The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the official codification of government agency regulations. The CFR contains final rules that have been published in the Federal Register after following a rulemaking process that includes a notice of proposed rulemaking, certain cost-benefit analyses, and public participation. The CFR is published once a year, and each publication of the CFR includes amendments made to previously published rules, which can be found in the corresponding Federal Register volume(s).
The CFR is published on a staggered schedule. Titles 1 through 16 are updated each January; titles 17-27 are updated each April; titles 28-41 are updated each July; and titles 42-50 are updated each October. The CFR also has a table of contents, which enables you to find the section of the CFR that corresponds to a particular law citation (such as United States Code sections or Statutes at Large citations). The table of contents is found in a single annual print volume entitled CFR Index and Finding Aids, which is included at the end of each volume in the printed CFR set.
In addition to the CFR, there are several other tools that can help you locate specific regulatory information. Two of these are the LSA: List of CFR Sections Affected, and the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules. The LSA is a monthly print pamphlet that can be found on the FDsys CFR main page (look in the left margin). The LSA cumulates each month, and it’s best to examine the LSA from the most recent issue to see if any of the rules you need have been changed since the last update of the official CFR volume.
The parallel Table of Authorities and Rules is a table that correlates U.S. Code sections, Statutes at Large, and Public Law citations with their respective CFR counterparts. The table is included at the end of each volume of the print CFR sets and at the end of the LexisNexis U.S. Code Annotated and Congressional Regulations Lawyers Edition multi-volume set.
When using either the eCFR or the print CFR, it is important to know that only those regulations that are legally effective are included in the official volumes of the CFR and the Federal Register. The CFR includes all final and effective regulations of the agencies of the executive branch and does not include any drafts or proposed regulations or any preambles, notices or general policy statements found in the Federal Register. The official Federal Register is available on GPO’s website, and it can be searched or browsed in its entirety since 1994. The unofficial XML-based edition of the Federal Register is available online as well, and it can be searched by keyword or date, agency, document category, docket ID, Regulation Identifier Number (RIN), CFR part, and geographic location. The XML-based eCFR is also updated daily to better reflect the current status of the CFR. The Official CFR is not updated daily, but it can be accessed via GPO’s website as well.