PPSA Commencement Delayed - Again!

The Personal Property Securities Act commencement date has been delayed a second time, causing lawyers and financiers throughout the country breathe a sigh of relief. Many firms and businesses will welcome the extra time to prepare for the sweeping changes which will be made to the law when the Act comes into force.

The PPSA was originally scheduled to commence on 30 May 2011, but was then delayed to commence on 31 October 2011 to provide more time for law firms and businesses to prepare. Now the commencement has been delayed a second time, this time as a result of the Personal Property Securities Register not being ready for launch. The IT system powering the Register has not been adequately tested so more time is needed to identify and iron out any potential bugs before the Register goes live. The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department has advised firms that the PPSA commencement date will be sometime in early 2012. Most firms are predicting that the most likely PPSA commencement date is 1 February 2012 with a few anticipating an earlier start date.

But the clock is ticking, and the Government will need to amend the Personal Property Securities Act if it wants commencement to occur any later than 1 February 2012. This is because under section 306 of the PPSA, the registration commencement date is set for the first day of the month which is 26 months from the date on which the PPSA was given Royal Assent. The PPSA received Royal Assent on 10 December 2009, which means the latest commencement date is 1 February 2012. However, this poses some practical problems. To meet this deadline, the IT issues with the Personal Property Securities Register will need to be resolved. It seems unlikely that testing and data migration can be finalised before this date, given that most of the testers will want to take holidays over the Christmas/New Year period. With only 11 sitting days left this year for Federal Parliament and so many other high profile bills on the agenda (carbon pricing, migration, etc) it seems like the PPSA is caught between a rock and a hard place.

We will be keeping a close eye on the progress of the PPSA, and will post updates to this page as soon as we have more information for you. Stay tuned!