Global groups raise objections to proposed space protocol

 A number of international organizations have united in expressing their concerns over the Space Assets Protocol, a new international legislation sponsored by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT)...

A number of international organizations have united in expressing their concerns over the Space Assets Protocol, a new international legislation sponsored by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT).

The latest association to add its voice to the dissenting group is the Asian group CASBAA, which joins joined the European Satellite Operators Association (ESOA), the Satellite Industry Association of (SIA) of the United States and the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA).

Meanwhile, some 90 satellite operators, manufacturers and financiers drawn from around the world have also written to UNIDROIT and its member governments to register their own deep-seated reservations.

The reason for the outcry is due to the belief that the UNIDROIT Space Assets Protocol would create an unprecedented and unnecessary legal framework for financing satellite and space programs despite the fact that no problems have been identified with the existing framework for funding commercial satellite programs.

According to the Protocol’s detractors, it risks complicating and damaging the existing and well functioning processes rather than promoting new financing. They claim that the industry would be confronted with the prospect of obligations and costs from the new legislation which purports to remedy a problem that simply does not exist.

“At a time when governments are urging industry to create more jobs to enable growth, if enacted, the legislation will place counter-productive burdens on the worldwide satellite industry”, said the chief executives of CASBAA, SIA, ESOA and SIAA2. “The additional bureaucracy will bog down procurement, reduce investment and result in the creation of fewer jobs in one of the most innovative and successful industries in the world.”

“We believe that the overwhelming opposition of the global industry should count for something in the priorities of our governments,” the four chief executives said. “We therefore urge all those with an interest in the continuing success of this sector to speak up and stop this process.”

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