All questions

Current developments

The main legislative development in the aviation sector was the entry into force in Spain of the Aircraft Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on 1 March 2016. Furthermore, the Directorate General for Registry and Notary Offices of the Ministry of Justice issued a resolution on 29 February 2016 with the aim of approving specific forms to facilitate access to the International Registry by means of the Spanish entry point, the Chattel Registry. Spain has also submitted declarations to the Convention, which entered into force on 1 June 2016. These declarations are made pursuant to Article 39 (rights having priority without registration), Article 40 (registrable non-consensual rights or interests) and Article 53 (determination of courts).

Currently, Spain faces the challenge of performing all the necessary internal amendments to ensure that the entry into force of the Cape Town Convention, and specifically the international interest enforcement, is implemented in the most effective manner. In any event, Spanish intervening agents (e.g., public bodies, registrars) are taking significant steps for the correct implementation of the Cape Town Convention. These developments may have a significant positive impact on Spain's aviation financing sector.

Turning to the maritime sector, Spanish ports are receiving an increasing number of traffic containers, consolidating their leading position by traffic volume within Europe. With regard to the shipping financing industry, the fact that the new Spanish tax lease framework was upheld by the judgment of the EU General Court together with the approval of Royal Decree 874/2017, gives an optimistic view of the future.

In the railway sector, Spain has effected the transposition of the market pillar of the Fourth Railway Package, commencing with the approval of Royal Decree-Law 23/2018. Thus, passenger railway transport has been open to competition as of 1 January 2019, meaning that any railway company can request capacity for the working timetable starting on 14 December 2020.

Although no official announcement has been published yet, it seems that Spain has extended the period to transpose Directives 2016/797 and 2016/798 by one year. Should this be the case, the transposition of the technical pillar would have to take place by 16 June 2020, rather than by 16 June 2019.

The procedure for enacting a Royal Decree on railway operational safety and interoperability, under which both Directives are envisaged to be implemented, has already completed the public consultation phase – a mandatory step prior to its approval.