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Notice I-12-20

September 06, 2012

NFA Makes Available to Persons Operating or Advising Pools Pursuant to an Exemption under 4.13(a)(4) an Option to Pre-File for Other CFTC Exemptions

On February 24, 2012, the CFTC issued final rules amending CFTC Part 4 Regulations to rescind the exemption from CPO registration available to persons offering certain qualifying pools under CFTC Regulation 4.13(a)(4). Persons that currently operate a pool(s) pursuant to a 4.13(a)(4) exemption may continue to operate the pool pursuant to that exemption until December 31, 2012. After that date, in order to continue operating the pool, the person operating the pool must either be registered as a CPO and an NFA Member or qualify for exemption from registration under CFTC 4.13(a)(3). A person operating a 4.13(a)(4) pool that does not qualify for an exemption under 4.13(a)(3) may, after registering as a CPO, be able to avail itself of relief from certain regulatory requirements for the pool if the pool qualifies for an exemption under CFTC Regulation 4.7, 4.12 or CFTC Advisory 18-96. To determine whether you qualify for any of these exemptions, please consult CFTC Regulations - Part 4 and NFA's CFTC Part 4 Exemption Easy Reference Guide.

To assist persons currently operating a pool pursuant to a 4.13(a)(4) exemption that will qualify for an exemption under CFTC Regulation 4.7, 4.12 or CFTC Advisory 18-96, NFA is modifying its Electronic Exemption System to permit these persons to pre-file for the applicable exemption, with an effective date of January 1, 2013. By choosing the pre-filing option, the operator will not become subject to the additional reporting and disclosure requirements related to the newly claimed exemption until 2013. In order to pre-file an exemption, the firm must be registered or pending registration as a CPO (See Notice to Members 1-12-12 for information on pre-filing for registration with a January 1, 2013 effective date) and must have previously filed a 4.13(a)(4) exemption or a related no-action for the pool with the CFTC or NFA.

All exemptions other than an exemption under CFTC Advisory 18-96 must be filed through NFA's Electronic Exemption System at http://www.nfa.futures.org/NFA-electronic-filings/exemptions.HTML. An exemption under CFTC Advisory 18-96 must be filed in hard copy form with NFA's Compliance Department and must indicate that the filer is pre-filing for a January 1, 2013 effective date.

To pre-file an exemption electronically:

  1. Open the Exemption System using this link: http://www.nfa.futures.org/NFA-electronic-filings/exemptions.HTML.
  2. Enter your ORS ID and password to logon.
  3. From the "Exemption Index" screen, select the Pool ID for the pool you are filing the exemption.
  4. From the "Pool/Exemption Management" screen, select the exemption type by pulling down the drop down box under the "File Pool Exemption" box. Upon selecting an exemption type, a template will appear. Fill in any requested data and submit.
  5. Upon submitting, a pop-up message will appear asking whether you want to "Pre-File" or "File Now" the exemption. By selecting the "Pre-File" button, the exemption's effective date will be deferred until January 1, 2013. The "Pool/Exemption Management" screen will reflect the current 4.13(a)(4) exemption and will also reflect the pre-filed exemption. Please be advised that selecting the "File Now" option will result in the current 4.13(a)(4) being withdrawn and the newly filed exemption becoming effective immediately. The CPO will then become subject to the CFTC and NFA regulatory requirements related to the new exemption.

Questions concerning these changes should be directed to Michael Mason, Manager, Compliance (mmason@nfa.futures.org or 312-781-1447) or Kaitlan Chi, Manager, Compliance (kchi@nfa.futures.org or 312-781-1219).

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