The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 came into force on 26 June 2020, under which secondary legislation could temporarily extend the periods allowed for various Companies House filings to give companies flexibility in dealing with practical issues caused by Covid-19. That secondary legislation has quickly followed in the form of the Companies etc. (Filing Requirements) (Temporary Modifications) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/645), which came into force on 27 June 2020 and is due to expire at the end of the day on 5 April 2021. During that time:
- the period for registration of charges under section 859A of the Companies Act 2006 is extended from 21 to 31 days (the period continues to run from the day after the date of creation of the charge); and
- the period of non-compliance until an offence is committed under section 859Q of the Companies Act 2006 is extended from 14 days to 42 days. Section 859Q, by way of reminder, requires charge instruments to be available for inspection and notice to be given to the registrar of the location of the documents for inspection (unless they have always been kept at the company's registered office).
In Scotland, the temporary 31 day period also applies to the registration of instruments of alteration of floating charges granted by Scottish companies under section 466 of the Companies Act 1985. This will be helpful to those who regularly deal with ranking agreements and intercreditor agreements affecting floating charges granted by Scottish companies, which still require a Form 466 and a certified true copy of the instrument of alteration to be submitted in paper form to Companies House in Edinburgh.
It should be noted that the expiry of the temporary extension won't affect registration periods beginning prior to that date of expiry, and it doesn't apply to periods for registration extended by an order of the court under section 859F of the Companies Act 2006.