Diversion Control Division, US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

ARCOS Registrant Handbook



Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System

ARCOS Report

An ARCOS report consists of a single control record and all transaction records associated with the same DEA registration number.

Associate Registrant Number

The name for Field 7 of the ARCOS Transaction Record.

Associate Registration Number

The name for Field 7 of the ARCOS Transaction Record on the DEA Form 333 coding sheet. Field 7 is named the "Associate Registrant Number" in the ARCOS Reporting Handbook.

Bar Code Label

An identifying label supplied by DEA (ARCOS) which is affixed to each piece of magnetic media or batch of DEA Form 333 coding sheets being submitted to DEA (ARCOS).

Control Record

The initial record in each ARCOS report which provides the computer system with identifying information about the report being submitted.

Data Name

A term that identifies a specific piece of information in the ARCOS software programs.

DEA Form 333

A 2-part, 80-column coding sheet supplied by DEA (ARCOS) that is used by ARCOS registrants reporting manually.

DEA Registration Number

The unique number which identifies each registration issued by DEA. DEA issues a registration to each physical location handling controlled substances.

Drug Dictionary File

The ARCOS computer file that holds information about all controlled substances and controlled substance products that must be reported to DEA (ARCOS). This information is supplied by manufacturers and distributors.


A data flaw identified by the ARCOS software during data validation.


A data flaw that cannot be flagged by the ARCOS software. This type of data flaw can only be identified by the ARCOS reporter.


See National Drug Code

National Drug Code

Identification of reportable controlled substances is always based on the Food and Drug Administration's National Drug Code (NDC). The National Drug Code (NDC) used by ARCOS is an 11-character code that identifies controlled substance products.

Pseudo NDC

A code developed by DEA (ARCOS) in consultation with the ARCOS registrant which enables ARCOS registrants to report transactions involving products for which an NDC does not exist.


A manufacturer, distributor, or dispenser of controlled substances that holds one or more DEA registrations. The ARCOS registrant or participant is a specific type of registrant.

ARCOS Registrant or ARCOS Participant

A manufacturer or distributor required to report controlled substance inventories and business transactions to DEA.


An entity that files controlled substance transaction and inventory reports with DEA (ARCOS). A reporter may or may not hold a DEA registration. There are three types of ARCOS reporters: (1) single reporters, (2) registered central reporters, and (3) non-registered central reporters.

Single Reporter

An ARCOS registrant that reports only its own controlled substance transactions and inventories to DEA (ARCOS).

NOTE:If an ARCOS registrant is a subsidiary of a larger corporate entity and submits its own ARCOS reports, it must follow the instructions for a single reporter.

Registered Central Reporter

A registered central reporter has a DEA registration as a manufacturer or distributor and reports controlled substance transactions and inventories for itself and other ARCOS registrants within its corporate structure.

Non-registered Central Reporter

A non-registered central reporter neither manufactures nor distributes controlled substances, does not have a DEA registration, and does not have controlled substance transactions or inventories, but reports the controlled substance transactions and inventories of the ARCOS registrants within its corporate structure.

Pre-batch Central Reporter

The pre-batch central reporter became an obsolete category with the reporting period beginning January 1, 1997. With the first reporting period in calendar year 1997 and for all subsequent reporting periods, a control record replaced the batch header card.

Reporting Number or Reporting Registrant Number

The DEA registration number identifying the location where the controlled substance activities being reported have occurred.

Reporting Period

The period covered by the ARCOS report. The ending date identifies the reporting period and is the last calendar day of the period.

monthly frequency ending date:

the last calendar day of the month

quarterly frequency ending date:

the last calendar day of the quarter

Transaction Record

The ARCOS record used for reporting controlled substance transactions.

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