NFA Assessment Fees FAQs

The term "round-turn" as used in NFA Bylaw 1301(b) is intended to include all transactions where an actual futures position is closed out or offset. This would include futures positions closed out by delivery, cash settlement, through an exchange for physicals, and as a result of the transfer to the carrying FCM from another FCM of offsetting futures contracts.

(Note: Although the NFA assessment fee for futures is calculated on a round-turn basis, NFA Bylaws leave Member FCMs free to invoice and accrue the fee at any point in a round-turn or to split the fee among transactions which make up a round-turn.)

The term "per trade" as used in NFA Bylaw 1301(b) means a purchase or sale of an option but does not include the exercise or expiration of an option. However, if an option is exercised, NFA's assessment fee will be assessed on the underlying futures transaction on a round-turn basis.

As of January 1, 2018, the NFA assessment fee, payable by FCMs with respect to futures contracts, is $.02 per side, invoiced to customers. The assessment fee on exchange-traded options is $.02 per side.

No. The NFA assessment fee for all futures contracts no matter the size is $.02 per side, invoiced to customers.

The NFA assessment fee for security futures contracts is $.02 per side, invoiced to customers. NFA's assessment fee applies to security futures contracts held in a commodity futures account only.

The assessment fee is payable 30 days following the end of the month for all transactions effected during that month.

FCMs will receive an automated e-mail on the first day of the month with a link to access EasyFile. The NFA assessment fee form will only be accepted via EasyFile submission.

No. Assessment fee amounts must be shown or included in a line item on the customer statement separate from the line item which is used to designate commissions. Such an item may be devoted exclusively to the NFA assessment fee or may include other fees (i.e., a miscellaneous fees category). If, however, the amount indicated in the line is higher than the applicable NFA assessment fee, the customer must receive notice either on the statement or in a separate document of the actual amount of the NFA assessment fee.

Yes. Bylaw 1301(b)(i) requires that the assessment fee be invoiced to customers.

Yes. Although Bylaw 1301(b )(i) requires that an FCM Member invoice assessments to its customers and remit the amount due to NFA, the FCM is given some discretion as to how the customer is invoiced Invoicing through monthly statements or purchase and sale statements are both acceptable methods.

Yes. The invoicing requirement of Bylaw 1301(b) does not restrict or prescribe the timing of the invoicing.

No. NFA Bylaw 1301(b)(i) makes the NFA assessment fee inapplicable to trades of customers who have "privileges of membership on a contract market where such contract is entered (except that this exemption does not apply to transactions by commodity pools operated by NFA Member CPOs)." If the exchange formally recognizes the customer as a member, the NFA assessment fee does not apply to trades placed on that exchange.

Yes. If a commodity pool (exempt or non-exempt) is operated by an NFA Member and has privileges of membership on a contract market where such contract is entered, then the commodity pool is still required to pay assessment fees. The assessment fee also applies to an exempt commodity pool operated by a non-Member unless the pool has privileges of membership on a contract market.

Generally, accounts belonging to affiliated firms that wholly own, are wholly owned by, or share 100 percent ownership with the FCM are exempt from paying the NFA assessment fee if the transactions are executed on an exchange where the FCM is a member. There are two exceptions to this general rule.

First, any account that is in the name of a commodity pool operated by an NFA Member CPO is subject to the NFA assessment fee, regardless of affiliations or exchange memberships. Second, any account where someone other than the exchange member FCM or affiliate makes deposits in the account or bears the risk of loss is subject to the assessment fee.

Yes. If the originating broker is not an FCM Member, the carrying FCM pays the fee. This situation would arise where the originating broker is a foreign broker.

Yes. The assessment fee applies to trades on domestic exchanges without regard to the nationality or residence of the customer.

Generally, yes. Foreign futures and options are assessed the assessment fee at the same rates applicable to domestic futures and options. There are two exceptions: 1) The "omnibus account" exemption, discussed under Part IV, question 5, applies to foreign futures and options. (A "U.S. customer" includes any customer who resides in the United States, its territories or possessions); and 2) The exemption referenced in Bylaw 1301(b)(i)(D)(2) regarding proprietary trades of a person who has privileges of membership on certain NFA Member contract markets (irrespective of whether that person is a member of the foreign exchange; in addition, this does not apply to commodity pools operated by an NFA Member). Currently those contract markets are CME Group, ICE Futures, and Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

No. Trades by non-U.S. customers on foreign exchanges are excluded from the definition of "foreign futures and options" and therefore are not subject to the assessment fee.

No. The term "round-turn" excludes offsets that do not represent an actual transaction but which are merely bookkeeping entries such as those made to correct errors or to transfer a position from the books of one FCM to the books of another.

Any futures transaction that is carried as a CME trade by an FCM Member for the account of a customer (except trades which under Bylaw 1301(b) are not assessable) will be subject to an NFA assessment fee upon completion of the round-turn even though one or both sides of the round-turn may have been actually executed on SGX. Any transaction that is carried as an SGX trade by an FCM Member for the account of a U.S. customer (except trades which under Bylaw 1301(b) are not assessable) will be subject to an NFA assessment fee. Any trade that is executed on the CME but is transferred to an SGX member and the SGX clearing house through the Mutual Offset System will not be subject to an NFA assessment fee.