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Public Forum: Tonga Personal Property Securities Act 2010

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10 March 2011. The Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries together with the ADB are conducting a special information and training session on the use of its new, modernized Personal Property Securities Act. The public is invited to attend a presentation by the Ministry and ADB on the new Act today, Thursday 10th March 2011, 4:00pm at the Basilica Conference Hall. The Government of Tonga welcomes the implementation of the new Act (PPSA) which will make it easier for lending institutions to extend credit where a loan is secured by movable property and also assists consumers with making safer and more informed purchases of properties.

The Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries Hon. Lisiate ‘Akolo stated that the Act was brought into force as part of Government's priority emphasis to facilitate businesses development by modernizing business laws and increasing access to finance opportunities in the Kingdom. Hon. ‘Akolo further noted that provisions of the Act will protect individuals and companies from buying items without clear title or without knowing if the rightful owner is the person selling it. For example, if one buys a truck and the previous owner had used that truck as collateral and still has not finish paying for it, the truck can be re-possessed or taken away from the buyer by the lender to the previous owner. With the PPSA in place and its upcoming online registry system, it will allow the public to easily search the system to see if there are any charges against that property to help the decision whether to buy.

The Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries is on schedule to launch the ‘Online Registry' in April 2011 which will help facilitate the administration of the Personal Properties Security Act. The user-friendly ‘Paperless Registry' will feature all filing and searching of records to be done online accessed via a website into which lenders will record notices of charges they hold against property that has been pledged to stand good for the loan. Buyers can search the website to ensure money is not owed on prospective purchases. There will be a fee for filing a notice but there will be no fee for general searching of records.

The Ministry also acknowledges the Asian Development Bank (ADB) assistance in drafting the Act and implementing the registry which was funded largely through ADB's Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) which started in 2006 with co-financing from the Australian Government. The initiative supports efforts by developing member countries in the Pacific to encourage private sector-led, sustainable economic growth.


Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries
10 March 2011.

 

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