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Pritzker Legal Research Center

Federal Administrative Law

A guide to researching federal regulations, agency decisions and Presidential documents.

Code of Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) is the codification of rules created by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to federal regulation.  The 50 subject titles of the regulations in the C.F.R. are similar but not identical to the titles of the federal statutes in the U.S. Code.

Here is an example of a regulation in the C.F.R.

21 CFR § 110.110

21 C.F.R. § 110.110

The first number is the title number, letting you know the general subject area of the regulation. 

Title 21 - Food and Drugs

The second number is the part and section number, separated by a period.

§ 110.110 Natural or unavoidable defects in food for human use that present no health hazard.
Very often regulations are referred to in groups by their part number.  For example,  this specific regulation may be referred to with the other surrounding regulations as 21 C.F.R. Part 110. Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packing, or Holding Human Food.  Note that this group of regulations is also organized into Chapters, Subchapters, Parts and Subparts, but that information is not included in the citation.   Browsing the table of contents to see this organizational structure can provide helpful context when researching regulations. 

Where can I find the C.F.R.?

The C.F.R. is available via the following databases and websites: