Federal Register, Volume 81 Issue 28 (Thursday, February 11, 2016)  
[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 28 (Thursday, February 11, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 7204-7207]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-02795]



17 CFR Part 30

Foreign Futures and Options Transactions

AGENCY: Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

ACTION: Order.


SUMMARY: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (``Commission'' or 
``CFTC'') is granting an exemption to certain member firms designated 
by the Korea Exchange (``KRX'') from the application of certain of the 
Commission's foreign futures and option regulations based upon 
substituted compliance with certain comparable regulatory and self-
regulatory requirements of a foreign regulatory authority consistent 
with conditions specified by the Commission, as set forth herein. This 
Order is issued pursuant to Commission Regulation 30.10, which permits 
persons to file a petition with the Commission for exemption from the 
application of certain of the Regulations set forth in Part 30 and 
authorizes the Commission to grant such an exemption if such action 
would not be otherwise contrary to the public interest or to the 
purposes of the provision from which exemption is sought. The 
Commission notes that this Order does not pertain to any transaction in 
swaps, as defined in Section 1a(47) of the Commodity Exchange Act 

DATES: Effective February 11, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew V. Chapin, Associate Director, 
(202) 418-5465, [email protected], or Scott W. Lee, Special Counsel, 
(202) 418-5090, [email protected], Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary 
Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading

[[Page 7205]]

Commission, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Commission has issued the following 

Order Under CFTC Regulation 30.10 Exempting Firms Designated by the 
Korea Exchange (KRX) From the Application of Certain of the Foreign 
Futures and Option Regulations as of the Later of the Date of 
Publication of the Order Herein in the Federal Register or After Filing 
of Consents by Such Firms and KRX, as Appropriate, to the Terms and 
Conditions of the Order Herein; and Confirming That Designated Members 
of KRX May Engage in Limited Marketing Conduct With Qualified Customers 
Located in the U.S., as Set Forth in Prior Commission Orders

    Commission Regulations governing the offer and sale of commodity 
futures and option contracts traded on or subject to the regulations of 
a foreign board of trade to customers located in the U.S. are contained 
in Part 30 of the Commission's regulations.\1\ These regulations 
include requirements for intermediaries with respect to registration, 
disclosure, capital adequacy, protection of customer funds, 
recordkeeping and reporting, and sales practice and compliance 
procedures that are generally comparable to those applicable to 
transactions on U.S. markets.

    \1\ Commission regulations referred to herein are found at 17 
CFR Chapter I.

    In formulating a regulatory program to govern the offer and sale of 
foreign futures and option products to customers located in the U.S., 
the Commission, among other things, considered the desirability of 
ameliorating the potential impact of such a program. Based upon these 
considerations, the Commission determined to permit persons located 
outside the U.S. and subject to a comparable regulatory structure in 
the jurisdiction in which they were located to seek an exemption from 
certain of the requirements under Part 30 of the Commission's 
regulations based upon substituted compliance with the regulatory 
requirements of the foreign jurisdiction.\2\

    \2\ ``Foreign Futures and Foreign Options Transactions,'' 52 FR 
28290 (Aug. 5, 1987).

    Appendix A to Part 30--Interpretative Statement With Respect to the 
Commission's Exemptive Authority Under Sec.  30.10 of Its Rules 
(``Appendix A''), generally sets forth the elements the Commission will 
evaluate in determining whether a particular regulatory program may be 
found to be comparable for purposes of exemptive relief pursuant to 
Regulation 30.10.\3\ These elements include: (1) Registration, 
authorization or other form of licensing, fitness review or 
qualification of persons that solicit and accept customer orders; (2) 
minimum financial requirements for those persons who accept customer 
funds; (3) protection of customer funds from misapplication; (4) 
recordkeeping and reporting requirements; (5) sales practice standards; 
(6) procedures to audit for compliance with, and to take action against 
those persons who violate, the requirements of the program; and (7) 
information sharing arrangements between the Commission and the 
appropriate governmental and/or self-regulatory organization to ensure 
Commission access on an ``as needed'' basis to information essential to 
maintaining standards of customer and market protection within the U.S.

    \3\ 52 FR 28990, 29001.

    Moreover, the Commission specifically stated in adopting Regulation 
30.10 that no exemption of a general nature would be granted unless the 
persons to whom the exemption is to be applied: (1) Submit to 
jurisdiction in the U.S. by designating an agent for service of process 
in the U.S. with respect to transactions subject to Part 30 and filing 
a copy of the agency agreement with the National Futures Association 
(``NFA''); (2) agree to provide access to their books and records in 
the U.S. to the Commission and Department of Justice representatives; 
and (3) notify NFA of the commencement of business in the U.S.\4\

    \4\ 52 FR 28980, 28981 and 29002.

    On January 23, 2009, KRX petitioned the Commission on behalf of its 
member firms, located and conducting a financial investment business in 
the Republic of Korea, for an exemption from the application of the 
Commission's Part 30 Regulations to those firms. KRX amended its 
petition on May 3, 2013 with additional information. In support of its 
petition, KRX stated that granting such an exemption with respect to 
such firms that it has authorized to conduct foreign futures and option 
transactions on behalf of customers located in the U.S. would not be 
contrary to the public interest or to the purposes of the provisions 
from which the exemption is sought because such firms are subject to a 
regulatory framework comparable to that imposed by the Act and the 
regulations thereunder.
    Based upon a review of the petition and supplementary materials 
filed by KRX, the Commission has concluded that the standards for 
relief set forth in Regulation 30.10 and, in particular, Appendix A 
thereof, have been met and that compliance with applicable Korean law 
and KRX rules may be substituted for compliance with those sections of 
the Act and regulations thereunder more particularly set forth herein.
    By this Order, the Commission hereby exempts, subject to specified 
conditions, those firms identified to the Commission by KRX as eligible 
for the relief granted herein from:
     Registration with the Commission for firms and for firm 
     The requirement in Commission Regulation 30.6(a) and (d), 
17 CFR 30.6(a) and (d), that firms provide customers located in the 
U.S. with the risk disclosure statements in Commission Regulation 
1.55(b), 17 CFR 1.55(b), and Commission Regulation 33.7, 17 CFR 33.7, 
or as otherwise approved under Commission Regulation 1.55(c), 17 CFR 
     The separate account requirement contained in Commission 
Regulation 30.7, 17 CFR 30.7;
     Those sections of Part 1 of the Commission's financial 
regulations that apply to foreign futures and options sold in the U.S. 
as set forth in Part 30; and
     Those sections of Part 1 of the Commission's regulations 
relating to books and records which apply to transactions subject to 
Part 30,

based upon substituted compliance by such persons with the applicable 
statutes and regulations in effect in Korea.
    This determination to permit substituted compliance is based on, 
among other things, the Commission's finding that the regulatory 
framework governing persons in Korea who would be exempted hereunder 
    (1) A system of qualification or authorization of firms who deal in 
transactions subject to regulation under Part 30 that includes, for 
example, criteria and procedures for granting, monitoring, suspending 
and revoking licenses, and provisions for requiring and obtaining 
access to information about authorized firms and persons who act on 
behalf of such firms;
    (2) Financial requirements for firms including, without limitation, 
a requirement for a minimum level of working capital and daily mark-to-
market settlement and/or accounting procedures;
    (3) A system for the protection of customer assets that is designed 

[[Page 7206]]

preclude the use of customer assets to satisfy house obligations and 
requires separate accounting for such assets;
    (4) Recordkeeping and reporting requirements pertaining to 
financial and trade information;
    (5) Sales practice standards for authorized firms and persons 
acting on their behalf that include, for example, required disclosures 
to prospective customers and prohibitions on improper trading advice;
    (6) Procedures to audit for compliance with, and to redress 
violations of, the customer protection and sales practice requirements 
referred to above, including, without limitation, an affirmative 
surveillance program designed to detect trading activities that take 
advantage of customers, and the existence of broad powers of 
investigation relating to sales practice abuses; and
    (7) Mechanisms for sharing of information between the Commission, 
KRX and the Korean regulatory authorities on an ``as needed'' basis 
including, without limitation, confirmation data, data necessary to 
trace funds related to trading futures products subject to regulation 
in Korea, position data, and data on firms' standing to do business and 
financial condition.
    Commission staff has concluded, upon review of the petition of KRX 
and accompanying exhibits, that KRX's regulation of financial futures 
and options intermediaries is comparable to that of the U.S. in the 
areas specified in Appendix A of Part 30, as described above.
    This Order does not provide an exemption from any provision of the 
Act or regulations thereunder not specified herein, such as the 
antifraud provision in Regulation 30.9. Moreover, the relief granted is 
limited to brokerage activities undertaken on behalf of customers 
located in the U.S. with respect to transactions entered on or subject 
to the rules of KRX for products that customers located in the U.S. may 
trade.\5\ The relief does not extend to regulations relating to 
trading, directly or indirectly, on U.S. exchanges, and does not 
pertain to any transaction in swaps, as defined in Section 1a(47) of 
the Act. For example, a KRX member trading in U.S. markets for its own 
account would be subject to the Commission's large trader reporting 
requirements.\6\ Similarly, if such a firm were carrying positions on a 
U.S. exchange on behalf of foreign clients and submitted such 
transactions for clearing on an omnibus basis through a firm registered 
as a futures commission merchant under the Act, it would be subject to 
the reporting requirements applicable to foreign brokers.\7\ The relief 
herein is inapplicable where the firm solicits or accepts orders from 
customers located in the U.S. for transactions on U.S. markets. In that 
case, the firm must comply with all applicable U.S. laws and 
regulations, including the requirement to register in the appropriate 

    \5\ See, e.g., Sections 2(a)(1)(C) and (D) of the Act.
    \6\ See, e.g., 17 CFR part 18.
    \7\ See, e.g., 17 CFR parts 17 and 21.

    The eligibility of any firm to seek relief under this exemptive 
Order is subject to the following conditions:
    (1) The regulatory or self-regulatory organization responsible for 
monitoring the compliance of such firms with the regulatory 
requirements described in the Regulation 30.10 petition must represent 
in writing to the Commission that:
    (a) Each firm for which relief is sought is registered, licensed or 
authorized, as appropriate, and is otherwise in good standing under the 
standards in place in Korea; such firm is engaged in business with 
customers located in Korea as well as in the U.S.; and such firm and 
its principals and employees who engage in activities subject to Part 
30 would not be statutorily disqualified from registration under 
Section 8a(2) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 12a(2);
    (b) It will monitor firms to which relief is granted for compliance 
with the regulatory requirements for which substituted compliance is 
accepted and will promptly notify the Commission or NFA of any change 
in status of a firm that would affect its continued eligibility for the 
exemption granted hereunder, including the termination of its 
activities in the U.S.;
    (c) All transactions with respect to customers located in the U.S. 
will be made subject to the regulations of KRX, and the Commission will 
receive prompt notice of all material changes to the relevant laws in 
Korea, any rules promulgated thereunder and KRX rules;
    (d) Customers located in the U.S. will be provided no less 
stringent regulatory protection than Korea customers under all relevant 
provisions of Korean law; and
    (e) It will cooperate with the Commission with respect to any 
inquiries concerning any activity subject to regulation under the Part 
30 Regulations, including sharing the information specified in Appendix 
A on an ``as needed'' basis and will use its best efforts to notify the 
Commission if it becomes aware of any information that in its judgment 
affects the financial or operational viability of a member firm doing 
business in the U.S. under the exemption granted by this Order.
    (2) Each firm seeking relief hereunder must represent in writing 
that it:
    (a) Is located outside the U.S., its territories and possessions 
and, where applicable, has subsidiaries or affiliates domiciled in the 
U.S. with a related business (e.g., banks and broker/dealer affiliates) 
along with a brief description of each subsidiary's or affiliate's 
identity and principal business in the U.S.;
    (b) Consents to jurisdiction in the U.S. under the Act by filing a 
valid and binding appointment of an agent in the U.S. for service of 
process in accordance with the requirements set forth in Regulation 
    (c) Agrees to provide access to its books and records related to 
transactions under Part 30 required to be maintained under the 
applicable statutes and regulations in effect in Korea upon the request 
of any representative of the Commission or U.S. Department of Justice 
at the place in the U.S. designated by such representative, within 72 
hours, or such lesser period of time as specified by that 
representative as may be reasonable under the circumstances after 
notice of the request;
    (d) Has no principal or employee who solicits or accepts orders 
from customers located in the U.S. who would be disqualified under 
Section 8a(2) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 12a(2), from doing business in the 
    (e) Consents to participate in any NFA arbitration program that 
offers a procedure for resolving customer disputes on the papers where 
such disputes involve representations or activities with respect to 
transactions under Part 30, and consents to notify customers located in 
the U.S. of the availability of such a program; provided, however, that 
the firm may require its customers located in the U.S. to execute a 
consent concerning the exhaustion of certain mediation or conciliation 
procedures made available by KRX prior to bringing an NFA arbitration 
proceeding; and
    (f) Undertakes to comply with the applicable provisions of Korean 
laws and KRX rules that form the basis upon which this exemption from 
certain provisions of the Act and regulations thereunder is granted.

As set forth in the Commission's September 11, 1997 Order delegating to 
NFA certain responsibilities, the written representations set forth in 
paragraph (2) shall be filed with NFA.\8\ Each firm

[[Page 7207]]

seeking relief hereunder has an ongoing obligation to notify NFA should 
there be a material change to any of the representations required in 
the firm's application for relief.

    \8\ 62 FR 47792, 47793 (Sept. 11, 1997). Among other duties, the 
Commission authorized NFA to receive requests for confirmation of 
Regulation 30.10 relief on behalf of particular firms, to verify 
such firms' fitness and compliance with the conditions of the 
appropriate Regulation 30.10 Order and to grant exemptive relief 
from registration to qualifying firms.

    The Commission also confirms that KRX members that receive 
confirmation of relief set forth herein may engage in limited marketing 
conduct with respect to certain qualified customers located in the U.S. 
from a non-permanent location in the U.S., subject to the terms and 
conditions set forth in prior Commission Orders.\9\ The Commission 
notes that any firm and their employees or other representatives which 
engage in marketing conduct pursuant to this relief are deemed to have 
consented to the Commission's jurisdiction over such marketing 
activities by their filing of a valid and binding appointment of an 
agent in the U.S. for service of process.

    \9\ See 57 FR 49644 (Nov. 3, 1992) (permitted limited marketing 
of foreign futures and foreign options products to certain 
governmental and institutional customers located in the U.S.); 59 FR 
42156 (Aug. 17, 1994) (expanding the relief set forth in the 1992 
release to conduct directed towards ``accredited investors'', as 
defined in the Securities and Exchange Commission's Regulation D 
issued pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933).

    This Order will become effective as to any designated KRX firm the 
later of the date of publication of the Order in the Federal Register 
or the filing of the consents set forth in paragraphs (2)(a)-(f). Upon 
filing of the notice required under paragraph (1)(b) as to any such 
firm, the relief granted by this Order may be suspended immediately as 
to that firm. That suspension will remain in effect pending further 
notice by the Commission, or the Commission's designee, to the firm and 
    This Order is issued pursuant to Regulation 30.10 based on the 
representations made and supporting material provided to the Commission 
and the recommendation of the staff, and is made effective as to any 
firm granted relief hereunder based upon the filings and 
representations of such firms required hereunder. Any material changes 
or omissions in the facts and circumstances pursuant to which this 
Order is granted might require the Commission to reconsider its finding 
that the standards for relief set forth in Regulation 30.10 and, in 
particular, Appendix A, have been met. Further, if experience 
demonstrates that the continued effectiveness of this Order in general, 
or with respect to a particular firm, would be contrary to public 
policy or the public interest, or that the systems in place for the 
exchange of information or other circumstances do not warrant 
continuation of the exemptive relief granted herein, the Commission may 
condition, modify, suspend, terminate, withhold as to a specific firm, 
or otherwise restrict the exemptive relief granted in this Order, as 
appropriate, on its own motion.
    The Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of its 
program to exempt firms located in jurisdictions generally deemed to 
have a comparable regulatory program from the application of certain of 
the foreign futures and option regulations and will make necessary 
adjustments if appropriate.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 8, 2016, by the 
Christopher J. Kirkpatrick,
Secretary of the Commission.

Appendix to Foreign Futures and Options Transactions--Commission Voting 

    On this matter, Chairman Massad and Commissioners Bowen and 
Giancarlo voted in the affirmative. No Commissioner voted in the 

[FR Doc. 2016-02795 Filed 2-10-16; 8:45 am]