China-Based Companies: SEC Adopts HFCA & Seeks Comments on Implementation
Last December, John blogged when “The Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act” (HFCA) was signed into law. The law amends the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to prohibit listing on US exchanges of foreign companies for which the PCAOB has been unable to inspect audit work papers and is primarily aimed Chinese companies listed in the US. Yesterday, the SEC press release announced the adoption of interim final amendments relating to the HFCA’s submission and disclosure requirements.
Under the HFCA, “Commission-Identified Issuers” will need to submit certain disclosures to the Commission establishing that they’re not owned or controlled by a governmental entity in that foreign jurisdiction. These amendments implement a process for this disclosure requirement. Even with adoption of the amendments, there’s more work for the Commission before issuers are required to comply with them:
The Commission is requesting public comment regarding implementation of the HFCA submission and disclosure requirements, as well as the appropriate mechanics for determining Commission-Identified Issuers. A registrant will not be required to comply with the amendments until the Commission has identified it as having a non-inspection year under a process to be subsequently established by the Commission with appropriate notice. Once identified, a registrant will be required to comply with the amendments in its annual report for each fiscal year in which it is identified. The Commission plans to separately address implementation of the trading prohibitions in Section 2 of the HFCA Act in a future notice and comment process.
-Lynn Jokela, TheCorporateCounsel.net March 25, 2021
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