By now most small businesses who want to export their products are familiar with the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number that can be obtained through a SAM.gov registration. This includes anyone applying for EXIM financial assistance, such as new insurance policies and insurance policy renewals.
Although the UEI has existed for several years, on April 4, 2022, the General Services Administration (GSA) began using UEI as the authoritative identifier for all entities doing business with the federal government.
Once assigned, your UEI number will never expire. However, entity registrations do expire annually and must be renewed every year. The expiration date is listed in your entity record. It’s important to note that the process to obtain an initial SAM.gov registration and a UEI number, as well as to maintain the annual registration, is entirely free.
How to Avoid Potential UEI Scams
Over the past year, EXIM’s dedicated UEI team has assisted hundreds of clients through the free registration process and is now helping them with their free registration renewals.
The EXIM team has recently become aware of third parties that are reaching out to companies offering to assist them with their renewals or “manage” their registration — for a fee. Because SAM.gov is a public site, third-party entities can access your name, company name, UEI number, and expiration date. They can include that information in emails to make it look customized and more official.
Some of these communications use scare tactics, and they may include email addresses, website links, or graphics designed to make them look like they are coming from SAM.gov or other government agencies, although they are not official. Any message that requests a fee for services — either for registering or renewing a UEI — and does not end in .gov is not official government correspondence.
Also note that SAM.gov will send out UEI renewal reminder emails about 60 days in advance, again at about 45 days, and another at around 15 days. These third-party entities are sending their emails up to five months in advance of your renewal date.
EXIM Offers UEI Assistance at No Charge
Creating, maintaining, and renewing your SAM.gov registration is always free.
To protect yourself, be sure to confirm that email correspondence comes from addresses that end in .gov. Make sure that you’re linking to websites that end in .gov. The SAM.gov website includes the logo pictured in this screenshot, as well as the following information indicating you’re on an official government website:
If you are an EXIM client and need assistance with your SAM.gov or UEI registration, please contact our team at UEIassistance@exim.gov. You also can refer to this UEI information page. We are here to help you obtain and maintain an active SAM.gov and UEI registration — and our services are always free.
To find out how EXIM can help your business compete in the global marketplace, schedule a free consultation with a member of the MWOB team and launch your export journey today.