FMCSA extends COVID-19 Emergency Declaration for the Commercial Motor Carrier Industry

Posted: May, 14th 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has expanded through June 14,2020 its emergency declaration relaxing hours-of-service and some other rules for drivers transporting “relief” loads for COVID-19. The new emergency declaration explains that a national emergency continues to exist that warrants extension of Emergency No. 2020-002, which was issued on March 13th, expanded on March 18th, and further expanded on April 8th. Originally the April 8th extension was due to expire on May 15th; this new extension continues the exemption granted from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) through June 14th, or until the revocation of the presidentially declared COVID-19 national emergency.

Motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 national emergency are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of the FMCSRs. The notice explains that direct assistance means transportation and other relief services “incident to the immediate restoration of essential services (such as medical care) or essential supplies (such as food and fuel) related to COVID-19 during the emergency.”

That includes transportation to meet immediate needs for:

  • medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
  • supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants;
  • food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores;
  • immediate precursor raw materials -- such as paper, plastic or alcohol -- that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items in the first three categories above;
  • fuel;
  • liquefied gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems;
  • equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19.

 

The agency notes that direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.

If you have any questions pertaining to the new extension, please contact ITI.