Dear Mr. Roche:
Thank you for contacting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We appreciate the opportunity to assist you.
You ask why entire countries need to register their name with the SEC. Please note that entities issuing stock, bonds, or others securities to investors in the United States generally must register the offering with the SEC under the Securities Act of 1933. Section 3(a)(2) exempts from the registration requirements for any securities issued or guaranteed “by the United States or any territory thereof, or by the District of Columbia, or by any State of the United States, or by any political subdivision of a State or territory, or by any public instrumentality of one or more States or territories….”
However, this does not include foreign governments and their political subdivisions. Similar to public companies, if such foreign governments offer securities publicly in the U.S., they have to register the securities with the SEC. When the foreign government registers it securities, the government’s registration statements and other filings appear in our EDGAR database system. For general information on EDGAR please see http://www.sec.gov/answers/edgar.htm. The fact that names of countries appear in EDGAR does not mean that the entire country has registered its name with the SEC; it means that the country is a foreign government that has issued securities for sale to U.S. investors and has therefore registered those securities.
For general information on foreign issuers please see https://www.sec.gov/…/foreign-private-issuers-overview…. Note that foreign governments use Schedule B as the form of registration filed in EDGAR and that Form 18-K is the annual report for foreign governments; see http://www.sec.gov/about/forms/form18-k.pdf.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. You can call me directly at 202-551-6287.