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    5 steps to use the PPSR during COVID-19

    23/07/20 5:26 PM

    Despite the uncertainty of COVID-19 many businesses have been able to continue to make ends meet. It is essential that business owners also continue to protect their business’ interests, by registering security interests on the Personal Property Securities Register (‘PPSR’).

    What is the PPSR?

    The PPSR is an online register that catalogues every security interest in personal property in Australia. It can be used for both registering a new security interest and searching for existing security interests.

    The PPSR is governed by the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) and the Personal Property Security Regulations 2010 (Cth).

    If you need more information on how the PPSR works, see our previous blog: How to use the PPSA in your favour.

    How is COVID-19 affecting the PPSR and Security Interests?

    As more businesses move to operating and ordering goods online, there has been a shift from ‘cash-in-hand’ orders to orders made ‘on credit’.

    This raises the question: if a business that you have provided goods to ‘on credit’ goes into insolvency, how can you claim your goods back during COVID-19?

    The government has temporarily increased the minimum requirements for statutory demands from $2,000 to $20,000, and has extended the time frame for responding to a statutory demand from 21 days to 6 months.

    However, there have been no changes made to the PPSA legislation or the way that security interests are registered on the PPSR. This means that:

    • the time requirements under the PPSA and the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) remain the same (for a summary of the timing rules, go to the PPSR Timing Rules website)
    • the laws regarding enforcement of security interests have not changed
    • the rules regarding perfecting a security interest remain the same (for an explanation on perfecting a security interest, see our previous article: What To Do if the Loan is Not Perfected)

    5 Steps you can take to protect your business

    To protect your business during these uncertain times (particularly if goods or services are being paid for on credit), you should:

    • review your terms and conditions to make sure they are up to date with clauses regarding granting a security interest in respect of any goods supplied, as well as clauses requiring customers to pay for any goods or services supplied as and when payment is due
    • make sure to register a security interest on the PPSR for any goods that you intend to retain ownership of while being loaned or provided to a customer or another business
    • make sure to register a security interest on the PPSR for any goods or services being provided on credit (where a security interest is granted in the T&Cs)
    • if the T&Cs grant you a charge over any real property of the customer, make sure to register a caveat or other relevant instrument over any real property
    • make sure to register a security interest on the PPSR for any personal guarantees being provided

    If you have further questions please contact us at frank@franklaw.com.au

    This is not legal advice. 

    Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels

    Tom Dearden

    Written by Tom Dearden