Foreign Futures and Options Transactions, 74864-74867 [2020-24660]

Download as PDF 74864 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 227 / Tuesday, November 24, 2020 / Rules and Regulations jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES (2) shall be filed with NFA.9 Each firm seeking relief hereunder has an ongoing obligation to notify NFA should there be a material change to any of the representations required in the firm’s application for relief. This Order will become effective as to any designated NSE IFSC firm the later of the date of publication of the Order in the Federal Register or the filing of the consents set forth in paragraphs (2)(a)–(f). Upon filing of the notice required under paragraph (1)(b) as to any such firm, the relief granted by this Order may be suspended immediately as to that firm. That suspension will remain in effect pending further notice by the Commission, or the Commission’s designee, to the firm and NSE IFSC. This Order is issued pursuant to Regulation 30.10 based on the representations made and supporting material provided to the Commission and the recommendation of the staff, and is made effective as to any firm granted relief hereunder based upon the filings and representations of such firms required hereunder. Any material changes or omissions in the facts and circumstances pursuant to which this Order is granted might require the Commission to reconsider its finding that the exemption is not otherwise contrary to the public interest or to the purposes of the provision from which exemption is sought. Further, if experience demonstrates that the continued effectiveness of this Order in general, or with respect to a particular firm, would be contrary to the public interest, or that the systems in place for the exchange of information or other circumstances do not warrant continuation of the exemptive relief granted herein, the Commission may, after appropriate notice and opportunity to respond, condition, modify, suspend, terminate, withhold as to a specific firm, or otherwise restrict the exemptive relief granted in this Order, as appropriate and as permitted by law, on its own motion. The process by which the Commission may terminate relief is set forth in § 30.10(c).10 The Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of its program to exempt firms located in jurisdictions generally deemed to have a 9 62 FR 47792, 47793 (Sept. 11, 1997). Among other duties, the Commission authorized NFA to receive requests for confirmation of Regulation 30.10 relief on behalf of particular firms, to verify such firms’ fitness and compliance with the conditions of the appropriate Regulation 30.10 Order and to grant exemptive relief from registration to qualifying firms. 10 17 CFR 30.10(c). See 85 FR 15359 (Mar. 18, 2020). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Nov 23, 2020 Jkt 253001 comparable regulatory program from the application of certain of the foreign futures and option regulations and will make necessary adjustments if appropriate. Issued in Washington, DC, on November 2, 2020, by the Commission. Robert Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission. Note: The following appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations. Appendix to Foreign Futures and Options Transactions—Commission Voting Summary On this matter, Chairman Tarbert and Commissioners Quintenz, Behnam, Stump, and Berkovitz voted in the affirmative. No Commissioner voted in the negative. [FR Doc. 2020–24659 Filed 11–23–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351–01–P COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 30 Foreign Futures and Options Transactions Commodity Futures Trading Commission. ACTION: Order. AGENCY: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission or CFTC) is granting an exemption to certain member firms designated by NZX Limited (NZX) from the application of certain of the Commission’s foreign futures and option regulations based upon substituted compliance with certain comparable regulatory and selfregulatory requirements of a foreign regulatory authority consistent with conditions specified by the Commission, as set forth herein. This Order is issued pursuant to Commission regulation 30.10, which permits persons to file a petition with the Commission for exemption from the application of certain of the regulations set forth in part 30 and authorizes the Commission to grant such an exemption if such action would not be otherwise contrary to the public interest or to the purposes of the provision from which exemption is sought. The Commission notes that this Order does not pertain to any transaction in swaps, as defined in Section 1a(47) of the Commodity Exchange Act (Act). DATES: This Order is effective November 24, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Chapin, Associate Chief SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Counsel, (202) 418–5465, achapin@ cftc.gov, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Commission has issued the following Order: Order Under CFTC Regulation 30.10 Exempting Firms Designated by NZX Limited (NZX) From the Application of Certain of the Foreign Futures and Option Regulations the Later of the Date of Publication of the Order Herein in the Federal Register or After Filing of Consents by Such Firms and NZX, as Appropriate, to the Terms and Conditions of the Order Herein Commission Regulations governing the offer and sale of commodity futures and option contracts traded on or subject to the regulations of a foreign board of trade to customers located in the U.S. are contained in Part 30 of the Commission’s regulations.1 These regulations include requirements for intermediaries with respect to registration, disclosure, capital adequacy, protection of customer funds, recordkeeping and reporting, and sales practice and compliance procedures that are generally comparable to those applicable to transactions on U.S. markets. In formulating a regulatory program to govern the offer and sale of foreign futures and option products to customers located in the U.S., the Commission, among other things, considered the desirability of ameliorating the potential impact of such a program. Based upon these considerations, the Commission determined to permit persons located outside the U.S. and subject to a comparable regulatory structure in the jurisdiction in which they were located to seek an exemption from certain of the requirements under Part 30 of the Commission’s regulations based upon substituted compliance with the regulatory requirements of the foreign jurisdiction.2 Appendix A to Part 30, ‘‘Interpretative Statement With Respect to the Commission’s Exemptive Authority Under § 30.10 of Its Rules’’ (Appendix A), generally sets forth the elements the Commission will evaluate in determining whether a particular regulatory program may be found to be comparable for purposes of exemptive 1 Commission regulations referred to herein are found at 17 CFR Ch. I. 2 ‘‘Foreign Futures and Foreign Options Transactions,’’ 52 FR 28290 (Aug. 5, 1987). E:\FR\FM\24NOR1.SGM 24NOR1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 227 / Tuesday, November 24, 2020 / Rules and Regulations relief pursuant to Regulation 30.10.3 These elements include: (1) Registration, authorization or other form of licensing, fitness review or qualification of persons that solicit and accept customer orders; (2) minimum financial requirements for those persons who accept customer funds; (3) protection of customer funds from misapplication; (4) recordkeeping and reporting requirements; (5) sales practice standards; and (6) procedures to audit for compliance with, and to take action against those persons who violate, the requirements of the program. In addition, Appendix A to Part 30 further provides that any exemption of a general nature based on comparability requires appropriate information sharing arrangements between the Commission and the appropriate governmental agency and/or self-regulatory organization to ensure Commission access on an ‘‘as needed’’ basis to information essential to maintaining standards of customer and market protection within the U.S. Moreover, the Commission specifically stated in adopting Regulation 30.10 that no exemption of a general nature would be granted unless the persons to whom the exemption is to be applied: (1) Submit to jurisdiction in the U.S. by designating an agent for service of process in the U.S. with respect to transactions subject to Part 30 and filing a copy of the agency agreement with the National Futures Association (NFA); (2) agree to provide access to their books and records in the U.S. to the Commission and Department of Justice representatives; and (3) notify NFA of the commencement of business in the U.S.4 Appendix A also specifically states that in considering an exemption request, the Commission will take into account the extent to which United States persons or contracts regulated by the Commission are permitted to engage in futures-related activities or be offered in the country from which an exemption is sought.5 On May 25, 2017, NZX petitioned the Commission on behalf of its member firms, located and conducting a financial investment business in New Zealand, for an exemption from the application of the Commission’s Part 30 Regulations to those firms. NZX supplemented its petition on various occasions with additional information. In support of its petition, NZX stated that granting such an exemption with respect to such firms that it has authorized to conduct foreign futures 3 52 FR 28990, 29001. FR 28980, 28981 and 29002. 5 17 CFR part 30, Appendix A. 4 52 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Nov 23, 2020 Jkt 253001 and option transactions on behalf of customers located in the U.S. would not be contrary to the public interest or to the purposes of the provisions from which the exemption is sought because such firms are subject to a regulatory framework comparable to that imposed by the Act and the regulations thereunder. Based upon a review of the petition and supplementary materials filed by NZX, the Commission has concluded that NZX has demonstrated to the Commission’s satisfaction that the exemption for relief pursuant to § 30.10(a) is not otherwise contrary to the public interest or to the purposes of the provisions from which exemption is sought. Accordingly, the Commission has determined that compliance with applicable New Zealand law and NZX rules may be substituted for compliance with those sections of the Act and regulations thereunder more particularly set forth herein. By this Order, the Commission hereby exempts, subject to specified conditions, those firms identified to the Commission by NZX as eligible for the relief granted herein from: • Registration with the Commission for firms and for firm representatives; • The requirement in Commission Regulation 30.6(a) and (d), 17 CFR 30.6(a) and (d), that firms provide customers located in the U.S. with the risk disclosure statements in Commission Regulation 1.55(b), 17 CFR 1.55(b), and Commission Regulation 33.7, 17 CFR 33.7, or as otherwise approved under Commission Regulation 1.55(c), 17 CFR 1.55(c); • The separate account requirement contained in Commission Regulation 30.7, 17 CFR 30.7; • Those sections of Part 1 of the Commission’s regulations that apply to foreign futures and options sold in the U.S. as set forth in Part 30; and • Those sections of Part 1 of the Commission’s regulations relating to books and records which apply to transactions subject to Part 30, based upon substituted compliance by such persons with the applicable statutes and regulations in effect in New Zealand. This determination to permit substituted compliance is based on, among other things, the Commission’s finding that the regulatory framework governing persons in New Zealand who would be exempted hereunder provides: (1) A system of qualification or authorization of firms who deal in transactions subject to regulation under Part 30 that includes, for example, criteria and procedures for granting, PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 74865 monitoring, suspending and revoking licenses, and provisions for requiring and obtaining access to information about authorized firms and persons who act on behalf of such firms; (2) Financial requirements for firms including, without limitation, a requirement for a minimum level of working capital and daily mark-tomarket settlement and/or accounting procedures; (3) A system for the protection of customer assets that is designed to preclude the use of customer assets to satisfy house obligations and requires separate accounting for such assets; (4) Recordkeeping and reporting requirements pertaining to financial and trade information; (5) Sales practice standards for authorized firms and persons acting on their behalf that include, for example, required disclosures to prospective customers and prohibitions on improper trading advice; (6) Procedures to audit for compliance with, and to redress violations of, the customer protection and sales practice requirements referred to above, including, without limitation, an affirmative surveillance program designed to detect trading activities that take advantage of customers, and the existence of broad powers of investigation relating to sales practice abuses; and (7) Mechanisms for sharing of information between the Commission, NZX and the New Zealand regulatory authorities on an ‘‘as needed’’ basis including, without limitation, confirmation data, data necessary to trace funds related to trading futures products subject to regulation in New Zealand, position data, and data on firms’ standing to do business and financial condition. Commission staff has concluded, upon review of the petition of NZX and accompanying exhibits, that NZX’s regulation of futures and options intermediaries is comparable to that of the U.S. in the areas specified in Appendix A of Part 30, as described above. This Order does not provide an exemption from any provision of the Act or regulations thereunder not specified herein, such as the antifraud provision in Regulation 30.9. Moreover, the relief granted is limited to brokerage activities undertaken on behalf of customers located in the U.S. with respect to transactions entered on or subject to the rules of NZX for products that customers located in the U.S. may E:\FR\FM\24NOR1.SGM 24NOR1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES 74866 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 227 / Tuesday, November 24, 2020 / Rules and Regulations trade.6 The relief does not extend to regulations relating to trading, directly or indirectly, on U.S. exchanges, and does not pertain to any transaction in swaps, as defined in Section 1a(47) of the Act. For example, a NZX member trading in U.S. markets for its own account would be subject to the Commission’s large trader reporting requirements.7 Similarly, if such a firm were carrying positions on a U.S. exchange on behalf of foreign clients and submitted such transactions for clearing on an omnibus basis through a firm registered as a futures commission merchant under the Act, it would be subject to the reporting requirements applicable to foreign brokers.8 The relief herein is inapplicable where the firm solicits or accepts orders from customers located in the U.S. for transactions on U.S. markets. In that case, the firm must comply with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including the requirement to register in the appropriate capacity. The eligibility of any firm to seek relief under this exemptive Order is subject to the following conditions: (1) The NZX, as the self-regulatory organization responsible for monitoring the compliance of such firms with the regulatory requirements described in the Regulation 30.10 petition, must represent in writing to the Commission that: (a) Each firm for which relief is sought is registered, licensed or authorized, as appropriate, and is otherwise in good standing under the standards in place in New Zealand; such firm is engaged in business with customers located in New Zealand as well as in the U.S.; and such firm and its principals and employees who engage in activities subject to Part 30 would not be statutorily disqualified from registration under Section 8a(2) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 12a(2); (b) It will monitor firms to which relief is granted for compliance with the regulatory requirements for which substituted compliance is accepted and will promptly notify the Commission or NFA of any change in status of a firm that would affect its continued eligibility for the exemption granted hereunder, including the termination of its activities in the U.S.; (c) All transactions with respect to customers located in the U.S. will be made subject to the regulations of NZX; (d) Customers located in the U.S. will be provided no less stringent regulatory protection than New Zealand customers 6 See, e.g., Sections 2(a)(1)(C) and (D) of the Act. e.g.,17 CFR part 18. 8 See, e.g.,17 CFR parts 17 and 21. 7 See, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Nov 23, 2020 Jkt 253001 under all relevant provisions of New Zealand law; and (e) It will cooperate with the Commission with respect to any inquiries concerning any activity subject to regulation under the Part 30 Regulations, including sharing the information specified in Appendix A on an ‘‘as needed’’ basis and will use its best efforts to notify the Commission if it becomes aware of any information that in its judgment affects the financial or operational viability of a member firm doing business in the U.S. under the exemption granted by this Order. (2) Each firm seeking relief hereunder must represent in writing that it: (a) Is located outside the U.S., its territories and possessions and, where applicable, has subsidiaries or affiliates domiciled in the U.S. with a related business (e.g., banks and broker/dealer affiliates) along with a brief description of each subsidiary’s or affiliate’s identity and principal business in the U.S.; (b) Consents to jurisdiction in the U.S. under the Act by filing a valid and binding appointment of an agent in the U.S. for service of process in accordance with the requirements set forth in Regulation 30.5; (c) Agrees to provide access to its books and records related to transactions under Part 30 required to be maintained under the applicable statutes and regulations in effect in New Zealand upon the request of any representative of the Commission or U.S. Department of Justice at the place in the U.S. designated by such representative, within 72 hours, or such lesser period of time as specified by that representative as may be reasonable under the circumstances after notice of the request; (d) Has no principal or employee who solicits or accepts orders from customers located in the U.S. who would be disqualified under Section 8a(2) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 12a(2), from doing business in the U.S.; (e) Consents to participate in any NFA arbitration program that offers a procedure for resolving customer disputes on the papers where such disputes involve representations or activities with respect to transactions under Part 30, and consents to notify customers located in the U.S. of the availability of such a program; provided, however, that the firm may require its customers located in the U.S. to execute a consent concerning the exhaustion of certain mediation or conciliation procedures made available by NZX prior to bringing an NFA arbitration proceeding; and (f) Undertakes to comply with the applicable provisions of New Zealand PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 laws and NZX rules that form the basis upon which this exemption from certain provisions of the Act and regulations thereunder is granted. As set forth in the Commission’s September 11, 1997 Order delegating to NFA certain responsibilities, the written representations set forth in paragraph (2) shall be filed with NFA.9 Each firm seeking relief hereunder has an ongoing obligation to notify NFA should there be a material change to any of the representations required in the firm’s application for relief. This Order will become effective as to any designated NZX firm the later of the date of publication of the Order in the Federal Register or the filing of the consents set forth in paragraphs (2)(a)– (f). Upon filing of the notice required under paragraph (1)(b) as to any such firm, the relief granted by this Order may be suspended immediately as to that firm. That suspension will remain in effect pending further notice by the Commission, or the Commission’s designee, to the firm and NZX. This Order is issued pursuant to Regulation 30.10 based on the representations made and supporting material provided to the Commission and the recommendation of the staff, and is made effective as to any firm granted relief hereunder based upon the filings and representations of such firms required hereunder. Any material changes or omissions in the facts and circumstances pursuant to which this Order is granted might require the Commission to reconsider its finding that the exemption is not otherwise contrary to the public interest or to the purposes of the provision from which exemption is sought. Further, if experience demonstrates that the continued effectiveness of this Order in general, or with respect to a particular firm, would be contrary to the public interest, or that the systems in place for the exchange of information or other circumstances do not warrant continuation of the exemptive relief granted herein, the Commission may, after appropriate notice and opportunity to respond, condition, modify, suspend, terminate, withhold as to a specific firm, or otherwise restrict the exemptive relief granted in this Order, as appropriate and as permitted by law, on its own motion. The process by which the 9 62 FR 47792, 47793 (Sept. 11, 1997). Among other duties, the Commission authorized NFA to receive requests for confirmation of Regulation 30.10 relief on behalf of particular firms, to verify such firms’ fitness and compliance with the conditions of the appropriate Regulation 30.10 Order and to grant exemptive relief from registration to qualifying firms. E:\FR\FM\24NOR1.SGM 24NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 227 / Tuesday, November 24, 2020 / Rules and Regulations Commission may terminate relief is set forth in § 30.10(c).10 The Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of its program to exempt firms located in jurisdictions generally deemed to have a comparable regulatory program from the application of certain of the foreign futures and option regulations and will make necessary adjustments if appropriate. Issued in Washington, DC, on November 2, 2020, by the Commission. Robert Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission. Note: The following appendix will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations. Appendix to Foreign Futures and Options Transactions—Commission Voting Summary On this matter, Chairman Tarbert and Commissioners Quintenz, Behnam, Stump, and Berkovitz voted in the affirmative. No Commissioner voted in the negative. [FR Doc. 2020–24660 Filed 11–23–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351–01–P COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 30 Foreign Futures and Options Transactions Commodity Futures Trading Commission. ACTION: Order. AGENCY: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) is granting an exemption to UBS AG (UBS), a firm designated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), from the application of certain of the Commission’s foreign futures and option regulations based upon substituted compliance with certain comparable regulatory and selfregulatory requirements of a foreign regulatory authority consistent with conditions specified by the Commission, as set forth herein. This Order is issued pursuant to Commission § 30.10(a), which permits persons to file a petition with the Commission for exemption from the application of certain of the regulations set forth in part 30 and authorizes the Commission to grant such an exemption if such action would not be otherwise contrary to the public interest or to the purposes of the provision from which exemption is sought. The Commission notes that jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: 10 17 CFR 30.10(c). See 85 FR 15359 (Mar. 18, 2020). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:05 Nov 23, 2020 Jkt 253001 this Order does not pertain to any transaction in swaps, as defined in Section 1a(47) of the Commodity Exchange Act (Act). DATES: This Order is effective November 24, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew V. Chapin, Associate Chief Counsel, (202) 418–5465, achapin@ cftc.gov, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Commission has issued the following Order: Order Under Commission Regulation 30.10 Exempting UBS AG, a Firm Designated by the Swiss Financial Market Authority, From the Application of Certain of the Foreign Futures and Option Regulations the Later of the Date of Publication of the Order Herein in the Federal Register or After Filing of Consents by UBS, as Appropriate, to the Terms and Conditions of the Order Herein Commission Regulations governing the offer and sale of commodity futures and option contracts traded on or subject to the regulations of a foreign board of trade to customers located in the U.S. are contained in Part 30 of the Commission’s regulations.1 These regulations include requirements for intermediaries with respect to registration, disclosure, capital adequacy, protection of customer funds, recordkeeping and reporting, and sales practice and compliance procedures that are generally comparable to those applicable to transactions on U.S. markets. In formulating a regulatory program to govern the offer and sale of foreign futures and option products to customers located in the U.S., the Commission, among other things, considered the desirability of ameliorating the potential impact of such a program. Based upon these considerations, the Commission determined to permit persons located outside the U.S. and subject to a comparable regulatory structure in the jurisdiction in which they were located to seek an exemption from certain of the requirements under Part 30 of the Commission’s regulations based upon substituted compliance with the regulatory requirements of the foreign jurisdiction.2 Pursuant to § 30.10(a), persons located outside the U.S. and subject to a 1 Commission regulations referred to herein are found at 17 CFR Ch. I. 2 ‘‘Foreign Futures and Foreign Options Transactions,’’ 52 FR 28290 (Aug. 5, 1987). PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 74867 comparable regulatory structure in the jurisdiction in which they are located may seek an exemption from certain of the requirements under Part 30 of the Commission’s regulations based upon compliance with the regulatory requirements of the person’s home jurisdiction.3 Although a petition for exemption pursuant to § 30.10(a) typically is filed on behalf of persons located and doing business outside the U.S. that seek access to U.S. customers by a governmental agency responsible for implementing and enforcing the foreign regulatory program, or a selfregulatory organization (SRO) of which such persons are members, there is nothing to prevent an individual or firm from submitting a petition on its own behalf. A petitioner who seeks an exemption pursuant to § 30.10(a) must set forth with particularity the comparable regulations applicable in the jurisdiction in which that person is located. Appendix A to Part 30, ‘‘Interpretative Statement With Respect to the Commission’s Exemptive Authority Under § 30.10 of Its Rules’’ (Appendix A), generally sets forth the elements the Commission will evaluate in determining whether a particular regulatory program may be found to be comparable for purposes of exemptive relief pursuant to § 30.10.4 These elements include: (1) Registration, authorization or other form of licensing, fitness review or qualification of persons that solicit and accept customer orders; (2) minimum financial requirements for those persons who accept customer funds; (3) protection of customer funds from misapplication; (4) recordkeeping and reporting requirements; (5) sales practice standards; and (6) procedures to audit for compliance with, and to take action against those persons who violate, the requirements of the program. In addition, Appendix A to Part 30 further provides that any exemption of a general nature based on comparability requires appropriate information sharing arrangements between the Commission and the appropriate governmental agency and/or selfregulatory organization to ensure Commission access on an ‘‘as needed’’ basis to information essential to maintaining standards of customer and market protection within the U.S. The Commission specifically stated in adopting § 30.10 that no exemption of a general nature would be granted unless the persons to whom the exemption is to be applied: (1) Submit to jurisdiction in the U.S. by designating an agent for 3 17 4 52 CFR 30.10(a). FR 28990, 29001. E:\FR\FM\24NOR1.SGM 24NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 227 (Tuesday, November 24, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 74864-74867]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-24660]


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COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION

17 CFR Part 30


Foreign Futures and Options Transactions

AGENCY: Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

ACTION: Order.

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SUMMARY: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission or CFTC) 
is granting an exemption to certain member firms designated by NZX 
Limited (NZX) from the application of certain of the Commission's 
foreign futures and option regulations based upon substituted 
compliance with certain comparable regulatory and self-regulatory 
requirements of a foreign regulatory authority consistent with 
conditions specified by the Commission, as set forth herein. This Order 
is issued pursuant to Commission regulation 30.10, which permits 
persons to file a petition with the Commission for exemption from the 
application of certain of the regulations set forth in part 30 and 
authorizes the Commission to grant such an exemption if such action 
would not be otherwise contrary to the public interest or to the 
purposes of the provision from which exemption is sought. The 
Commission notes that this Order does not pertain to any transaction in 
swaps, as defined in Section 1a(47) of the Commodity Exchange Act 
(Act).

DATES: This Order is effective November 24, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Chapin, Associate Chief 
Counsel, (202) 418-5465, [email protected], Division of Swap Dealer and 
Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 1155 21st 
Street NW, Washington, DC 20581.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Commission has issued the following 
Order:

Order Under CFTC Regulation 30.10 Exempting Firms Designated by NZX 
Limited (NZX) From the Application of Certain of the Foreign Futures 
and Option Regulations the Later of the Date of Publication of the 
Order Herein in the Federal Register or After Filing of Consents by 
Such Firms and NZX, as Appropriate, to the Terms and Conditions of the 
Order Herein

    Commission Regulations governing the offer and sale of commodity 
futures and option contracts traded on or subject to the regulations of 
a foreign board of trade to customers located in the U.S. are contained 
in Part 30 of the Commission's regulations.\1\ These regulations 
include requirements for intermediaries with respect to registration, 
disclosure, capital adequacy, protection of customer funds, 
recordkeeping and reporting, and sales practice and compliance 
procedures that are generally comparable to those applicable to 
transactions on U.S. markets.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Commission regulations referred to herein are found at 17 
CFR Ch. I.
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    In formulating a regulatory program to govern the offer and sale of 
foreign futures and option products to customers located in the U.S., 
the Commission, among other things, considered the desirability of 
ameliorating the potential impact of such a program. Based upon these 
considerations, the Commission determined to permit persons located 
outside the U.S. and subject to a comparable regulatory structure in 
the jurisdiction in which they were located to seek an exemption from 
certain of the requirements under Part 30 of the Commission's 
regulations based upon substituted compliance with the regulatory 
requirements of the foreign jurisdiction.\2\
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    \2\ ``Foreign Futures and Foreign Options Transactions,'' 52 FR 
28290 (Aug. 5, 1987).
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    Appendix A to Part 30, ``Interpretative Statement With Respect to 
the Commission's Exemptive Authority Under Sec.  30.10 of Its Rules'' 
(Appendix A), generally sets forth the elements the Commission will 
evaluate in determining whether a particular regulatory program may be 
found to be comparable for purposes of exemptive

[[Page 74865]]

relief pursuant to Regulation 30.10.\3\ These elements include: (1) 
Registration, authorization or other form of licensing, fitness review 
or qualification of persons that solicit and accept customer orders; 
(2) minimum financial requirements for those persons who accept 
customer funds; (3) protection of customer funds from misapplication; 
(4) recordkeeping and reporting requirements; (5) sales practice 
standards; and (6) procedures to audit for compliance with, and to take 
action against those persons who violate, the requirements of the 
program. In addition, Appendix A to Part 30 further provides that any 
exemption of a general nature based on comparability requires 
appropriate information sharing arrangements between the Commission and 
the appropriate governmental agency and/or self-regulatory organization 
to ensure Commission access on an ``as needed'' basis to information 
essential to maintaining standards of customer and market protection 
within the U.S.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ 52 FR 28990, 29001.
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    Moreover, the Commission specifically stated in adopting Regulation 
30.10 that no exemption of a general nature would be granted unless the 
persons to whom the exemption is to be applied: (1) Submit to 
jurisdiction in the U.S. by designating an agent for service of process 
in the U.S. with respect to transactions subject to Part 30 and filing 
a copy of the agency agreement with the National Futures Association 
(NFA); (2) agree to provide access to their books and records in the 
U.S. to the Commission and Department of Justice representatives; and 
(3) notify NFA of the commencement of business in the U.S.\4\ Appendix 
A also specifically states that in considering an exemption request, 
the Commission will take into account the extent to which United States 
persons or contracts regulated by the Commission are permitted to 
engage in futures-related activities or be offered in the country from 
which an exemption is sought.\5\
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    \4\ 52 FR 28980, 28981 and 29002.
    \5\ 17 CFR part 30, Appendix A.
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    On May 25, 2017, NZX petitioned the Commission on behalf of its 
member firms, located and conducting a financial investment business in 
New Zealand, for an exemption from the application of the Commission's 
Part 30 Regulations to those firms. NZX supplemented its petition on 
various occasions with additional information. In support of its 
petition, NZX stated that granting such an exemption with respect to 
such firms that it has authorized to conduct foreign futures and option 
transactions on behalf of customers located in the U.S. would not be 
contrary to the public interest or to the purposes of the provisions 
from which the exemption is sought because such firms are subject to a 
regulatory framework comparable to that imposed by the Act and the 
regulations thereunder.
    Based upon a review of the petition and supplementary materials 
filed by NZX, the Commission has concluded that NZX has demonstrated to 
the Commission's satisfaction that the exemption for relief pursuant to 
Sec.  30.10(a) is not otherwise contrary to the public interest or to 
the purposes of the provisions from which exemption is sought. 
Accordingly, the Commission has determined that compliance with 
applicable New Zealand law and NZX rules may be substituted for 
compliance with those sections of the Act and regulations thereunder 
more particularly set forth herein.
    By this Order, the Commission hereby exempts, subject to specified 
conditions, those firms identified to the Commission by NZX as eligible 
for the relief granted herein from:
     Registration with the Commission for firms and for firm 
representatives;
     The requirement in Commission Regulation 30.6(a) and (d), 
17 CFR 30.6(a) and (d), that firms provide customers located in the 
U.S. with the risk disclosure statements in Commission Regulation 
1.55(b), 17 CFR 1.55(b), and Commission Regulation 33.7, 17 CFR 33.7, 
or as otherwise approved under Commission Regulation 1.55(c), 17 CFR 
1.55(c);
     The separate account requirement contained in Commission 
Regulation 30.7, 17 CFR 30.7;
     Those sections of Part 1 of the Commission's regulations 
that apply to foreign futures and options sold in the U.S. as set forth 
in Part 30; and
     Those sections of Part 1 of the Commission's regulations 
relating to books and records which apply to transactions subject to 
Part 30,

based upon substituted compliance by such persons with the applicable 
statutes and regulations in effect in New Zealand.
    This determination to permit substituted compliance is based on, 
among other things, the Commission's finding that the regulatory 
framework governing persons in New Zealand who would be exempted 
hereunder provides:
    (1) A system of qualification or authorization of firms who deal in 
transactions subject to regulation under Part 30 that includes, for 
example, criteria and procedures for granting, monitoring, suspending 
and revoking licenses, and provisions for requiring and obtaining 
access to information about authorized firms and persons who act on 
behalf of such firms;
    (2) Financial requirements for firms including, without limitation, 
a requirement for a minimum level of working capital and daily mark-to-
market settlement and/or accounting procedures;
    (3) A system for the protection of customer assets that is designed 
to preclude the use of customer assets to satisfy house obligations and 
requires separate accounting for such assets;
    (4) Recordkeeping and reporting requirements pertaining to 
financial and trade information;
    (5) Sales practice standards for authorized firms and persons 
acting on their behalf that include, for example, required disclosures 
to prospective customers and prohibitions on improper trading advice;
    (6) Procedures to audit for compliance with, and to redress 
violations of, the customer protection and sales practice requirements 
referred to above, including, without limitation, an affirmative 
surveillance program designed to detect trading activities that take 
advantage of customers, and the existence of broad powers of 
investigation relating to sales practice abuses; and
    (7) Mechanisms for sharing of information between the Commission, 
NZX and the New Zealand regulatory authorities on an ``as needed'' 
basis including, without limitation, confirmation data, data necessary 
to trace funds related to trading futures products subject to 
regulation in New Zealand, position data, and data on firms' standing 
to do business and financial condition.
    Commission staff has concluded, upon review of the petition of NZX 
and accompanying exhibits, that NZX's regulation of futures and options 
intermediaries is comparable to that of the U.S. in the areas specified 
in Appendix A of Part 30, as described above.
    This Order does not provide an exemption from any provision of the 
Act or regulations thereunder not specified herein, such as the 
antifraud provision in Regulation 30.9. Moreover, the relief granted is 
limited to brokerage activities undertaken on behalf of customers 
located in the U.S. with respect to transactions entered on or subject 
to the rules of NZX for products that customers located in the U.S. may

[[Page 74866]]

trade.\6\ The relief does not extend to regulations relating to 
trading, directly or indirectly, on U.S. exchanges, and does not 
pertain to any transaction in swaps, as defined in Section 1a(47) of 
the Act. For example, a NZX member trading in U.S. markets for its own 
account would be subject to the Commission's large trader reporting 
requirements.\7\ Similarly, if such a firm were carrying positions on a 
U.S. exchange on behalf of foreign clients and submitted such 
transactions for clearing on an omnibus basis through a firm registered 
as a futures commission merchant under the Act, it would be subject to 
the reporting requirements applicable to foreign brokers.\8\ The relief 
herein is inapplicable where the firm solicits or accepts orders from 
customers located in the U.S. for transactions on U.S. markets. In that 
case, the firm must comply with all applicable U.S. laws and 
regulations, including the requirement to register in the appropriate 
capacity.
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    \6\ See, e.g., Sections 2(a)(1)(C) and (D) of the Act.
    \7\ See, e.g.,17 CFR part 18.
    \8\ See, e.g.,17 CFR parts 17 and 21.
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    The eligibility of any firm to seek relief under this exemptive 
Order is subject to the following conditions:
    (1) The NZX, as the self-regulatory organization responsible for 
monitoring the compliance of such firms with the regulatory 
requirements described in the Regulation 30.10 petition, must represent 
in writing to the Commission that:
    (a) Each firm for which relief is sought is registered, licensed or 
authorized, as appropriate, and is otherwise in good standing under the 
standards in place in New Zealand; such firm is engaged in business 
with customers located in New Zealand as well as in the U.S.; and such 
firm and its principals and employees who engage in activities subject 
to Part 30 would not be statutorily disqualified from registration 
under Section 8a(2) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 12a(2);
    (b) It will monitor firms to which relief is granted for compliance 
with the regulatory requirements for which substituted compliance is 
accepted and will promptly notify the Commission or NFA of any change 
in status of a firm that would affect its continued eligibility for the 
exemption granted hereunder, including the termination of its 
activities in the U.S.;
    (c) All transactions with respect to customers located in the U.S. 
will be made subject to the regulations of NZX;
    (d) Customers located in the U.S. will be provided no less 
stringent regulatory protection than New Zealand customers under all 
relevant provisions of New Zealand law; and
    (e) It will cooperate with the Commission with respect to any 
inquiries concerning any activity subject to regulation under the Part 
30 Regulations, including sharing the information specified in Appendix 
A on an ``as needed'' basis and will use its best efforts to notify the 
Commission if it becomes aware of any information that in its judgment 
affects the financial or operational viability of a member firm doing 
business in the U.S. under the exemption granted by this Order.
    (2) Each firm seeking relief hereunder must represent in writing 
that it:
    (a) Is located outside the U.S., its territories and possessions 
and, where applicable, has subsidiaries or affiliates domiciled in the 
U.S. with a related business (e.g., banks and broker/dealer affiliates) 
along with a brief description of each subsidiary's or affiliate's 
identity and principal business in the U.S.;
    (b) Consents to jurisdiction in the U.S. under the Act by filing a 
valid and binding appointment of an agent in the U.S. for service of 
process in accordance with the requirements set forth in Regulation 
30.5;
    (c) Agrees to provide access to its books and records related to 
transactions under Part 30 required to be maintained under the 
applicable statutes and regulations in effect in New Zealand upon the 
request of any representative of the Commission or U.S. Department of 
Justice at the place in the U.S. designated by such representative, 
within 72 hours, or such lesser period of time as specified by that 
representative as may be reasonable under the circumstances after 
notice of the request;
    (d) Has no principal or employee who solicits or accepts orders 
from customers located in the U.S. who would be disqualified under 
Section 8a(2) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 12a(2), from doing business in the 
U.S.;
    (e) Consents to participate in any NFA arbitration program that 
offers a procedure for resolving customer disputes on the papers where 
such disputes involve representations or activities with respect to 
transactions under Part 30, and consents to notify customers located in 
the U.S. of the availability of such a program; provided, however, that 
the firm may require its customers located in the U.S. to execute a 
consent concerning the exhaustion of certain mediation or conciliation 
procedures made available by NZX prior to bringing an NFA arbitration 
proceeding; and
    (f) Undertakes to comply with the applicable provisions of New 
Zealand laws and NZX rules that form the basis upon which this 
exemption from certain provisions of the Act and regulations thereunder 
is granted.
    As set forth in the Commission's September 11, 1997 Order 
delegating to NFA certain responsibilities, the written representations 
set forth in paragraph (2) shall be filed with NFA.\9\ Each firm 
seeking relief hereunder has an ongoing obligation to notify NFA should 
there be a material change to any of the representations required in 
the firm's application for relief.
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    \9\ 62 FR 47792, 47793 (Sept. 11, 1997). Among other duties, the 
Commission authorized NFA to receive requests for confirmation of 
Regulation 30.10 relief on behalf of particular firms, to verify 
such firms' fitness and compliance with the conditions of the 
appropriate Regulation 30.10 Order and to grant exemptive relief 
from registration to qualifying firms.
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    This Order will become effective as to any designated NZX firm the 
later of the date of publication of the Order in the Federal Register 
or the filing of the consents set forth in paragraphs (2)(a)-(f). Upon 
filing of the notice required under paragraph (1)(b) as to any such 
firm, the relief granted by this Order may be suspended immediately as 
to that firm. That suspension will remain in effect pending further 
notice by the Commission, or the Commission's designee, to the firm and 
NZX.
    This Order is issued pursuant to Regulation 30.10 based on the 
representations made and supporting material provided to the Commission 
and the recommendation of the staff, and is made effective as to any 
firm granted relief hereunder based upon the filings and 
representations of such firms required hereunder. Any material changes 
or omissions in the facts and circumstances pursuant to which this 
Order is granted might require the Commission to reconsider its finding 
that the exemption is not otherwise contrary to the public interest or 
to the purposes of the provision from which exemption is sought. 
Further, if experience demonstrates that the continued effectiveness of 
this Order in general, or with respect to a particular firm, would be 
contrary to the public interest, or that the systems in place for the 
exchange of information or other circumstances do not warrant 
continuation of the exemptive relief granted herein, the Commission 
may, after appropriate notice and opportunity to respond, condition, 
modify, suspend, terminate, withhold as to a specific firm, or 
otherwise restrict the exemptive relief granted in this Order, as 
appropriate and as permitted by law, on its own motion. The process by 
which the

[[Page 74867]]

Commission may terminate relief is set forth in Sec.  30.10(c).\10\
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    \10\ 17 CFR 30.10(c). See 85 FR 15359 (Mar. 18, 2020).
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    The Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of its 
program to exempt firms located in jurisdictions generally deemed to 
have a comparable regulatory program from the application of certain of 
the foreign futures and option regulations and will make necessary 
adjustments if appropriate.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 2, 2020, by the 
Commission.
Robert Sidman,
Deputy Secretary of the Commission.

    Note: The following appendix will not appear in the Code of 
Federal Regulations.

Appendix to Foreign Futures and Options Transactions--Commission Voting 
Summary

    On this matter, Chairman Tarbert and Commissioners Quintenz, 
Behnam, Stump, and Berkovitz voted in the affirmative. No 
Commissioner voted in the negative.

[FR Doc. 2020-24660 Filed 11-23-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6351-01-P