Canada: Upcoming Deadlines under National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements and Exemptions

We are writing to remind you of upcoming deadlines under National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements and Exemptions (31-103), which may apply to your firm.

31-103, which came into effect on September 28, 2009 (the Effective Date), provides transition periods for compliance with various requirements to allow persons and companies registered or active on the Effective Date to adapt to Canada's new registration regime. A number of these transition periods are set to expire in September, 2010.

September 27, 2010 – Deadline to Comply with Capital Requirements: Firms (other than IIROC and MFDA members) registered prior to the Effective Date that continue to be registered must comply with the new capital requirements under Part 12 of 31-103 by no later than September 27, 2010. If registered in more than one category, the firm must satisfy the highest capital requirement of its categories of registration.

September 27, 2010 – Deadline to Comply with Relationship Disclosure Information Requirements: Registered firms (other than IIROC members and MFDA members) must comply with the new relationship disclosure information requirements under Part 14 of 31-103, by no later than September 27, 2010 which includes providing clients with all information that a reasonable investor would consider important about the client's relationship with the registrant.

September 27, 2010 – Deadline to Satisfy Proficiency Requirements: Transitional relief from the proficiency requirements for individuals registered as of the Effective Date as a dealing representative of an exempt market dealer expires on September 27, 2010. Accordingly, these individuals must meet the applicable proficiency requirements in Part 3 of 31-103 by no later than this date.

Transitional relief from the requirement for individuals registered as of December 28, 2009 as a firm's chief compliance officer (who are not otherwise grandfathered from the proficiency requirements) expires on September 27, 2010. Accordingly, these individuals must meet the applicable proficiency requirements in Part 3 of 31-103 by no later than this date.

Quebec's Derivatives Legislation Contains Additional Proficiency Requirements: Industry participants that engage in derivatives trading or advisory activities in Quebec subject to registration under the Quebec Derivatives Act, must also meet the additional proficiency requirements set out in Quebec's Derivatives Regulation for chief compliance officers and derivatives dealing and advising representatives and associate advising representatives. These requirements include the passing of IIROC required examinations and meeting prescribed derivatives experience requirements. As registration under the Quebec Derivatives Act does not fall within the registration passport system, application must be made to the AMF, and only the AMF can determine whether a person meets the requirements to be registered as a derivatives dealer or adviser in Quebec.

September 28, 2010 – Deadline to Register as Investment Fund Manager, Exempt Market Dealer, and Portfolio Manager: Transitional relief from the requirement to register provided under 31-103 for certain categories of persons or companies registered or active on the Effective Date expires on September 28, 2010.

  • Persons or companies with a head office in Canada that were acting as an investment fund manager on the Effective Date must register in the province or territory where their head office is located.
  • Persons or companies that were acting as a dealer in the exempt market (other than in Ontario or Newfoundland, where no transitional relief for registration was provided), must register as an exempt market dealer in the province or territory in order to continue to deal in the exempt market in that province or territory.
  • Non-Canadian advisers formerly registered in the category of international adviser in Ontario, portfolio manager and investment counsel (foreign) in Alberta, portfolio manager and investment counsel (foreign) in British Columbia or investment counsel (international adviser) in Manitoba and now "mapped over" to registration in the category of "portfolio manager" on a one-year transitional basis must, either: (i) register as a portfolio manager in the jurisdiction, or (ii) file the appropriate forms and comply with the applicable conditions for reliance on the international adviser exemption under Part 8 of 31-103.

Given that the regulators will be dealing with a number of applications and that the registration process can be somewhat paper-intensive and iterative, we suggest that firms prepare their applications before the end of June, 2010.

September 30, 2010 – Deadline to File Form 33-109F6: All firms registered prior to the Effective Date that continue to be registered are required to file a Form 33-109F6 Firm Registration by no later than September 30, 2010.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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