Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) (15 U.S.C. § 717b) prohibits the import or export of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) from or to a foreign country without prior approval from the Department of Energy (DOE). Parties who want to enter into natural gas transactions with foreign sellers and buyers must file for an import and/or export authorization under the rules and procedures found in (10 CFR Part 590) of DOE's regulations.
Procedures for Filing an Application
The following general instructions are designed to assist applicants applying for an import and/or export authorization. While the process is not complicated, applications are required to be filed at least 90 days in advance of the proposed import and/or export. (10 CFR Part 590.201)
Applicants are encouraged to use DOE's Import/Export Authorization Portal for submission of Short-Term/Blanket Applications, Vacate, Name Change, and other required documents . If your company is new to using the Portal, click here for more information. If you are already a Portal User, you can navigate directly to the Portal, and use the "Applications" button to submit a short-term/blanket 2-year application.
Please note that, at this time Applications for Long-Term Authority to import and/or export natural gas/LNG must still be filed using hard-copy paper format. However, these can be submitted through our email: FERGAS@hq.doe.gov, however, confidential information should be sent by overnight delivery mail.
Send all paper or non-electronic official communications to:
Larine A. Moore
U.S. Department of Energy
Natural Gas Regulation
FE-34 - ROOM 3E-042
1000 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington DC 20585
After complete review of the application, a docket number will be assigned. Once the application receives a docket number, this number should be referenced in future communications involving each application. Please direct any questions concerning the filing of an application to (202)586-9478 or at email@example.com.
If you plan to visit DOE, please adhere to the following information:
DOE's hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., U.S. Eastern Time (GMT -4), Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Upon entering through the Forrestal Building, (L’Enfant Plaza) doors, proceed directly to visitor’s desk to complete sign-in and access procedures to visit Room 3E-042 Docket Room.
To gain access, you must either:
- Be pre-announced by the person you are visiting at which time you will be directed to your sponsor; or
- If you are not pre-announced, the person whom you wish to visit will be notified by phone of your arrival. Please try to call ahead before arriving. If the sponsor authorizes you to visit, you will be approved for entry.
Due to ongoing delays in the delivery of mail, the Office of Regulation, Office of Regulation, Analysis and Engagement, Division of Natural Gas Regulation has initiated the following alternative application process. An applicant may use our online e-File Application, fax or submit an application electronically for blanket import or export of natural gas to either (202) 586-6050 or (202) 586-6221. An email copy of the application and/or accompanying information can be submitted at firstname.lastname@example.org. The faxed/email application must be accompanied by a photocopy of the check for the application fee. It must also include a cover letter or affidavit indicating that the applicant has mailed the application on the same day.
Each hard copy application shall consist of an original and three (3) copies and must be accompanied by a $50 filing fee. If you are using the online payment link please submit a digital signed copy of your application, attaching a copy of receipt from pay.gov to email@example.com. Do not follow-up with paper copy.
Types of Authorizations and Requests
A company should apply for long-term import or export authorization if it has a signed gas purchase and/or sales contract for a period of time longer than two years. The regulations require an applicant to submit the contract(s) with the identity of the sellers of gas, the markets in which the gas is to be sold, and the terms of the sale agreement(s)along with a start date. All long-term applications should include the documents as outlined below. Please review the page on how to submit a LNG Export application.
ALL LONG TERM APPLICATIONS SHOULD INCLUDE:
- The identity of the supplier or purchaser of the natural gas to be imported and/or exported
- The name of the U.S. transporter(s)
- The point(s) of entry or exit on the international border
- The geographic market(s) served
- The start date
For long-term applications, describe the major provisions of the gas purchase or sales contract, including base price, volume requirements, take-or-pay obligations, make-up provisions, transportation, reservation fees, and other costs.
The Application must also include:
- Exhibit A. A statement, including a signed opinion of counsel, showing that the import and/or export of natural gas, and/or LNG, is within the corporate powers of the company.
- Exhibit B. For long-term applications, a copy of the gas purchase or sales contract, or both.
A blanket import and/or export authorization enables a company to import and/or export gas on a short-term or spot market basis under agreements with terms of no longer than two years. Gas purchase and sales contracts are not filed as part of an application. However a start date is required. Hardcopies are still accepted, but our preferred and most expedient method is the online e-Filing process for submissions of blanket applications using the directions outlined above. This method will soon be phased out once the Portal becomes fully functional.
A company may request to vacate its current authorization at any time prior to the expiration date. A vacate request should identify the authorization holder (company), parent company and/or company legally authorized to request the vacate (if different from the authorization holder). Each request should include the docket number, DOE/FE Order number, the effective date of the Order to Vacate and the reason for the request to vacate. Request to vacate may also be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and thru the Portal.
In the event of a name change or merger, the authorization holder must submit a request to vacate the current authorization via email email@example.com, correspondence, or the Portal. You are required to submit a new and separate application requesting authority to import or export under new company name (this can be done thru the Portal). In addition, a copy of the state issued Certificate verifying the name change and its effective date must be submitted at the time of the request, before the new application can be processed. An adjustment to monthly reports after the name change effective date may also be required.
Any person authorized to import and/or export natural gas and/or LNG has a continuing obligation to provide written notification of any prospective or actual changes to the information submitted with or in the application including, but not limited to, amendments or other changes in the terms and conditions of any natural gas purchase contract, in volumes accepted or offered, or the import and/or export price paid. Notification must also be made in changes of company name as the result of a sale, merger, or the company ceases to exist.
- Deemed Public Interest Imports and Exports - Section 3(c) of the NGA was amended by section 201 of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (Pub. L. 102-486) to require that applications to authorize (a) the import and export of natural gas, including LNG, from and to a nation with which there is in effect a free trade agreement requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas, and (b) the import of LNG from other international sources, be deemed consistent with the public interest and granted without modification or delay.
- FTA Countries that Require National Treatment for Trade in Natural Gas -As of October 31, 2012, the United States has FTAs that require national treatment for trade in natural gas with Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Peru, Republic of Korea and Singapore. Panama is the most recent country with which the United States has entered into a FTA that requires national treatment for trade in natural gas, effective October 31, 2012. Not all countries that have a FTA with the United States require national treatment for trade in natural gas (i.e. Costa Rica and Israel). A list of all countries with which the United States has a FTA can be found at: http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements.
- Applications Not covered by Deemed Public Interest Criteria (including LNG Exports to non-FTA Countries) - Applications not covered by the deemed public interest finding in section 3(c) of the NGA include applications to export natural gas, and/or LNG to countries with which the United States does not have a FTA that requires national treatment for trade in natural gas, and applications to import natural gas, excluding LNG, from these non-FTA countries. These applications shall be filed in hard copy format. DOE/FE will issue a Federal Register Notice of application seeking comments, protests, and motions to intervene in order to make a public interest finding for these types of applications.
- Revised Procedures for Processing non-FTA LNG Applications (Issued August 15, 2014)
Each application filed with DOE must be accompanied with a $50 filing fee. The filing fee may be submitted via check, payable to the "Treasury of the United States", or electronically submitted. To view the instructions of submitting an electronic payment, please see "Instructions on submitting electronic payments".
Disclaimer: Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any of the above information or representations.