New Personal Property Securities Act – Is your business affected?

Legislation called the Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) came into being in Australia on January 30, 2012, and will have an impact on many Australian businesses.

The difficulty in explaining this area of law and the many types of securities that are affected, mean many Australian businesses are unaware of the potential impact of the legislation. In particular, businesses that have for many years employed a tried and tested way of securing interests in certain personal property may find their system no longer provides proper protection of their interests.

In the past your company might have relied on what were called romalpa clauses or retention of title clauses. If that’s the case you are most likely to be affected by the new Act, and should ensure you understand how the new Personal Property Securities Register works, to protect your interests.

Businesses that may be affected include those that are:

- Involved in selling goods on credit and who have previously relied on “Retention of Title” clauses
– Financiers seeking clarification of the true assets, security and debt position of a client
– Businesses that lease plant and equipment, vehicles or virtually any other assets
– Companies that provide goods on consignment
– Business owners who are wanting to refinance and need to provide certainty of title in assets

Why do we need it?
Although many businesses and advisors were accustomed to the existing system, it was recognised that the previous mix of inconsistent and old-fashioned state-by-state securities arrangements combined with the Corporations Act rules for companies and other Federal rules were inefficient and would work much more effectively for all parties if they were brought under a single unified approach. The result is a detailed, and hopefully all-encompassing, code which draws on the systems that are in place in countries such as New Zealand and Canada.

PPSA and its operational Register will cover both individuals and companies. It is based on the idea that it is in the best interests for anyone dealing with an individual or company, who may extend credit to that company or individual, to be able to gain an accurate picture of whether apparent assets are actually owned by that company or individual or just have a registered interest over them.

What should I do?
There are a great number of legal and non-legal articles available on the internet which will help you to gain a clearer idea of whether your business is likely to be affected by the new arrangements. Businesses located in North Queensland, particularly Mackay, should gain advice from a trusted local legal expert who has experience in business and commercial property matters.

This article is not legal advice and must not be relied on relation to any specific legal situation you may have. You should ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified lawyer before taking any action in relation to your personal or business legal situation.

Looking for mackay solicitors, lawyers mackay or solicitors mackay ? Need advice about PPSA? Kelly Legal has built a formidable and experienced team of Mackay and Brisbane based lawyers who now offer a range of legal services throughout Queensland in all areas of law.

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