Commodity Exchange Act & Regulations

The Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) regulates the trading of commodity futures in the United States. Passed in 1936, it has been amended several times since then. The CEA establishes the statutory framework under which the CFTC operates. Under this Act, the CFTC has authority to establish regulations that are published in title 17 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

For convenience, we provide the following links to the CEA and related documents:

 CFTC Regulations

  • CFTC regulations are found at Title 17 Chapter I of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and are available at the U.S. GPO Access website.
  • Prior to promulgation and inclusion in the CFR, CFTC proposed and final regulations are published in the Federal Register.
  • CFTC Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions - Semiannual Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions from Reginfo.gov
    • Select "Commodity Futures Trading Commission" in the “Select Agency” box and click “Submit.”
    • For background on the Unified Agenda, click on the “About the Unified Agenda” link located above the “Select Agency” box.

Dodd-Frank Act

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) enhanced the CFTC’s regulatory authority to oversee the more than $400 trillion swaps market.

Rule-writing

As a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFTC has written rules to regulate the swaps marketplace.

See information below regarding areas the CFTC addressed in its rule-writing. Also see proposed rules and final rules issued by the Commission thus far.

View all Dodd-Frank Final Rules and Orders

View all Dodd-Frank Guidance, Advisories and Questions

Currently Effective Staff Letters

View all Dodd-Frank Open Meetings and Public Roundtables

View all Proposed Rules, Orders and Advance Notices of Proposed Rules

See List of Rulemaking Areas

View all Comparability Determinations for Substituted Compliance Purposes

Reports and Studies

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required the CFTC to conduct a number of studies and reports on a wide variety of issues that affect the derivatives market. Information regarding these reports and studies will be published as it becomes available.

See List of Reports and Studies

Text of H.R. 4173: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Download the PDF of the bill, or

Read the text on THOMAS

Swaps Regulation

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act brings comprehensive reform to the regulation of swaps.  These products, which have not previously been regulated in the United States, were at the center of the 2008 financial crisis.  The historic Dodd-Frank bill authorizes the CFTC to:

Regulate Swap Dealers

  • List of Provisionally Registered Swap Dealers
  • Swap dealers will be subject to capital and margin requirements to lower risk in the system. 
  • Dealers will be required to meet robust business conduct standards to lower risk and promote market integrity.
  • Dealers will be required to meet recordkeeping and reporting requirements so that regulators can police the markets.

Increase Transparency and Improve Pricing in The Derivatives Marketplace

  • Instead of trading out of sight of the public, standardized derivatives will be required to be traded on regulated exchanges or swap execution facilities.
  • Transparent trading of swaps will increase competition and bring better pricing to the marketplace.  This will lower costs for businesses and consumers.

Lower Risk to the American Public

  • Standardized derivatives will be moved into central clearinghouses to lower risk in the financial system.
  • Clearinghouses act as middlemen between two parties to a transaction and take on the risk that one counterparty may default on its obligations.
  • Clearinghouses have lowered risk in the futures marketplace since the 1890s.  The Dodd-Frank bill brings this crucial market innovation to the swaps marketplace.