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

REPORTING > ARCOS > ARCOS Registrant Handbook > Section 2.0 - Reporting Requirements

ARCOS Registrant Handbook

Section 2.0 - Reporting Requirements


Manufacturers and distributors are required to report their annual inventories of specific controlled substances and increases and decreases in these inventories to DEA (ARCOS). The CFR requires that an annual inventory of each reportable controlled substance be taken on December 31st of each year and filed with DEA (ARCOS) no later than January 15th of the following year. Increases and decreases in the inventory of each reportable controlled substance must be reported on a monthly or quarterly basis and filed with DEA (ARCOS) no later than the 15th of the month following the end of the reporting period.


A copy of each ARCOS report submitted to DEA must be kept for two (2) years after the last day of the reporting period. ARCOS output such as error listings, delinquency letters, etc. must also be kept for two (2) years.


ARCOS reports may be submitted on magnetic diskette, magnetic tape or cartridge, or DEA Form 333. Each registrant may select the reporting media which is best suited to its organization. However, data reported on magnetic media will generate fewer errors than data manually coded on DEA Form 333. Detailed instructions concerning the use of each of these media for ARCOS reports are given in Section 3, Reporting Media.


ARCOS registrants may choose either a monthly or a quarterly reporting frequency. The reporting frequency must be the same for a central reporter and all of its subsidiaries. Those registrants wishing to change their reporting frequency must obtain written authorization from DEA (ARCOS) before submitting reports according to the new frequency. A written request to change the reporting frequency must be submitted on company letterhead and may be sent by mail or fax to the Data Systems Unit (ARCOS). The address and fax phone number are located on the contact information page at the front of this handbook.


The Submission Control Form is no longer required. It has been replaced by a bar code label. See Section 3, Reporting Media, for bar code label instructions.


An ARCOS registrant is a manufacturer or distributor required to report controlled substance inventories and transactions to DEA (ARCOS). An ARCOS reporter is 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.

2.6.1 Single Reporter

An ARCOS registrant reporting only its own controlled substance transactions and inventories to DEA (ARCOS) is a single reporter. 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.

2.6.2 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.

2.6.3 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.

2.6.4 Pre-batch Central Reporter

The pre-batch central reporter became an obsolete category with the reporting period beginning January 1, 1997. Beginning with the first reporting period in calendar year 1997, a control record replaced the batch header card. On January 1, 1997 each former pre-batch central reporter became either a registered central reporter or a non-registered central reporter.


An ARCOS registrant may submit reports for one or more of its registered locations by obtaining a central reporting identifier number from DEA (ARCOS). This number constitutes authorization from DEA (ARCOS) to report from a central location. The central reporting identifier number is used for internal control by the Data Systems Unit (ARCOS) only.

2.7.1 Applying

A written request for authorization to submit ARCOS reports from a central location must be sent to the Data Systems Unit (ARCOS) on company letterhead. Mail or fax the request to the address or fax phone number listed on the contact information page at the front of this handbook. Each request must contain the following information:

  1. Name of the firm responsible for central reporting.
  2. DEA registration number of the firm responsible for central reporting, if any. Reports can be submitted centrally from a non-registered location.
  3. Address of the central reporting location. All mail will be returned to the central location unless DEA is given written instructions to send correspondence to each reporting address.
  4. Name, DEA registration number, and address of each location for which reports will be submitted from the central location.
  5. Name and telephone number of the individual at the central reporting location to contact regarding any ARCOS reporting problems.

2.7.2 Issuing

The Data Systems Unit (ARCOS) needs approximately one (1) month to issue a central reporting identifier number. Your firm will be notified once the number has been issued. Do not submit any ARCOS reports as a central reporter until you have received the central reporting identifier number.

Previous | Table of Contents | Next

Emergency Disaster Relief
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal here.
RX Abuse Online

Diversion Control Division  •  8701 Morrissette Drive  •  Springfield, VA 22152  •  1-800-882-9539

DOJ Legal Policies and Disclaimers    |    DOJ Privacy Policy    |    FOIA    |    Section 508 Accessibility