Federal Records Management

AC 33. 2022

April 28, 2022  

Memorandum to Federal Records Management Contacts: Physical transfers to NARA after CY 2022

Agencies have asked questions about meeting the M-19-21 deadlines for physically transferring  records to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), especially in light of COVID-19 related delays and challenges. 

If NARA receives an ARCIS transfer request for records going to a NARA Federal Records Center before the December 31, 2022 deadline, then can agencies physically ship the records after the deadline?

If Transfer Requests for analog records (either permanent or temporary) have been submitted in ARCIS before the deadline, the physical transfer of records will be accepted by the Federal Records Centers after the deadline. 

In general, Transfer Requests submitted in ARCIS or Standard Forms 135 are processed within 10 working days.
Agencies do not require any additional approvals to conduct normal business on analog records stored in Federal Records Centers, including reference, refile, interfile and disposal, for the life of the record. In addition, agencies may continue to send accretions of analog records to records series already stored in the Federal Records Centers.

As a reminder, permanent records stored in Federal Records Centers will be transferred to the National Archives in their original analog format. Agencies do not need to digitize permanent records stored in the Federal Records Centers when legal custody of the records transfers to NARA. NARA expects to continue accessioning FRC-stored permanent records following our normal processes, including the transfer of records governed by the Annual Move process.

For questions regarding Transfer Requests, please contact your FRC Account Manager.  

Will NARA approve direct offers before the deadline and physically accept the transfer after December 31, 2022?

NARA will physically accept transfers of permanent analog records after the deadline if the Transfer Requests are submitted in the National Archives Electronic Records Archives (ERA) early enough to allow NARA to fully consider and process the requests in advance of the deadline.

NARA expects that the physical move of any transfers approved in 2022 will occur once NARA facilities return to normal operating status. Discussions of when the physical transfers actually occur will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

Transfer Requests for permanent analog records submitted in ERA after December 31, 2022 will not be approved unless a formal exception has been approved by NARA. Guidance on exceptions is available in NARA Bulletin 2020-01

What is the current status of NARA’s ability to accept transfers?

NARA has resumed physical accessioning activities for permanent archival records. 

In the National Capital Region, we are prioritizing the large volume of physical transfers of direct offers that accumulated during prolonged building closures due to COVID-19. Annual move transfers and records under newly submitted and approved transfer requests will be coordinated as soon as possible.

NARA field locations have smaller backlogs and will generally be able to accommodate all physical transfers at this time.

If you have any questions pertaining to accessioning activities for permanent records, please contact your local textual accessioning office, Cartographic Office, carto@nara.gov; Moving Image and Sound Office, mopix@nara.gov; Still Pictures Office, stillpix.accessions@nara.gov; or Electronic Records Division, etransfers@nara.gov

Chief Records Officer 
for the U.S. Government


Acting Director
Federal Records Centers Program