Pursuant to SEC’s Staff Statement Regarding Temporary International Mail Service Suspensions to Certain Jurisdictions Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic, dated June 24, 2020 (the “Statement”), Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S”), is availing itself of the relief provided by the Commission in the Statement to delay delivery of Impacted International Mailings to Affected Recipients in Affected Jurisdictions* and, in relying on the Statement, satisfies (or will satisfy for items 4 through 7) the conditions articulated by the Commission in the Statement:
1. MLPF&S, a registered broker-dealer, is unable to mail Impacted International Mailings to Affected Recipients in an Affected Jurisdiction due to mail service suspensions.
2. This email serves as notification to the Commission that MLPF&S is relying on this Statement as described above. MLPF&S is relying on this Statement as described above and will temporarily hold the following types of Impacted International Mailings: statements, trade confirms, service notices, regulatory notices, performance reports, tax reporting documents, prospectuses, and shareholder communications.
3. MLPF&S discloses on its public website that it is relying on the Statement and provides the information contained in this notification.
4. For Impacted International Mailings other than written confirmations, alternative periodic reporting and written statements with respect to free credit balances, MLPF&S will use reasonable best efforts to timely deliver such documents electronically and include an explanation regarding why MLPF&S is delivery such documents electronically and that MLPF&S will resume physical mailing once the Common Carrier has resumed service to the jurisdiction, unless the Affected Recipient elects electronic delivery. If MLPF&S cannot deliver the above referenced Impacted International Mailings electronically, MLPF&S will use reasonable best efforts to obtain current contact information for electronic delivery.
5. For Impacted International Mailings that included written confirmations, alternative periodic reporting and written statements with respect to free credit balances, MLPF&S will: 1) use reasonably efforts to notify the Affected Recipient that MLPF&S is holding such documents due to mail service suspensions in an Affected Jurisdiction and the Affected Recipient may consent to electronic delivery of such documents on a temporary or permanent basis; 2) use reasonable best efforts to obtain consent of Affected Recipient to electronic delivery of such documents; and 3) if the Affected Recipient does not consent to electronic delivery of such documents, MLPF&S will hold documents temporarily and send a paper copy of such documents upon resumption of service to the Affected Jurisdiction and provide the Affected Recipient with a reasonable period of time in which to respond to such documents after paper copies have been sent.
6. MLPF&S will maintain contemporaneous records reflecting MLPF&S’ steps described above.
7. MLPF&S will monitor the relevant Common Carrier Websites regularly for updates regarding the status of mail delivery to Affected Jurisdictions, and will take reasonable steps to deliver or cause it’s third party vendors the mail upon the resumption of service (with the goal of delivering the mail no later than 7 days following resumption of service).
* “Affected Jurisdiction” is defined as those countries where MLPF&S cannot deliver mail to clients because of country specific restrictions. As of July 27, 2020, the United States Postal Service is unable to deliver mail to the following twenty-three (23) countries: Bermuda, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Libya, Mauritius, Nepal, Panama, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Venezuela and Yemen.