Reading time: 3 minutes

On 30 January 2012, the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA) came into effect. It affects all security interests in ‘personal property’ where either:

  • (i) the personal property over which the security interest is being granted; or
  • (ii) the grantor of the security interest is located in Australia.

One of the many changes brought about by the PPSA was the introduction of purchase money security interests (more commonly known as a PMSI).

What is a PMSI?

A purchase money security interest is a particular type of security interest. It is distinguished from other security interests in two ways:

  • The manner in which it is created; and
  • The priority is it given compared to other security interests over the same collateral.

It should be noted that a PMSI will not arise in property that the grantor intends to use for personal domestic or household purposes unless the property is serial numbered property (i.e. a motor vehicle, an aircraft, a boat or intellectual property). Accordingly PMSIs usually relate to commercial property rather than consumer property.

When is a PMSI likely to arise?

A PMSI is likely to arise in four situations as follows:

  • Where money is lent to the grantor in order to enable the grantor to purchase personal property. This would cover the purchase of a motor vehicle where finance is provided at the time of sale.
  • Where the secured party has given the grantor personal property but all or part of the purchase price remains outstanding. The most common transactions in which this occurs are retention of title arrangements. This type of arrangement usually involves the transfer of possession of the collateral with title only passing once the purchase price of the collateral has been received in full.
  • PPS lease transactions (i.e. leases or bailments of goods for a term exceeding one year or for an indefinite period).
  • Consignment transactions (i.e. where the title holder, consignor, delivers possession of personal property to the consignee. The consignee is on the business of selling personal property of that type and attempts to sell the consignor’s property).


A perfected purchase money security interest provides the secured party with super priority in respect of the collateral. A perfected PMSI will take priority over all other security interests in the collateral (other than those perfected by control), including those which were created and registered before the PMSI.


When registering a PMSI on the Personal Property Securities Register, you must note that it is a PMSI. Also the PMSI must be registered within specific timeframes (which vary according to the type of personal property and its intended use by the grantor).


Not only did the PPSA extend the concept of security interest, but it also brought about the new concept of a PMSI. In order to ensure your PMSI has the super priority it is allowed, you must ensure you can identify PMSIs and register them correctly and within the requisite timeframe. If you require advice about whether or not you have granted or been provided with a PMSI (and how to register such to maximise your security), please do not hesitate to contact LegalVision. One of our PPSA lawyers would be delighted to assist you.

Questions? Call us on 1300 544 755.


Raising Capital: Getting Investment Ready

Tuesday 6 April | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Are you a founder or business owner looking to raise capital? Attend this webinar to learn the strategies to prepare your business for investment.
Register Now

The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout: Considerations for Employers

Thursday 22 April | 11:00 - 11:45am

Are you a business owner or employer? Attend this webinar to learn about what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. From just $119 per week, get all your contracts sorted, trade marks registered and questions answered by experienced business lawyers.

Learn more about LVConnect

Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation – Finalist – Australasian Law Awards 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice – Winner – Australasian Lawyer 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer