ASIC has made a brand new start to the way insolvency notices will be published in Australia. From 1 July 2012 the previous obligations for publications have melted away.
From 1 July 2012, all insolvency notices must now be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on its new online register at https://insolvencynotices.asic.gov.au/. The website has been created to replace and streamline the current requirement to publish insolvency-related notices in state or territory newspapers or in the ASIC Gazette and to provide a single point for searching the many notices relating to the external administration and deregistration of companies, currently advertised in the print media. This change is part of the amendments to the Corporations Act (and regulations) as a result of the Corporations Amendment (Phoenixing and Other Measures) Bill 2012 passed on 9 May, 2012.
The online register is the ‘one-stop shop’ for insolvency professionals and will operate as a comprehensive noticeboard for most announcements relating to distressed companies, and companies already subject to insolvency proceedings.
The following will be included top of the list:
- Notices of winding up applications;
- Notices of insolvency appointments;
- Notices of creditors meetings;
- Notices of intention to disclaim property;
- Notices calling for proof of debts;
- Notices of intention to declare dividends; and
- Company de-registration notifications.
The site can be searched by company name, ACN or notice date without registration or payment. Individuals must register in order to post notices, however registration is not required for searching on the site. The statutory timeframes for publication set out in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) must still be complied with.
Insolvency practitioners must still comply with other relevant statutory requirements about how notice of an event must be given. For example hard copies of all relevant notices must still be sent to creditors and all relevant forms lodged with ASIC. Other obligations of insolvency practitioners such as financial reporting remain the same and court appointed liquidators must continue to publish the winding up order and appointment notices in the print media in accordance with the relevant court rules.
Creditors, banks and interested parties should familiarise themselves with the site and actively monitor updates with respect to potentially distressed customers or targets, particularly in relation to notice of creditors’ meetings and calling for proof of debts.