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Electronic Reporting Forms: Important Notes

The electronic reporting forms were designed so that you can paste values—transaction data, specifically—from other Excel spreadsheets into the forms. However there are some important things to remember if you decide to maintain your data in another spreadsheet and then paste them into the electronic reporting forms.

Data in all of the cells that have a drop-down list in the electronic forms must match the data lists in these drop-down cells exactly. The form will allow you to enter incorrectly formatted data; however, if you do not format the data properly, EPA’s tracking system will not accept your submission.

Example: Company A is an Exporter of Class II ozone-depleting substances (ODSHelpODSA compound that contributes to stratospheric ozone depletion. ODS include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halons, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, hydrobromofluorocarbons, chlorobromomethane, and methyl chloroform. ODS are generally very stable in the troposphere and only degrade under intense ultraviolet light in the stratosphere. When they break down, they release chlorine or bromine atoms, which then deplete ozone. A detailed list (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/ods/index.html) of class I and class II substances with their ODPs, GWPs, and CAS numbers are available.). They have a large number of transactions and are eager to use the electronic reporting system so they can cut and paste their transaction data from their internal data system into Section 2 of the new Class II Exporter electronic form. Among the countries receiving ODS are the United Kingdom and France. Company A cut and paste their data into the electronic reporting form, referring to the United Kingdom as the “UK” and France as “France.” Their export data totaled correctly in Section 3 of the Exporter report with the country references of UK and France carrying forward. Company A saved and submitted the report to EPA and was surprised when EPA notified them that there was a problem with their report. What happened?

Answer: When cutting and pasting data into an electronic form, submitters must ensure that the data they are cutting and pasting match the electronic form references. In the example above, Company A referred to the United Kingdom incorrectly. If you look at the drop-down list of country selection options, the United Kingdom is referred to as “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” not “UK.” (This is the terminology referenced in the Montreal ProtocolHelpMontreal ProtocolThe international treaty governing the protection of stratospheric ozone. The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer and its amendments control the phaseout of ODS production and use. Under the Montreal Protocol, several international organizations report on the science of ozone depletion, implement projects to help move away from ODS, and provide a forum for policy discussions. In addition, the Multilateral Fund provides resources to developing nations to promote the transition to ozone-safe technologies. The full text of the Montreal Protocol (http://ozone.unep.org/Publications/MP_Handbook/Section_1.1_The_Montreal_Protocol/) is available from the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)..) The form accepted the UK reference, but when EPA attempted to upload the data into the Ozone Depleting Substance Tracking System, the reference to UK was not recognized, and the data could not be processed.

Remember! Any data cut and paste into the electronic forms must use the exact same references in any drop-down list.

Formatting

For the most part, the e-Reporting forms are pre-formatted so that when you enter data, such as dates, the form will automatically format your data appropriately. However, there are some instances (although not many) where you should enter data according to certain formatting requirements. These requirements are detailed in the red column “flags” (which can be seen by scrolling over each cell) of each column header. Therefore, it is important to always read all instructions given in the flags for each column and to ensure your entries are formatted in the same way as those in the sample row.

Example: Company B is reporting their import activities in Section 2 of the Class II importer electronic reporting form. They enter their Internal Revenue Service importer number with a hyphen (12-3456789) into column B of Section 2 for each of their transactions. The form accepts these values and allows Company B to complete the form and produce CSV files. After submitting their CSV files to EPA, Company B is surprised to learn that EPA was unable to process their data. What happened?

Answer: Although the importer number is often provided with a hyphen, EPA’s tracking system requires the importer number be formatted as a number of up to 11 digits with no hyphens or spaces (e.g., 123456789). If the format of this number is not correct when EPA uploads your data into its tracking system, the system will reject the submission and it will have to be corrected before it can be entered.

Remember! All data entry must be formatted according to any specific direction provided in the flags for each column and illustrated by the sample row.

Automated Cells

When you are copying and pasting, you should not copy and paste into automated cells. Once your data is entered, the form will automatically generate lists of chemical names and calculate the values in these cells for you.

For example, within the Exporter Class II form, you must enter all data manually into Section 2 (these are transaction data). Once these data are entered, press the “Proceed to Section 3” button, and the form will automatically calculate all of Section 3 for you (i.e., “Class II Substance” names and “Countries Receiving Export” names will be auto-populated, and “Quantity of Class II Substances Exported” will be auto-calculated).

Please click here for a table detailing all automations within each of the eight reporting forms.

Blank Cells

Certain fields are applicable to all reporting companies and must be completed. If a required cell is left blank, the entire submission will be rejected when EPA uploads your data into its tracking system, and you will be asked to correct the form and resubmit it.

Certain fields are not applicable because of the nature of your data. For example, if you imported a substance that was not a blend, the fields asking for information about an imported blend are not applicable for your particular transaction.

In each of the forms, in the row beneath the column title,* instructions appear indicating whether the cell can be left blank. Each instruction will either indicate that the cell must never be left blank or that the cell must not be left blank if certain conditions are met (e.g., name of hydrochlorofluorocarbons [HCFCs] in blend must not be blank if the commodity is a blend).

If you are unsure about leaving a cell blank, please refer to the instructions for the column in question.

*Please note that due to Section 1’s unique structure, the directions for cells in Section 1 can be found in cell comments for all forms. These are indicated by small red triangles in the upper right hand corner of the cell. They can be read by simply scrolling your mouse over the cell.


Detailed Information on Drop-Down Lists and Formatting in Each Form:

A. Class II Producer(3 pp, 3 MB)

Drop-Down Lists:

  • Column A (Section 2): Chemical Name
  • Column A (Section 3): Chemical Name*

*Please note: The form will automatically generate a list of chemical names in column A for you. However, if you do enter data manually into this column, it must match the drop-down list.

B. Class II Exporter(3 pp, 274 K)

Drop-Down Lists:

  • Column E (Section 2): Recipient Company Country
  • Column J (Section 2): Is the Substance a Blend?
  • Column K (Section 2): HCFC Being Exported If Not a Blend
  • Columns O, Q, S (Section 2): Name of HCFC in Blend
  • Column W (Section 2): Transaction Type
  • Column X (Section 2): Intended Use if New
  • Column Y (Section 2): Intended Use if Used

C. Class II Importer(4 pp, 7 MB)

Drop-Down Lists:

  • Column B (Section 2): Source Country
  • Column C (Section 2): Is the Substance a Blend?
  • Column D (Section 2): HCFC Being Exported If Not a Blend
  • Columns H, J, L (Section 2): Name of HCFC in Blend
  • Column Q (Section 2): Transaction Type
  • Column S (Section 2): Intended Use If New
  • Column T (Section 2): Intended Use If Used
  • Column U (Section 2): Intended Use If Heels
  • Column A (Section 3): Chemical Name*

*Please note: The form will automatically generate a list of chemical names in column A for you. However, if you do enter data manually into this column, it must match the drop-down list.

Formatting:

  • Row 11 (Section 1): Importer Number (eleven-digit number, with no dashes)

D. Request for Additional Allowances(3 pp, 5 MB)

Drop Down Lists:

  • Column E (Section 2): Recipient Company Country
  • Column J (Section 2): HCFC Chemical Exported
  • Column N (Section 2): Company That Produced HCFC (Expending Consumption and Production Allowances)
  • Column O (Section 2): Company That Imported HCFC (Expending Consumption Allowances)
  • Column P (Section 2): Country HCFC Was Imported From

E.Class I Producer Report(2 pp, 2 MB)

Drop-Down Lists:

  • Column A (Section 2): Chemical Name

F.Class I Exporter(3 pp, 2 MB)

Drop-Down Lists:

  • Column E (Section 2): Recipient Company Country
  • Column J (Section 2): Class I Substance Exported
  • Column N (Section 2): Transaction Type
  • Column O (Section 2): Intended Use If New or Used

G.Class I Importer(3 pp, 245 K)

Drop-Down Lists:

  • Column B (Section 2): Source Country
  • Column C (Section 2): Class I Substance Imported
  • Column H (Section 2): Transaction Type
  • Column I (Section 2): Intended Use If New
  • Column J (Section 2): Intended Use If Used
  • Column L (Section 2): Intended Use If Heels
  • Column A (Section 3): Chemical Name*

*Please note: The form will automatically generate a list of chemical names in column A for you. However, if you do enter data manually into this column, it must match the drop-down list.

Formatting:

  • Row 11 (Section 1): Importer Number (eleven-digit number, with no dashes) 

H. Class I Essential Use Lab Supplier(4 pp, 3 MB)  

Drop-Down Lists:

  • Column G (Section 2): Country
  • Column H (Section 2): Chemical Name of Class I Substance Purchased/Received
  • Columns G, I, K, M, O, Q (Section 3): Substance