Office of the Federal Register (OFR)

VI.A. When Do I Request Approval for an IBR?

(Chapter VI. Requesting IBR Approval)

Do NOT request approval for proposed rule documents. In cases where IBR is being proposed, we conduct a limited review after you send these documents in for publication but before our general editing process begins.

For final rules, you must send us the IBR request at least 20 working days before you intend to send the final rule for publication, but as far in advance as possible when the request is complete and further in advance if the rule is complex or there are numerous publications requested to be incorporated by reference. Before you send your final rule in for publication, you must request formal IBR approval if you are (see Flowchart 1 in Appendix A.B of this handbook):

  1. Incorporating a new publication;
  2. Incorporating a different version of a publication;
  3. Adding a currently-approved publication to a new section;
  4. Redesignating a section with already approved IBR material; or
  5. Incorporating a publication already approved for another agency.

For items 3-5 (above), you do not have to give us another copy of the publication(s). You must state in your request letter that you are not including that specific publication, and you must specify the section and paragraph where the publication is currently approved.  This will reduce questions we have about your IBR request.

For item 3 (above), you must summarize the publication in the current rule’s preamble.

For item 4 (above), you may or may not need to summarize each publication in the current rule’s preamble.  Contact us for requirements specific to your rule.

You may not send us the final rule for publication before receiving the Director’s approval to publish. 

A document might publish in the Federal Register that contains reference(s) to incorporated material, since the Director does not review each document submitted for publication. However, without the Director’s formal IBR approval, the material referenced is not incorporated by reference.

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