FMCSA renews regulatory relief extension for truckers carrying pandemic-related goods
Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration once again 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 Nov. 29, the extension of Emergency Declaration 2020-002, initially issued March 13, 2020, and expanded and modified numerous times, is slated to remain in effect through Feb. 28.
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
As before, the exemption doesn’t cover 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.”
FMCSA adds: “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.”