COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION

17 CFR PART 4

Interpretation Regarding Use of Electronic Media by Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors

AGENCY:Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

ACTION:Extension of Comment Period and Effective Date of Interpretation.

SUMMARY:On August 8, 1996, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("Commission") issued an Interpretation Regarding Use of Electronic Media by Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors, 61 FR 42146 (August 14, 1996). On October 15, 1996, the Commission extended the period for public comment until November 14, 1996, while delaying the effective date until December 16, 1996, 61 FR 54731 (October 22, 1996). The Commission has now determined to delay the effective date indefinitely. The Pilot Program for electronic filing of commodity pool operator and commodity trading advisor disclosure documents, which commenced on October 15, 1996, as originally provided, is not affected.

DATES:The effective date of the Interpretative Release referenced herein is delayed indefinitely.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan C. Ervin, Deputy Director/Chief Counsel, or Gary L. Goldsholle, Attorney/Advisor, Division of Trading and Markets, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 1155 21st Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20581. Telephone number: (202) 418-5450. Facsimile number: (202) 418-5536. Electronic mail: tm@cftc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION:

On August 8, 1996, the Commission issued an Interpretation Regarding Use of Electronic Media by Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors ("Interpretative Release" or "Release"). The Interpretative Release was designed to provide commodity pool operators ("CPOs"), commodity trading advisors ("CTAs"), and associated persons ("AP") thereof, with guidance concerning the application of the Commodity Exchange Act and regulations thereunder to activities involving electronic media. The Commission sought comment on all issues discussed in the release, and any related issues, and provided that the effective date of the Interpretative Release would be October 15, 1996 and that comments should be received on or before that date. On October 15, 1996, the Commission extended the comment period until November 14, 1996, and delayed the effective date until December 16, 1996.

The Commission has now determined to delay the effective date indefinitely to permit full review and consideration of the comments received and issues presented. As with the prior postponement, the Commission emphasizes that this does not affect the statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to persons acting as CPOs and CTAs by means of electronic media, who ``are subject to the same statutory and regulatory requirements under the Commission's regulatory framework as persons employing other modes of communication." 61 FR at 42150. The Commission also notes that the Commission staff letters and advisories cited in the Release, as stated therein, ``represent interpretations by the Commission's staff and do not necessarily represent interpretations by the Commission.'' 61 FR at 42149 n.24.

Finally, although the Commission is indefinitely delaying the effective date of the Interpretative Release, CPOs and CTAs may continue to rely on the positions stated therein as "safe harbor" positions to aid CTAs and CPOs making use of electronic media pending further statements of the Commission's views. Additionally, the Pilot Program for electronic filing of CPO and CTA disclosure documents, which commenced on October 15, 1996, as originally proposed, is not affected.

Issued in Washington, D.C. on December , 1996, by the Commission.

Jean A. Webb,

Secretary of the Commission