Isle of Man now one of the World’s Top Three Satellite Filing Centres

October 14, 2015 By

space-logoThe Isle of Man now ranks as the world’s third biggest jurisdiction of choice for commercial geostationary satellite operators, according to independent research just released.

Only the USA and the UK stand ahead of the ambitious offshore crown dependency, which is confirmed as having a space industry that’s in a different orbit to all other offshore international financial centres and which also competes favourably with the powerhouses of China and Russia.

Significantly, the research reveals that the Isle of Man is the only centre to conduct its satellite filing management through an outsourced commercial provider – ManSat Limited – with most other governments utilising an in-house process. The findings conclude that ManSat’s involvement has been the crucial market differentiator as to why the Isle of Man has continued to win new satellite business.

ManSat, which is under contract with the Isle of Man Government’s Communications Commission, presently has five commercial geostationary satellite operators using its expertise for their filing needs. In comparison, the USA has nine and the UK seven. France, China, and Russia tie for fourth with four customers each.

All 193 Member States of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) are eligible to make satellite filings and, presently, 79 have actually done so (up from 62 in 2008). Of the 79 nations active in satellite filing, 24 conduct filings with no commercial users. That leaves 55 who are active commercially, the vast majority of which only have one customer. To have more than one is rare; to have five, like the Isle of Man, is noteworthy, says the research.

The rankings were compiled by the industry-leading research centre, Boston-based Northern Sky Research (NSR). To compare the records of satellite filing countries, the organisation used public records, data from the International Telecommunication Union and research by Lubos Perek of the Astronomical Institute Academy of Sciences,

NSR President, Christopher Baugh, said: The hard data is there, drawn from public domain sources and the data speaks for itself. That the Isle of Man ranks third behind the UK and the USA as a centre for commercial geostationary filings is impressive, especially when you consider the Island’s unique commercial approach, via its outsourced provider ManSat and, also, given they only entered this space in 2000.”

He added: “For commercial GSO filings, the Isle of Man ranks number one amongst those British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories conducting filings. Of note, is that if you add the Isle of Man’s numbers to those of the UK, in addition to the other British islands, the UK now surpasses the USA as the choice for commercial geostationary filing. We found the results of the study fascinating.”

ManSat Chairman, CEO and founder, Chris Stott, added: “ManSat is Manx exceptionalism at its best. We apply commercial efficiencies to a complex legal, technical and regulatory process, literally rocket science, in a field dominated by traditional government practice and the results speak for themselves.

“We are also fortunate to be working with some of the finest satellite companies in the world as clients, all of whom now have Isle of Man subsidiaries. We also have one of the finest executive and Board teams in the industry of noted experts, all supporting ManSat and the Isle of Man in this ongoing endeavour.

“Our work is unique, in that as an outsource provider, we are able to ring fence the Isle of Man Government from the cost and technical and legal risks of the process. Our undertakings also contribute to the financial health of the Island in these critical times, in the form of our Annual Fee which we pay to the Government.”

Isle of Man Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK said: “A few eyebrows were raised when the Isle of Man first announced its intention to become a serious player in the international space industry. However, Government has worked in partnership with ManSat to establish a flourishing sector that is making a significant contribution to the Island’s economy. Today, we have a cluster of companies dealing with the financing, insuring, leasing and legal aspects of space assets, in addition to commercial satellite filing.”

He added: “The Island’s nimble, responsive and business-focused environment, world-class infrastructure and strong international reputation have been instrumental in developing business opportunities in emerging sectors.”

One of the ‘cluster of companies’ that Chief Minister Bell refers to is the Isle of Man based, multi-jurisdictional trust and corporate services provider, Cavendish Trust Company, who is main provider of corporate services to the IOM space industry and who, therefore, works closely with ManSat.

Commenting on the latest NSR research, Cavendish Director, Tina Rawlinson, said: “The Isle of Man may be geographically small in comparison to the United States and UK, but this independent research confirms that, with ManSat’s lead, between us we have the expertise and credibility to offer a truly world-class service now and into the future for any space and satellite operator.

“I am confident that growing numbers of space and satellite related companies, both small and large, will continue to be attracted to the Isle of Man as a base for their activities which will also enable them to benefit from the considerable expertise provided by both ManSat and Cavendish Trust,” said Tina.