Fee Regulations

Upon receipt, your request is reviewed to determine how fees will be assessed. Fees are determined based on the type of requester you are (commercial, education/scientific, and all others). Requesters from educational/scientific and commercial institutions must pay for search and review time and reproduction costs. All other requesters pay reproduction costs only with the first 100 pages free. For all requesters, if the total fee for your request is less than $5, you will not be charged. You will be notified if your fees exceed $25 or any other amount specified in your request. If the fees total more than $250, the FTC will request payment in advance. If you expect that a fee will be charged, you may request a fee waiver. The FTC’s FOIA Officers have sole authority to grant or deny fee waivers. 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 $100, 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 requestor. To facilitate the FOIA's goal of making government information 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 representative of the news media is a person actively gathering news for an entity that publishes or broadcasts news 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 Copying
Commercial (including law firms) Fee Fee None
Educational institutions No charge No
charge
No charge for first 100 pages
News media No charge No
charge
No charge for first 100 pages
Other (General Public) No charge for first 2 hours No
charge
No charge for first 100 pages

Paper Fees

Paper copy (up to 8.5 x 14 inches)

Reproduced by Commission $0.14
Reproduced by Requestor $0.05
Computer Paper $0.14

Microfiche Fees

Film Copy- Paper to 16 mm Film (per frame) $0.04
Fiche Copy-Paper to 105 mm Fiche (per frame) $0.08
Film Copy- Duplication of existing 100 ft. roll of 16 mm film $9.50
Fiche Copy-Duplication of existing 105 mm fiche $0.26

Paper Copy-Converting existing 16mm Film to Paper

Conversion by Commission Staff

$0.26

Paper Copy-Converting existing 105 mm Fiche to Paper

Conversion by Commission Staff $0.23
Film Cassettes $2.00

Electronic Services

Converting paper into electronic format (scanning), per page $2.50
Computer programming, per quarter hour $8.00

Other Fees

Computer Tape $18.50
Certification $10.35
Express Mail (first pound) $3.50
Each additional pound, up to $15.00