Rulemaking and Regulatory Reform Proceedings

CAN-SPAM Rule

16 CFR Part 316

The CAN-SPAM Act requires the Commission to issue regulations “defining the relevant criteria to facilitate the determination of the primary purpose of an electronic mail message.” The CAN-SPAM Act applies almost exclusively to “commercial electronic mail messages”.

Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule ("COPPA")

16 CFR Part 312

COPPA imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age.

Contact Lens Rule

16 CFR Part 315

The Contact Lens Rule contains two key requirements. The first requirement is that contact lens prescribers (i.e., optometrists and ophthalmologists) must provide patients with a copy of their contact lens prescriptions at the completion of a contact lens fitting. The second requirement is that a contact lens seller cannot provide contact lenses to its customer unless the seller either obtains a copy of the prescription or verifies the prescription information with the prescriber through procedures set forth in the Rule.

Fair Packaging and Labeling Act

16 C.F.R. Parts 500, 501, 502, 503

The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA or Act), enacted in 1967, directs the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration to issue regulations requiring that all "consumer commodities" be labeled to disclose net contents, identity of commodity, and name and place of business of the product's manufacturer, packer, or distributor.

Franchise Rule

16 CFR Parts 436 and 437

The Franchise Rule gives prospective purchasers of franchises the material information they need in order to weigh the risks and benefits of such an investment. The Rule requires franchisors to provide all potential franchisees with a disclosure document containing 23 specific items of information about the offered franchise, its officers, and other franchisees.

Additional Information

Franchise Rule Compliance Guide

Funeral Industry Practices Rule

16 CFR 453

The Funeral Rule requires providers of funeral goods and services to give consumers itemized lists of funeral goods and services that not only state price and descriptions, but also contain specific disclosures. The "General Price List" (GPL) must list all prices for funeral goods and services offered by the funeral provider, although separate price lists may be developed for caskets and outer burial containers. The GPL must contain four disclosures:

Holder in Due Course Rule

16 CFR Part 433

The Preservation of Consumers’ Claims and Defenses [Holder in Due Course Rule], formally known as the "Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Preservation of Consumers' Claims and Defenses," protects consumers when merchants sell a consumer's credit contracts to other lenders. Specifically, it preserves consumers' right to assert the same legal claims and defenses against anyone who purchases the credit contract, as they would have against the seller who originally provided the credit.

Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Rule

16 CFR Part 435

The Rule, issued in 1975, requires sellers who solicit buyers to order merchandise through the mail or by phone to have a reasonable basis to expect that the sellers can ship within the advertised time frame, or, if no time frame is specified, within 30 days. The Rule also requires that, when a seller cannot ship within the promised time, the seller must obtain the buyer’s consent to a delay in shipping or refund payment for the unshipped merchandise.

Privacy of Consumer Financial Information (Financial Privacy Rule)

16 CFR Part 313

The regulations require financial institutions to provide particular notices and to comply with certain limitations on disclosure of nonpublic personal information. A financial institution must provide a notice of its privacy policies and practices with respect to both affiliated and nonaffiliated third parties, and allow the consumer to opt out of the disclosure of the consumer’s nonpublic personal information to a nonaffiliated third party if the disclosure is outside of the exceptions.

Rules and Regulations Under the Hobby Protection Act

16 CFR Part 304

The Hobby Protection Act, passed by Congress in 1973, covers imitation political items (e.g., buttons, posters, stickers, etc.), as well as imitation numismatic items (e.g., various coins, tokens, paper money, commemorative medals) that are required to be marked with certain identifying information in an effort to flag them as imitations. The FTC’s Rule establishes the size of the required disclosures, their location, and the manner in which items may be marked.

Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information (Safeguards Rule)

16 CFR Part 314

The Safeguards Rule requires financial institutions under FTC jurisdiction to have measures in place to keep customer information secure. In addition to developing their own safeguards, companies covered by the Rule are responsible for taking steps to ensure that their affiliates and service providers safeguard customer information in their care.

Trade Regulation Rule Pursuant to the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992

16 CFR Part 308

The Trade Regulation Rule Pursuant to the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 (the “900-Number Rule,” or the “Pay-Per Call Rule”) was adopted by the Commission pursuant to the requirements of the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992.  The Pay-Per-Call Rule, which became effective on November 1, 1993, covers the advertising and operation of pay-per-call services, as well as billing and collection procedures for those services.

Use of Prenotification Negative Option Plans

16 CFR Part 425

Under these plans, sellers ship merchandise such as books, compact discs or tapes automatically to their subscribers, and bill them for the merchandise, if they do not expressly reject the merchandise within a prescribed time.