FinCEN to Implement SAR Acknowledgements and Validations for BSA E-Filing Submissions

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Immediate Release

On September 12, 2009, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will implement Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) Acknowledgements for Bank Secrecy Act Electronic Filing (BSA E-Filing) submissions. This functionality will give BSA E-Filers a Document Control Number (DCN) as an acknowledgement of receipt for a submitted SAR. Acknowledgements will be available for all SAR form types: Suspicious Activity Report by Depository Institutions (SAR-DI), Suspicious Activity Report by the Securities and Futures Industries (SAR-SF), Suspicious Activity Report by Casinos and Card Clubs (SAR-C), and Suspicious Activity Report by Money Services Businesses (SAR-MSB).

The BSA E-Filing system will offer filers a self-enrollment feature to allow them to register to receive SAR Acknowledgement files when they are ready to begin processing. There is no enrollment deadline at this time; however, FinCEN strongly encourages filers to enroll to receive this critical feedback.

FinCEN has developed a SAR Acknowledgements and Validations Questions and Answers Guide document, which provides filers with the information needed to make required changes for SAR Acknowledgement file processing. It is available on the BSA E-Filing Web site. FinCEN has also revised the BSA E-Filing Electronic Filing Requirements, which include new SAR Acknowledgement file record formats and SAR Validation error codes and descriptions.

Please note, the SAR Acknowledgement functionality is only available for SAR filings submitted electronically via the BSA E-Filing system. SAR filings submitted via paper are not acknowledged.

In December 2009, FinCEN will implement SAR Validations, which will allow the BSA E-Filing system to validate SAR documents and provide filers with feedback on the quality of their submissions.

Please direct questions about the SAR Acknowledgements functionality to the BSA E-Filing System Help Desk at 1-888-827-2778 (option 6) or via email at The Help Desk is available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET. The BSA E-Filing homepage is located at

[UPDATE: As of July 31, 2010, the toll free number for the BSA E-Filing Service Desk is 1-866-346-9478 (Option 1). The email address is now]