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New Registry to Protect Buyers from Purchasing Items without Clear Title

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13 April, 2011. The Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries has to-day, launched a Personal Properties Securities Online Registry that will help people make safer and more informed purchases of vehicles, farm equipment and other moveable assets.

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 also emphasized that with this new registry system it would without doubt increase economic activity by making it easier and less expensive to obtain credit. This is not to mention that with the increasing access to credit it would lead to increase economic activity, which invariably leads to job creation.

The Act aims to protect individuals and companies from buying items without clear title. For example, if you buy a truck and the previous owner still owes money on it, the truck can be re-possessed. The PPSA registry allows for easy searching to see if there are any charges against motor vehicles and other types of movable property. The new registry may be accessed via a website at http://ppsa.to/. Buyers are encouraged to search it to ensure money isn't owed on prospective purchases.

Anyone who has taken a pledge of movable property as collateral in the past is encouraged to register a notice of this transaction via the on-line registry before 30 April 2011. All filings made prior to this deadline will be free of charge. Please contact the Ministry with any questions on how to register these pre-existing transactions. A fee for filing all transactions will be introduced on 1 May 2011. If anyone takes pledge of movable property as collateral in the future, that transaction should be registered. Registration is easy and will be done on-line. No fees will be charged for company or individual searches.

The Government of Tonga welcomes the implementation of the new Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA). The Personal Properties Securities Online Registry will help facilitate the administration of the new Act.

The Ministry acknowledges the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in drafting the Act and implementing the registry. This work 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.

END.

Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industries
April 12, 2011.


 

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