On March 1, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) adopted amendments that require that registrants that file registration statements under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and periodic reports under the Exchange Act subject to the exhibit requirements of Item 601 of Regulation S-K and foreign private issuers that file Forms 20-F and F-10 include hyperlinks to each exhibit listed on the exhibit index in such filings.  The amendments require that all filings be submitted in HTML format.  The amendments become applicable to filings made after September 1, 2017.  Registrants that are “smaller reporting companies” or that are neither “large accelerated filers” nor “accelerated filers” (i.e., “non-accelerated filers”) and that make submissions in ASCII format must comply with the new requirements by September 1, 2018.  A phase-in period also will be applicable to certain securitization related filings made on Form 10-D.  As discussed in August 2016 when these amendments were proposed the objective is to facilitate investor access to exhibits.

Registrants will be required to include a hyperlink to each exhibit identified in the exhibit index, unless the exhibit is filed in paper pursuant to a temporary or continuing hardship exemption.  The requirements are not applicable to any multi-jurisdictional disclosure system (“MJDS”) forms or to Form 6-K.  An active link must be included for each exhibit listed in the exhibit index and if an exhibit is incorporated by reference an active hyperlink to the exhibit separately filed on EDGAR.  The rules do not require that previously filed paper-only exhibits be re-filed.

Registration statements and reports subject to the exhibit filing requirements must be filed in HTML (not ASCII) format.  Schedules or forms not subject to the exhibit filing requirements are not subject to the HTML requirement and may continue to be filed in ASCII format.

See the Commission’s final rule:  https://www.sec.gov/rules/final/2017/33-10322.pdf