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The resurrection of field warehousing

— the booming Hungarian field warehousing sector, the incomplete English narrative and the unexplored field warehousing law of the United States —

Acta Juridica Hungarica
Author: Tibor Tajti (Thaythy)

Irrespective the many secured transactions reform projects around the globe, field warehousing as a peculiar constructive pledge-based (or pledge by bailment) security device, and what it may offer especially to emerging markets, has largely escaped attention. The few international projects that devoted some attention to warehousing as a financing method were almost invariably limited to public (terminal) warehousing or have canvassed an incomplete picture about this many-faced security device.Scholarly neglect is characteristic also to the United States (US), where field warehousing as a security device has had presumably the richest history yet has declined after the adoption of the unitary Article 9 system of the Uniform Commercial Code by the States. In new forms, adapted to the changing business needs, however, the industry has survived to date. While what is of little importance in the US, should be invaluable to reform systems, which could enormously profit from the US experiences yet by taking a look not only at contemporary but more importantly on earlier law as well.English law, as another leading financial law system and thus a model for others, is taken a look at because it knows not about field warehousing. The conventional yet not fully explored justification is the earlier recognition of the floating charge in England compared to its kin on the other side of the Atlantic. The article counters this argument by juxtaposing not just the US but also the more recent Hungarian developments corroborating that floating securities and field warehouses are not mutually exclusive.This seminal article aims to remedy the hinted at cognitive gaps in comparative scholarship by revisiting the pertaining US law, reflecting on the English position and uniquely juxtaposing the parallel recent Hungarian experiences with field warehousing. The heightened importance of this analysis is linked also to the continued interest in the reform of secured transactions laws (recently also in Africa and China), and the unsatisfactory economic output of such recently reformed systems as those of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) — well reflected in the third in-depth revamping of Hungarian secured transactions law by the new Civil Code of 2013.

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