Explosives Tracing

The U.S. Bomb Data Center provides explosives tracing services to duly authorized law enforcement agencies across the United States and in many foreign countries.

Tracing is the systematic tracking of explosives from manufacturer to purchaser (and/or possessor) for the purpose of aiding law enforcement officials in identifying suspects involved in criminal violations, establishing stolen status, and proving ownership. The creation of the National Repository has achieved for these industries, as well as law enforcement, the most proficient and productive method for researching the movement of an explosive.

Explosives manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, and retail dealers in the United States and foreign countries cooperate in the tracing endeavor by providing, on request, specific information from their records of manufacture, importation, or sale. Because of its licensing authority, ATF is the only federal agency authorized access to these records.

The National Explosives Tracing Center was established to aid law enforcement’s investigative endeavors. The staff of the U.S. Bomb Data Center is available to assist with any questions you may have.

Request for an Explosives Trace

An explosives trace request can be initiated through any ATF field office. Federal, state, county, local or foreign law enforcement agency requests can be sent directly to the U.S. Bomb Data Center by fax at (866) 927-4570 or by contacting the staff representative at 1-800-461-8841. Regular business hours for the National Explosive Tracing Center are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday except on holidays.

During non-duty hours or weekends, complete ATF Form 7530.1 (Request for Explosive Tracing) and fax it to the U.S. Bomb Data Center at (866) 927-4570. Request will be processed the next working day. In an event of an emergency, prepare the explosive trace request and contact the Enforcement Operations Center (EOC) at 1-888-283-2662 for assistance and further instructions.

Explosives tracing requests can also be submitted to the USBDC electronically via the Bomb Arson Tracking System (BATS).

Do not call the explosives manufacturers, as they will refer you to the U.S. Bomb Data Center in accordance with ATF O 3320.1D, Explosives and Arson Enforcement Programs.

Information Required for a Trace

Image sample of form ATF F 7530.1 General Information

General Information

Image of ATF-F-7530-1 sample clip
  1. Requesting agency
  2. Other agency (Police, DOJ, etc.) Investigation number or case number

  3. Requesting agent, investigator, or officer

  4. Field office, agency or office

  5. Telephone number

  6. Date/time of request

  7. Section A: Description of Explosive Material

    1. Manufacturer’s name

    2. Product name (e.g., Unigel, TNT, C-4, Primacord E-Cord)

    3. Size (e.g., 1-1/8x8″, 1,000-ft. roll, and 5-pound bag)

    4. Date shift code, lot numbers, etc. (very important)

    5. Place recovered and quantity recovered

Please provide any other information that may be stenciled or any markings on the product. This information will help expedite the tracing process. Pictures, when available, can help ATF identify the product when other data such as date shift code, lot number, and nomenclature are not available. Pictures can be emailed or forwarded to the National Repository for research purposes.

The tracing process will be initiated once the form is received. Please include the contact information for other points of contact if additional information is needed. The information will be provided as soon as it’s obtained from the manufacturer and/or dealer.

Contact the USBDC

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
U.S. Bomb Data Center
3750 Corporal Rd
Huntsville, AL 35898

Phone: (800) 461-8841

Email: USBDC@atf.gov


Last Reviewed December 1, 2021