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Exempt Foreign Firm Notice

New electronic filing procedures for firms seeking exemption from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulations 30.5 and 30.10

July 30, 2003 - 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, including firms seeking exemption from registration pursuant to Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC") Regulations 30.5 and 30.10.

Beginning July 28, 2003, applicants for confirmation of exemption from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulation 30.5 must use ORS to electronically apply for confirmation of exemption from registration. Additionally, all firms exempt from registration pursuant to CFTC Regulations 30.5 ("30.5 firms") and 30.10 ("30.10 firms") must use ORS to electronically update existing information concerning business location and contact information. NFA will not accept hard copy filings concerning these items and you will not have to maintain hard copy versions of the electronic filings. ORS includes tools that you will be able to use to determine the status of applications and to identify any additional filings that you need to make to obtain confirmation of exemption from registration. In addition, the routine registration-related letters that NFA now sends will be replaced with electronic notices placed on the ORS Notice page. We anticipate that beginning no later than January 1, 2004, electronic ORS filings will replace all hardcopy filings for all exempt foreign firms, except 30.10 firm applications.

As part of this change to electronic filings, NFA has altered the fees associated with obtaining confirmation of exemption of registration. NFA will no longer charge the current $100 annual fee for acting as agent for service of process for 30.5 firms. Instead, 30.5 firm applicants will pay a $100 application fee and a $100 annual records maintenance fee. Invoices for the annual records maintenance fee will be issued beginning next year. For the present, 30.10 firms will continue to pay only the current annual $100 fee if NFA acts as their agent for service of process. NFA has updated its Registration Rules to include rules for 30.5 firms seeking confirmation of exemption from registration. You can access these rules from NFA's web site ( by placing your cursor over "NFA Manual/Rules" at the top of the page, then over "View Manual by Section" on the drop-down list that appears and clicking on "Registration" from the second drop-down list.

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 Manager 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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