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

REPORTING > ARCOS > ARCOS Registrant Handbook > SECTION 3.0 - Reporting Media

ARCOS Registrant Handbook

SECTION 3.0 - Reporting Media

3.1 REPORTING MEDIA TYPES

ARCOS registrants may report controlled substance transactions by using DEA Form 333 (manual reporting) or by using a magnetic tape reel, magnetic diskette, or magnetic tape cartridge (automated reporting). Both methods report the same information in slightly different formats. DEA supplies Form 333 to ARCOS registrants employing the manual reporting method. Those registrants reporting on magnetic media must supply their own tape reels, tape cartridges, or diskettes. DEA returns magnetic media, but does not return Form 333.

DEA strongly encouragesARCOS registrants to submit their reports on magnetic media to facilitate timely and accurate processing. Each ARCOS report, whether submitted on DEA Form 333 or magnetic media, must have a bar code label.

3.2 CONFORMING TO SPECIFICATIONS

Media which do not conform to the specifications in this section will be returned unprocessed. Failure to submit ARCOS reports on time and on media which adheres to these specifications could result in your firm appearing in a delinquent reporting status.

3.3 LABELING MEDIA

The Data Systems Unit (ARCOS) uses a bar code labeling system to track ARCOS reporting media. The bar code label replaces the Submission Control Form and all external labels that have been used previously. Exhibit 3.1: ARCOS Bar Code Label, illustrates this new label. The labels contain each ARCOS registrant's DEA registration number and the first 20 characters of the company's name. Non-registered central reporters have been assigned a pseudo-registration number for bar code use only. The label also contains a 3-digit bar-coded identifying number which permits each piece of magnetic media or group of DEA Form 333 coding sheets to be uniquely identified. One label must be placed on each magnetic tape reel or cartridge and on each magnetic diskette submitted to DEA. For DEA Form 333 one label only must be placed on the first page of each group of forms. Specific instructions for applying the bar code label are included in the detailed discussions for each type of media.

DEA provides each ARCOS registrant with an initial supply of 18 self-adhesive, ARCOS bar code labels. When our records indicate that you have used 12 labels we will send more. If labels are lost or destroyed, additional labels may be ordered by telephone or fax from the Data Systems Unit (ARCOS). Voice phone and fax phone numbers are located on the contact information page at the front of this handbook.

3.3.1 Completing Label

See Exhibit 3.1: ARCOS Bar Code Label, for the sample label.

"From" Block:

Write the month, first day and last two digits of the year for the beginning of the period covered by this ARCOS report.

Format: MMDDYY
EXAMPLE: April 1, 1997 is written as 040197.

"To" Block:

Write the month, last day and last two digits of the year for the ending of the period covered by this ARCOS report.

Format: MMDDYY
EXAMPLE: April 30, 1997 is written as 043097

"Note" Block -

Use this space to write any miscellaneous information about the ARCOS report you are submitting.

Exhibit 3.1 ARCOS Bar Code Label

Exhibit 3.1: ARCOS Bar Code Label

3.4 PACKING MEDIA FOR MAILING

Media must be securely packed and wrapped to prevent damage while in transit to DEA (ARCOS).

3.5 QUESTIONS

Questions about reporting media may be directed to the Data Systems Unit (ARCOS) by letter, telephone, or fax. The address, phone number, and fax number are located on the contact information page at the front of this handbook.

3.6 MANUAL REPORTING

ARCOS registrants reporting manually must use DEA FORM 333. This form is a 2-part, 80-column coding sheet supplied by DEA (ARCOS). See Exhibit 3.2: DEA Form 333, for an illustration.

Exhibit 3.2 - DEA Form 333

Exhibit 3.2: DEA Form 333

3.6.1 Additional Forms

ARCOS reports submitted on photocopies of DEA Form 333 will not be accepted. Registrants may order DEA Form 333 by: (1) telephone, (2) fax, or (3) including a transaction code F in their next monthly or quarterly ARCOS report. A maximum of 500 copies of DEA Form 333 may be ordered at any one time. See Section 5, Transaction Record for transaction code F instructions. Voice phone and fax phone numbers are located on the contact information page at the front of this handbook.

3.6.2 Entry of Data

DEA Form 333 must be completed in pencil only. Forms completed in other than pencil will not be accepted. A number 2 or medium soft lead pencil should be used. Be sure that the pencil used leaves an impression which is easily read. Careful forming of letters and numbers will lessen the chance of errors. An example of how each alphabetic or numeric character must be written is printed at the top of the form. There must be no written comments on the DEA Form 333.

3.6.3 Page Numbering

3.6.3.1 Single Reporters

Each page of the manual ARCOS report must include the current, sequential page number and the total number of pages in the report. This information is recorded in the upper right-hand corner of DEA Form 333 in the spaces after the words "Page _____ of _____ ." A manual report which contains 28 separate pages will be numbered "Page 1 of 28," "Page 2 of 28," "Page 3 of 28 ," etc. Exhibit 3.3: DEA Form 333 Page Numbering, illustrates the numbering.

Exhibit 3.3 - DEA Form 333 Page Numbering

Exhibit 3.3: DEA Form 333 Page Numbering

3.6.3.2 Central Reporters

A central reporter must consecutively number all the pages of DEA Form 333 being submitted. This requirement applies to a central reporter submitting reports for itself and subsidiaries as well as to a central reporter submitting reports solely for its subsidiaries.

Example:

A central reporter submits three reports, the first report contains 15 pages, the second report contains five (5) pages, and the third report contains two (2) pages. The three reports have a total of 22 pages among them. Exhibit 3.4: Central Reporter Page Numbering, illustrates how these pages are to be numbered.

DEA Form 333 Page Numbering: Central Reporter

First Report: "Page 1 of 22, Page 2 of 22...Page 15 of 22."
Second Report: "Page 16 of 22, Page 17 of 22...Page 20 of 22."
Third Report: "Page 21 of 22" and "Page 22 of 22."

Exhibit 3.4: Central Reporter Page Numbering

3.6.4 DEA Form 333: Applying Label

Each ARCOS report submitted on DEA Form 333 by a single reporter and each group of reports submitted by a central reporter must be identified by one, single bar code label. The label must be placed on the first page of each report or group of reports.

Example: Single Reporter

A single reporter submits a report containing 30 pages. One bar code label is placed on the first page of this 30-page report.

Example: Central Reporter

In Exhibit 3.4: Central Reporter Page Numbering, located on the previous page, the central reporter is submitting three reports. However, only one (1) label is required! This label is placed on the first page of this group of reports.

3.6.4.1 Label Placement

Exhibit 3.5: Positioning Label on DEA Form 333, located on the following page, illustrates the placement of the bar code label.

Place bar code label over the "Public reporting burden" paragraph on the first sheet of the group of coding sheets.

Exhibit 3.5 - Positioning Label on DEA Form 333

Exhibit 3.5: Positioning Label on DEA Form 333

3.6.5 Return of Unprocessable Forms

All ARCOS reports submitted on DEA FORM 333 will be reviewed prior to computer processing. A report that is illegible, incomplete, or incorrect will be returned unprocessed by certified mail, along with a letter of explanation.

3.7 MAGNETIC TAPE REPORTING

ARCOS reports may be submitted on reel or cartridge magnetic tape media. The following sections contain detailed specifications which must be met by all tape media being submitted to DEA (ARCOS).

3.7.1 Equipment Compatibility

DEA currently uses STC 3450 or 3650 tape reel drives and the IBM 3490 D32XF tape cartridge drive. If ARCOS reports are submitted on magnetic tape media, the media must be compatible with this equipment.

3.7.10 Tape: Applying Label

Each submitted magnetic tape, whether reel or cartridge, must have the bar code label supplied by DEA (ARCOS). This is the only required label and it replaces all other labels used previously. The label must be affixed to the tape reel or cartridge itself, not to the canister or outer container.

Remove any existing labels, including any prior bar code labels, before attaching the new bar code label. Place the label on the flat face of the tape reel or cartridge. If the label is too big for the face of the tape reel or cartridge, cut it along the dotted line(s) and place all the pieces on the flat face of the tape reel or cartridge. Smooth the label with a slight hand-pressure. Exhibit 3.6: Positioning Label on Magnetic Tape, illustrates the placement of the bar code label.

Exhibit 3.6 - Positioning Label on Magnetic Tape

Exhibit 3.6: Positioning Label on Magnetic Tape

3.7.11 Return Of Magnetic Tapes

DEA will return magnetic tapes, both reel and cartridge, to ARCOS registrants by certified mail. If magnetic tapes cannot be processed, a letter of explanation will accompany unprocessed tapes.

3.7.11 Return Of Magnetic Tapes

DEA will return magnetic tapes, both reel and cartridge, to ARCOS registrants by certified mail. If magnetic tapes cannot be processed, a letter of explanation will accompany unprocessed tapes.

3.7.2 Recording Tracks and Tape Width

Reports being submitted on round-reel tapes must be recorded on ½-inch-wide mylar-based tape using a nine (9) track tape drive compatible with STC 3450 or 3650 tape reel drives.

Reports being submitted on tape cartridges must be recorded on ½-inch wide tape compatible with the IBM 3490 tape cartridge drive.

3.7.3 Recording Density

All data must be recorded at either 1600 or 6250 bytes per inch (BPI).

3.7.4 Data Representation

All data must be recorded in IBM EBCDIC code.

3.7.5 Internal Tape Labels

All tapes must be created as non-labeled tapes. Tapes containing internal header labels are not acceptable.

3.7.6 Leading Tape Marks

There must be no tape mark(s) between the beginning of the tape reflective strip and the first data record on the tape.

3.7.7 Record Length

All control and transaction records must be fixed, eighty (80) characters in length.

3.7.8 Block Length

Data blocks must be fixed in length. Records must be blocked at:

  1. One (1) record per block (80 characters per block) or
  2. 20 records per block (1600 characters per block )

3.7.9 End of Data Tape Mark

The last block of records must be followed by at least one (1) tape mark to indicate the end-of-file (EOF) condition.

3.8 MAGNETIC DISKETTE REPORTING

ARCOS reports may be submitted on magnetic diskette. To accommodate the variety of diskette devices that are in use, several standards regarding data recording, formatting, and file organization have been established.

3.8.1 Magnetic Diskette Types

ARCOS registrants submitting reports on diskettes must use magnetic diskette media that are either 3½ inch or 5¼ inch in diameter. Exhibit 3.7: Diskette Attributes, provides examples of magnetic diskette media that are available in the marketplace and their corresponding capacities and recording densities.

3½-inch & 5¼-inch MAGNETIC DISKETTE ATTRIBUTES

Type Capacity Diameter Label Identification
Single-Sided 100 KB
160 KB
180 KB
5¼"
5¼"
5¼"
Single/single
Single/double
Single/double
Double-Sided 320 KB
360 KB
5¼"
5¼"
Double/double
DD, 40 Track, 48 TPI
High Capacity 1.2 MB 5¼" HD, 80 Track, 96 TPI
Double-Sided 720 KB
1.44 KB
2.88 KB
3½"
3½"
3½"
DD, 1MB, 2HC
HD, 2MB
HD, 4MB

Legend: MB (megabytes) = 1,024,000 bytes
KB (kilobytes) = 1,024 bytes
DD = Double density
HC = High capacity
HD = High density

Exhibit 3.7: Diskette Attributes

3.8.2 Compatibility Requirements

DEA recognizes that ARCOS registrants use a variety of hardware and software. However, DEA strongly encourages ARCOS registrants to use DOS-formatted magnetic diskettes. Reports submitted on diskette must meet the following:

  1. Reports must not contain any data that has been compressed using data compression software,

  2. Reports must be recorded using the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) character set,
    Note:
    Many software packages (e.g. word processing and spread sheet software) automatically save files in their own proprietary format.
    ARCOS reports saved in a proprietary format must be converted to ASCII before being submitted to DEA (ARCOS).

  3. Records must have a fixed-length of 80-characters,

  4. There must be no delimiters between fields within records,

  5. An ASCII line-feed/carriage return must be used to terminate each record, and

  6. "Ctrl-Z" (end-of-file marker) must be used to terminate each file.

3.8.3 Magnetic Diskette Formatting

3.8.3.1 New Magnetic Diskettes

Each magnetic diskette must be initialized or formatted prior to its use.

3.8.3.2 Re-using Magnetic Diskettes

Previously used magnetic diskettes may be re-used, if they have been re-formatted. Reformatting must occur before the current ARCOS report is recorded. Re-formatting provides two specific benefits:

  1. Re-formatting purges all existing data from the magnetic diskette, maximizing the recording capacity for ARCOS data.

  2. The physical condition of the magnetic diskette is examined during re-formatting. Do not use magnetic diskettes with defective tracks, sectors, or allocation units.

3.8.4 File Name

"L1ARCOS" is the file name that must be assigned to each ARCOS report on magnetic diskette. Depending upon the software used to generate the file, either ".TXT" or ".PRN" may be automatically assigned as a file name extension. The only permissible file names for ARCOS reports on magnetic diskette are:

  1. L1ARCOS

  2. L1ARCOS.TXT

  3. L1ARCOS.PRN

3.8.5 Total Transactions per Magnetic Diskette

The total number of individual ARCOS records on a single magnetic diskette must never exceed 85% of the magnetic diskette's formatted capacity or a maximum of 15,300 records. However, this limitation will vary depending upon the capacity of the specific magnetic diskette medium being used. Exhibit 3.8: Magnetic Diskette Limits, illustrates the maximum transactions for various sizes of magnetic diskettes. Exhibit 3.9: Limit Calculation, provides the formula used to calculate the limits.

ARCOS Record Limitsfor 3½" & 5¼" Magnetic Diskettes
Maximum Capacity of Formatted Diskette Maximum Transactions
320 KB (DOS, Single Sided, 5¼") 3,400
360 KB (DOS, Dual Density, 5¼") 3,825
400 KB (MAC) 4,250
720 KB (DOS, Dual Density, 3½") 7,650
800 KB (MAC) 8,500
1.2 MB (DOS, High Density, 5¼") 12,750
1.44 MB (DOS, High Density, 3½") 15,300

Exhibit 3.8: Magnetic Diskette Limits

Calculation of Magnetic Diskette Limits

maximum number of transactions = ( maximum capacity of formatted magnetic diskette * 1000) * .85 / 80 bytes in a transaction record

Example:

Calculate the maximum transactions for a 5 1/4", single sided 320 KB DOS magnetic diskette

(320 * 1000) * .85 / 80 = 320,000
320,000 * .85 / 80 = 3,400 transactions

Note: The maximum capacity of a formatted magnetic diskette is approximate.

Exhibit 3.9: Limit Calculation

When a single ARCOS report file exceeds the record limit, it must be split into additional files. Each file must be submitted on a separate magnetic diskette. The control record will remain with the beginning of the report on the first magnetic diskette. That portion of the report being put on subsequent magnetic diskettes must only have transaction records. There must not be a control record on any subsequent magnetic diskette. The number of records on each magnetic diskette must be written in the "Notes" block of the bar code label.

Example:

A registrant's report contains 46,350 records submitted on 3 ½" 1.44MB diskettes. This report must be submitted on four of these diskettes, since each magnetic diskette is limited to 15,300 records, as follows:

Magnetic diskette number 1: will contain the single control record plus 15,299 transaction records, "15,300 records" is written in the "Notes" block of the bar code label,
Magnetic diskette number 2: will contain only transaction records, "15,300 records" is written in the "Notes" block of the bar code label,
Magnetic diskette number 3: will also contain only transaction records, "15,300 records" is written in the "Notes" block of the bar code label and,
Magnetic diskette number 4: will contain the remainder of the transaction records (450), "450 records" is written in the "Notes" block of the bar code label.

3.8.6 Magnetic Diskette: Applying Label

Each submitted magnetic diskette must have the bar code label supplied by DEA (ARCOS). This is the only required label and it replaces all other labels used previously. The label must be affixed to the magnetic diskette itself, not to the cardboard envelope or any outer container. Remove any existing labels, including any prior bar code labels, before attaching the new bar code label. The following two exhibits, Exhibit 3.10: Label Position for 3½-inch magnetic diskette and Exhibit 3.11: Label Position for 5¼-inch magnetic diskette, illustrate the bar code label placement for these magnetic diskettes.

3½-inch Magnetic diskette:

Place the label within the indented area on the front of the disk (see illustration below). Smooth out any wrinkles with gentle pressure. Do NOT cover any metal parts with the label.

Exhibit 3.10 - Label Position for 3.5 inch Magnetic Diskette

Exhibit 3.10: Label Position: 3½-inch Magnetic Diskette

5¼-inch Magnetic Diskette:

Wrap the label over the top of the disk by folding the label along the dotted line between the From/To Dates and the Note blocks as you apply it to the disk. This will put the printed label upside down on the front of the disk (see illustration below). Do NOT cover any of the exposed disk surfaces or the write protect notch located on the side of the disk. Smooth out any wrinkles with gentle pressure.

Exhibit 3.10 - Label Position: 5¼-inch Magnetic Diskette

Exhibit 3.10: Label Position: 5¼-inch Magnetic Diskette

3.8.7 Return of Magnetic Diskettes

DEA will return magnetic diskettes to ARCOS registrants by certified mail. If a magnetic diskette cannot be processed, a form letter explaining the reason(s) for the magnetic diskette's return will accompany the unprocessed magnetic diskette.

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

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE  •  DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION
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