U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Mar 22, 2023
Each USDA agency that issues a guidance document shall ensure that the guidance document satisfies the following requirements:
(a) The guidance document complies with all applicable statutes and regulations;
(b) The guidance document identifies or includes:
(1) The term “guidance” or its functional equivalent;
(2) The issuing agency and agency component, as applicable;
(3) A unique identifier, including, at a minimum, the date of issuance and title of the document and its Z-RIN, if applicable;
(4) The activity or entities to which the guidance document applies;
(5) Citations to applicable statutes and regulations;
(6) A statement noting whether the guidance document is intended to revise or replace any previously issued guidance and, if so, sufficient information to identify the previously issued guidance; and
(7) A short summary of the subject matter covered in the guidance document at the top of the document.
(c) The guidance document does not use mandatory language, such as “shall,” “must,” “required,” or “requirement,” unless the language is describing an established statutory or regulatory requirement or is addressed to USDA employees or contractors and does not foreclose the Department's consideration of positions advanced by non-Federal entities.
(d) The guidance document is written in plain and understandable English;
(e) All guidance documents include a clear and prominent statement declaring that the contents of the document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way, and the document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.