Guidance documents

A guidance document is an agency statement of general applicability and future effect, other than a regulatory action, that sets forth a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue, or an interpretation of a statute or regulation. Guidance documents are intended to provide helpful information to the public, such as clarifying obligations under an existing law or regulation, or providing information on agency procedures.  Guidance documents do not, however, themselves impose obligations on the public.

Please note that the contents of these guidance documents do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way.  These documents are intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.

Individual guidance documents that are subsequently incorporated into compilation guidance (such as the MPEP or TMEP) will be removed from this page.  Additionally, when revisions to guidance documents are issued, older guidance documents will be removed from this page.