In June 2022, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) commenced the SEDAR+ Pilot Program (the Pilot), which will run from June until the end of August 2022. The initial group of participants consists of regulatory staff in CSA jurisdictions that use the existing System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) extensively to build familiarity with the new system and provide feedback. In June, the Pilot participant group will expand to include pre-selected high-volume filers. The CSA will use feedback from Pilot participants to make any further refinements before launching the final version to the public.
Importantly, this Pilot will not affect any functionality, filing, or reporting requirements for current SEDAR users.
The Pilot is part of the CSA’s larger initiative to implement SEDAR+, which is a new, web-based platform for all Canadian market participants to search, disclose, and file public information.
The change is necessary as the current version of SEDAR has reached end of life and is not able to meet the needs of modern Canadian issuers. It is also a reflection of the growing need for a single source of material disclosure for issuers and investors. This reiteration of SEDAR is intended to improve functionality and single-source service for market participants.
SEDAR+ rollout schedule
The CSA intends to incorporate the functionality and historical data from the old systems into SEDAR+ in scheduled phases over the next few years. The first phase will include the current SEDAR, Cease-Trade Order Database (CTO), Disciplined List (DL), exempt market systems from British Columbia and Ontario, and various paper-format filings or local electronic filings. The second phase will incorporate the System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders (SEDI), and the final phase will consist of the National Registration Database (NRD) and National Registration Search (NRS).
The first phase is expected to go live in late 2022; the CSA has not yet provided dates for the second or third phases.
What does this mean for investors and issuers?
Once the rollout of SEDAR+ is complete, users can expect the following new features:
- Automatic historical file transfer: All historical filings and disclosures will be transferred to SEDAR+, and users will then be able to consolidate their filings. Investors should keep in mind that non-CSA filings will not be transferred into SEDAR+.
- Single point of access: Once fully integrated, users will be able to use SEDAR+ to access disclosure information from a single source rather than the independent predecessor systems.
- No software download: SEDAR+ is an entirely web-based platform that users can access from their browser, meaning that users will no longer be required to download SEDAR software to file their documents. This platform will also have enhanced cybersecurity and privacy features. Once SEDAR+ is live to the public, users will no longer be able to use the old systems for filings.
- Fees: System fees will be revised when the data has been transferred into SEDAR+. Notably, the CSA will switch to flat fees per filing type, and these fees will only be payable to the filer’s principal regulator. In addition, SEDAR+ will eliminate some fees, including the Prospectus Distribution outside Québec, Registration of an individual in an additional jurisdiction, Related Party Transaction Filings, and Going Private Transaction Filings.
System user and regulatory fees will be payable using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) rather than the current Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system. For certain fees, credit card payments will be accepted.
Public rollout and training
The CSA will make presentations, demos, and other activities available to give users exposure to SEDAR+, prepare them for migration into the new system, and allow them to ask questions. The CSA will inform users how to register for SEDAR+ training as it becomes available. All log-in information will be provided to users during the training process.
Later this month, the CSA intends to share more about the timeline, training, and details of the transition process. Those interested can sign up for the SEDAR+ Connection e-newsletter to receive direct updates.