According to the SEC press release, Thailand together with Japan, Australia and New Zealand are ready to take applications for registration as “passport funds” under the APEC[1]-led Asia Region Funds Passport (ARFP) initiative (background below). South Korea, the only remaining signatory to the MOC (defined below), is in the process of legislative amendment to accommodate the new scheme. The ARFP was officially launched on 1 February 2019, and the first application for registration as a passport fund has been filed and is now under review by the New Zealand FMA.[2]

 For background, ARFP is an APEC-led multilateral collaboration that aims to facilitate cross-border offerings of eligible collective investment schemes among the members through “improved market access and regulatory harmonisation.”[3] The legal framework that effects this initiative is the Memorandum of Cooperation on the Establishment and Implementation of the Asia Region Funds Passport (MOC). Currently, there are five signatories to the MOC: Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Thailand, although there were observers from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Securities Commission Malaysia, the Securities and Futures Bureau of Chinese Taipei, the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Philippines at the seventh meeting in Singapore on 21 and 22 October 2019.[4]

Funds that wish to be “passport funds” must be registered with their home jurisdiction (being a participating jurisdiction). Once registered, the funds can file an “entry application” with another participating jurisdiction in which they are to be offered, and they must comply with the ARFP rules, which include “permitted investments, portfolio restrictions and limits, breach reporting, notifying the home and host regulators of certain changes, custody, financial reporting, annual reviews of compliance, redemption and valuation and deregistration.”[5]

For more information about the ARPF, please visit

[1] APEC – Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

[2] Asia Region Funds Passport, Joint Committee Meeting 21-22 October 2019, Singapore available at


[4] Asia Region Funds Passport, Joint Committee Meeting 21-22 October 2019, Singapore available at


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