Federal agencies Trucking Transportation

FMCSA again extends regulatory relief for truckers carrying pandemic-related goods

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Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is extending its temporary hours-of-service exemptions and other regulatory relief for commercial truck drivers transporting items intended to assist with COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.

Announced Aug. 31, the extension of Emergency Declaration 2020-002, initially issued March 13, 2020, and expanded and modified multiple times, is scheduled to remain in effect through Nov. 30.

Regulatory relief is extended to drivers who are transporting:

  • COVID-19 vaccines; constituent products; and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines
  • Medical supplies and equipment for the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment to help curb the spread of COVID-19, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of stores or distribution centers
  • Gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and ethyl alcohol
  • Supplies to assist individuals impacted by the “consequences” of the pandemic (e.g., building materials for individuals displaced or otherwise impacted as a result of the emergency)
  • Livestock and livestock feed
 

Drivers making routine commercial deliveries, “including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration,” are not covered under the exemption.

“To be eligible for the exemption, the transportation must be both (i) of qualifying commodities and (ii) incident to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies,” FMCSA says.

The regulatory relief doesn’t extend to safety regulations concerning speed limits, fatigue, texting/phone use while driving, crash documentation and out-of-service rules, among others.

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