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Collateral class

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When you register a security interest on the PPSR, you need to choose a collateral class. The collateral class is used to describe the personal property that is being used to secure payment or performance of an obligation.

Each registration must only relate to a single class. A collateral class cannot be amended once you have completed your registration.

Four categories of personal property

The PPSR separates collateral classes under four broad categories:

Tangible property

Tangible property includes the collateral classes ‘motor vehicle’, ‘watercraft’, ‘aircraft’, ‘agriculture’ and ‘other goods’.

Motor vehicle

The collateral class of ‘motor vehicle’ describes a car, truck, motor bike, tractor, trailer, caravan or other personal property that:

  1. is built to be propelled, wholly on land, by a motor that forms part of the property ( but not if it runs on rails, tram lines or other fixed path), has a unique serial number and is capable of travelling at more than  10 km/h and) has a total motors power greater than 200W; or
  2. is a piece of machinery or equipment that is equipped with wheels and designed to be attached to, or towed by, a motor vehicle;has a unique serial number is capable, when being towed by, or attached to, a motor vehicle, of travelling at a speed greater than 10 km/h.

The definition was amended with effect from 1 July 2014. Previously personal property could be a motor vehicle if it was capable of speed of 10kph or had motors with a total output over 200W.

For consumer property, a serial number must be included. It is optional for commercial property.

The relevant serial numbers are, in the following order of preference, the vehicle identification number (VIN), the chassis number, or the manufacturer’s number.


‘Watercraft’ collateral class describes a boat, ship or other vessel (other than a seaplane) that is intended to be used on water and has an official number issued by the Registrar of Ships, or a hull identification number (HIN).

The inclusion of these numbers is mandatory if the watercraft is consumer property and optional if it is commercial property.

Note that an outboard motor is not registered under ‘watercraft’, but under ‘other goods’.


The collateral class of ‘aircraft’ is made up of:

  • ‘aircraft engine’
  • ‘airframe’
  • ‘helicopter’
  • ‘small aircraft’.

An aircraft must be described by serial number.

Aircraft engines, airframes and helicopters must be described by the manufacturer’s number, name and generic model designator.

A small aircraft is described by the nationality and registration marks assigned to it under the Chicago Convention (for example, VH-ABC).

aircraft engine

Aircraft engine means engines (other than those used in military, customs or police services), powered by jet propulsion or turbine or piston technology, and:

  1. in the case of jet propulsion aircraft engines, have at least 1750 lb of thrust or its equivalent, and
  2. in the case of turbine-powered or piston-powered aircraft engines, have at least 550 rated take-off shaft horsepower or its equivalent,

together with all modules and other installed, incorporated or attached accessories, parts and equipment.


Airframe means airframe (other than those used in military, customs or police services) that, when appropriate aircraft engines are installed thereon, are certified by a competent aviation authority (in Australia, this is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority) to transport:

  • at least eight (8) persons including crew, or
  • goods in excess of 2750 kg,

together with all modules and other installed, incorporated or attached accessories, parts and equipment and data manuals.


Helicopter means machines (other than those used in military, customs or police services) lifted by power-driven rotors and which are certified by a competent authority (in Australia this is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority) to transport:

  1. at least five persons including crew, or
  2. goods in excess of 450 kg.
small aircraft

Means aircraft other than an airframe, aircraft engine or helicopter.

Small aircraft generally includes any machine or craft that can travel in the air and has a nationality and registration mark assigned to it pursuant to the Chicago Convention.

For example, a hot air balloon with nationality and registration mark VH-XXX.


‘Agriculture’: means personal property that is ‘crops’ and ‘livestock’.

Crops refers to crops, (whether matured or not and whether naturally grown or planted) such as wheat or fruit, which have not been harvested.

Examples of crops include:

  1. the products of agriculture or aquaculture, if the products have not been harvested, and
  2. trees (but only if they are personal property), if the trees have not been harvested.

Livestock covers while they are alive alpacas, cattle, fish, goats, horses, llamas, ostriches, poultry, sheep, swine and other animals. Livestock also includes the unborn young of those animals and products, such as wool, while they are still part of the animal.

A registration may be made against crops or livestock or against agriculture to cover both.

Other goods

‘Other goods’ may be selected as a collateral class to describe all other tangible property that cannot be described by the above collateral classes. This may include art, machinery, or an outboard motor.

A registration describing the collateral class as ‘other goods’ may further describe the collateral in the free text field.

General property

All present and after acquired property – no exceptions

This collateral class is used to describe a security interest in all personal property that the grantor has an interest in at the time of registration, as well as property acquired by the grantor after the registration is made.

All present and after acquired property – with exceptions

This collateral class is used to describe a security interest in all personal property that the grantor has an interest in at the time of registration as well as property acquired by the grantor after the registration is made, with the exception of any property described in the free text field. A description of the property that is not subject to the security interest is mandatory.

Intangible property

Intangible property means personal property (including a licence) that is not any of the following:

  1. financial property
  2. goods
  3. an intermediated security.

On the PPSR intangible property is further broken down into ‘account’, ‘intellectual property’, or ‘general intangible’.


‘Account’ describes property that is a monetary obligation that arises from the sale, lease or other disposal of property or from the granting of a right or the provision of services in the ordinary course of business. Example: An account that is a credit card receivable

General intangible

General intangible can be used to describe all other intangible property that is not an account or intellectual property. This may be used to describe property such as contractual rights and ADI (authorised deposit-taking institution within the meaning of the Banking Act 1959 (Cth)) accounts.

Intellectual property

Intellectual property is broken down into:

  • copyright
  • design
  • patent
  • plant breeder’s right
  • trade mark
  • circuit layout.

These descriptions may also be selected to indicate a security interest in a licence over intellectual property.

Intellectual property , with the exception of ‘copyright’ and ‘circuit layouts’, must be described by serial number when they are held by consumers.

The relevant serial number for each type of intellectual property will generally be the number issued by IP Australia, or, where one has not been issued, the application number issued by IP Australia.

The inclusion of serial numbers is optional when the intellectual property is commercial property.

Financial property

On the PPSR the collateral class ‘financial property’ is broken down into  ‘chattel paper’, ‘currency’, ‘document of title’, ‘intermediated security’, ‘investment instrument’ and ‘negotiable instrument’.

Chattel paper

This describes a document or documents, including in electronic form, which evidences both a monetary obligation and a security interest in, or lease of, specific goods. Examples include hire-purchase agreements, rental agreements, or conditional sales agreements.


This describes collateral that is the money of Australia or any other country.

Document of title

A description of ‘document of title’ is intended to cover a document issued by or addressed to a bailee that covers goods in the bailee’s possession and states that the goods identified will be delivered to a person specified or to the bearer.

Intermediated security

This is intended to describe the rights of a person in whose name an intermediary maintains an account to which interests in financial products are credited or debited or an account that is a record of holdings and transfers of interests in financial products. An example of an ‘intermediated security’ is a Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) security.

Investment instrument

An ‘investment instrument’ may describe the following financial products or a combination of these products:

  • a share in the body, or a debenture in a body
  • a debenture, stock or bond issued or proposed to be issued by a government
  • a derivative
  • a foreign exchange contract that is not a derivative
  • an assignable option to have an allotment of an investment instrument (apart from this paragraph) made to the holder of the option
  • an interest in, or a unit in an interest in, a managed investment scheme
  • a unit in a share in a body, and
  • a financial product traded on the financial market that is operated in accordance with an Australian market licence or exempt from the operation of Part 7.2 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).


Negotiable instrument

A negotiable instrument is a document guaranteeing the payment of a specific amount of money, such as a contract, which promises the payment of money without condition.