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Personal Property Securities Law in Australia – New Developments

Impact of PPS reforms

The Personal Property Securities reforms deliver the most significant changes to affect Australian businesses, and their advisors, in many years.  The new national regime replaces over 70 Commonwealth, State and Territory laws, common law rules and rules of equity governing personal property securities.

To help our subscribers prepare for these reforms, in 2009, Thomson Reuters launched a major new commentary service, Personal Property Securities Law in Australia. This service helps lawyers address the conceptual challenges and risk arising for businesses in the introduction of an Australia-wide scheme for registering and protecting all security interests in personal property.

In the PPS service, detailed commentary is provided by Dr James O’Donovan (BA, LLB, LLD (Qld), PhD (ANU); Professor of Law (University of Western Australia); Special Counsel (Lavan Legal)).

When released, the publication centred around the Personal Property Securities Bill 2008 (Cth) (PPS Bill) and then went on to monitor, incorporate and analyse each legislative development, culminating with the commencement of the PPS Register in January 2012.

PPS timeline 

The major stages of the PPS timeline can be outlined as follows:

  • Apr 2007 - COAG In-Principle Agreement to PPS Reform
  • May 2008 - Consultation draft of PPS Bill released
  • Jun 2009 – NSW passes its referral legislation & PPS Bill is introduced into Federal Parliament
  • Dec 2009 - Personal Property Securities Act 2009 and Personal Property Securities (Consequential Amendments) Act 2009 receive Royal Assent
  • Nov 2010 – Personal Property Securities Regulations 2010 commence
  • May 2011 - Personal Property Securities (Corporations and Other Amendments) Act 2011 receives Royal Assent
  • Nov 2011 - Personal Property Securities (Migrated Security Interests and Effective Registration) Determination 2011 and Personal Property Securities (Migration Time and Registration Commencement Time) Determination registered on ComLaw
  • Nov 2011 – Personal Property Securities Amendment (Registration Commencement) Act 2011 receives Royal Assent
  • 30 Jan 2012 – PPS Register goes live

Current Product Features

As the PPS Bill was modelled on NZ, Canadian and US legislation, Dr O’Donovan provides detailed analysis of voluminous case law from these jurisdictions, giving the reader a sound basis from which to understand the innate complexities of PPS law. In addition, the author has included easy-to-use tables including:

  • PPS Table of Concordance;
  • Table of Australian PPS legislation;
  • Navigational table for different types of personal property and security interests; and
  • Comparative Table of PPSB 2008 and 2009 provisions.

The author also canvasses the impact of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) in particular contexts including: secured creditors; guarantees; intellectual property; financial products; inventory supplies and financiers; mining and resources; oil and gas interests; and, most recently, the financing of aircraft.

2012 Product Enhancements

In line with continuing enhancements to the product and to keep pace with legislative developments, a new section entitled “Official Publications” will be added to the publication in an upcoming update. This will provide users with immediate access to guidance material such as:

  • PPS Fact Sheets;
  • PPS Information Sheets;
  • PPS Registrar’s Practice Statements;
  • PPS Registrar’s Notices; and
  • PPS Determinations.

New authored commentary addressing shipping and international trade is planned in addition to expanding current information on pawnbrokers and second hand dealers.

This treatment of the PPS regime will update practitioners on the impact of the changes and provide tools to ensure they are able to advise their clients accordingly.

PPS Register Commences

Pursuant to s 306(2)(b) of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 and the Personal Property Securities (Migration Time and Registration Commencement Time) Determination, the new Personal Property Securities Register went live on 30 January 2012.  All previous charges lodged on the ASIC Register were migrated to the new PPS Register, from 21 Nov 2011 onwards.  High demands on the PPS Register and some technical issues have been reported on the website.


This post was co-authored by Cassandra Siciliano, Editor and Kylie Beveridge, Managing Editor - Legislation.

By Kylie Beveridge

Kylie Beveridge is the Managing Editor - Legislation in the Thomson Reuters Legal, Tax & Accounting Division.

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