The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (‘the PPS Act’) introduced substantial reforms which came into effect on 30 January 2012. The PPS Act also introduced a new national register for personal property security interests.
Prior to the introduction of the PPS Act, there were approximately 70 different Acts throughout Australia that regulated personal property securities. There were also more than 40 different registers for providing for the registration of personal property across the various States and Territories. To a large extent, the previous systems for the registration of securities were paper based. This, and the lack of a centralised system, led to inconsistency and uncertainty in the area of the registration and enforcement of securities over personal property.
The personal property governed by the PPS Act is, broadly speaking, almost any property that is not land, buildings or fixtures. Personal property includes tangible property, such as motor vehicles, household goods and business inventory, as well as intellectual property, such as patents, designs and copyright material. It is worth noting that there are certain prescribed exclusions.