CFTC issues final rule to amend the limited trade options exemption. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a final rule, which is effective immediately, to amend the limited trade options exemption in the CFTC’s regulations as to reporting requirements for trade option counterparties that are not swap dealers or major swap participants; recordkeeping requirements for trade option counterparties that are not swap dealers or major swap participants; and certain non-substantive amendments. (3/21/2016). 81 FR 14966.

CFTC and EPA enter into MOU. The CFTC and the Environmental Protection Agency entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that allows them to share Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) data and analysis. Pursuant to the agreement, the agencies agreed to cooperate and coordinate on topics related to implementation of the RFS program and the market for renewable identification numbers. (3/17/2016) CFTC press release.

Final rule amending the trade option exemption by removing certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements for end-users is approved. The CFTC approved a final rule that removes reporting and recordkeeping requirements for trade option counterparties that are neither swap dealers nor major swap participants (Non-SD/MSPs), including commercial end-users that transact in trade options in connection with their businesses. The Final Rule will become effective upon publication in the Federal Register. (3/16/2016) CFTC press release. Massad statement. Bowen statement.

Substituted compliance framework in follow-up to the recent equivalence agreement between the US and the EU is approved. The CFTC unanimously approved a substituted compliance framework for dually-registered central counterparties (CCPs) located in the European Union, together with a comparability determination with respect to certain EU rules. The Notice of Comparability Determination for the European Union: Dually-Registered Derivatives Clearing Organizations and Central Counterparties will be effective upon publication in the Federal Register. At the same time, the CFTC’s Division of Clearing and Risk issued a no-action letter providing limited relief for dually-registered derivatives clearing organizations/CCPs from the application of CFTC regulations to discrete aspects of a DCO/CCP’s non-U.S. clearing activities. (3/16/2016) CFTC press release. Massad statement. Giancarlo statement.

Volcker Rule CEO attestation delivery method is announced. The CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight has announced that certain banking entities subject to Appendix B of Part 75 of the CFTC’s regulations should submit their CEO attestations through this email address: VolckerAttestation@cftc.gov. (3/15/2016) CFTC press release.

DMO provides relief in connection with swap trade confirmations. The CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight issued a no-action letter (CFTC Staff Letter 16-25) extending the time period for relief in connection with swap trade confirmation requirements previously provided in CFTC Staff Letter 15-25, which expires on March 31, 2016. The no-action letter extends relief to the earlier of (1) 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) March 31, 2017, or (2) the effective date of revised CFTC regulations that establish a permanent solution to the confirmation matters raised by the current regulations. According to the letter, relief is provided to swap execution facilities (SEFs) from the requirement in CFTC Regulation 37.6 that a SEF obtain documents that are incorporated by reference in a trade confirmation issued by a SEF, prior to issuing the confirmation. SEFs are also relieved from the requirement in CFTC Regulations 37.1000, 37.1001 and 45.2(a) that a SEF maintain such documents as records. Finally, the letter states that SEFs are relieved from the requirement in CFTC Regulation 45.3(a) that a SEF report confirmation data contained in the documents that the SEF incorporates by reference in a confirmation. (3/14/2016) CFTC press release.