The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), conducts seven (7) mandatory surveys to collect information on direct investment. These seven surveys consist of an initial survey for any new direct investment and then applicable quarterly, annually, and within 5-year benchmark surveys.
The initial five blog posts in this series summarized the applicable reporting and survey requirements for foreign investment into the United States. The next blog posts in this series now focus on the reporting and survey requirements where U.S. companies make “out-bound” investment into other, foreign countries.
There are three (3) specific surveys which track “out-bound” foreign investment: a quarterly survey, an annual survey, and a 5-year benchmark survey. The purpose of the quarterly survey is to report positions and transactions between a U.S. reporter and its foreign affiliates. The purpose of the annual survey is to report annual financial and operating data of the U.S. reporter and its foreign affiliates. The benchmark surveys are conducted every five years and provide the most comprehensive coverage of business entities, transactions, and data on investment being from the United States.
BEA’s “out-bound” foreign surveys are mandatory under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act. The Act ensures the confidentiality of the reported data. Survey data may only be used for statistical and analytical purposes, and the data is limited to officials and employees of specified government agencies. Strict penalties may apply for failure to comply with the survey requirements.