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Personal Property Securities Reform

Author(s): James Popple

The Australian Government, together with the governments of the Australian states and territories, is undertaking reform of the law of personal property securities.

PPS law in Australia is currently very complex, and varies according to: the location and nature of the collateral; the nature of the security interest; and the legal personality of the debtor.

The objectives of PPS reform are to increase legal certainty by increasing consistency and reducing complexity, which should lead to reduced costs.

At present, the application of PPS law to a transaction generally depends on the legal form of that transaction. The new PPS system will be based on a functional approach, looking to the substance of a transaction.

The intention is that, subject to countervailing policy considerations, all security interests will be treated the same as far as is possible, with all PPS interests registered in one place, and subject to one Act. Several significant policy issues, which will need to be resolved during the development of the new PPS legislation, are identified.

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