Washington, D.C., March 2, 2005 - The Commission has further extended the compliance dates for non-accelerated filers and foreign private issuers regarding amendments to its rules under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that were adopted on June 5, 2003, pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The amendments require a company to include in its annual reports a report by management on the company's internal control over financial reporting and an accompanying auditor's report.
The Commission extended the original Section 404 compliance dates for all issuers in February 2004 (see Release No. 33-8392). Under the latest extension, a company that is not required to file its annual and quarterly reports on an accelerated basis (non-accelerated filer) and a foreign private issuer filing its annual reports on Form 20-F or 40-F, must begin to comply with the internal control over financial reporting requirements for its first fiscal year ending on or after July 15, 2006. This is a one-year extension from the previously established July 15, 2005, compliance date for non-accelerated filers and foreign private issuers. The Commission similarly has extended the compliance date for these companies relating to requirements regarding evaluation of internal control over financial reporting and management certification requirements. Please refer to Release No. 33-8545 for more detailed information.