Release: #4097-98
For Release: January 13, 1998

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Procedures for Requesting Exemptive, No-Action and Interpretative Letters

Washington, D.C. -- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is seeking public comment on a proposed rule establishing specific procedures for submission of requests for exemptive, no-action and interpretative letters. Commission staff is frequently asked by persons subject to the Commission's regulatory framework to provide guidance concerning the application of statutory and regulatory requirements to particular fact situations, or to grant relief (by exemption, if authorized, or by no-action letter otherwise) from the applicability of regulatory requirements where appropriate. The procedures set forth in the proposed rule are meant to give structure to this process and to provide guidance to the public in approaching Commission staff.

In the past, Commission staff often found it necessary to go back to requesters repeatedly to obtain necessary information that was not provided in an initial request letter, resulting in a substantial expenditure of time and other resources for both the requesters and the staff. The proposed rule is intended to guide requesters in preparing a complete and thorough presentation of the relevant issues so that Commission staff can respond effectively. The Commission expects the proposed rule, if adopted, to reduce the time and effort expended by requesters and by Commission staff in determining the important facts and identifying the legal and policy considerations relating to each request.

Among other things, the proposed rule:

Defines "exemptive," "no-action" and "interpretative" letters;

Requires the request to be signed and in writing, and filed with the Director of the Division of Trading and Markets (who will route the request to the appropriate staff unit);

Requires a complete statement of the facts and requires the requester to notify Commission staff if the facts change either prior to staff action or after a request for a letter has been granted; and

Requires a statement of the type of response being sought and the legal and public policy grounds in support of the request, including citation to applicable statutes, regulatory provisions and other authorities.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will appear in the Federal Register and will be posted on the Commission's home page ( The comment period will end sixty days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. Copies of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Secretariat, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20581, (202) 418-5100.