About the Personal Property Securities Registry Office
This website is where you find the Personal Property Securities Registry Office for the Kingdom of Tonga. It is where you come to file notices of security interests in movable property (collateral) and to search for notices of other existing security interests. If you have agreed to take a security interest in movable property of someone (the debtor) to secure their obligation to you(usually an obligation to repay money) you may file a notice here to inform others of your security interest. In order to check for prior security interests in collateral that is offered to you as security for an obligation, you may search the Filing Office’s records through
In a typical situation under the Registry, a going business or an entrepreneur (the debtor) contacts a lender (secured party) to apply for a loan or an operating line of credit for the business. The debtor may offer the secured party a security interest in the business’ equipment, its inventory, accounts receivable or other assets. The lender searches the records of the Personal Property Securities Registry Office via the internet to see whether the assets being offered as collateral are subject to a prior security interest or lien. The search is generally made on the name of the debtor, though if the proposed collateral is a motor vehicle the search may be made on the serial number. If there is no prior notice of a security interest in the proposed collateral, the secured party may immediately file a notice of its prospective interest in this debtor’s collateral via this website to secure their priority position in the collateral. The secured party can then enter the loan agreement with the debtor with confidence of its priority in the collateral against other lenders. [Note: special rules regarding priority apply during the Transition Period called for under the Registry. Please see the section below titled "Transition Period."]
If the potential lender finds in its search that a notice of security interest in the proposed collateral has already been filed by another person, it has several options. The potential lender may contact the prior secured party to determine if the existing obligation is small enough that there is sufficient excess value in the collateral to secure the proposed loan, and then file its own notice of security interest (in this case, the second-to-file would have secondary priority in the collateral). Conversely, the potential lender may try to obtain an agreement with the prior secured party to subordinate the prior interest to the current secured party’s security interest, and then file a notice. Or the secured party may simply decide not to lend based upon the asset because the risk of the prior security interest is too great.
The reason for registering a notice of a security interest is to establish a creditor’s rights in a debtor’s collateral. The filing of the notice will warn prospective creditors (and buyers) of collateral whether there is a pre-existing security interest in the property, and the holder of that prior notice most likely has priority in the property. If this is the case, then the current prospective creditor (or buyer) may not obtain priority (or clean title) in the movable property being pledged as collateral (or sold) and may wish to reconsider their business transaction. Therefore, the reason for searching Filing Office records is to discover whether there may be a pre-existing security interest in the property of a debtor.
Transition Period. The PPSA commenced November 1, 2010. Under the Act, all transactions entered into prior to that date in which collateral has been pledged to stand good for an obligation should be registered. If these pre-existing transactions are registered within 180-days from the commencement date, then they are deemed to have been registered on November 1, 2010. The net effect of this transition period is to allow secured parties to register their pre-existing transactions and then all be treated the same with regard to priority in the collateral. If you are a secured party in a pre-existing transaction, you are strongly urged to register that pre-existing transaction prior to April 30, 2011. There is no filing for registering pre-existing transactions.
The Filing Office is organized under the MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, CONSUMERS, TRADE, INNOVATION AND LABOUR. The MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, CONSUMERS, TRADE, INNOVATION AND LABOUR is the implementing agency for the Filing Office. However, in reality all business (other than payment) with the Filing Office is conducted on-line through this website and the MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, CONSUMERS, TRADE, INNOVATION AND LABOUR has only administrative responsibilities. If you have questions or need help with navigating the website, you may contact the Tech Support Desk by clicking the Technical Support link on the Welcome page on the website. The Tech Support Desk is manned until noon on Tuesday through Saturday, and will respond to inquiries overnight if they are made at other times.