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1. Is this survey mandatory?

Yes, your response is required by law. Title 13 U.S.C., Sections 131 and 182, authorizes this collection. Title 13 of the U.S.C., Sections 224 and 225, requires your response.

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2. What is the penalty for not responding?

Title 13 (Section 224) and the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (18, U.S.C. 3559 and 3571) allow for possible prosecution of responsible officials and penalties up to $5,000 (and a response is still required).

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3. Who uses the data?

The Annual Survey of Manufactures provides key intercensal measures of manufacturing activities, products, and locations for the public and private sectors. The survey also provides the best measure of current U.S. manufacturing industry outputs, inputs, and operating status.


  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the data to calculate annual productivity series, update producer price indexes, and calculate weights for new index components.
  • The Federal Reserve Board uses the data to prepare the Index of Industrial Production.
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data to prepare annual Gross Domestic Product updates and weights for Gross Domestic Product deflators.
  • The Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration uses the data to evaluate and forecast industrial activity.
  • State and local agencies use the data to plan trade and economic policies.
  • Private industry and trade associations use the data to plan operations, analyze markets, and make investment and production decisions.
  • The Census Bureau uses the data to update the Longitudinal Research database, which is used by Census Bureau staff and academic researchers with sworn agent status for micro data analysis.

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4. My establishment is no longer in business. What should I do?

Complete the survey with data for any period of time during the 2019 calendar year that the establishment was in operation. 

Additional information on how to report for out of business or sold establishments:

  • If the establishment ceased operation or was sold or leased to another operator
    • Enter the date
  • If the establishment was sold or leased to another operator
    • Enter the name, address, and EIN of this establishment’s new owner or operator

Note: Special Reporting Instructions for Establishments with Ownership Changes.

If the establishment had an ownership change during the survey year, report all data items for the portion of the year that the establishment was under your ownership; with the exception of Item 13, Capital Expenditures:

  • For the owner who sold the establishment - Report any new or used capital expenditures that occurred in the current year prior to the sale.
  • For the buyer - Report only the capital expenditures that occurred after the original purchase of the entire plant.

The establishment may have been purchased individually or as part of a parent company, which was acquired by or merged with another company. Please make certain that the date of the change in ownership is recorded in Item 3, Operational Status.

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5. Why don't you get the information you need from the IRS?

The Census Bureau uses Internal Revenue Service administrative data whenever possible. However, the Internal Revenue Service data does not provide the level of detail needed in most Census Bureau surveys, or does not have certain items available (e.g., e-commerce).

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6. Can I report on a fiscal year basis?

Calendar year data are preferred. If it is not available, please report for the fiscal year that includes at least six months of data for the calendar year being requested.

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7. My company is not a manufacturer, what should I do?

If you do not manufacture products, please indicate the nature of your business in the Remarks section.

Establishments engaged in the activities listed below are considered to be manufacturing establishments for the purpose of this survey:

  • Apparel jobbing and contracting
  • Assembling from purchased components
  • Commission processing of materials owned by others
  • Job casting, stamping, and machining
  • Lapidary work
  • Machine shops, including those operating on a job-order basis
  • Manufacturing and delivering ready-mixed concrete
  • Milk pasteurizing and bottling
  • Plating, galvanizing, polishing, etc., of materials owned by others
  • Poultry dressing
  • Printing books, periodicals, etc.
  • Research and development, engineering and other services directly related to aerospace industries
  • Sawmills
  • Seafood, fresh-packaged or frozen
  • Ship repair
  • Wood preserving

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Completing the Report

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8. How can I compile my data before reporting online?

You can click on the icon preview  under "Print/Preview Survey Questions" on Step 1 - Report to see a preview of the questions to compile your data before reporting online.

You can download an Excel spreadsheet to compile your data before reporting online by clicking on "Download Spreadsheet Template" on Step 1 - Report.

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9. How long will it take to complete this survey?

We estimate this survey will take an average of 30 minutes to 6 hours to complete, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

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10. I need more time. Can I obtain an extension?

You may obtain a time extension by signing into your Census Bureau account (or refer to your letter for instructions on how to create an account), clicking on "Options" and then "Request Extension." You may choose any date allowed in the calendar drop down.

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11. Are estimates acceptable?

Yes, carefully prepared estimates are acceptable if book figures are not readily available.

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12. Why do you need to know if I own other establishments, or if another establishment owns mine?

We do not want to duplicate data if you are affiliated with other establishments that may already be providing data on this survey, or in one of our other Census Bureau surveys.

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13. Can I be paid for completing this report?

No. The law authorizing this report (Title 13, U.S.C.) does not authorize funds for payment.

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Sample Selection

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14. How was I selected for this report?

Your firm or EIN was chosen from a scientifically selected sample of businesses. Taking a sample is less costly than contacting every business in the country. Firms or EINs selected for the sample represent other similar businesses.

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15. I am a very small business. Why do you want information from me?

Taken together, small businesses have a real impact on the economy. Your firm or EIN was chosen from a scientifically selected sample of businesses and represents many other small businesses like yours.

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Electronic Reporting

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16. How do I navigate between items?

You can use the "Back" or the "Save and Continue" buttons to navigate to items immediately following and preceding the current item you are viewing.  You can also navigate to other items by selecting the page from the dropdown and clicking the adjacent "Go To" button.

If you are filling out the surveys via spreadsheets, you can click the tabs at the bottom of the worksheet.

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17. Are all TOTAL fields automatically calculated?

Most totals are automatically calculated, but you should always check automatically calculated totals to ensure the accuracy of data. Some totals are not automatically calculated, and the totals for those fields should also be completed along with the details.

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18. Why did my TOTALS stop automatically calculating?

If total fields on an item previously automatically calculated, and the totals have stopped calculating, the online survey's built-in calculation has stopped working because of navigation between pages. Please continue to report the required data by manually calculating the total fields.

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19. How do I submit my survey?

Once surveys listed on Step 1 - Report are complete without errors, you can submit the surveys. Navigate to the Step 3 - Review Surveys and Submit screen, select the surveys to submit and click the “Submit” button to initiate the process.
If you are filling out the surveys via the spreadsheets, you will need to upload the completed spreadsheets in the instrument, via Step 1 - Report. Click the “Upload Completed Template” button to initiate the process.  After uploading the spreadsheet(s), Review your data via Step 2 - View Errors/Warnings; then navigate to Step 3 - Review Surveys and Submit; and click the “Submit” button to initiate the process.

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20. How do I know you received my data?

The Census Bureau updates your filing status two to three business days after you submit your data.  You may check your filing status by signing into your Census Bureau account, clicking on "Options" and then "Filing Status" or by calling 1-844-303-7713 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, and a service representative will assist you.

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21. Why don't I see all of my data on the PDF?

If you selected the icon preview under “Print/Preview Survey questions” on Step 1 – Report, to print your survey, you will not see the data you entered, since this is just a blank preview. To see the data you entered, please go to Step 3 - Review Surveys and Submit and click “Print Responses” in the “Print/Review Survey Responses” column.

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22. Why does the website not display correctly?

It is recommended that the online survey be completed in Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Chrome, Edge, or Safari.  Use the current version of the browser or the previous version.

It is also recommended that Compatibility View is not selected in Microsoft Internet Explorer while completing the online survey. To turn off Compatibility View, select Tools from your browser's menu bar and uncheck Compatibility View.

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