The Ministry of Business has been working with the Ministry of Legal Affairs to develop a modern, secure transaction system to facilitate the use of moveable property, both tangible and intangible, to use as collateral for business and consumer lending.
The regime includes the development of a legislative framework and the establishment of an electronic collateral registry. To do so, government has received support from the Inter-American Development Bank through Consultant, Professor Tom Johnson, who has been working with the Ministries in the drafting of a Moveable Property Security Bill 2018.
To solicit input, a consultation was conducted with the aim of highlighting the purpose of the Bill which is to improve ease of doing business in Guyana.
At the Cara Lodge, Quamina Street, Georgetown consultation, which was facilitated by Professor Johnson, members of the Guyana Bar Association and other stakeholders were in attendance to explore the conceptual and functional features of the draft Bill.
Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, SC, noted that the Bill provides for a comprehensive, integrated framework for secured transaction in movable property. All movable property under this framework, qualify as property regardless of item or type with a few exceptions.
Moreover, Minister Williams noted that the policies embodied in the Bill are not major changes since they have been part of Guyana’s laws and practised in one form of the security device or other.
“The legislative framework introduces a modern, centralized electronic registry system in which authorized registrants will have direct access to the entry registry database for the purpose of entering their record of a secured transaction,” Minister Williams explained.
The system will be built on a newly designed platform for company records and will operate in real time. The principles and policies underlined in the Bill mirrors the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law model on secured transactions.
“The proposed legal and institutional framework will provide Guyana with the Caribbean’s most modern legislation dealing with secured transaction. This legislation will enhance risk assessment management and mitigation for lenders. It will promote access to finance for a broader spectrum of borrowers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises,” Minister Williams noted.
The Bill is also expected to facilitate infrastructure development and offshore investment in the country and prepare the way for the impending expansion of the oil and gas industry. President of the Guyana Bar Association, Kamal Ramkarran, said the legal fraternity welcomed the collaborative effort to improve understanding of the Bill.
The draft Moveable Property Security Bill 2018 can be found on the Ministry of Business website.