Ordinance on the Business of Commercial Pawnbrokers

Ordinance on the Business Operations of Commercial Pawnbrokers (Pfandleiherverordnung – PfandlV)


Date of issue: 01.02.1961

Full quote:

„Pawnbroker Ordinance in the version promulgated on 1 June 1976 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 1334), as last amended by Article 2 of the Ordinance of 28 April 2016 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 1046).“

Status: Revised by announcement v. 1. 6.1976 I 1334, last amended by Art. 2 V v. 28.4.2016 I 1046

Footnote (+++ text reference validity from: 6.12.1979 +++)

Title: IdF d. Art. 5 No. 1 V v. 28.11.1979 I 1986 mWv 6.12.1979

This Ordinance was issued by the Federal Minister of Economics on the basis of § 34 para 2 of the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act as amended by the Fourth Federal Act amending the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act of 5 February 1960 I 61 and Art. III of this Amendment Act by the Federal Minister of Economics.

§ 1 Scope of the permit

The licence to operate the business of a pawnbroker shall apply to the scope of this Ordinance.

§ 2 Indication

The pawnbroker shall notify the competent authority at the start of the business operation which rooms he uses for the business operation; furthermore, he shall notify any change of the rooms used for the business operation without delay.

§ 3 Accounting

(1) The pawnbroker shall keep records of every pawnbroking transaction and its settlement in accordance with the principles of proper accounting and shall collect documents and receipts. The records shall be made without delay and in German. The pledges shall be recorded according to their chronological order. § Section 239 (2) to (4) of the Commercial Code shall apply mutatis mutandis.

(2) The records, documents and supporting evidence shall show

  1. the current number of the pawnbroking agreement, in the case of renewal of the pawnbroking agreement (§ 6 par. 3) the current number of the previous agreement and the renewal agreement,
  2. date of conclusion of the contract,
  3. surname and first name, date of birth, place of residence and domicile of the pledger as well as type of identity document from which this information is taken and issuing authority,
  4. written power of attorney of the pledger if the bearer of the pledge is not the pledger,
  5. amount and maturity of the loan,
  6. agreed services, insofar as these are not stipulated in the pawnbroker’s general terms and conditions,
  7. day of redemption,
  8. designation of the pledge according to number and type as well as the information suitable for differentiation, such as dimensions, make and number, in the case of gold and silver objects weight and any fineness stamp, in the case of motor vehicles and motor vehicle trailers.
  9. Kind, manufacturer and type,
  10. registration number,
  11. factory number of the chassis and the engine,
  12. number of spare tyres,
  13. payload (only for lorries and motor vehicle trailers),
  14. payments by the pledgor,
  15. day of recovery,
  16. the amount and whereabouts of the proceeds of realisation; and
  17. in the case of loss of a pawn ticket, the date of notification of the loss.

(3) The records, documents and receipts shall be kept on the business premises for four years. The retention period shall begin at the end of the calendar year in which records were to be made, documents or receipts collected.

(4) Any obligation to keep accounts and to retain books, records and vouchers under other provisions shall remain unaffected.

§ 4 (omitted)

§ 5 Acceptance of the deposit

(1) The pawnbroker may only accept the pledge if he agrees with the pledger that

  1. he may only satisfy his claims for repayment of the loan and for payment of interest, remuneration and costs from the pledge,
  2. he is entitled, three years after the end of the year in which the pledge was realised, to transfer to the competent authority that part of the proceeds which is not due to him for his satisfaction and which has not been paid to the pledgor or to derive therefrom in accordance with § section 11 (2), and that this part of the proceeds is thereby forfeited.

He may not agree a shorter period than three months for the maturity of the loan.

(2) If the bearer is not the pledger, the pawnbroker may only accept the pledge if the bearer hands him a written power of attorney from the pledger.

§ 6 Pawn ticket

  • Immediately after the conclusion of the pawnbroking agreement, the pawnbroker shall hand over to the pledger a pawn ticket signed by the pawnbroker or his authorised representative; a duplicated signature shall suffice.
  • The pawn ticket must contain the information specified in § 3 par. 2 nos. 1 to 3 and 5 to 8 as well as the terms and conditions and must be clearly legible.
  • The pawnbroker must hand over a new pawn ticket to the pledger if the pawnbroking agreement is extended or otherwise changed (renewal).

§ 7 Storage

Each pawn must be marked with the pawnbroker’s agreement number indicated on the pawn ticket. If the pawn ticket relates to several pawns, the number may be noted on a common wrapper or attached to an attachment holding the pawns together.

§ 8 Insurance

The pawnbroker must insure the pawn at least for twice the amount of the loan against fire damage, tap water damage, burglary and robbery.

§ 9 Utilisation

(1) The pledgee may satisfy himself out of the pledge at the earliest one month after the entire loan has fallen due, unless the pledger agrees to an earlier realisation after the due date.

(2) The pawnbroker shall realise the pawn no later than six months after

the right of realisation has arisen. The competent authority may, at the request of the pawnbroker, extend the time limit for good cause. If the pawnbroker is prevented from realising the pledge in due time by a judicial or official measure, the time limit is suspended until such a measure is lifted; the period during which the time limit is suspended is not included in the realisation period according to sentence 1.

(3) section 2 sentence 1 shall not apply if the pawnbroker agrees a different realisation period with the pledgor at the latter’s request.

(4) The pawnbroker shall arrange for the auction to be announced at least one week and at most two weeks before the time scheduled for the auction in a daily newspaper in which official notices are usually published. The announcement must state the place and time of the auction, the general designation of the pledges, the name or the firm of the pawnbroker, the numbers of the individual pawnbroking contracts or the beginning and end numbers of the series to be auctioned as well as the period of the pledges; in the case of pledges whose auction has already been announced in earlier advertisements and which have not been auctioned, a reference to the earlier advertisements shall suffice instead of stating the numbers and the period.

§ 10 Interest and compensation

(1) The pawnbroker may demand, agree or be granted for the provision of the loan, for the costs of his business operations including safekeeping, insurance and the estimation of the value of the pawn as well as for the costs of the realisation of the pawn no more than

  1. for the granting of the loan, a monthly interest of one percent of the loan amount,
  2. for the costs of operations, remuneration in accordance with the Annex to this Ordinance,
  3. the necessary costs of recovery. If the loan is repaid in instalments, the interest and the allowances for the costs of business operations shall be calculated according to the part of the loan still owed.

(2) Costs of business operations within the meaning of paragraph 1 are not

  1. premiums for special insurance taken out at the pledgor’s request,
  2. costs of an expert opinion on the value of the pledge.

(3) The pawnbroker may not have the benefits referred to in paragraph 1 granted to him in advance.

(4) To the extent that interest and remuneration are calculated by month under subsection (1), the following shall apply:

  1. The day of the granting of the loan may only be counted if the loan is repaid on that day;
  2. a month or part thereof may be counted as a full month.

(5) If several pledges are realised at the same time, the non-excludable necessary costs of the realisation (subsection 1 no. 3) shall be divided in proportion to the total proceeds to the proceeds for the individual pledge.

§ 11 Surpluses from recovery

(1) The pawnbroker shall return surpluses on which agreements have been concluded in accordance with § 5 par. no. 2 no later than one month after the expiry of the period specified in § 5 par. 1 no. 2; the competent authority may, at the request of the pawnbroker, extend the period of one month referred to in sentence 1 for good cause. The transferred surpluses are forfeited to the tax authorities of the country in which the pledge was made.

(2) If, in the cases referred to in subsection (1), the surplus is offset by lower proceeds from earlier agreements under section 5 with the same pledgor, the pledgee may also satisfy himself from the surplus in respect of the lower proceeds.

§ 12 Posting

The pawnbroker shall display a copy of this Ordinance in a conspicuous place in his business premises.

§ 12a Regulatory offences

A regulatory offence within the meaning of section 144(2) number 1b of the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act shall be committed by any person who wilfully or negligently

  1. contrary to § 2, fails to give notice of the premises used for business operations or of a change of premises, or fails to give such notice in good time,
  2. contravenes a provision of § 3 par. 1 , 2 or 3 concerning records, documents and receipts,
  3. (omitted)
  4. a regulation
    1. of § 5 on the acceptance of the pledge and the maturity of the loan,
    2. of § 6 on the delivery, the content and the renewal of the pawn ticket or
    3. of § 7 para. 1 or 2 on the numbering and safekeeping of the pledge or of § 7 par. 4 concerning the marking of the pledge,
  • contrary to § 8,
  • contravenes § 9 par. 1, violates § 9 par. 2 sentence 1 or fails to realise the pledge in due time contrary to § 9 par. 4 does not arrange for the auction to be announced in due time and in accordance with the regulations,
  • contravenes a provision of section 10 concerning interest, costs and remuneration,
  • contrary to § 11 sentence 1 does not transfer surpluses or does not do so in due time or
  • ails to display a copy of this Ordinance contrary to § 12.

§ 13 (omitted)

§ 14 (omitted)

§ 15 (omitted)

§ 16 Entry into force

(1) This Ordinance shall enter into force on 1 March 1961.

(2) (omitted)

Annex (to § 10 par. 1 no. 2)

Reference of the original text: Federal Law Gazette (BGBl). I 1976, 1340; for the individual amendments cf. (www.gesetze-im-internet.de)

For the costs of the business operation the pawnbroker may demand, agree or be granted

  1. a monthly remuneration of a maximum of
  2. Euro 1.00 for a loan up to and including Euro 15.00
  3. Euro 1.50 for a loan up to and including Euro 30.00
  4. Euro 2.00 for a loan up to and including Euro 50.00
  5. Euro 2.50 for a loan up to and including Euro 100.00
  6. Euro 3.50 for a loan up to and including Euro 150.00
  7. Euro 4.50 for a loan up to and including Euro 200.00
  8. Euro 5.50 for a loan up to and including Euro 250.00
  9. Euro 6.50 for a loan up to and including Euro 300.00.

In the case of a loan exceeding the amount of 300 euros, the monthly remuneration is subject to free agreement.

  • In addition to the monthly remuneration referred to in number 1, a daily remuneration may be agreed for the storage, care and insurance of bicycles with auxiliary motors, mopeds, motorbikes with and without sidecars, motor vehicles, tractors and motor vehicle trailers.