As has been the case in the past, there has been a burst of activity from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC") just before a highly anticipated effective date under Dodd-Frank, this time with respect to the swap data reporting requirements that went into effect on April 10th. The CFTC issued no-action relief to parties to swaps that are not swap dealers or major swap participants in recognition of the probability that these entities are less likely to have the technological and operational capabilities needed to systematically report their swap data and will require more time to develop their systems. No-action relief relating to the reporting rules was also granted on April 5th when the CFTC issued a delay in the timing for compliance with the reporting requirements under Dodd-Frank for swaps between affiliated end-users in two categories (100 percent ownership and majority ownership), and also granted relief to end-users qualifying for the trade option exemption. The various types of relief granted by the CFTC last week are described in more detail in this Update in the CFTC section under "Regulatory Relief."
Some other effective dates under Dodd-Frank are also quickly approaching. The CFTC's rules requiring swap dealers and major swap participants to comply with certain external business conduct rules become effective on May 1, 2013. The interim final rules extended until July 1, 2013 the compliance dates for CFTC regulations related to portfolio reconciliation and swap trading relationship documentation. In order to facilitate compliance with these business conduct rules, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. ("ISDA") has launched the ISDA August 2012 DF Protocol and the ISDA March 2013 DF Protocol, which provide for certain standardized amendments to existing ISDA documentation. We will continue to monitor this area of the law to see whether the CFTC acts to provide further relief for industry participants with regard to these already extended deadlines.