A. Designation. Pursuant to the Maryland Securities Act, Corporations and Associations Article, §11-405(a), Annotated Code of Maryland, the Commissioner designates the web-based Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) operated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to receive and store filings and collect related fees from investment advisers and investment adviser representatives on behalf of the Commissioner.
B. Use of the IARD. Unless otherwise provided, all investment adviser and investment adviser representative applications, amendments, reports, notices, related filings, and fees required to be filed with the Commissioner pursuant to the regulations promulgated under the Maryland Securities Act, Corporations and Associations Article, Title 11, Annotated Code of Maryland, shall be filed electronically with and transmitted to the IARD.
C. Electronic Filing Conditions.
(1) Electronic Signature. When a signature or signatures are required by the particular instructions of any filing to be made through the IARD, a duly authorized officer of the investment adviser or the investment adviser, as required, shall affix the individual's electronic signature to the filing by typing the individual's name in the appropriate fields and submitting the filing to the IARD. Submission of a filing in this manner shall constitute irrefutable evidence of legal signature by any individual whose name is typed on the filing.
(2) Completion of Filing. Applications for initial and renewal registration as an investment adviser may not be considered filed until the required fee and all required submissions have been received by the Commissioner.
D. Electronic FilingWhen Not Required. Notwithstanding §B of this regulation, the electronic filing of any particular document and the collection of related processing fees may not be required until the IARD provides for receipt of such filings and fees and 30 days notice is provided by the Commissioner. Any documents required to be filed with the Commissioner that are not permitted to be filed with or cannot be accepted by the IARD shall be filed in paper directly with the Commissioner.
E. Hardship Exemptions.
(1) Temporary Hardship Exemption.
(a) An investment adviser registered or required to be registered in this State who experiences unanticipated technical difficulties that prevent submission of an electronic filing to the IARD may request a temporary hardship exemption from the requirements to file electronically.
(b) To request a temporary hardship exemption, an investment adviser shall:
(i) File Form ADV-H-State, Application for a Temporary or Continuing Hardship Exemption, in paper format with the Commissioner where the investment adviser's principal place of business is located, not later than 1 business day after the filing that is the subject of the Form ADV-H-State is due; and
(ii) Submit the filing that is the subject of the Form ADV-H-State in electronic format to the IARD not later than 7 business days after the filing is due.
(c) Effective Date Upon Filing. The temporary hardship exemption will be considered effective upon receipt by the Commissioner of the complete Form ADV-H-State. Multiple temporary hardship exemption requests within the same calendar year may be disallowed by the Commissioner.
(2) Continuing Hardship Exemption.
(a) Criteria for Exemption. A continuing hardship exemption may be granted only if the investment adviser is able to demonstrate that the electronic filing requirements of this regulation are prohibitively burdensome.
(b) To apply for a continuing hardship exemption, an investment adviser shall:
(i) File Form ADV-H-State, Application for a Temporary or Continuing Hardship Exemption, in paper format with the Commissioner at least 20 business days before a filing is due; and
(ii) If a filing is due to more than one Commissioner, file Form ADV-H-State with the Commissioner where the investment adviser's principal place of business is located.
(c) Decision and Effective Date. The Commissioner who receives the application shall grant or deny the application within 10 business days after the filing of Form ADV-H-State. An exemption is effective upon approval by the Commissioner. The time period of the exemption may not be longer than 1 year after the date on which the Form ADV-H-State is filed. If the Commissioner approves the application, the investment adviser shall, not later than 5 business days after the exemption approval date, submit filings to the IARD in paper format along with the appropriate processing fees for the period of time for which the exemption is granted.