FMCSA Extends the Limits of the Emergency Declaration
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended its Emergency Declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has limited the scope of transportation subject to its terms. The declaration exempts motor carriers and drivers from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations while providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks nationwide.
Direct assistance means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) incident to the immediate restoration of essential services (such as medical care) or essential supplies related to COVID-19 during the emergency.
The Emergency Declaration was set to expire June 14, but it is now extended to July 14.
Effective June 15, however, the FMCSA has limited the exemption to transportation of (1) livestock and livestock feed; (2) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; and (3) 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.
The agency has reiterated 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.
The FMCSA has concluded that there is no longer a need for emergency relief with respect to the other categories of supplies, equipment, and persons covered by the May 13 extension and expansion of the Emergency Declaration, and those categories will no longer be covered after June 14.
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