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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 22, 2014

Title 17: Commodity and Securities Exchanges
PART 4—COMMODITY POOL OPERATORS AND COMMODITY TRADING ADVISORS
Subpart A—General Provisions, Definitions and Exemptions


§4.14   Exemption from registration as a commodity trading advisor.

This section is organized as follows: Paragraph (a) of this section specifies the criteria that must be met to qualify for exemption from registration under this section, including the notice of exemption from registration and continuing obligations of persons who have claimed exemption under paragraph (a)(8) of this section; paragraph (b) of this section concerns “cash market transactions”; and paragraph (c) of this section specifies the effect of registration on a person who has claimed an exemption from registration under this section or who is eligible to claim an exemption from registration hereunder.

(a) A person is not required to register under the Act as a commodity trading advisor if:

(1) It is a dealer, processor, broker, or seller in cash market transactions of any commodity (or product thereof) and the person's commodity trading advice is solely incidental to the conduct of its cash market business;

(2) It is a non-profit, voluntary membership, trade association or farm organization and the person's commodity trading advice is solely incidental to the conduct of its business as such association or organization;

(3) It is registered under the Act as an associated person and the person's commodity trading advice is issued solely in connection with its employment as an associated person;

(4) It is registered under the Act as a commodity pool operator and the person's commodity trading advice is directed solely to, and for the sole use of, the pool or pools for which it is so registered;

(5) It is exempt from registration as a commodity pool operator and the person's commodity trading advice is directed solely to, and for the sole use of, the pool or pools for which it is so exempt;

(6) It is registered under the Act as an introducing broker and the person's trading advice is solely in connection with its business as an introducing broker;

(7)(i) It is registered under the Act as a leverage transaction merchant and the person's trading advice is solely in connection with its business as a leverage transaction merchant;

(ii) It is registered under the Act as a retail foreign exchange dealer and the person's trading advice is solely in connection with its business as a retail foreign exchange dealer.

(8) It is registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 or with the applicable securities regulatory agency of any State, or it is exempt from such registration, or it is excluded from the definition of the term “investment adviser” pursuant to the provisions of sections 202(a)(2) and 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Provided, That:

(i) The person's commodity interest trading advice is directed solely to, and for the sole use of, one or more of the following:

(A) “Qualifying entities,” as that term is defined in §4.5(b), for which a notice of eligibility has been filed;

(B) Collective investment vehicles that are excluded from the definition of the term commodity “pool” under §4.5(a)(4); and

(C) Commodity pools that are organized and operated outside of the United States, its territories or possessions, where:

(1) The commodity pool operator of each such pool has not so organized and is not so operating the pool for the purpose of avoiding commodity pool operator registration;

(2) With the exception of the pool's operator, advisor and their principals, solely “Non-United States persons,” as that term is defined in §4.7(a)(1)(iv), will contribute funds or other capital to, and will own beneficial interests in, the pool; Provided, That units of participation in the pool held by persons who do not qualify as Non-United States persons or otherwise as qualified eligible persons represent in the aggregate less than 10 percent of the beneficial interest of the pool;

(3) No person affiliated with the pool conducts any marketing activity for the purpose of, or that could reasonably have the effect of, soliciting participation from other than Non-United States persons; and

(4) No person affiliated with the pool conducts any marketing activity from within the United States, its territories or possessions; and

(D) A commodity pool operator who has claimed an exemption from registration under §4.13(a)(3), or, if registered as a commodity pool operator, who may treat each pool it operates that meets the criteria of §4.13(a)(3) as if it were not so registered; and

(ii) The person:

(A) Provides commodity interest trading advice solely incidental to its business of providing securities or other investment advice to qualifying entities, collective investment vehicles and commodity pools as described in paragraph (a)(8)(i) of this section; and

(B) Is not otherwise holding itself out as a commodity trading advisor.

(iii)(A) A person who desires to claim the relief from registration provided by this §4.14(a)(8) must file electronically a notice of exemption from commodity trading advisor registration with the National Futures Association through its electronic exemption filing system. The notice must:

(1) Provide the name, main business address, main business telephone number, main facsimile number and main email address of the trading advisor claiming the exemption;

(2) Contain the section number pursuant to which the advisor is filing the notice (i.e., under §4.14(a)(8)(i)) and represent that it will provide commodity interest advice to its clients in accordance with the criteria of that paragraph or paragraphs; and

(3) Be filed by a representative duly authorized to bind the person.

(B) The person must file the notice by no later than the time it delivers an advisory agreement for the trading program pursuant to which it will offer commodity interest advice to a client; Provided, That where the advisor is registered with the Commission as a commodity trading advisor, it must notify its clients in written communication physically delivered or delivered through electronic transmission that it intends to withdraw from registration and claim the exemption and must provide each such client with a right to terminate its advisory agreement prior to the person filing a notice of exemption from registration.

(C) The notice will be effective upon filing, provided the notice is materially complete.

(D) Annual notice. Each person who has filed a notice of exemption from registration under this section must affirm on an annual basis the notice of exemption from registration, withdraw such exemption due to the cessation of activities requiring registration or exemption therefrom, or withdraw such exemption and apply for registration within 60 days of the calendar year end through National Futures Association's electronic exemption filing system.

(E) Each person who has filed a notice of exemption from registration under this section must, in the event that any of the information contained or representations made in the notice becomes inaccurate or incomplete, amend the notice electronically through National Futures Association's electronic exemption filing system as may be necessary to render the notice accurate and complete. This amendment must be filed within 15 business days after the trading advisor becomes aware of the occurrence of such event.

(iv) Each person who has filed a notice of registration exemption under this §4.14(a)(8) must:

(A)(1) Make and keep all books and records prepared in connection with its activities as a trading advisor, including all books and records demonstrating eligibility for and compliance with the applicable criteria for exemption under this section, for a period of five years from the date of preparation; and

(2) Keep such books and records readily accessible during the first two years of the five-year period. All such books and records must be available for inspection upon the request of any representative of the Commission, the United States Department of Justice, or any other appropriate regulatory agency; and

(B) Submit to such special calls as the Commission may make to demonstrate eligibility for and compliance with the applicable criteria for exemption under this section;

(9) It does not engage in any of the following activities:

(i) Directing client accounts; or

(ii) Providing commodity trading advice based on, or tailored to, the commodity interest or cash market positions or other circumstances or characteristics of particular clients; or

(10) If, as provided for in section 4m(1) of the Act, during the course of the preceding 12 months, it has not furnished commodity trading advice to more than 15 persons and it does not hold itself out generally to the public as a commodity trading advisor.

(i) For the purpose of paragraph (a)(10) of this section, the following are deemed a single person:

(A) A natural person, and:

(1) Any minor child of the natural person;

(2) Any relative, spouse, or relative of the spouse of the natural person who has the same principal residence;

(3) All accounts of which the natural person and/or the persons referred to in paragraph (a)(10)(i)(A) of this section are the only primary beneficiaries; and

(4) All trusts of which the natural person and/or the persons referred to in paragraph (a)(10)(i)(A) of this section are the only primary beneficiaries;

(B)(1) A corporation, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, trust (other than a trust referred to in paragraph (a)(10)(i)(A)(4) of this section), or other legal organization (any of which are referred to hereinafter as a “legal organization”) that receives commodity interest trading advice based on its investment objectives rather than the individual investment objectives of its shareholders, partners, limited partners, members, or beneficiaries (any of which are referred to hereinafter as an “owner”); and

(2) Two or more legal organizations referred to in paragraph (a)(10)(i)(B)(1) of this section that have identical owners.

(ii) Special Rules. For the purpose of paragraph (a)(10) of this section:

(A) An owner must be counted in its own capacity as a person if the commodity trading advisor provides advisory services to the owner separate and apart from the advisory services provided to the legal organization; Provided, That the determination that an owner is a client will not affect the applicability of paragraph (a)(10) of this section with regard to any other owner;

(B)(1) A general partner of a limited partnership, or other person acting as a commodity trading advisor to the partnership, may count the limited partnership as one person; and

(2) A manager or managing member of a limited liability company, or any other person acting as a commodity trading advisor to the company, may count the limited liability company as one person.

(C) A commodity trading advisor that has its principal office and place of business outside of the United States, its territories or possessions must count only clients that are residents of the United States, its territories and possessions; a commodity trading advisor that has its principal office and place of business in the United States or in any territory or possession thereof must count all clients.

(iii) Holding Out. Any commodity trading advisor relying on paragraph (a)(10) of this section shall not be deemed to be holding itself out generally to the public as a commodity trading advisor, within the meaning of section 4m(1) of the Act, solely because it participates in a non-public offering of interests in a collective investment vehicle under the Securities Act of 1933.

(b) For purposes of this section, “cash market transactions” shall not include transactions involving contracts for the purchase or sale of a commodity for future delivery or transactions subject to Commission regulation under section 4c or 19 of the Act.

(c)(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (c)(2) of this section, if a person who is eligible for exemption from registration as a commodity trading advisor under this section nonetheless registers as a commodity trading advisor, the person must comply with the provisions of this part with respect to those clients for which it could have claimed an exemption from registration hereunder.

(2) If a person provides commodity interest trading advice to a client described in paragraph (a) of this section and to a client for which it must be, and is, registered as a commodity trading advisor, the person is exempt from the requirements applicable to a registered commodity trading advisor with respect to the clients so described; Provided, That the person furnishes in writing to each prospective client described in paragraph (a) of this section a statement that it will provide commodity interest trading advice to the client as if it was exempt from registration as a commodity trading advisor; Provided Further, That the person provides to each existing client described in paragraph (a) of this section a right to terminate its advisory agreement, and informs such client of that right no later than the time the person commences to provide commodity interest trading advice to the client as if the person was exempt from registration.

(Secs. 8a(5) and 19 of the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended, 7 U.S.C. 12a(5) and 23 (1982); 5 U.S.C. 552 and 552b)

[46 FR 26013, May 8, 1981; 46 FR 26761, May 15, 1981; 48 FR 35298, Aug. 3, 1983; 49 FR 5526, Feb. 13, 1984; 52 FR 41985, Nov 2, 1987; 52 FR 43827, Nov 16, 1987; 65 FR 12943, Mar. 10, 2000; 67 FR 77411, Dec. 18, 2002; 68 FR 47233, Aug. 8, 2003; 68 FR 52837, Sept. 8, 2003; 68 FR 59114, Oct. 14, 2003; 72 FR 1664, Jan. 16, 2007; 75 FR 55428, Sept. 10, 2010; 77 FR 11284, Feb. 24, 2012; 77 FR 17330, Mar. 26, 2012]



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