Understanding watercraft search results
What to look for?
On your search certificate, look at the information under the heading ‘PPSR Registration Details’.
The results will either show no security interest or other registration (like the sample certificate below left), or one or more registrations (image at right below).
If your certificate says, ‘There is no security interest or other registration kind registered on the PPSR against the serial number in the search criteria details’, this means there is no outstanding debt recorded on the PPSR against that watercraft’s serial number (such as the HIN or Official Number).
Your search shows one or more registrations. This means there is outstanding debt on the PPSR against the watercraft's serial number (such as the HIN or Official Number).
What does this mean for you?
If your search shows that no outstanding debt is registered on the PPSR for the watercraft you are interested in buying and you then choose to buy or lease the watercraft on the day of the search or the next day, you usually take the watercraft free of encumbrances or debt.
If your search shows there is outstanding debt registered on the PPSR for the watercraft you are interested in buying and you then choose to buy or lease the watercraft—if the seller doesn’t pay off the debt, there is a very real chance the finance company listed on the PPSR can take the watercraft away.
If your search shows outstanding debt, your search certificate will also contain the following details:
- Registration Details – PPSR registration number, start and end dates
- Collateral Details – information about the collateral and how the interest is held in the personal property
- Grantor Details – the person or organisation who offered the security
- Secured Party Details – the person or organisation that holds the interest
- Address for Service – details on how to contact the secured party
- History Summary – outline of amendments to the registration.
Exceptions to the usual rule apply in certain circumstances. For more information visit Searching and buyer protections
How do I query the details of a PPSR registration?
Contact the secured party or parties listed under ‘Secured Party details’ on the search certificate. A secured party identifies the person or organisation that holds an interest in the watercraft.
Why didn’t my search return any further details of the watercraft?
There is no national database with information about watercraft. You might need to investigate the details of the watercraft before purchase.
What else may be returned in my search?
There is no national database for watercrafts to report theft or significant damage to a watercraft.
The PPSR does not link to state maritime authorities to verify watercraft details.
Accordingly, you might need to investigate the details of the watercraft before purchase.
How do I know if the watercraft is currently registered?
Check if the watercraft is required to be registered with the relevant maritime authority in your state. If yes, ask the owner if you can view the registration paperwork to confirm the hull identification number (HIN) or official number. Check the serial number you have searched on the PPSR matches the serial number on the registration papers.
What else do I need to know?
Keep your search details and search certificate safe. You will need your search number or search certificate number to retrieve your original search result or search certificate at a later time. Your search certificate can also be used as evidence in any dispute or legal matter.
A search certificate is your legal record
It is recommended that you choose to email or view and save a search certificate, even if your search returns no registrations. Your search certificate is an official and legal copy of your search and there is no additional fee for issuing a search certificate.
If any registrations contain attachments, links to the attachments are displayed on the screen. You will need to download the attachments by clicking on the link, store them with your search certificate. The attachments form part of the collateral details.
If you request a certificate to be emailed to you, any attachments associated with the registration will also be emailed.