USBDC Explosives Tracing

The U.S. Bomb Data Center provides explosives tracing services to duly authorized law enforcement agencies in the United States and those 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 (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 AM to 4:30 PM (Eastern Standard Time) Monday through Friday except on holidays.

During non-duty hours or weekends, complete ATF F 7530.1 (Request for Explosive Tracing) form 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 Branch, in accordance with ATF 0 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. Description of Explosive Material Section A

    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. In some cases, pictures when available, will assist identifying the product when other data such as date shift code, lot numbers, and nomenclature are not available. Pictures can be e-mailed or forwarded to the National Repository for research purpose.

The tracing process will be initiated once the form is received. Please include other Point of Contact’s and number’s in the event that additional information is needed. The information will be provided as soon as it’s obtained from the manufacturer and/or dealer.

Contact USBDC

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives U.S. Bomb Data Center 99 New York Avenue, NE, Room 8S 295 Washington, DC 20226

Voice: (800) 461-8841


Last Reviewed April 27, 2018