Registrar's Practice Statement No 6

1. Restrict Access to Data

Version 1.1


Release Date: 30 January 2012
Updated: 22 August 2013


2. Background and Purpose

The Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) is an online register, which allows parties to make registrations in respect of security interests in personal property and other prescribed personal property. The Registrar of Personal Property Securities (Registrar) is responsible for establishing and maintaining the PPSR.

The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPS Act) section 170 requires the Registrar to give a person access to data contained on the PPSR if the search is authorised, the application is in the approved form, the fee is paid and access to data is not prohibited by the regulations. Personal Property Securities Regulation 2010 (Cth) (PPS Regulations) regulation 5.7 provides that data is prohibited if:

  1. a court has ordered that that access to the data is not permitted; or
  2. the Registrar considers that it is in the public interest that access to the data should not be permitted.

This Registrar's Practice Statement explains how the Registrar will restrict access to data contained in the PPSR, and in what circumstance the Registrar may consider that it is in the public interest to restrict access to data contained in a registration.

3. Application to Search for Data

A search of the PPSR can be conducted online at ">www.ppsr.gov.au, via telephone on 1300 007 777 or via hard copy.

In accordance with section 171 of the PPS Act, the Registrar will permit a person to search the register by reference to:

  1. the grantor's details (as required to be included, if at all, in a registered financing statement and only if the applicant acknowledges they are conducting a search for an authorised purpose in accordance with section 172 of the PPS Act);
  2. a serial number by which collateral may (or must) be described in the register;
  3. a registration number; and
  4. a point in time being:
    1. the time of the search; or
    2. an earlier nominated time, but only with the consent of the Registrar.

With the exception of the "point-in-time" search relating to an earlier nominated time, any search can be conducted online. A person seeking to conduct a "point-in-time" search by reference to an earlier nominated time should either contact the PPS Service via telephone on 1300 007 777 or submit a hard copy "Request for Point-in-time Search" to the address stated above.

4. Access to Restricted Data

The Registrar will restrict access to data if:

  1. a court has ordered that access to the data is not permitted; or
  2. the Registrar considers that it is in the public interest that access to the data should not be permitted.

The only information that is publicly available in relation to a registration which has been restricted is the registration number and the end time of the registration. Accordingly, if a person conducts a search by reference to the grantor's details, serial number or registration number and the registration has been restricted the only information that the person will obtain is the registration number and end time. The person will be charged the full fee for the search.

5. Registrar's discretion to Restrict Access to Data

The Registrar may restrict access to data if the Registrar considers that it is in the public interest to restrict access to that data. There are a number of ways that it might come to the attention of the Registrar that access to data should be restricted. These include but are not limited to:

  1. the receipt of an application from a member of the public (or a government agency) to restrict access to data; or
  2. as a result of an investigation under section 195A.

6. Application to the Registrar to Restrict Access to Data

A person seeking to have access to data restricted should make an application in writing to the Registrar, using the form "Application to Restrict Access to Data", which is available from the website www.ppsr.gov.au. Any person may make such an application to the Registrar. However, the Registrar has complete discretion in relation to the consideration of any application. In general the Registrar will give more weight to an application which is made by a person with an interest in the property.

In completing the "Application to Restrict Access to Data", the applicant should state whether the application is in respect of a court order or requests the Registrar to exercise discretion restrict data.

If the application is in respect of a court order the application must enclose a sealed copy of the court order.

If the application is to request the Registrar to exercise discretion the application should provide the reasons why the applicant believes that the data should be restricted, having regard to the following matters:

  1. evidence that an individual's safety may be at risk (for example a restraining order or a police report)
  2. whether the information in the PPSR is sufficient to locate the individual; and
  3. whether that information is available from other publicly available source (for example the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's Companies Register or the white pages).

In general, data within the PPSR will be publicly available. In deciding whether it is in the public interest to restrict access to data the Registrar will have regard to the following matters set out in regulation 5.7(2) of the PPS Regulations:

  1. whether it is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of the individual whose personal details are recorded in the financing statement or of another person;
  2. the interests of a person undertaking a search authorised by section 171 or 172 of the Act;
  3. the interests of the secured party in ensuring that notice of the security interest is accessible by authorised searchers; and
  4. the public interest in protecting the privacy of the individual grantor's information.

In general, the Registrar will only exercise the discretion to restrict access to data if the registration contains information that allows someone to be located and that information is not otherwise readily available to the public.

Important: the "Application to Restrict Data" will not result in the removal of the registration; it merely restricts the public's ability to access any information regarding the registration other than the registration number and the end time.

7. Process

If it comes to the Registrar's attention that a court has ordered that access to data is not permitted, and the Registrar has a sealed copy of those orders, the Registrar will restrict access to the relevant registration.

If it comes to the Registrar's attention that, it may be in the public interest to restrict access to data, the Registrar may consider the matter. The Registrar will make a decision as to whether it is in the public interest to restrict access to the data. In making that decision the Registrar will have regard to the various matters outlined above under the heading "Application to the Registrar to Restrict Access to Data".

For example, access to data may be restricted if the combination of the individual grantor's name, the secured party's name and/or the collateral description, could help to locate an individual which would not otherwise be located, may result in serious harm to the individual or another person.

8. Further information

Enquiries about any information contained in this practice statement may be directed via email to enquiries@ppsr.gov.au.