The New Personal Property Security Act (PPSA)

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Summary

The new PPSA came into effect 30 January 2012.  It radically changes the way security is taken over personal property.

 In essence if you:

 1.         Provide credit as part of your terms of trade; or

 2.         Sell goods to customers with a retention of title clause; or

 3.         Lease or lend goods to customers,

 then you should immediately:

  • review your trading activities and check terms of supply,
  • identify assets which are affected and property which needs to be registered on the PPSR to ensure priority,
  • consider amending standard terms and preparing new internal procedures for registering interests as required.  

The PPSA requires all securities to be registered on the online Personal Property Securities Register.  Included are fixed and floating charges, chattel mortgages, conditional sale agreements, retention of title clauses, hire purchase agreements, consignments, assignments or transfers of title, bills of sale and certain financial instruments.

If you do not register your interest on the Register your rights will be considerably prejudiced.  For example if you own a piece of equipment and lease it to a customer who then becomes insolvent, you may lose your rights in that equipment to a liquidator or trustee if you have not registered your interest on the Register.  In other words even though you own the equipment you may lose your rights to it.  

For further information or assistance with any review please contact David Beale on (02) 9957 3685 or dbeale@rbhm.com.au

 Further Explanation

The PPSA is a significant reform for Australian businesses and consolidates more than 70 Commonwealth, State and Territory Acts and Security Registers.  It is designed to simplify the registration of security interests of personal property and to make it easier to see if personal property is subject to any third party interests. 

The PPS Register will be accessible online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Searches can be made against individuals and companies and/or against the serial number of a particular piece of property (eg a motor vehicle).

There are transitional provisions so that existing registered security arrangements (eg company charges) will be transferred to the new PPS Register.  However these will only apply in relation to goods supplied before 30 January 2012.

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