The CRO launched its new digital filing system on 16 December 2020.
While the timing of the launch was somewhat questionable, coming at a particularly busy time of the year for CRO filings, and practitioners had to initially struggle with an unfortunate number of bugs in the new system, there is no doubt that this new system will add significant efficiency to the completion of CRO filings for companies and practitioners alike.
Amongst the key innovations in the new system are:
- The acceptance of scanned copies of signature pages for the majority of the most commonly filed documents and ability for signatories to complete the uploading of signature pages directly. This will eliminate the delivery of thousands of hard copy signature pages to the CRO on an annual basis with corresponding reductions in administrative time for companies and practitioners, not to mention the positive environmental impact.
- A significant increase in the number of forms which can now be filed online.
- A single 56-day filing period for annual returns and financial statements, which replaces the previous staggered approach of separate 28-day periods for each of the annual return and financial statements.
- A facility for companies to pay filing fees and penalties directly to the CRO, thus eliminating timing issues previously connected with managing payment through intermediaries and advisors.