Today, the SEC agreed to adopt new rules mandating the use of EDGAR for international filers. The SEC rules mandate the use of EDGAR for all international filers starting 4th November 2002. Below is a summary what transpired at the SEC open meeting:
- Beginning 4th November 2002, filing via EDGAR will be mandatory (subject to exceptions noted below).
- Forms exempt from electronic EDGAR filings are (1) glossy annual reports and (2) 6k’s for which the content has not been the subject of a press release; not distributed to security holders and not the subject of any new information. In these instances, the issuer may choose to file electronically or on paper.
- An English language summary of foreign language documents will still be permitted - rather than complete translation as initially proposed The SEC staff will soon issue guidelines for English summaries.
- The SEC decided that they will not require a certification by a corporate officer regarding the accuracy of translations. Rather, the SEC believes that sufficient United States securities law liabilities already apply to the translations - so that a certification does not serve any real benefit.
- The SEC stated that it did not anticipate that the adoption of these new rules would impede or discourage non-US companies from listing in the United States.
- The final rules will be made publicly available during the next week
The SEC EDGAR filing hours will remain the same for now. However, the SEC did express an interest in gradually expanding these hours by opening earlier. It is unknown when - or if - this initiative will take place.