The Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has announced a voluntary pilot test of the electronic processing of export data through the Automated Commercial Environment.

Any person desiring to export a National Firearms Act firearm (which includes machine guns, silencers, and destructive devices) without payment of transfer tax must apply for a permit via ATF Form 9, Application and Permit for Permanent Exportation of Firearms. The exporter must furnish evidence of the exportation to ATF within six months of the date the permit is issued to obtain a deferral of tax liability. A satisfactory means of documentation of exportation is for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to execute the certificate of exportation and send a copy to ATF.

Beginning Oct. 12, NFA firearms exporters may use the ACE portal to submit forms (e.g., ATF Form 9) and information to obtain CBP certification of exportation. ATF data elements include ATF category code, federal firearms license number, FFL exemption code, control number, control number exemption code, quantity, and optional description field. CBP will validate this information and electronically transmit its certification to ATF.

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