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The New Personal Securities Legislation

The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth)

The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) came into operation early in 2012.  The PPSA established a single comprehensive national scheme for registering security interests in most forms of personal property (ie property other than land).  It covers personal property owned by individuals and by organisations.   The new scheme is intended to be simpler, clearer and more comprehensive than the existing personal property registration regime.  It is intended to result in cost savings for lenders and borrowers, greater certainty for consumers buying major assets and greater certainty and improved outcomes in cases of insolvency. There are simpler, clearer and more comprehensive rules: 

  • for creating, extinguishing and enforcing valid security interests;
  • for determining priority between competing security interests in the same property; and 
  • for determining when a person acquires personal property free of a security interest.

The PPS Register

The multiple existing State and Commonwealth registers of personal property security interests have been superseded by a single new register, the national Personal Property Securities Register (PPS Register). Some existing interests migrated, others require registration on PPS Register within 2 years Particulars of personal property security interests on certain existing registers have been migrated to the PPS Register without requiring any action by interest holders.  However, particulars on other existing registers will not be migrated to the PPS Register, and if holders of security interests registered on those registers want to ensure that their interests continue to have priority, they must register those interests on the PPS Register within a 2 year transition period beginning on the date the PPSA came into operation.  If they do not, their interests will lose priority to later interests (in the same property) registered on the PPS Register.

Online registration and searches

The PPS Register is a modern, electronic register.  Registration is easy and can be done online at any time. Only a minimum amount of information needs to be given.  It will not be necessary to lodge copies of security agreements. Searches of the PPS Register can be quickly, cheaply and easily done online at any time. Searches can be done using a minimum of information, for example using just the serial number where the collateral (ie the secured personal property) is of a kind identified by serial number (as in the case of motor vehicle chassis and boat hulls). To protect privacy of personal information, under the PPSA only authorised persons are entitled to conduct searches and only for authorised purposes.

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