The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published new guidance on Thursday for exempt market issuers on the forthcoming requirement to make their regulatory filings using the System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR).

The requirement to use SEDAR (except in British Columbia B.C and Ontario, which have their own electronic filing systems) takes effect on May 24.

Starting next month, issuers must make filings such as exempt distribution reports, and the filings required under the offering memorandum and start-up crowdfunding prospectus exemptions, to SEDAR.

Today’s CSA notice sets out a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs) in connection with these filings.

For example, the notice addresses privacy issues. Some of the filings made through SEDAR will be more easily publicly accessible. Offering documents filed under certain exemptions, including the crowdfunding exemption, will be made public, as the exemptions “permit an issuer that meets the requirements to distribute securities to the general public,” the FAQ says.

However, it stresses that these documents are already publicly available upon request. “While the method of access to these documents will change due to required filing on SEDAR, the public availability of the documents will not change,” the FAQ says. “The greater access to public information will improve fairness in the market.”

The FAQ also sets out how purchaser information that is filed with exempt distribution reports can be kept private on SEDAR, and how to deal with accidental public disclosures of personal information on SEDAR.

Using SEDAR for exempt market filings will allow issuers to make filings in multiple jurisdictions through a single electronic system, consolidate their filings in one location, and allow issuers to verify the accuracy and completeness of their filing record, the CSA notice says. It will also improve regulators ability to analyze the information in the documents.

At the end of June, a new harmonized exempt market report will come into use; and, regulators say that they are also developing a single, integrated filing system as a longer-term project.

Photo copyright: lusha/123RF