Fee Regulations

We review your request to determine how fees will be assessed. Fees are determined based on the type of requester you are (commercial use, news media/education/non-commercial scientific institution, and all others, including members of the general public).

  • Commercial use requesters must pay for search and review time and reproduction costs.
  • Requesters that qualify as news media/education/scientific/non-commercial scientific institution as set out in 16 C.F.R. § 4.8(b) are not charged for search and review costs and only pay reproduction costs after the first 100 pages. 
  • All other requesters, including members of the general public, pay search costs after the first two hours but do not pay review costs and only pay reproduction costs after the first 100 pages.

For all requesters, if the total fee for your request is less than $25, you will not be charged. You will be notified if your fees exceed $25 or any other amount you agree to pay as specified in your request. If the fees total more than $250, the FTC may request payment in advance. If you expect that a fee will be charged, you may request a fee waiver. You may request documents and a waiver of fees in the same request.

Will I Be Charged Fees

The FOIA allows the FTC to charge fees to process your FOIA request. If we estimate that the fees for processing your request will exceed $25, we will not begin to process it without your permission. You may either indicate in your request your willingness to pay fees or wait for us to contact you to discuss the possible fees. In the latter case, however, we will place your request on hold until we have an agreement with you about fees. If you are willing to pay fees only up to a certain amount, you may say that in your letter.

Fee Schedule

Fees for processing FOIA requests depend on the status of the requester. To facilitate the FOIA's goal of making federal agency records more available to the public, some services are provided without charge, as noted in the table below. Generally, commercial requesters are those who seek information to further the commercial, trade, or profit interests of the requestor or the person on whose behalf the request is made. An educational institution is a school or institution of higher learning which operates a program or programs of scholarly research. A non-commercial scientific institution is an institution that is not operated on a commercial basis, as that term is referenced in 16 C.F.R. § 4.8(b), and that is operated solely to conduct scientific research, the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry.  A representative of the news media is any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to the public. More exact definitions of these terms can be found at 16 C.F.R. § 4.8(b).

Requester Fee Categories

Requester Category
Searching
Reviewing
Duplication Charges
Commercial (including law firms) Fee Fee Fee for all Duplication
Educational, Non-commercial Scientific Institution, or News Media No Fee No Fee No Fee for first 100 pages
All other requesters (including members of the general public) Fee after 2 hours No Fee No Fee for first 100 pages

 

Search and Review Fees (per quarter hour):
 

Clerical

$7.00

Other Professional

$12.00

Attorney/Economist

$19.75

No fees to be charged if cost for all services is below this amount

$25.00

Duplication:
 

Paper to paper copy (up to 8.5″ × 14″)

$0.14 per page

Converting paper into electronic format (scanning)

Quarter hour rate of operator (Clerical, Other Professional, Attorney/Economist)

Other reproduction (e.g., computer disk or printout, microfilm, microfiche, or microform)

Actual direct cost, including operator time

Electronic Services:
 

Preparing electronic records and media

$10.00 per qtr. hour

Compact Disc (CD)

$3.00 per disc

DVD

$3.00 per disc

Videotape Cassette

$2.00 per cassette

Microfilm Services:
 

Conversion of existing fiche/film to paper

$0.14 per page

Other Fees:
 

Certification

$25.00 each

Express Mail

U.S. Postal Service Market Rates

Records maintained at Iron Mountain or Washington National Records Center facilities (records retrieval, re-filing, etc.)

Contract Rates

Other Services as they arise

Market Rates