By LM Staff · June 23, 2020
Earlier this month, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said it has made changes to its motor carrier hours-of-service (HOS) COVID-19 Emergency Declaration.
The Emergency Declaration was initially issued on March 13, to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
This emergency declaration was the first one FMCSA had issued on a national level and followed President Trump issuing a national emergency declaration in response to the coronavirus. Following its original announcement, FMCSA subsequently pushed the expiration of the Emergency Declaration back a number of times.
It was set to expire on June 14, but earlier this month the FMCSA extended it through July 14.
FMCSA officials said that the agency is continuing the extension, due to the fact that the national emergency declaration remains in place, adding that a continued exemption is needed to support direct emergency assistance for some supply chains.
“This extension addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies and provides necessary relief from the FMCSRs (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations) for motor carriers and drivers,” said FMCSA.
The emergency declaration is geared towards motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance supporting COVID-19-related public health efforts, said FMCSA. And it added that the extension of this emergency declaration provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to COVID-19 and is limited to transportation of: livestock and livestock feed; medical supplies and equipment related to the testing diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; and 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.
This Emergency Declaration no longer applies to other categories of supplies, equipment, and persons covered by the FMCSA’s May 13 extension.
June 23, 2020