On October 12, 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Department of Justice, published in the Federal Register a notice [Docket No. ATF 2016R-11] announcing that along with other agencies, the ATF will participate in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pilot test of the International Trade Data System (ITDS), using electronic processing of export data through the Automated Export System (AES) which is accessed within CBP’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). ACE, the primary system through which exporters transmit export data for the clearance of cargo, automates manual processes, eliminates paper, and helps exporters efficiently comply with laws and regulations. Exporters of National Firearms Act (NFA) firearms, which include machineguns, silencers and destructive devices, may use the ACE portal, to submit data via the AESDirect system. Participation in the pilot test is voluntary.

The pilot test will allow participating exporters to submit forms, such as the ATF Form 9, Application and Permit for Permanent Exportation of Firearms, and information to CBP electronically to obtain CBP certification of exportation. CBP will validate that information, and electronically transmit export information to agencies (including ATF) to satisfy CBP’s certification requirements. The pilot test seeks to streamline this part of the export process. Information on ATF’s rules and regulations, and answers to commonly asked questions, can be found on the agency’s Web site.

Interested exporters of NFA firearms, which include machineguns, silencers and destructive devices, may participate in the pilot test throughout the duration of the pilot. This pilot began upon publication of the Federal Register notice, and will continue until concluded by publication of a notice ending it. See Federal Register notice for ATF and CBP contacts and additional information.