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Requester Categories

Under the FOIA, there are four categories of FOIA requesters. FOIA prescribes specific levels of fees for each category. The categorization assists the agency in determining the fee charged for FOIA requests. You may identify yourself as any one of the four categories. However, USDA retains the final determination of your categorization. In the event our categorization determination does not match what you elected, then USDA may advise you of this determination and provide you with a fee estimate for your specific FOIA request. Below is a brief list and description of the four categories.



Educational Institution &Non Commercial Scientific Institution Educational or noncommercial scientific institution. You may be charged only for duplication costs, minus the first 100 pages.
News Media

Representative of the news media. You may be charged only for duplication costs, minus the first 100 pages.

Commercial Use

Commercial requester. You may be charged the full fees for searching, reviewing, and duplicating the documents.

All Other

All other requester. You may be charged fees for searching for documents and duplication, minus the first 2 hours of search time and the first 100 pages.

A fee table is provided below as a reference for your convenience.


Search Fees Review Fees Duplication Fees

Educational Institution & Non Commercial Scientific Institution



Yes (100 pages free)

News Media

No No Yes (100 pages free)

Commercial Use

Yes Yes Yes

All Others

Yes ( 2 hours Free) No Yes (100 pages free)

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