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FMCSA expands emergency declaration, includes livestock movement

NPB livestock trailer by two feed bulk bins
The national emergency declaration provides hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers in response to the nationwide coronavirus outbreak.

Due to the COVID-19 emergency relief effort, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has exempted livestock haulers from compliance with federal Hours of Service rules that limit drive time until at least April 12. Drivers wishing to haul under this exemption are suggested to print out and keep in their cab a copy of the Expanded Emergency Declaration.

The Expanded Emergency Declaration provides relief to those drivers hauling "food" and "immediate precursor raw materials… that are required and to be used for the manufacture of … food." The Livestock Marketing Association has received official interpretation from the Office of the Secretary of Transportation that all livestock movement fits these exemption definitions. Once the driver has returned to their "normal reporting location," the driver must still receive a minimum of 10 hours off duty to rest. 

"Under Secretary Chao's leadership, FMCSA is providing additional regulatory relief to our nation's commercial drivers to get critically important medical supplies, food and household goods to Americans in need. The nation's truck drivers are on the front lines of this effort and are critical to America's supply chain. We will continue to support them and use our authority to protect the health and safety of the American people," says FMCSA acting administrator Jim Mullen. 

FMCSA's expanded declaration provides for regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts intended to meet immediate needs for:

  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • 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.
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.
  • Immediate precursor raw materials—such as paper, plastic or alcohol—that are required and to be used for the manufacture of essential items.
  • Fuel.
  • Equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine.
  • Persons designated by federal, state or local authorities for medical, isolation or quarantine purposes.
  • Persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services.

The expanded declaration stipulates 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 the emergency declaration.

FMCSA's emergency declaration is the first time the Agency has issued nation-wide relief and follows President Trump issuing of a national emergency declaration in response to the virus.

Sources: Livestock Marketing Association and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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