The Role and Function of the Federal Register

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  • 0:01 The Federal Register
  • 0:36 Process of the Federal…
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
The role and function of the Federal Register is important to businesses so they may understand how federal regulations are proposed, reviewed, and approved as a final regulation process. In this lesson, learn what the Federal Register is and how it is used.

The Federal Register

Are you aware that the federal government publishes proposed and new regulations daily? In this year alone, there will be 70,000 pages added to the Federal Register, which provides daily updates on government proposed or new regulations. Businesses have to be aware of changing and new regulations that could affect their daily work. The Federal Register also provides information regarding notices of hearings and final versions of amended regulations. In this lesson, we will discuss the process of the Federal Register in obtaining regulatory information.

Process of the Federal Register

1. Verifying regulations

Let's say that you own a large supermarket chain in the United States. You are approached by a vendor who wants to sell you mangoes imported from Jamaica. Did you know that until October 2014, it was illegal to import mangoes from Jamaica? How would you be able to verify this information? All regulations are easily viewed and verified in the Federal Register or by visiting

Let's follow the Jamaican mango importation regulation from beginning until the final approval to understand the role of the Federal Register. The Federal Register contains rules forbidding the importation of fruits and vegetables from certain countries via the Subpart - Fruits and Vegetables regulation. Now, let's look at some of the purposes of the Federal Register.

2. Educate individuals on proposed regulations

The Federal Register also informs businesses about new regulation proposals or amendments. In the case of the Jamaican mangoes, a proposal was published in the Federal Register to amend the regulation to allow the importation of mangoes from Jamaica based on research, hearings, and public comments. A pest risk assessment was conducted, and the research showed that additional inspections would be needed to allow Jamaican mangoes into the U.S. safely. The new proposed regulation would allow the mangoes into the country based on three additional inspection requirements: quarantine, imported for commercial reasons only, and treated with fruit fly insecticide. The mangoes must then be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration.

3. Public commentary

The Federal Register also allows public commentary on the proposed regulations for 60 days. Anyone from the public is allowed to comment on the regulation with easy Internet responses directly on the Federal Register site. The Jamaican mango proposal also was put through the 60-day public solicitation of comments. After the 60 days had passed, there were four comments from private citizens with three for the regulation and one with a suggested improvement in the new regulation.

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