Office of the Federal Register (OFR)

Download IBR Handbook

IBR Handbook


I. Incorporation by Reference (IBR), Generally [download pdf]

A. What Is IBR? 

B. What Is the Legal Effect of IBR?

C. What Is the Purpose of IBR? 

D. How Do I Know if I Must Use IBR? 

E. When Can I Use IBR? 

F. Is There Material I Cannot Use for IBR? 

G. Who Should I Contact When I am Considering IBR? 

II. Legal Authority for IBR and Related Guidance [download pdf]

A. What Is the OFR’s Legal Authority?

B. What Other Statutory Authority Applies Generally?

C. What Federal Policy Applies?

III. IBR Material [download pdf]

A. What Is the Criteria for Approved IBR Material?

B. What Format of IBR Material Do I Send for Approval?

C. What Should My Agency Consider When Deciding to Use a Publication?

D. What Is the “Reasonably Available” Requirement for IBR Material?

E. How Can My Agency Make Incorporated Material Reasonably Available?

F. Can My Agency Incorporate Web-based Material?

G. Can My Agency Incorporate Software Applications or Databases? 

IV. Rulemaking Documents [download pdf]

A. What Must My Document Contain for IBR Approval? 

B. What IBR Language Is Required in My Document? 

C. How Do I Format Regulatory Text that Contains an IBR?

V. Changing or Removing an Incorporated Publication [download pdf]

A. Who Determines Whether to Update Incorporated Publications?

B. What if I Withdraw the Final Rule containing the IBR or the Final Rule Does Not Go into Effect?

C. How Do I Remove IBR Material from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)?

VI. Requesting IBR Approval [download pdf]

A. When Do I Request Approval for an IBR?

B. How Do I Request Approval? 

VII. IBR Checklist for Final Rules [download pdf]

Appendix A. Templates, Boilerplate Language, and Examples [download pdf]

Appendix B. Glossary of Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Terms in This Handbook [download pdf]