Moveable Transactions - Call for Views

Call for views on reform of the law on moveable transactions

The Economy, Energy and Fair Committee is seeking views on reform of the law on moveable transactions.

Please note that in most cases your written submission will be published on the Scottish Parliament’s website and may be quoted in the Committee’s report or in Committee meetings (which are public and broadcast).

If you wish to request that your submission be published without your name, please contact the Clerks at the following email address:  [email protected] or by calling 0131 348 5403.

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you about how we process your personal data.

The Scottish Law Commission (SLC) was established in legislation to propose reforms to the law. It has examined the issue of moveable transactions. It published its final Report on Moveable Transactions (including a draft bill in volume 3) in 2017.

The Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee took evidence from several people involved in the Scottish Law Commission’s work on 26 November 2019. They argued that the law in this area needed updating, and Scotland’s businesses were suffering as a result.

The Committee heard that it is difficult in Scotland for businesses to raise money using moveable assets – such as plant, whisky barrels, intellectual property rights or customer debts. Witnesses argued that a number of other countries, including England, have clearer and more modern legal regimes covering this area. This makes raising business finance easier.

The SLC recommends creating a new type of loan security using moveable property, called a “statutory pledge”. To help with this, it also recommends creating two new official registers:

· The Register of Statutory Pledges would provide details of moveable goods which had been used as security for a loan. It would mainly be available for physical goods but would also cover intellectual property rights and some financial obligations.

· The Register of Assignations would provide information about obligations which had been transferred to a new owner – such as where a debt is sold from the original creditor to a new creditor. Registering a transfer in the Register of Assignations would remove the need to notify the debtor, thus making raising finance on debts easier. 

The Committee has agreed to look into this issue further. It is seeking views on the following questions:

1. Have difficulties raising finance on moveable goods in Scotland affected your business or area of activity? If so, what practical impact has this had?

2. The Committee understands that there are various work-arounds used by Scottish businesses to enable access to finance on moveable goods. Are these sufficient, or would the law benefit from being reformed?

3. The Scottish Government will have to invest money in creating the two new registers recommended by the Scottish Law Commission. Do you think there is sufficient demand to justify this? Do you have any evidence to support this?

4. The proposals in the Scottish Law Commission’s draft bill would apply to consumers as well as businesses. Do you think there are enough protections in place for consumers?

5. Do you have comments on any of the other proposals contained in the draft bill?  

6. Do you agree with the Scottish Law Commission’s view that the law relating to moveable transactions should be changed? 

7. Do you have any other comments?

How to submit your views

Your response does not need to cover all the areas specified above and can just focus on those that are relevant to you or your organisation. You are also welcome to provide other information that you feel would be relevant.

Moveable Transactions - Template

Next steps

The Committee will consider the responses received and decide its next steps in relation to this inquiry after the deadline (set out below).  If you respond to the consultation, you will be informed of the next steps when they have been agreed by the Committee.

The closing date for receipt of submissions is Friday 17 April 2020.

There are a few situations where we may choose not to publish your evidence or have to edit it before publication for practical or legal reasons, including data protection and defamation.

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language.

Please send your submission by email to: [email protected]

You can also send a hard copy of your submission to:

Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee
Scottish Parliament
Holyrood
Edinburgh
EH99 1SP 

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