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Exempt Foreign Firm Notice

Amendments to NFA Registration Rules regarding firms exempt or seeking exemption from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulations 30.5 and 30.10.

January 30, 2004 - In June 2002, NFA implemented its Online Registration System ("ORS"). ORS is a web-based system that replaced the existing hardcopy registration forms in all but a few specific instances, such as firms seeking exemption from registration pursuant to Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC") Regulations 30.5 and 30.10. In July 2003, ORS was enhanced to require firms seeking exemption from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulations 30.5 to file their applications for exemption using ORS. In addition, we implemented other electronic filing procedures for all exempt foreign firms, which can be viewed on our web site.

Recently, ORS has been enhanced to allow all 30.5 and 30.10 firms to make any changes to their information, and all such filings are now required to be made using ORS, with the exception of 30.10 applications. In addition, the CFTC has approved further amendments to NFA Registration Rules regarding firms exempt or seeking exemption from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulations 30.5 and 30.10. These rules are effective December 15, 2003 and are explained below.

Registration 204(a)(5)B) states each IB, CPO or CTA applying for exemption or confirmed as exempt from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulation 30.5 shall promptly notify NFA in the event that the agency agreement required by paragraph (a)(5)(A) of this Rule is terminated. Each IB, CPO or CTA confirmed as exempt from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulation 30.5 will be deemed to have requested a withdrawal of its confirmation of exemption from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulation 30.5 effective 30 days after the termination of such agreement unless it files a new agreement in accordance with paragraph (a) (5) (A). NFA shall notify the IB, CPO or CTA confirmed as exempt from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulation 30.5 accordingly.

Registration Rule 204(d) as amended requires all firms confirmed as exempt from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulation 30.10 to pay a $100 annual registration records maintenance fee. Invoices for the annual records maintenance fee will be sent out beginning June 15, 2004. NFA shall deem the failure to pay the required annual registration records maintenance fee and any other outstanding registration fees within 30 days following such date a request to withdraw the confirmation of the exemption pursuant to CFTC Regulation 30.10, and shall notify the firm confirmed as exempt from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulation 30.10. As a result of this rule change, NFA will no longer charge the $100 annual fee for acting as agent for service or process for a 30.10 exempt firm.

As stated in the previous notice, registration-related letters that NFA sends will be replaced with electronic notices placed on the ORS Notices page. Therefore, the notification referred to in the Registration Rules above will be in the form of the aforementioned electronic notices. However, we will continue to send a hard-copy invoice for the $100 annual registration records maintenance fee.

To use ORS, you will need to establish a security account with NFA and designate a Security Manager. To do this, you must access and complete an enrollment form by clicking on the "Enrollment Form" link under the Online Registration System section on NFA's Web site. This form requests information about the individual your firm wishes to act as its Security Manager. When you submit the enrollment form, you will be provided with a temporary password. NFA will notify you by letter when it approves your firm's enrollment request and will provide a UserName for the Security Manager to use along with the temporary password to login to ORS. The first time that the Security Manager logs in, ORS will prompt him or her to change the password, after which the Security Manager will have access to ORS.

The Security Manager will have complete authority and responsibility to establish and maintain sub-accounts for other ORS users at your firm. To establish a user sub-account, the Security Manager will enter the name and some identifying information about the user, e.g., social security number and date of birth, and assign one of four security levels for the user. These levels are view only, view and update, view update and file, and security manager. ORS will assign a UserName and temporary password for each user the Security Manager establishes, and the user will be prompted to change the password upon logging on to ORS the first time. The Security Manager will administer all of the user sub-accounts. For example, if the user forgets the password, the Security Manager can reset it or if a user leaves your firm, the Security Manger must delete the user's sub-account. In addition, by virtue of being a Security Manager, that person will be able to view, update and file registration information.

Although we have designed ORS to be straightforward and intuitive to use, ORS has help topics and frequently asked questions (FAQ) to assist you. We have also tested ORS to ensure that it works with the most commonly used versions of various browsers, and it should work with some earlier versions that we have not tested. If you have a problem that you can't resolve using these tools or if you are unable to access the enrollment form, please call NFA Information Center at 312-781-1410 or 800-621-3570 for assistance.

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