FMCSA Extends HOS Rule Exemption with New Reporting Requirements
The FMCSA has extended COVID-19 Emergency Declarations through November 30, 2021. The extension comes with additional requirements not seen previously.
Who does the FMCSA COVID-19 extension apply to?
Motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of COVID-19 relief efforts are granted emergency relief from hours of service (HOS) restrictions outlined in 49 CFR § 395.3. Direct assistance is defined as “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.”
What changes did the FMCSA implement with this update?
Under the update, motor carriers must now report their use of the exemption within 5 days after the end of each month in which they relied on the Emergency Declaration. Reporting must be completed on the FMCSA Portal under the Emergency Declaration Reporting section.
Are there any restrictions on the FMCSA exemption?
It is important to note that the exemption is not applicable to routine commercial deliveries even if they include supplies that are used COVID-19 relief efforts. In order to be eligible, drivers must be transporting “qualifying commodities” (outlined below) AND doing so for the immediate restoration of these essential supplies.
The exemption is limited to the transportation of the following qualifying commodities:
- livestock and livestock feed;
- medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
- vaccines, medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19;
- supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of 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;
- gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and ethyl alcohol; and
- supplies to assist individuals impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., building materials for individuals displaced or otherwise impacted as a result of the emergency).
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