From the Regulators

Proposals would enhance regulators’ ability to analyze documents while reducing administrative burden

By James Langton |

Canadian securities regulators are proposing to require exempt market issuers to submit their regulatory filings electronically, in a bid to improve efficiency.

Proposed rule amendments published for comment on Tuesday by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) would mandate exempt market issuers to submit certain filings, which are currently made in paper form, through the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) instead.

This would include reports of exempt distribution, and offering memoranda. The proposed amendments would also require issuers to pay a $25 system fee per filing of exempt distribution reports.

The proposals would streamline the regulatory filing system for the exempt market, the CSA suggests, and enhance regulators' ability to examine those filings.

Requiring electronic filing on SEDAR will allow issuers to make filings in multiple jurisdictions through one submission, consolidate issuers' filings in one electronic location under a SEDAR profile, and make it easier for issuers to verify the accuracy of their filing record without having to request information from the regulators, the CSA adds.

"The goal of these amendments is to improve the efficiency of the current system. Enabling electronic filings will benefit issuers who submit thousands of exempt market filings in paper format each year. It will also increase regulators' ability to analyze those documents while reducing the administrative burden," stated Louis Morisset, chairman of the CSA and president and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).

The proposals are out for a 60-day comment period, ending Aug. 31.

Ontario and British Columbia are not part of the proposed amendments as they already have their own electronic filing systems in place.