The Exemption Regulation to the Act on the Financial Supervision (Vrijstellingsregeling Wft) has been amended to include an exemption to the licence obligation for investment firms providing investment services or investment activities (trading on own account). Investment firms need to obtain a licence prior to providing investment services or investment activities in the Netherlands, unless an exemption applies.

Until March 2009, investment firms from Australia, Switzerland and the United States (Third Countries) that intended to provide investment services in the Netherlands were exempted from the licence obligation as the supervisory regime in those countries were considered to be adequate.

However, pursuant to the implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive investment firms from the Third Countries that were trading on own account in the Netherlands did have to apply for a licence as the aforementioned exemption had not been amended to include investment activities. The Dutch Ministry of Finance has now amended the Exemption Regulation AFS in order to cover this omission.

Further information on the amendment of the Exemption Regulation AFS can be found in the explanatory note published in the Government Gazette of 16 March 2009, nr. 51.