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 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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