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This article has two purposes; the first is to assess the value of certification requirements by describing their operation in foreign affairs legislation and by accounting for their use and the controversies that attend them. The second purpose of this article is to suggest ways to minimize the costs of certification requirements. The findings are presented in four sections. The author begins by sketching the features of certification requirements in current legislation. Next, the author discusses the constitutional background out of which these requirements arise. Then, in what forms the greater part of this article, the author describes and evaluates the several uses of certification requirements. The author follows with a discussion of the costs such requirements impose and recommendations for minimizing those costs.