Asian broadcasters oppose new protocol on space assets

NEW DELHI: The Cable and Satellite Broadcasters Association of Asia (Casbaa) has expressed urgent global concern over proposed new international legislation would create an unprecedented and unnecessary legal framework for financing satellite and space programmes.

The Space Assets Protocol, sponsored by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) based in Italy, ‘risks complicating and damaging the existing and well functioning processes. The industry would be confronted with the prospect of obligations and costs from the new legislation that purports to remedy a problem that simply does not exist‘ Casbaa said.

Apart from the European Satellite Operators Association (ESOA), the Satellite Industry Association of (SIA) of the United States, and the Space Industry Association of Australia (SIAA), 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, Casbaa said in a statement from Hong Kong.

According to Casbaa and the other international organisations, the UNIDROIT Space Assets Protocol would create unnecessary legal framework for financing satellite and space programmes despite the fact that no problems have been identified with the existing framework for funding commercial satellite programs.

"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," Casbaa, SIA, ESOA and SIAA chief executives said. "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," the statement read.

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