On March 25, 2003, the Federal Trade Commission announced the schedule for its creation and implementation of the national “do not call” registry. The national “do not call” registry was required as part of the amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule. On February 20, 2003, the President signed into law the Omnibus appropriations bill, which provided funding to allow the FTC to begin to develop the national “do not call” registry.

    The planned registry will list the telephone numbers of consumers who do not wish to be called by telemarketers. Consumers may list their telephone numbers on the registry beginning in July 2003. Listing will be free of charge to consumers and may be made either by telephone or online. The FTC said that it will announce in June the website and toll‑free telephone number available for placing a listing on the registry. Online registration will be immediate, but the FTC expects to conduct an eight‑week, geographic phased in registration via telephone in order to accommodate the expected large volume of calls.

    Those required to access the registry to “scrub” their calling lists should have access to the list in September 2003. The FTC said that enforcement of the “do not call” provisions will begin in October 2003.

    Judy Scheiderer and Margaret Stolar