Commodity Exchange Act

On September 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the extension of the public comment periods for two rule proposals. First, the CFTC announced that it will extend the comment period from September 17 to November 18 for the proposed alternative compliance framework for derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs) organized outside of the United States that do not pose substantial risk to the US financial system (Alternative Compliance Framework Proposal). Under the Alternative Compliance Framework Proposal, these DCOs would be able to register with the CFTC, yet comply with the core principles applicable to DCOs in the Commodity Exchange Act through their compliance with the regulatory regime of their home country, subject to certain conditions and limitations.
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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has published for comment two proposals intended to reduce the regulatory obligations that certain non-US clearing organizations would otherwise be subject. In accordance with section 5b(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), it is unlawful for any clearing organization to clear swaps on behalf of US persons unless that clearing organization is registered with the CFTC as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO). However, CEA section 5b(h) authorizes the CFTC to exempt from registration any non-US clearing organization that is “subject to comparable, comprehensive supervision and regulation” by its home country regulator. In the exercise of this latter authority, the CFTC has proposed to permit those non-US clearing organizations that the CFTC determines do not pose a substantial risk to the US financial system to elect either 1) registration as a DCO with alternative compliance obligations; or 2) an exemption from registration altogether.
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On May 21, the National Futures Association (NFA) submitted to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission proposed amendments to NFA Interpretive Notice Compliance Rule 2-9: Supervision of Branch Offices and Guaranteed IBs. The proposed amendments would replace and supersede an existing Interpretive Notice with the same title.
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On May 8, the Division of Enforcement (the “Division”) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued its first public enforcement manual (the “Enforcement Manual”). The Enforcement Manual explains the roles of the CFTC and Division generally, and outlines certain general policies and procedures that guide the Division in its investigation and prosecution of violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC Regulations.
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On April 25, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved a proposed rule intended to improve the quality of swap data and update and streamline regulations related to the operations and governance of swap data repositories (SDRs) (Rule Proposal). Among other items, the Rule Proposal is intended to update requirements related to the following: 1) the

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is requesting public comment on a rule amendment certification filing by ICE Futures U.S., Inc. (IFUS). As described in the certification, the proposed amendment to IFUS Rule 4.26 would allow for the implementation of Passive Order Protection (POP) Functionality, which is intended to reduce latency advantages between traders engaged in arbitrage strategies against related markets. The POP Functionality proposed by the certification would be implemented in the daily gold and silver futures markets.
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On August 8, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it has proposed rules pursuant to which a clearing organization located outside of the United States may obtain an exemption from registration as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) in order to provide swaps clearing services to certain US persons. The proposed rules codify the CFTC’s existing policies and procedures for granting such exemptions. To date, the CFTC has exempted four non-US clearing organizations from registration: ASX Clear (Futures) Pty Limited, Japan Securities Clearing Corporation, Korea Exchange, Inc., and OTC Clearing Hong Kong.
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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission KISS initiative has finally produced some substantive results for swap dealers in the form of proposed amendments to Subpart L of the CFTC’s regulations (“Segregation of Assets in Uncleared Swap Transactions”) that were issued for comment on July 24. Subpart L (which encompasses CFTC Regulations 23.700-704) has been problematic for swap dealers since it was adopted early in 2014 because of the compliance challenges created by the extremely complicated and prescriptive nature of these provisions.
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On July 20, the National Futures Association (NFA) submitted to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for approval a proposed interpretive notice regarding Disclosure Requirements for NFA Members Engaging in Virtual Currency Activities. The new disclosure obligations will apply to all NFA members engaging in transactions in virtual currency derivatives and virtual currency, as well as other activities in underlying or spot virtual currencies.
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On May 21, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it had signed a mutual cooperation agreement with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) to promote information sharing between the CFTC and state securities regulators. The agreement is designed to assist in the enforcement of the Commodity Exchange Act, which state securities regulators and