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Re-think on new prospectus registration delays

23 April 2013

​The Companies Office is re-thinking its proposed new service level standards for registering prospectuses and related documents – in particular, the 12 noon cut-off time for same day registration.

Chapman Tripp raised concerns with the Companies Office, and in a Brief Counsel on Friday, that the new delays were undesirable and may be inconsistent with the Securities Act, so we welcome the Companies Office announcement, confirmed to us yesterday by e-mail.

The Companies Office has undertaken to consult those organisations and customers which responded to the initial proposals.  Until these consultations are completed and the new processes are finalised, the existing approach of registering documents delivered by 5pm “on the same day” will continue to apply.
The Companies Office said that the feedback received supported the encouragement of on-line filing, but had issues with the proposed new deadlines.  Chapman Tripp’s concern was that these were at odds with the obligation in the Securities Act 1978 for the Registrar to register a prospectus “promptly”, except where there is a legitimate reason to refuse registration.
The grounds for delay are limited in the Securities Act.
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