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SEC To Mitigate COVID-19 Effects With Temporary Relief

Jordan Major

The United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to follow carefully the effects that the Coronavirus pandemic has on investors and capital markets.

On March 26, the SEC said that it is offering an additional makeshift regulatory relief to the market participants in response to the aftermath of COVID-19. The actions announced comprise of:

  • certain company filing obligations under Regulation A and Regulation Crowdfunding
  • parties needing to gain access to make filings on the EDGAR system
  • a filing requirement for municipal advisors

Form ID Notarization Requirement

The first set of relief aims to address potential issues filers may have while trying to secure the notarization needed to gain access to make filings on the EDGAR system.

The SEC adopted a temporary final rule that offers relief from the notarization from March 26, 2020, through July 1, 2020, depending on various conditions.

Among these conditions are that the person who files must indicate on its manually signed Form ID that it could not offer the needed notarization as a  result of any issue related to COVID-19.

The filer must also submit a PDF copy of the notarized manually signed document within 90 days of getting an EDGAR account.

Regulation A and Regulation Crowdfunding Compliance

To cater to the compliance needs for these issuers, the SEC adopted a temporary set of final rules that extended the filing deadlines for specified forms and reports that the companies must file according to those regulations.

The rules give affected companies 45 more days to file various disclosure reports that would otherwise be due from March 26, 2020, to May 31, 2020.

In that context, companies relying on these temporary final rules should immediately disclose to investors such reliance and the reasons behind it.

Form MA for Municipal Advisors Yearly Update

The commission issued a temporary conditional exemptive order to solve issues related to potential compliance in timely submitting of annual Form MA-A. This update caters to the municipal advisors.

The affected municipal advisors will have an extra 45 days to file annual Form MA updates that would otherwise be expected from March 26, 2020, to June 30, 2020.

The municipal advisor must avail a brief description of the reasons behind the untimely filing, and it should be related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Companies, municipal advisors, and their representatives should contact SEC staff with any questions or matters that they may have of particular concern.

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