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NFA/CFTC Regulatory Relief – Fingerprinting Requirements

April 27th | 2020



Due to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, NFA temporarily suspended its fingerprinting services in March and sought relief from the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight.


On April 24, 2020, The CFTC issued a no-action letter granting temporary relief to registrants and applicants for registration listing a principal, and for applicants for associated person (AP) registration, from the fingerprinting requirements in CFTC Regulations 3.10(a)(2) (for natural person principals) and 3.12(c)(3) (for APs). The CFTC's relief is conditioned on:


  • The registrant or applicant for registration listing the principal or sponsoring the AP conducting a criminal history background check that would reveal all matters listed under Sections 8a(2)(D) or 8a(3)(D), (E), or (H) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA);

  • The registrant or applicant for registration submitting a certification to NFA that it completed the background check and that it did not disclose any matters that constitute a disqualification under Sections 8a(2) or 8a(3) of the CEA; and

  • The registrant or applicant for registration maintaining records documenting the completion and results of the background check, in accordance with CFTC Regulation 1.31.

NFA Registration Rules 204(a)(2)(A) and 206(a)(1)(A) impose similar fingerprinting requirements for natural person principals of registrants and applicants for registration and AP applicants, respectively. Accordingly, the NFA is providing temporary relief from these requirements for registrants and applicants for registration that satisfy the requirements of the CFTC's no-action letter.


Persons relying on this relief will be required to submit the required fingerprints to NFA within thirty days of NFA announcing the resumption of fingerprint processing.

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