The Personal Properties Security Register and your business

We have previously written about the Personal Properties Securities Register (PPSR). The PPSR allows businesses to register security interests over personal property, giving them rights over the personal property in exchange for the security of payment or the performance of a particular obligation.

Personal property is property that is not land, buildings, or fixtures. Personal property can be items such as machinery, stock, shares, debts, or even rights under a contract.

As previously discussed in the past these security interests would have been registered on a number of separate registers, such as with ASIC (if the security interest was over shares), or with REVS (if the security interest was a motor vehicle). The PPSR now streamlines all of that into one central register.

The PPSR also allows businesses or individuals to check whether the personal property they are purchasing have a security interest over them. This can provide potential buyers with a way how to double check and make sure that when the transaction is completed, the purchaser will have full rights to own the personal property. If there is a security interest attached to the car, then the vendor may not actually have the right to sell the car – but in the worst case scenario, the owner of that security interest (for example, the finance company who loaned the money for the car) can repossess the car if the loan has not been paid.

Because there is now a central register noting down all security interests, as a small business it should be theoretically easier to offer your plant and equipment / machinery as security for a loan, as it is easier for the bank to check if the equipment or machinery is either owned by someone else, or if someone else has already lodged their security interest on the equipment.

If you are a small business who sells goods on credit, you should consider registering your security interest on the goods, so that if your debtor does not pay your outstanding amount, you may try to repossess the goods. If you rent or lease out machinery and equipment, it might also be a good idea to register your security interest on the machinery and equipment.

For a small fee, the PPSR can be searched for a fee via http://www.ppsr.gov.au. If you are a small business, you should consider incorporating the PPSR and its features into your business processes!

The New Personal Property Securities Register

The Australian Government has been planning for some time now to commence personal property securities reform and has begun part one of that process by introducing the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth).

Part two involves the implementation of a national Personal Property Security Register, and this is due to commence in October 2011.

Personal property is any property other than land, buildings, or fixtures, that form part of that land. Personal property can be items such as cars, machinery, crops, or stock – it can also include intellectual property, invoices that have yet to be paid, or rights under a contract.

Personal Property Security is where a party secures an interest in personal property as a security in matters such as the provision of finance or the provision of credit.

Every Australian State currently has a number of registers dealing with personal property securities. For example, New South Wales has the following registers:

  • Register of Encumbered Vehicles (REVS NSW)
  • Security Interest of Goods Register
  • Register of Co-operative Charges

The numerous amounts of registers currently operating throughout the country is why the Australian Government has reformed the system to steamline how Personal Property Securities are registered. The National Personal Property Security Register will also be on-line and will comprise of the combination of existing registers throughout the country. As expected, this is a massive effort.

More details about the new Personal Property Security Register may be found at http://www.ppsr.gov.au/www/ppsr/ppsr.nsf/Page/About_PPS.

What this will mean is that it will protentially be much easier for you to record an interest in personal property that your client has offered up to you as security in exchange for your services.

More updates to follow once the register has been implemented.