fiscal regimes governing aircraft and engines transactions which are purposefully structured to have connections with the various parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch and foreign manufacturers, financiers, lessors and airlines may “choose” the secured rights protecting their substantial financial interests and the tax regime that suit their certain (off-shore) transaction best. The conference focuses on the major advantages of the accession of the Kingdom to the Cape Town Convention in 2010. While the treaty has entered into force in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom, for example in Aruba, it is not yet applicable in the Netherlands in Europe. Nevertheless, the convention already applies in Bonaire which is a ‘special city’ of the European Netherlands since 10 October 2010. However, geographically Bonaire is situated in the Caribbean.
The result of this unique situation is that foreign and Dutch parties to international sales, finance and lease agreements can register their aircraft as to nationality in their “preferred” part of the Kingdom. For example, overseas owners and financiers of aircraft may choose the Aruba flag. Their aircraft get the nationality and the registration prefix ‘P4’ of Aruba. This option ensures that they can enforce their rights under the Cape Town Convention. On the other hand, new or established Dutch or foreign airlines and their lessors which prefer the Dutch flag may also benefit from the Cape Town Convention. They can structure their leases through Bonaire (i.e. the Netherlands), while their aircraft keep or obtain the Dutch nationality and the registration prefix ‘PH’. Moreover, they may profit from the advantageous tax-treaties which the Netherlands has concluded with more than 90 states. Thus, the Cape Town Convention boosts various fiscal and legal scenarios that facilitate the (off-shore) registration, sale, finance of modern and safe aircraft. These aircraft may be permanently operated in other states.