The SEC has released an illustrative letter that contains sample comments that the Division of Corporation Finance may issue to companies based on their specific facts and circumstances related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and related supply chain issues.
The SEC notes companies may have disclosure obligations under the federal securities laws related to the direct or indirect impact that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the international response have had or may have on their business. To satisfy these obligations, the Division of Corporation Finance believes that companies should provide detailed disclosure, to the extent material or otherwise required, regarding:
- direct or indirect exposure to Russia, Belarus, or Ukraine through their operations, employee base, investments in Russia, Belarus, or Ukraine, securities traded in Russia, sanctions against Russian or Belarusian individuals or entities, or legal or regulatory uncertainty associated with operating in or exiting Russia or Belarus,
- direct or indirect reliance on goods or services sourced in Russia or Ukraine or, in some cases, in countries supportive of Russia,
- actual or potential disruptions in the company’s supply chain, or
- business relationships, connections to, or assets in, Russia, Belarus, or Ukraine.
The SEC also notes financial statements may also need to reflect and disclose the impairment of assets, changes in inventory valuation, deferred tax asset valuation allowance, disposal or exiting of a business, de-consolidation, changes in exchange rates, and changes in contracts with customers or the ability to collect contract considerations. In addition, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many companies have experienced heightened cybersecurity risks, increased or ongoing supply chain challenges, and volatility related to the trading prices of commodities regardless of whether they have operations in Russia, Belarus, or Ukraine that warrant disclosure.
The SEC urges companies to consider how these matters affect management’s evaluation of disclosure controls and procedures, management’s assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, and the role of the board of directors in risk oversight of any action or inaction related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including consideration of whether to continue or to halt operations or investments in Russia and/or Belarus.