15 U.S.C. § 7216

Updated July 10, 2018
§ 7216. Foreign public accounting firms
(a) Applicability to certain foreign firms
(1) In general Any foreign public accounting firm that prepares or furnishes an audit report with respect to any issuer, broker, or dealer, shall be subject to this Act and the rules of the Board and the Commission issued under this Act, in the same manner and to the same extent as a public accounting firm that is organized and operates under the laws of the United States or any State, except that registration pursuant to section 7212 of this title shall not by itself provide a basis for subjecting such a foreign public accounting firm to the jurisdiction of the Federal or State courts, other than with respect to controversies between such firms and the Board.
(2) Board authority The Board may, by rule, determine that a foreign public accounting firm (or a class of such firms) that does not issue audit reports nonetheless plays such a substantial role in the preparation and furnishing of such reports for particular issuers, brokers, or dealers, that it is necessary or appropriate, in light of the purposes of this Act and in the public interest or for the protection of investors, that such firm (or class of firms) should be treated as a public accounting firm (or firms) for purposes of registration under, and oversight by the Board in accordance with, this subchapter.
(b) Production of documents
(1) Production by foreign firms If a foreign public accounting firm performs material services upon which a registered public accounting firm relies in the conduct of an audit or interim review, issues an audit report, performs audit work, or conducts interim reviews, the foreign public accounting firm shall—
(A) produce the audit work papers of the foreign public accounting firm and all other documents of the firm related to any such audit work or interim review to the Commission or the Board, upon request of the Commission or the Board; and
(B) be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States for purposes of enforcement of any request for such documents.
(2) Other production Any registered public accounting firm that relies, in whole or in part, on the work of a foreign public accounting firm in issuing an audit report, performing audit work, or conducting an interim review, shall—
(A) produce the audit work papers of the foreign public accounting firm and all other documents related to any such work in response to a request for production by the Commission or the Board; and
(B) secure the agreement of any foreign public accounting firm to such production, as a condition of the reliance by the registered public accounting firm on the work of that foreign public accounting firm.
(c) Exemption authority The Commission, and the Board, subject to the approval of the Commission, may, by rule, regulation, or order, and as the Commission (or Board) determines necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors, either unconditionally or upon specified terms and conditions exempt any foreign public accounting firm, or any class of such firms, from any provision of this Act or the rules of the Board or the Commission issued under this Act.
(d) Service of requests or process
(1) In general Any foreign public accounting firm that performs work for a domestic registered public accounting firm shall furnish to the domestic registered public accounting firm a written irrevocable consent and power of attorney that designates the domestic registered public accounting firm as an agent upon whom may be served any request by the Commission or the Board under this section or upon whom may be served any process, pleadings, or other papers in any action brought to enforce this section.
(2) Specific audit work Any foreign public accounting firm that performs material services upon which a registered public accounting firm relies in the conduct of an audit or interim review, issues an audit report, performs audit work, or, performs interim reviews, shall designate to the Commission or the Board an agent in the United States upon whom may be served any request by the Commission or the Board under this section or upon whom may be served any process, pleading, or other papers in any action brought to enforce this section.
(e) Sanctions A willful refusal to comply, in whole in or in part, with any request by the Commission or the Board under this section, shall be deemed a violation of this Act.
(f) Other means of satisfying production obligations Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the staff of the Commission or the Board may allow a foreign public accounting firm that is subject to this section to meet production obligations under this section through alternate means, such as through foreign counterparts of the Commission or the Board.
(g) Definition In this section, the term “foreign public accounting firm” means a public accounting firm that is organized and operates under the laws of a foreign government or political subdivision thereof.

(Pub. L. 107–204, title I, § 106, July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 764; Pub. L. 111–203, title IX, §§ 929J, 982(g), July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1859, 1930.)

This Act, referred to in subsecs. (a), (c), and (e), is Pub. L. 107–204, July 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 745, known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

2010—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 111–203, § 982(g)(1), substituted “issuer, broker, or dealer” for “issuer”. Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 111–203, § 982(g)(2), substituted “issuers, brokers, or dealers” for “issuers”. Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 111–203, § 929J(1), added subsec. (b) and struck out former subsec. (b) which related to deemed consent to production of audit workpapers by foreign and domestic firms. Subsecs. (d) to (g). Pub. L. 111–203, § 929J(2), (3), added subsecs. (d) to (f) and redesignated former subsec. (d) as (g).

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–203 effective 1 day after July 21, 2010, except as otherwise provided, see section 4 of Pub. L. 111–203, set out as an Effective Date note under section 5301 of Title 12, Banks and Banking.