Reporting on BEA’s direct investment surveys is mandatory under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (P.L. 94–472, 90 Stat. 2059, 22 U.S.C. 3101–3108, as amended). The act protects the confidentiality of the data that companies report.

The act specifies that the survey data may only be used for statistical and analytical purposes. BEA is prohibited from granting another agency access to the data for tax, investigative, or regulatory purposes. In addition, data reported on BEA’s surveys are not subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

For additional information on the legal authority and confidentiality requirements surrounding BEA surveys please visit