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Department of International Law > OAS

Secured Transactions - March 2014

Secured Financing Project is Launched in El Salvador

The Department of International Law met with project consultants and counterparts in San Salvador earlier in February and again in March to launch the Secured Financing Project in El Salvador. The team met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Economy to develop the proposed plan of action and begin the diagnostic phase of the project, which is now well underway. Subsequent meetings have been held with other government entities, including the Central Bank of Reserve, the Superintendency of the Financial System and the National Central Registry to enlist their support and participation.

Last fall by Decree No. 488, El Salvador enacted the Secured Transactions Law, which is based on the OAS Model Inter-American Law on Secured Transactions; the new law will come into force on April 15, 2014. The law stipulates in Article 88 that the National Central Registry shall initiate an operational secured transactions registry no later than six months after the law comes into force (i.e., October 15, 2014). In order to ensure that the new secured transactions regime becomes operational as smoothly and quickly as possible, it is necessary to first conduct an analysis of the existing system, from which it will be possible to determine which additional steps will be required. To assist with this diagnosis, the project has engaged two regional experts in the field of secured transactions, Mrs. María del Pilar Bonilla Juárez, from Guatemala and Mr. Joaquin Picado Gonzalez, from Costa Rica.

Project team meets at Ministry of Economy

1 Project team meets at Ministry of Economy

The diagnostic phase includes not only desk analysis of relevant legislation but also field interviews with various stakeholder groups and beneficiaries of the reform within selected sectors of the economy (e.g., agriculture, retail, tourism). This phase will culminate in a three-day workshop/seminar to be held in San Salvador May 21 to 23, 2014. Participants in the seminar will include these representatives, local officials involved in the reform process, representatives from other beneficiary countries as well as international participants with expertise in aspects of secured transactions reform of specific relevance to the needs of El Salvador. Using a workshop format, participants will be engaged in analysis and development of their own recommendations, prior to a wider discourse on the results of the project diagnosis. It is expected that this participatory process with broad-based stakeholder engagement will serve as a capacity-building exercise and at the same time generate support for any subsequent steps that are needed. A cross-cutting theme throughout the project is improving access to credit for MSMEs, particularly for women-owned businesses and for other marginalized groups.

Project team meets with officials at Central Bank of Reserve

2 Project team meets with officials at Central Bank of Reserve

The Department of International Law was represented by Ms. Jeannette Tramhel, Senior Legal Officer, and Eugenio Briales, Legal Consultant and Secured Transactions Expert.

The OAS Secured Financing Project is made possible through funding from the Government of Canada.

» To see OAS Booklet — Secured Transactions Reform in the Americas, click here

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