Warehousemen's Liens Act 1958 review

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The Warehousemen’s Liens Act 1958 (the Act) regulates the warehousing of goods and provides for:

  • the declaration of a warehousemen’s liens on goods deposited with the warehouseman for storage
  • notice requirements in relation to the warehousemen’s lien
  • the power to sell goods subject to a warehousemen’s lien for the recovery of outstanding storage charges
  • the treatment of intermingled goods in storage.

A warehouseman obtains an interest called a lien over goods deposited with them, which allows the warehouseman to sell the deposited goods to recover storage charges and claims for insurance, transportation, labour and other expenses in relation to the goods.

Consumer Affairs Victoria has been conducting a review of the Act, to assess its effectiveness and ongoing relevance.

As part of the review, we conducted preliminary consultation with industry and interested stakeholders in 2016, through a discussion paper exploring the Act's operation in the context of the contemporary economy. The discussion paper also explored the impact on the Act of the Commonwealth Personal Property Securities Act 2009 and possible linkages with the uncollected goods provisions of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012.

Download the storage industry position paper

Storage industry position paper (Word, 3.24 MB)

Storage industry position paper (PDF, 518 KB)

Following the extended public consultation process, we have prepared a position paper proposing a number of changes to the scheme established by the Act.

The primary changes proposed in the position paper are:

  • repeal of the Act
  • incorporation of a storage lien scheme in the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012, which declares that a storer has a lien over goods stored with them (subject to new contractural notice requirements)
  • update terminology in the new scheme, including references to 'storage lien' and 'storer'
  • aligning the power of sale and notice requirements for goods subject to a storage lien with the uncollected goods scheme provisions of the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012:
    • notice requirements and periods will vary depending on the value of the goods, classified as low, medium and high value
    • where medium and high value goods are proposed to be sold by public auction, the storer will be required to advertise the sale in the seven days prior to the sale
    • removal of the requirement that the storer, in order to rely on the lien, must provide notice to the owner and provider of goods within two months of the deposit of goods with them.
  • declaration under section 73(2) of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 that a storage lien will be given priority over other interests, including interests registered on the Personal Property Securities Register
  • retention of the intermingled goods provisions within the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012
  • requiring storers to keep records of the inventories of containers/boxes that are opened for the purposes of compliance with the new scheme.

Comments on the position paper

We expect that the amendments proposed in the position paper will be implemented in amending legislation in 2017. We will review all submissions and consider any necessary changes that may need to be made to the proposed position.

Consultation closed

This public consultation closed on Wednesday 1 March 2017.


The following public submissions were made during the public consultation:

Storage industry consultation paper

Download the: