Contributor: Prof. Dr. Crenguta Leaua and Corina Tanase
1. Which authority is in charge of the civil aviation registry in Romania? Does Romania use a single-registry system or is there a dual-registry system in place?
The Romanian Civil Aeronautical Authority (hereinafter “RCAA”) is the authority in charge of the civil aviation registry in Romania. In relation to aircraft registration, in accordance with the provisions of Subchapter 4:1.4 para (3) of the Romanian civil aeronautical regulations “Registration of civil aircraft” Edition 1/2016 approved by OMT no. 1.338/25.10.2016 as amended by OMT no. 165/2021 from 26 February 2021 of the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure regarding the approval of amendments for regulation related to certification and registration of UAV (hereinafter “Romanian Registration Regulation”) RCAA manages the following registries:
- Unique registry for registration of civil aircraft (hereinafter “RUIAC”);
- Registry of securities; and
- Registry of deregistration.
2. Is the registry an operator registry or an owner registry (or both)?
RUIAC registers both the owner and the operator of the aircraft.
3. What are the requirements and documentation to register an aircraft in Romania? Include references to formalities such as notarisation, legalization, etc.
In order to be registered in RUIAC the following requirements set out in Subsection 1:2.1 of the Romanian Registration Regulation must be met:
- the aircraft is not registered in another State;
- the aircraft complies with the requirements for the level of noise and toxic emissions;
- the aircraft is airworthy; and
- the owner or holder of the aircraft is a natural person with the domicile or permanent residence in an EU country or a legal person with headquarters in an EU country.
The documentation necessary to be submitted for the registration of an aircraft in RUIAC consists of:
- application for registration;
- the ownership title or the holder title;
- the written agreement of the owner if the aircraft is registered at the request of the holder, in original;
- documents regarding the previous situation of the aircraft as to its registration;
- the placement scheme of the registration marks;
- proof of the domicile/residence/headquarters of the owner or holder, as the case may be which consists of: (i) a copy of the Certificate of Registration and a full ascertaining certificate for the Romanian legal persons or the equivalent documentation issued by the competent authorities for foreign legal persons, or (ii) a copy of the identification card or of the proof of residency in Romania for Romanian natural persons or the equivalent documentation issued by the competent authorities for foreign natural persons;
- the confirmation of the reservation for the desired registration marks received from RCAA;
- the copy of the document attesting airworthiness valid at the date of registration application; and
- proof of payment of the RCAA fees.
The documents accompanying the application for registration must be submitted in original or as a notarized copy and, if they are in a foreign language, a notarized translation in Romanian language must also be submitted.
The documents issued by foreign institutions must bear an apostille or be superlegalized, as the case may be.
If the documentation is submitted by a proxy, the power of representation must be proved by means of power of attorney notarized, apostilled or superlegalized, as the case may be.
4. What fees are payable to register an aircraft in Romania?
The fees for the registration of the aircraft in Romania vary according to the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW):
- 90 euro per aircraft plus VAT if MTOW <= 5700 kg and
- 180 euro per aircraft plus VAT if MTOW> 5700 kg.
5. Are there any weight and/or maximum age restrictions to register an aircraft in Romania?
The Romanian Registration Regulation provides for no weight or age restriction for an aircraft to be registered in RUIAC.
6. Does registration of an aircraft in the national registry constitute proof of ownership under the laws of Romania?
No, the registration in RUIAC of an aircraft and the issuance of the Certificate of Registration do not constitute proof of ownership, legal holding, or right of use in relation to the aircraft. This is expressly provided in the Romanian Aeronautical Code and Romanian Registration Regulation.
7. How is an aircraft title transfer effected in Romania? What are the formalities required to register such title transfer in the national registry of Romania (e.g., notarization, legalization etc.)? Please summarize the related costs and procedures.
In principle, the transfer of an aircraft title takes the form of a private deed that does not require any specific notarization or other certification procedures. The transfer of the title must be recorded in writing bearing the signatures of the parties as proof of the deed itself. In order to register the title transfer in the national registry, it is sufficient to submit the original deed of the transfer or a notarized copy and, if the case, the notarized translation of the deed in Romanian language.
The transfer of a title represents an amendment to the data registered in RUIAC and, thus, the registration needs to be amended to reflect the new owner. The amendment of the data registered in RUIAC is made based on an application submitted by the owner of the aircraft or the holder, with the approval of the owner. The application contains data on the aircraft (type and model, manufacturer serial number, number and date of the registration certificate, registration marks), on the required amendment and the documentation enclosed to the application.
The fee for the amendment of the RUIAC data is 45 euro plus VAT per application and the proof of payment shall be filed together with the application for amendment.
8. What information and details are reflected in the certificate of registration of an aircraft?
The Certificate of Registration of an aircraft issued by RCAA reflects the following:
- number of the Certificate of Registration,
- the nationality and registration marks,
- the manufacturer and manufacturer’s designation of aircraft,
- aircraft serial number,
- name and address of owner,
- name and address of holder (operator),
- statement that the aircraft was duly entered on RUIAC,
- statement that the Certificate of Registration does not prove the legal holding or ownership of the aircraft,
- statement that the Certificate of Registration must be carried on board of the aircraft during its operation,
- date of issue,
- Limitations/remarks, and
9. Are the entries in the aircraft registry of Romania made available to the public upon submission of a specific application to the competent authority? Are there any fees payable for this?
In 2020 a new Aeronautical Code was adopted in Romania. This Code provides expressly in article 22 para 3 that RUIAC is not public, while in the previous code there was no provision as to the character of RUIAC.
There is currently a discrepancy with the provisions of the Romanian Registration Regulation adapted in 2016 which provides that the data recorded in RUIAC and in the Registry for securities are public and are published on the RCAA website. It is to be mentioned that these are not actually published on the RCAA website. The data published regards the Romanian operators, the type of certificate they hold, its availability, and the aircrafts included in the operator’s AOC or AOA (type and registration mark).
The Romanian Registration Regulation further provides that the data registered in RUIAC and in the Registry of securities may be provided in writing to the interested parties following the submission of an application to this end and the payment of the fee of 45 Euros per aircraft plus VAT. The application must contain the name and address of the applicant, the requested information, the reasons of the request and purpose for which the information shall be used.
The application is subject to the approval of the RCAA’s general manager who may reject such a request if the following are affected: the public order, national security, privacy and integrity of the citizen, the commercial interests of natural and legal persons, court actions, legal certification, the pending inspections and investigations or other relevant aspects regarding a conflict of interests.
The Romanian Registration Regulation is a secondary legislation compared to the Aeronautical Code. Hence, if in discrepancy with the Aeronautical Regulation, the provisions of the Romanian Registration Regulation may be subject to annulment at the request of an interested party, or the authority may voluntarily repeal such provision.
10. What kind of aircraft operations can be conducted with aircraft registered in Romania (i.e., private use, commercial air transport or both)?
An aircraft registered in Romania may be operated for both commercial air transport and private use. The aircraft may also be used for specialized commercial operations (other than commercial air transport) performed in areas such as agriculture, construction, photography, surveillance, observation and patrol, and aerial advertising.
11. Does the civil aviation authority in Romania authorise the operation of foreign registered aircraft? If so, with which countries has Romania entered into bilateral agreements on the basis of article 83-bis of the ICAO Chicago Convention for the delegation of regulatory oversight?
In accordance with the Romanian Aeronautical Code, foreign registered aircrafts may be operated from/to Romania and within Romania subject to the provisions of specific European legislation and international treaties or, based on the traffic rights granted by the Romanian Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
In regard to the application of article 83-bis of the ICAO Chicago Convention, to the best of our knowledge based on the information published on ICAO website, there are two agreements for the transfer of operational and technical surveillance duties from Romania as the state of registry to Portugal as the state of the operator, each regarding a specific aircraft. These agreements are between Romanian Civil Aeronautical Authority and Portuguese Civil Aviation Authority.
12. Is there a separate register of aircraft mortgages and/or leases and/or security interests in Romania?
In Romania the mortgages and other securities constituted by the owner as a guarantee of a debt on the civil aircraft (or its components) registered in RUIAC are recorded in the Registry of securities and mentioned in RUIAC.
It must be also mentioned that, in Romania, there are instances in which mortgagors and/or lessors register their aircraft mortgages and/or leases also in the Electronic archive for security interests in movable property in the section regarding “other goods”. However, in accordance with the Romanian Aeronautical Code, article 23 letter d), the owner’s right to institute a mortgage or other security over an aircraft registered in RUIAC is recognized under the condition that such mortgage or security is constituted in accordance with Romanian law (as the State where the aircraft is registered) and registered in the Romanian Registry of security.
13. What are the formalities required to register a mortgage / lease / security interest in the national registry of Romania (e.g., notarization, legalization etc.)? Please summarize the related costs and procedures.
For the primary registration of a mortgage or other securities in the Registry of securities held by RCAA, the beneficiary of the mortgage/security or the debtor must submit the following documents:
- an application for the registration of the mortgage/security;
- the title for the constitution of the mortgage/security in original or notarized copy and, if the case may be, a notarized translation of the title in Romanian language; and
- proof of payment of the related fee of 180 Euros per aircraft plus VAT.
The primary registration may be amended at the request of the beneficiary that must file an application in this regard accompanied by justifying documents and proof of payment of the fee of 135 euros per change plus VAT.
The registrations in the Registry of securities are valid for five years, and the beneficiary or the debtor may renew the registration based on substantive documents prior to its expiry. If not extended, the primary registration and any substantive amendments become obsolete.
14. Is a mortgage priority notice an available security instrument for aircraft financiers in Romania?
In Romania, an intent of setting up a security mortgage (in Romanian “intentia de a ipoteca”) is regulated expressly in relation with the registration of mortgages for immovable assets in the Land book and for movable assets in the Electronic archive for security interests in movable property. There is no express provision in relation to the registration of such intent in the Registry of securities held by RCAA.
15. Does an aircraft mortgage duly registered in the national registry of Romania extend to engines and other parts of such aircraft (either installed or not on the airframe)?
The Civil Aeronautical Code provides that a mortgage may be constituted on the aircraft or on its components (e.g., the engines).
Furthermore, the Romanian Registration Regulation provides that the mortgage title must contain provisions regarding the engines, equipment, subassemblies, spare parts etc. Thus, in the absence of such provisions, an aircraft mortgage is not presumed to include these components too.
16. What statutory liens (if any) would rank prior to an aircraft mortgage duly registered in the national registry of Romania?
The beneficiary of an aircraft mortgage duly registered in the national registry of Romania has the right to satisfy its claim out of the mortgaged aircraft. In case of enforcement, the claims that might have a rank prior to the respective aircraft mortgage are:
- judicial costs;
- costs for conservatory measures;
- costs for enforcement;
- costs for conservation of the aircraft;
- expenses made in the interest of all creditors;
- costs arisen against the debtor for the expenses made for the compliance of the conditions or formalities provided by the law for obtaining the right on the aircraft; and
- another aircraft mortgage or security that was registered prior to the respective aircraft mortgage.
17. Do the laws of Romania provide for possessory rights and/or rights of detention over aircraft in favor of third parties (such as airport taxes, customs duties, air navigation charges, crew’s wages, MRO’s receivables)?
Directly, or at the request of the air navigation services provider, the airport administrator has the right to detain a civil aircraft on the ground if the aircraft operator fails to pay, respectively, to guarantee, the airport charges and the air navigation services.
The detention remains in place until this debt is paid off or until sufficient guarantees concerning this debt are set up and accepted by the airport administrator, with due observance of the regulations in force. If the detention exceeds 30 calendar days, the airport administrator has the right to reposition the respective aircraft subject to five days prior notice to the aircraft operator.
18. Are foreign law-governed security agreements (e.g., mortgages) recognized in Romania in order to validly create a security interest over an aircraft registered in the national registry of Romania? If so, are there any formalities/requirements to bear in mind?
In accordance with the Romanian Aeronautical Code, a mortgage or a security over the aircraft must be constituted in accordance with the law of the state where the aircraft is registered and must be registered in the Registry of securities of the respective State. Thus, if the aircraft is registered in Romania, a mortgage or security shall be constituted in accordance with the Romanian law and shall be registered in the Registry for security held by RCAA.
19. Are foreign law-governed leases recognized in Romania in order to validly lease an aircraft registered in the national registry of Romania to a lessee incorporated in Romania? If so, are there any formalities/requirements to bear in mind?
In accordance with the provisions of art. 2637 of the Romanian Civil Code and art. 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I), as a rule, the parties are free to choose any law to govern their agreements, Romanian or foreign. Foreign law-governed leases are recognized in Romania and may be registered in RUIAC. The same formalities and requirements described at points 3 and 3a) above must be observed for their registration.
20. Has Romania ratified the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the related Aircraft Protocol? Has Romania made any declarations to better determine the scope of application of the Convention / Protocol in Romania? If so, what is the impact of such declarations on aircraft registration issues? Are there any specific aspects relating to the enforcement of IDERA’s to be considered?
Romania has ratified both the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the related Aircraft Protocol.
In relation with the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment Romania made two declarations:
- Nothing in the Convention shall affect the right of Romania, of a Romanian entity, of an intergovernmental organization, or other private provider of public services to arrest or detain an object under the laws of the Romanian state for payment of amounts owed to such entity, organization or provider directly relating to those services in respect of that object or another object;
- The remedies available to the creditor in accordance with the Convention for which their application is not expressly conditioned in the Convention by filing a court application, may be exercised only with the permission of the competent court of the Romanian State.
As regards the Aircraft Protocol, Romania made one declaration, namely that will apply article VIII from the Protocol regulating parties’ freedom to choose the law applicable to an agreement, a sale contract, a guarantee contract or subordination agreement.
As regards IDERA, Article XIII from the Aircraft Protocol is not applicable in Romania.
21. What are the requirements and documentation to deregister an aircraft from Romania? How does the aircraft deregistration process work?
In order to deregister the aircraft from Romania the applicant must file the following documents:
- application for deregistration;
- the written agreement of the owner to deregister the aircraft, if the application for deregistration is filed by the holder;
- the documentation regarding the termination of the right to hold the aircraft, if applicable; and
- the agreement of the beneficiary of the mortgage or security over the aircraft;
- proof of payment of the fee.
Upon receipt of an express request for the deregistration of the aircraft filed by the owner or the holder, with owner approval, RCAA notifies the holder of the aircraft that it has 10 days for submitting the original Certificate of Registration of the aircraft and to confirm the removal of the registration marks.
The law expressly provides that if the applicant does not have access to the aircraft subject to deregistration, RCAA may allow the removal of the registration marks subsequent to the issuance of the certificate for deregistration.
Before deciding on deregistration, RCAA may request any supplemental information and documents.
RCAA’s decision to deregister the aircraft or to refuse deregistration shall be rendered 30 days from the date when the request was received together with all the documents and information required. In practice, deregistration occurs faster than the legal term.
22. What fees are payable to deregister an aircraft from Romania?
The fee that needs to be paid in order for RCAA to analyze the application and issue the deregistration certificate is 90 euro per aircraft plus VAT.
23. Is the consent of the mortgagee / lessor (as the case may be) required in order to deregister an aircraft from Romania?
Yes, the express consent of the mortgagee / lessor is required for deregistration to be granted.
24. What are the usual practical difficulties (if any) involved in deregistering aircraft from Romania?
A practical difficulty arises in connection with the obligation to file the original Certificate of Registration of the aircraft. This becomes a problem usually if the holder is not the same as the owner and deregistration is requested by the owner. For deregistration, the original registration certificate is required, and the law does not provide RCAA with the means against the holder of the aircraft for recovering such certificate. The absence of such a certificate may impede deregistration of the aircraft.
25. How long does deregistration take, both where there is co-operation from the defaulted party (mortgagor / lessee / Operator) and where there is no such co-operation from it?
If there is cooperation from the defaulted party, deregistration is granted in a matter of few days, although the law provides for 30 days calculated from the submission of the complete documentation.
If there is no cooperation from the defaulted party, then the procedure shall be prolonged, and the duration cannot be estimated.
26. Please outline the applicable repossession rules under the national laws of Romania (and the Cape Town Convention, if applicable) following an event of default under a mortgage or a lease, including registration issues with the national registry in Romania.
Under the Romanian Civil Code, the repossession of goods is expressly regulated for creditors with a mortgage constituted on the good, in this case the aircraft. The aircraft may be repossessed by the creditor through its own means or with the help of the bailiff.
The repossession by the creditor using its own means must be expressly provided for in the mortgage deed and must be preceded by a notice filed through the bailiff. When using its own means to repossess the good, the mortgagor cannot disturb the public order and is not allowed to use coercion, directly or indirectly. Basically, in the absence of the debtor’s cooperation, the aircraft cannot be repossessed using own means.
The available alternative is the forced repossession through a bailiff. In this case the bailiff may take all the measures for repossessing the aircraft, including making an appeal to the law enforcement agents. The bailiff must repossess the aircraft and hand it over to the mortgagor within 48 hours from the receipt of mortgagor’s request.
In regards to the lease contracts, there is no express provision as to repossession using one’s own means in the Civil Code, but the lessor may use the enforcement procedure though the bailiff regulated by the Romanian Civil Procedure Code in order to take possession of the aircraft in accordance with the lease contract requirements. One of the obligations of a lessee is to return the good.