SNAP-R Registration

How to get an ERN for your iPhone App using the SNAP-R system.

A Guide to the Encryption Registration Number process and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

If your application uses encryption for anything other than login credentials and you intend to make it available outside the US, chances are you will need to get an ERN to copy with iTunes and the law. If you are using HTTPS, SSL, RSA, SHA, etc., they are all forms of encryption and the BIS wants to keep tabs on what is being “exported” outside the country.

If you are wondering if your application needs to be registered, the following article from the BIS may help

When we discovered that we had to submit an ERN to Apple, we thought that it was going to be a lengthy process, potentially delaying the launch of our beta for several weeks if not months. In our case, from start to finish the process took 3 days, from applying to get a SNAP-R account, to submitting and getting approval from Apple.

Here are the steps and timing that we experienced as of late April 2015.

Step 1: Register/Request to get a SNAP-R account at:

You can register to get an SNAP-R account at: https://snapr.bis.doc.gov/registration/Register.do

This is a simple form with your basic company contact information. After completing the form it emails you right away to confirm the email address. Click on the link and the confirmation page states, “Please allow up to 5 business days to process your SNAP-R registration.”

We applied for a Snap account on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015. We received a reply 2 days later in the morning asking if we have moved or changed our name.

“Before we can process your Request we need to verify whether your Company has relocated or had a Name Change, or changed the Name of your Division; if so, please provide the previous address?“

We wrote back 30 minutes later informing that we have not made any changes. We received a link 2 hours later with the ability to register for a SNAP-R account.

Step 2: Fill out the SNAP-R form

Much of the form is about filling out company contact information.

  1. Create a new work item. For the Type, select Encryption Registration
  2. The reference number can be anything you want. Ex. AA0001
  3. The form will ask you to attach a "SUPPLEMENT NO. 5 TO PART 742 - ENCRYPTION REGISTRATION”
  4. Download the following file: https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/forms-documents/doc_download/967-742 - if this document is not available, do a google search for "SUPPLEMENT NO. 5 TO PART 742 - ENCRYPTION REGISTRATION” and download the pdf.
  5. With the PDF, scroll to page 59 where it is titled ”SUPPLEMENT NO. 5 TO PART 742 - ENCRYPTION REGISTRATION”
  6. Copy and paste that page (59) into a Pages or Word document.
  7. Go through each question (1-7) and answer them.
  8. On Question 3, we selected (b) Mobile Application, since ChatMap is a mobile app
  9. Questions 4-7 will need to be answered by someone in your company that understands what encryption you are using and where it is from.
  10. Save the document as a PDF (on a mac, File > Print > PDF) and upload it to the site.
  11. Once you submit the form you will receive a confirmation in your message box on their website.
  12. Open the confirmation and you will see your ERN. Take a screenshot of it and place it in a Pages/Word document to submit to Apple/iTunes.
  13. In the document state your ERN number along with the screenshot and upload the PDF to iTunes connect.
  14. You’re done!

More details on SNAP-R form can be found on this blog and the BIS web site.

In all, it’s about 3 days to from application to acceptance from the App Store. The questions are fairly straightforward and they limit the length of your answers which makes things easier.

By Cary Evans in May 2015