Published: Sep 20, 2021

Qatar issues its long-awaited new law on taking security over movable assets

Law No. 16 of 2021 on the Mortgage of Movable Assets (“Movable Assets Security Law”) has been published this week and is due to come into force in October 2021.

The Movable Assets Security Law enables creditors to take effective security over a wide range of movable assets, whether tangible or intangible, including:

  1. debts that are currently due to the security provider;
  2. bank accounts (current and term deposit accounts);
  3. commercial papers, certificates of deposits & financial contracts;
  4. all types of machinery, devices, equipment, stock & inventory; and
  5. intellectual property rights.

It is important to note that the Movable Assets Security Law does not apply in respect of pledges over those movable assets (for example, shares, vehicles, ships) that have pre-existing special registers to record pledges over such movable assets.


The Register

The new law creates a searchable public security register for security over movable assets, in the form of an electronic register (the “Register”) maintained at the Qatar Central Securities Depository (QCSD). The QCSD will be responsible for managing and supervising the Register. The Register will be public and any party will be entitled to generate a paper or electronic report of registered security.


New concepts

The Movable Assets Security Law introduces a number of new concepts in Qatar regarding the creation and enforcement of security interests, which include the following:

  1. Floating mortgage/charge: previously this concept was not recognised in Qatar. This means the security provider may now grant a security interest over all of its present and future movable assets.
  2. Subordination of debt: the Movable Assets Law has for the first time recognized the concept of debt subordination. For the subordination to be effective, it must also be published on the register.
  3. Contractual enforcement (self-help remedy): previously, an order from the competent court was the only way to enforce lenders/secured parties rights under a security agreement. Now, the security provider and the secured party may agree on contractual enforcement (i.e. self-help remedy) which would entitle the secured party to enforce the security without obtaining a court order.


Next steps

The implementation of the Movable Assets Security Law will impact many entities that do or are considering doing business in Qatar, including financial institutions and borrowers and other security providers.  In particular, any existing security interest over movable assets not currently recorded in any special security register in Qatar (such as plant, machinery, equipment, bank accounts etc.) the law allows secured parties to publish their security interests in the Register within a period of one year from the effective date of the Movable Assets Security Law.


How can we help?

The introduction of the Movable Assets Security Law is a significant development in the security regime in Qatar as it will reform almost every aspect relating to security interests over movable assets, in terms of validity, priority and enforcement.  It mirrors similar security law developments in other GCC countries.

Al Tamimi and Company has an unrivalled experience in the Middle East and North Africa region dealing and advising on all aspects relating to the creation, publication and perfection of security interests over movable assets.

Our Banking & Finance and Litigation teams in Qatar are able to support you in the following ways:

  1. review and assess your existing security documentation to identify how the Movable Assets Security Law could have an impact on your business
  2. identify any existing security interests that could be registered under the Movable Assets Security Law;
  3. help implement a process to ensure the registration of security interests with the QCSD;
  4. speak to your business and legal teams regarding the features of the new law and arrange presentation sessions; and
  5. draft suitable security documents for your transactions.


Upcoming webinar

We are hosting a webinar on Thursday 30th September at 11:00am Doha time to discuss the Movable Assets Security Law. Click here to RSVP for the webinar.

Key Contacts

Matthew Heaton

Partner, Head of Office, Head of Banking & Finance - Qatar