Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)

Natasha Gardner

What is the PPSR?

The PPSR is the official government register of security interests in personal property – these are debts or other obligations that are secured by personal property. It’s an online noticeboard accessible by the general public.

When someone registers a security interest on the PPSR, they are letting the world at large know that they claim to have a security interest over certain personal property. 

What is ‘personal property’?

Personal property is a legal term that means any property that is not land, buildings or fixtures. Personal property covers a lot – some common examples include:

  • Cars and utes
  • Trucks, tractors and trailers
  • Machinery
  • Tools
  • Scaffolding and temporary fencing
  • Building materials (before they’re actually fixed to the build)
  • Your ‘stock’ if you’re a manufacturer, for example clothing, wine, and furniture
  • Jewellery and artworks

How can I protect my business?

The PPSR is a single, national online database that shows you whether someone is claiming a security interest in goods or assets.

You can also make a registration, so others know when you have retained an interest in goods you are supplying or leased/rented out goods for more than two years. This means that if your customer doesn’t pay, or goes out of business, you are in the best position to get your goods, or their value, back.

A written agreement may not be enough to protect you on its own. If you don’t register on the PPSR and the business you’re dealing with goes out of business before they pay you, you could end up out of pocket.

When buying goods

Searching the register lets you know if the valuable goods you are interested in buying are being used as security for a debt or other obligation. The register won’t tell you the value of the obligation, but it lets you know who the obligation is owed to so you can find out more.

For example, someone may try to sell you used goods, such as a van or piece of machinery, without telling you they still have finance owing on it.

And if they stop making payments on the loan there’s a very real chance the finance company can turn up on your doorstep and take those goods away, without paying you a cent for your loss.

For $2 you can check that goods you want to buy are likely to be free of financed debt, and safe from repossession.