In brief - Bill introduced to amend PPS legislation
There might now be a further delay in the commencement of the enormous changes that are coming with the new Federal personal property securities system.
Yesterday the Government introduced a Bill to amend the legislation so that the Attorney General has the power to select an earlier date or most tellingly, possibly a later date.
PPS commencement has already been delayed
The commencement date has already been put back twice from the original scheduled date of 31 May 2011.
The original legislation provides for the automatic commencement of the new system on 1 February 2012, if not before.
Government's reasons for further changes to PPS plans
The government says that the change will allow "the Attorney General to manage any additional issues or risks that might arise at a late stage in the process in the lead-up to commencement of PPS reform".
Hopefully, if commencement is to be at the end of January, an announcement will be made well this side of Christmas, so that final preparations by businesses are not impacted by Christmas holidays. Otherwise, the hope is that there will be a reasonable deferral further into 2012.
No one is suggesting that PPS is not still coming fairly soon.
PPS reforms to have a profound effect on personal property and commercial transactions
As the Explanatory Memorandum notes, the new system will completely change "the current Commonwealth State and Territory laws on securities in personal property. It will create one single national set of rules and a single national online register. There will be one comprehensive law... governing the validity, priorities, enforcement and extinguishment of security interests in all personal property."
However, these broad statements still don't make clear the enormous scope of the changes. Many commercial arrangements that have previously been in effect, unregulated, are affected.
Just some examples are the usual forms of retention of title/ownership arrangements under sale or supply contracts; protection of ownership where equipment is left with someone else; and protection of step in rights and the like that are often seen in commercial contracts.