Ms Ingram said that AFSA’s new guide focuses on increasing awareness of the personal property securities system among small businesses.
“We know that the introduction of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 in 2012, which also established a new national register, has been a significant micro-economic reform for Australia,” Ms Ingram said.
“Our new business guide―titled Are you in business?―is intended to help Australian businesses not familiar with the practical implications of this law.
“It also explains how they might benefit from using the national online system—the Personal Property Securities Register, also known as the PPSR.
“Building awareness of the law and the PPSR in the small and medium enterprise (SME) business sector is something that we’ve been focusing on.
“The SME sector is extremely diverse in terms of industry types and business operators tend to be time poor.
“It’s a challenge to ensure they have access to the right information at the right time.”
Gavin McCosker, Registrar of Australia’s Personal Property Securities system, said he was pleased to be able to offer SMEs this comprehensive resource.
“The business guide is designed to present information on the law and the PPSR in a way that is easy to understand,” Mr McCosker said.
“It will also support business advisers, such as accountants, financial advisers, lawyers, business advisory services, and peak industry and professional bodies.
“These practitioners and organisations are trusted advisers of the SME sector and are in a prime position to provide information on how the register can be used by business to manage risk and identify ways to use their collateral to access secured credit.
Mr McCosker added that AFSA had collaborated to produce this resource with a broad range of business and industry experts.
“To assist us to develop the content for the guide, we engaged Associate Professor David Brown from the University of Adelaide.
“Mr Brown is co-author of the book Australian Personal Property Securities Law (LexisNexis, 2012) and he teaches and writes on the Personal Property Securities Act, insolvency law and property law.
“A draft of the guide was provided to several stakeholders for review and we’ve taken on the majority of suggested improvements.
“We’ll build on the release of the business guide with the regular development and release of more resources―including products tailored for specific sectors―through a variety of channels,” he said.
The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 replaces many state, territory and Commonwealth laws and registers with a national system and register—the PPSR.
State registers, such as vehicle security registers, and national registers such as the ASIC Register of Company Charges—more than 35 registers—are now replaced by one online PPSR.
Many security interests can be registered now under the PPSR which were not able to be registered anywhere before—especially some leases, and sales of goods on retention of title terms. As well, the Act replaces much common law that wasn’t in any legislation.
With everything in one place, and a wider coverage of security interests than under the old law, registering and searching is much easier and reduces risk to secured parties and searchers.
One register with simpler rules reduces the costs of doing business and should make access to credit easier and wider in the long run.
Sellers, lessors or lenders can use the PPSR to register security over goods.
Buyers and others can check which interests are being claimed and by whom. Their search of the PPSR will help them make a more informed decision about lending to, buying from or otherwise dealing with a particular customer or buying particular goods or property.