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Registration and Financial Security Requirements for Freight Forwarders; International Association of Movers Exemption Application

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Trucking American Government

Registration and Financial Security Requirements for Freight Forwarders; International Association of Movers Exemption Application

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
December 26, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 248 (Thursday, December 26, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78470-78472]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30898]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[FMCSA-2013-0514]


Registration and Financial Security Requirements for Freight 
Forwarders; International Association of Movers Exemption Application

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for public 
comments.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that it has received an application from the 
International Association of Movers (IAM) for an exemption for all 
domestic freight forwarders which operate solely in the Department of 
Defense's (DOD) household goods (HHG) program from the $75,000 bond 
requirement at 49 CFR 387.403(c). FMCSA promulgated this requirement 
pursuant to Section 32918 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st 
Century Act (MAP-21), now codified at 49 U.S.C. 13906. On September 5, 
2013, FMCSA published guidance in the Federal Register concerning 
section 32918, and on October 1, 2013, the Agency published a final 
rule amending 49 CFR part 387 to set a minimum $75,000 surety bond/
trust fund requirement for brokers of property and freight forwarders. 
FMCSA requests comments from all interested parties on IAM's exemption 
request.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 27, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by docket number FMCSA-
2013-0514, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department 
of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. 
and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The 
telephone number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief of Driver and 
Carrier Operations, (202) 366-4001 or thomas.yager@dot.gov, FMCSA, 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 
20590.

[[Page 78471]]

Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA encourages you to participate in this proceeding by 
submitting comments, data, and related materials. All comments received 
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will 
include any personal and/or copyrighted information you provide.
Submitting Comments
    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
proceeding (FMCSA-2013-0514), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material 
online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of 
these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing 
address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your 
document so that FMCSA can contact you if there are questions regarding 
your submission. However, see the Privacy Act section below regarding 
availability of this information to the public.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
click on the ``Submit a Comment'' box, which will then become 
highlighted in blue. In the ``Document Type'' drop down menu, select 
``Rules,'' insert ``FMCSA-2013-0514'' in the ``Keyword'' box, and click 
``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on ``Submit a Comment'' 
in the ``Actions'' column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand 
delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 
inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit 
comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, 
please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.
    FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the 
comment period.
Viewing Comments and Documents
    All public comments are available in the public docket. To view 
comments filed in this docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
click on the ``Read Comments'' box in the upper right hand side of the 
screen. Then, in the ``Keyword'' box, insert ``FMCSA-2013-0514'' and 
click ``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the 
``Actions'' column. Finally, in the ``Title'' column, click on the 
document you would like to review. If you do not have access to the 
Internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket 
Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the 
Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.
Privacy Act
    Anyone is able to search the electronic docket for all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the DOT 
Privacy Act system of records notice for the Federal Docket Management 
System (FDMS) that DOT published in the Federal Register on January 17, 
2008 (73 FR 3316).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Legal Basis

    Section 13541 of title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C. 
13541) requires the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) to exempt a 
person, class of persons, or a transaction or service from the 
application, in whole or in part, of a provision of 49 U.S.C. Part B 
(Chapters 131-149), or to use the exemption authority to modify the 
application of a provision of 49 U.S.C. Part B (Chapters 131-149) as it 
applies to such person, class, transaction, or service when the 
Secretary finds that the application of the provision:
     Is not necessary to carry out the transportation policy of 
49 U.S.C. 13101
     Is not needed to protect shippers from the abuse of market 
power or that the transaction or service is of limited scope; and
     Is in the public interest.
    Further, the exemption authority provided by section 13541 ``may 
not be used to relieve a person from the application of, and compliance 
with, any law, rule, regulation, standard, or order pertaining to cargo 
loss and damage [or] insurance . . ..'' 49 U.S.C. 13541(e)(1).
    IAM seeks an exemption, on behalf of all domestic freight 
forwarders operating solely in the DOD's HHG program, from the $75,000 
financial security requirements at 49 CFR 387.403(c). Section 
387.403(c)'s $75,000 surety bond/trust fund requirement is promulgated 
pursuant to Section 32918 of MAP-21 (codified at 49 U.S.C. 13906). 
Section 13906 is located in 49 U.S.C. Title 49 Part B (chapter 139) and 
therefore may be considered within the general scope of the exemption 
authority of section 13541. The Secretary may begin a section 13541 
exemption proceeding on the Secretary's own initiative or on the 
application of an interested party. 49 U.S.C. 13541(b). See, e.g., 
Motor Carrier Financial Information Reporting Requirements-Request for 
Public Comments, 68 FR 48987 (Aug. 15, 2003). The Secretary may 
``specify the period of time during which an exemption'' is effective 
and may revoke the exemption ``to the extent specified, on finding that 
application of a provision of [49 U.S.C. Chapters 131-149] to the 
person, class, or transportation is necessary to carry out the 
transportation policy of [49 U.S.C.] section 13101.'' 49 U.S.C. 
13541(c), (d).
    The Administrator of FMCSA has been delegated authority under 49 
CFR 1.87 to carry out the functions vested in the Secretary by 49 
U.S.C. 13541.

Background

    On July 6, 2012, the President signed MAP-21 into law, which 
included a number of mandatory, non-discretionary changes to FMCSA 
programs. Some of these changes amended the financial security 
requirements applicable to property brokers and freight forwarders 
operating under FMCSA's jurisdiction. Public Law 112-141, Sec.  32918, 
126 Stat. 405 (codified at 49 U.S.C. 13906(b) & (c)).
    On September 5, 2013, FMCSA published guidance (78 FR 54720) 
``concerning the implementation of certain provisions of . . . (MAP-21) 
concerning persons acting as a broker or a freight forwarder.'' On 
October 1, 2013, FMCSA issued regulations requiring brokers and freight 
forwarders to have a $75,000 surety bond or trust fund in effect. 49 
CFR 387.307(a), 387.403(c). 78 FR 60226, 60233.

IAM Exemption Application

    In a November 25, 2013 email to FMCSA's Office of Chief Counsel, 
IAM requested, on behalf of domestic freight forwarders operating 
solely under the DOD's HHG program, an exemption from the requirement 
that freight forwarders obtain a $75,000 bond. IAM's exemption request 
is included in this docket.
    IAM indicated that transportation service providers in the DOD's 
HHG program must maintain motor carrier or freight forwarder authority 
from FMCSA. And, because freight forwarders must obtain the $75,000 
bond as a result of FMCSA's requirements, the DOD requires freight 
forwarders in their HHG program to obtain the requisite $75,000 bond or 
face losing their approval to continue operating in the DOD program.

[[Page 78472]]

    IAM argues that the new bond requirement is ``geared toward 
commercial consumer protection'' and therefore it is unnecessary to 
require freight forwarders in the DOD HHG program to obtain a $75,000 
bond. It believes that the bond is an additional cost of doing business 
that is being mandated by FMCSA and that this cost is being passed on 
to DOD with no benefit to the DOD. IAM explains that DOD freight 
forwarders will be forced to add this cost to the rates they provide 
DOD.
    IAM argues there is a precedent for providing an exemption for 
transportation service providers for the DOD. It cites the Federal 
Maritime Commission (FMC) regulation at 46 CFR 515.4(e), exempting 
entities exclusively involved in the movement of Federal military and 
civilian household goods from certain FMC licensing requirements.

Institution of Proceeding and Request for Comments

    Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 13541(b), FMCSA is instituting a proceeding 
to consider whether domestic freight forwarders operating solely within 
the DOD HHG program should be exempt from the new $75,000 financial 
security requirements at 49 U.S.C. 13906(c) and 49 CFR 387.403(c). 
FMCSA requests public comment, and comment from DOD and FMC, on the IAM 
exemption application. Specifically, FMCSA requests comments on whether 
the Agency should grant or deny the application, in whole or in part. 
The Agency also requests comments on how it should apply 49 U.S.C. 
13541(a)(1-3) to IAM's request. Additionally, FMCSA seeks comment on 
whether section 13541(e)(1)'s reference to ``cargo loss and damage'' 
and/or ``insurance'' bars FMCSA from granting the requested exemption 
as a matter of law and without application of the 3-part statutory test 
under section 13541(a). Commenters are encouraged to provide data or 
information concerning the impact of the new bond requirements and/or 
the impact of granting this exemption request on carriers, brokers, 
freight forwarders and shippers.

    Issued on: December 18, 2013.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2013-30898 Filed 12-24-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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