Apply for relief

Important notice: Applications for relief are now submitted to ASIC through the ASIC Regulatory Portal. For more information see the section How to apply for relief below.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) can grant relief (i.e. exemption or declaration) approval, consent, determination, direction, statement or nomination in certain situations. Companies or persons can apply to ASIC for relief from the:

  • Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act);
  • Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993; or
  • National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

We most frequently exercise our discretionary powers in provisions of the Corporations Act that involve accounting, takeovers, fundraising, managed investment schemes, licensing, and disclosure.

How to apply for relief

You should submit your application for relief through the ASIC Regulatory Portal. You will need to pay fees for an application. We have provided details about payment options in the portal. 

The portal features structured online transactions with mandatory fields and questions that make it easier for applicants to ensure the information ASIC requires is provided upfront. Links to the relevant ASIC regulatory guidance are included.

Visit our information page for more information on applying for relief through the ASIC Regulatory Portal.

Our general policy on applying for relief is set out in Regulatory Guide 51 Applications for relief (RG 51). Other published ASIC policy may include details of how to apply for particular kinds of relief.

It is important to read all the relevant published policy before submitting your application.

What to include in your application

All applications for relief should clearly identify and address the following issues.

Delays often occur when some of this information is omitted.

For longer or more complex applications, it will help us if you include an executive summary of the key legal, commercial and regulatory issues you want us to consider.

1 What type of relief are you applying for?

Specify what type of relief you are applying for (e.g. ‘standard’, ‘minor and technical’ or ‘novel’).

If you are submitting a standard application, specify the relevant pro forma (PF) instrument: see RG 51.

If you are submitting a novel application, apply as early as possible so we have enough time to consider your application.

2 What is the legal basis of your application?

You will be asked to specify:

  • the particular discretionary power(s) you want us to exercise; and
  • the specific provision(s) you want relief from.

3 What is the regulatory issue or problem you want us to consider?

You will be asked to provide:

  • a summary of the issue or problem you want us to address; and
  • a description of any legal, policy, commercial or regulatory aspects of the application.

4 Why can't you comply with the law?

You will be asked to describe how the application extends, relaxes or varies:

  • the Corporations Act, Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 or National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009; or
  • ASIC published policy; or
  • any precedent relief, legistlative instruments, pro forma instruments; or
  • any previous ASIC policy decisions.

If any aspects of your application differ from our normal policy or relief instruments, explain:

  • exactly what that difference is; and
  • why you cannot meet the normal requirements by changing your commercial arrangements.

5 What are the legal and cost/ benefit arguments for relief?

You will be asked to provide:

  • a cost/benefit analysis of the proposed relief; and
  • legal, commercial, or policy reasons for the application.

If you are applying for relief from financial reporting and audit requirements, give reasons why compliance with the Corporations Act would:

  • make the financial reports misleading;
  • be inappropriate; or
  • impose an unreasonable burden.

If your application is a ‘no action’ request, make sure you consider the requirements in Regulatory Guide 108 No-action letters (RG 108).

6 Have you consulted with ASIC or other relevant regulatory organisation(s)?

You will be asked to provide:

  • name(s) of person(s) or organisation(s) you have consulted with; and
  • outcome of the consultation.

7 Are any third parties affected by your application? Have you consulted with them?

You will be asked to provide:

  • name(s) of person(s) or organisation(s) that may be affected by your application; and
  • details of any consultation.

8 Is the application urgent? If so, why?

See RG 51 for details about urgent applications.

9 Have you considered the fees?

You should submit your application for relief through the ASIC Regulatory Portal. You will need to pay fees for an application. We have provided details about payment options in the portal.

See Regulatory Guide 21 How ASIC charges fees for relief applications (RG 21) and Regulatory Guide 208 How ASIC charges fees for credit relief applications (RG 208) for details of fees.

10 Have you attached other documents?

You may attach supporting documents to your application.

If you have other lengthy attachments, include a summary of their nature and effect.

This is Information Sheet 82 (INFO 82). Information sheets provide concise guidance on a specific process or compliance issue or an overview of detailed guidance.

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Last updated: 28/07/2020 01:56