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Agency Information Collection Activities; Approval of a New Information Collection Request: Lease and Interchange of Vehicles

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Agency Information Collection Activities; Approval of a New Information Collection Request: Lease and Interchange of Vehicles

G. Kelly Leone
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
March 27, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 59 (Thursday, March 27, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17226-17227]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06839]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2013-0050]


Agency Information Collection Activities; Approval of a New 
Information Collection Request: Lease and Interchange of Vehicles

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FMCSA 
announces its plan to submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) 
described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review 
and approval, and invites public comment. This ICR will enable FMCSA to 
document the burden associated with the for-hire truck leasing 
regulations codified in 49 CFR part 376, ``Lease and Interchange of 
Vehicles.'' These regulations require certain for-hire motor carriers 
to have a formal lease when leasing equipment.

DATES: Please send your comments by April 28, 2014. OMB must receive 
your comments by this date in order to act on the ICR.

ADDRESSES: All comments should reference Federal Docket Management 
System (FDMS) Docket Number FMCSA-2013-0050. Interested persons are 
invited to submit written comments on the proposed information 
collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office 
of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the attention 
of the Desk Officer, Department of Transportation/Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Administration, and sent via electronic mail to oira_submission@omb.eop.gov, or faxed to (202) 395-6974, or mailed to the 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and 
Budget, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 
20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kenneth Rodgers, Chief, Commercial 
Enforcement and Investigations Division, Office of Enforcement and 
Compliance, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 
20590-0001. Telephone: 202-366-0073; Email: kenneth.rodgers@dot.gov. 
Office hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
Federal Holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Title: Lease and Interchange of Vehicles.
    OMB Control Number: 2126-XXXX.
    Type of Request: New information collection.
    Respondents: Motor carriers authorized by the Secretary to 
transport property that use leased equipment.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 32,100 for-hire motor carriers.
    Estimated Time per Response: 2 hour 7 minutes [68,100 estimated 
annual burden hours/32,100 respondents = 2.121495327 or 2 hour 7 
minutes].
    Expiration Date: N/A. This is a new information collection.
    Frequency of Response: One-time.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 68,100 (16,500 carriers x 0.5 hours 
x 2 entities + 311,000 vehicles x 0.083 hours x 2 entities = 68,126 
hours, rounded to the nearest hundred).
    Background: The Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) is 
authorized to require a motor carrier that uses motor vehicles not 
owned by it to transport property under an arrangement with another 
party to make the arrangement in writing. This written lease agreement 
must specify its duration, the compensation to be paid by the motor 
carrier providing transportation subject to jurisdiction under 49 
U.S.C. 14102(a), ``Leased Motor Vehicles'' and signed by the parties. 
The Secretary has delegated authority pertaining to leased motor 
vehicles to FMCSA pursuant to 49 CFR 1.87(a)(6). The Agency's 
regulations governing leased motor vehicles are at 49 CFR part 376.
    The rules were adopted to ensure that small trucking companies were 
protected when they agreed to lease their equipment and drivers to 
larger for-hire carriers. They also ensure that the government and 
members of the public can determine who is responsible for a property-
carrying commercial motor vehicle. Prior to the regulations, some 
equipment was leased without written agreements, leading to disputes 
over which party to the lease was responsible for charges and actions 
and, at times, who was legally responsible for the vehicle. Under 49 
U.S.C. 14102(a), FMCSA ``may require a motor carrier providing for-hire 
transportation that uses motor vehicles not owned by it to transport 
property under an arrangement with another party to--
    (1) make the arrangement in writing signed by the parties 
specifying its duration and the compensation to be paid by the motor 
carrier;
    (2) carry a copy of the arrangement in each motor vehicle to which 
it applies during the period the arrangement is in effect;
    (3) inspect the motor vehicles and obtain liability and cargo 
insurance on them; and
    (4) have control of and be responsible for operating those motor 
vehicles in compliance with requirements prescribed by the Secretary on 
safety of operations and equipment, and with other applicable law as if 
the motor vehicles were owned by the motor carrier.''
    The rules specify what must be covered in the lease, but leave open 
how many responsibilities must be divided. The parties to the lease 
determine numerous details between themselves.
    Part 376 applies only to certain motor carriers in interstate 
commerce and only to certain leasing situations. The rules cover 
leasing between a for-hire carrier that does not hold operating 
authority and another for-hire carrier that does hold operating 
authority. A for-hire motor carrier with or without operating authority 
that leases its equipment and drivers to a private motor carrier is not 
covered by the rule. A for-hire carrier with operating authority that 
leases its equipment to a non- for hire motor carrier and operates 
under its own authority is also not covered by the rule. Private 
carriers that lease their equipment to for-hire motor carriers and for-
hire carriers with their own operating authority leasing to another 
such carrier are subject to lesser requirements. For-hire carriers in 
interstate commerce are exempt from the rules if they operate 
exclusively in commercial zones. Commercial zones, last set by the ICC 
in 1975, are generally defined as a municipality and a distance from 
the limits of the municipality that ranges from 3 miles for cities with 
populations less than 2,500 to 20 miles for cities of a million or more 
people. Some municipalities have additional areas defined for them.
    Section 376.11 requires the following when the carrier leases 
equipment (Lessee) from a party supplying the equipment (Lessor), but 
does not hold

[[Page 17227]]

its own operating authority: (1) The lessor and lessee enter into a 
formal agreement that includes certain provisions (49 CFR 376.12); and 
(2) the lessee provides the lessor receipts specifying the equipment 
being leased at the beginning and end of the lease. These two 
provisions account for the burden in this information collection.

Comments From the Public

General Summary

    FMCSA received three comments to the 60-day Federal Register notice 
published on March 27, 2013 (78 FR 18666), regarding the Agency's 
Information Collection Activities; New Information Collection: Lease 
and Interchange of Vehicles. Comments were received from the Owner 
Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. (OOIDA), Transportation 
Intermediaries Association (TIA), and Sharp Auto Transport. Comments 
and responsive considerations are as follows:
    OOIDA provided detailed comments, though they concluded that the 
burden estimates are justified and the burden of compliance with truck 
rules are ``minimal.'' OOIDA asked several questions. First, OOIDA 
asked why FMCSA initiated a request for comments on this ICR, as well 
as who, or what prompted the ICR, and what is the ICR's purpose.

FMCSA Response

    In 2009, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) 
recommended to FMCSA that the Agency require passenger motor carriers 
be subject to the same limitations on the leasing of equipment as 
interstate for-hire motor carriers of cargo (NTSB Recommendation H-09-
33).\1\ Since 2012, the OMB has published an FMCSA Unified Agenda entry 
entitled ``Lease and Interchange of Vehicles; Motor Carriers of 
Passengers,'' RIN 2126-AB44, addressing regulations governing the lease 
and interchange of passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles similar 
to the leasing of equipment by interstate for-hire motor carriers of 
cargo.\2\ FMCSA published a notice of public rulemaking (NPRM) 
entitled, ``Lease and Interchange of Vehicles: Motor Carriers of 
Passengers,'' (bus carrier NPRM) under RIN 2126-AB44 on September 20, 
2013 (78 FR 57822). The proposal for bus carriers to address the NTSB 
recommendation has similar information collection requirements as the 
truck leasing rules. Therefore, FMCSA will coordinate the bus and truck 
ICRs accordingly.
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    \1\ National Transportation Safety Board. 2009. Motorcoach 
Rollover on U.S. Highway 59 near Victoria, Texas, January 2, 2008. 
Highway Accident Summary Report. NTSB/HAR-09/03/SUM. Washington, DC.
    \2\ http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201210&RIN=2126-AB44.
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    In addition, the bus carrier NPRM is necessary to ensure that 
unsafe passenger carriers cannot evade FMCSA oversight and enforcement 
by operating under the authority of another carrier that exercises no 
actual control over those operations. This action will enable the 
FMCSA, the NTSB and our Federal and State partners to identify motor 
carriers transporting passengers in interstate commerce and correctly 
assign responsibility to these entities for regulatory violations 
during inspections, compliance investigations, and crash studies. It 
also provides the general public with the means to identify the 
responsible motor carrier at the time of motorcoach transportation. 
``Why is FMCSA attempting to study an area of regulation that Congress 
largely left in the hands of private parties and that FMCSA has 
steadfastly refused to become involved in despite several entreaties by 
OOIDA in the past?''

FMCSA Response

    The detailed lease and interchange regulations for cargo-carrying 
vehicles have been in effect since 1950 and are not within the scope of 
the bus carrier NPRM. The ICR in this truck leasing ICR action will be 
coordinated with that of the bus leasing NPRM to eventually calculate a 
total burden for all regulations covering all leases and interchanges 
of CMVs regulated by FMCSA.
    OOIDA correctly pointed out a mistake in the 60-day notice. ``This 
ICR will enable FMCSA to document the burden associated with the 
marking regulations codified in 49 CFR part 376. FMCSA incorrectly 
identified a CMV marking notice instead of the lease and interchange 
regulations that are codified in 49 CFR part 376. This error has been 
corrected in this notice and the associated Supporting Statement for 
this ICR.
    Sharp Transport and TIA both believe the elimination of written 
lease and interchange requirements would be a mistake. TIA believes 
that leasing requirements alleviate concerns within the transportation 
industry of fraudulent entities in the supply chain, by placing 
safeguards in the industry. TIA believes if this requirement is 
eliminated it will make it easier for carriers who are illegally 
brokering to continue the detrimental practice. Sharp Transport 
believes removal of the provisions will make enforcement impossible.

FMCSA Response

    FMCSA has not proposed elimination of written leasing agreements. 
FMCSA is merely attempting to comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 requirements and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
regulations at 5 CFR 1320 to calculate an accurate estimate of the time 
and cost burdens to for-hire freight motor carriers to collect 
information during lease negotiations and document the lease, receipts, 
and other paperwork required by 49 CFR part 376. The 60-day notice 
published on March 27, 2013 was FMCSA's first required step in getting 
OMB to approve the part 376 estimates of time and cost burdens. This 
30-day notice is the second required step in the OMB approval process 
for the part 376 estimates.
    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of 
this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed 
collection is necessary for the performance of FMCSA's functions; (2) 
the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for FMCSA to enhance the 
quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) 
ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of 
the collected information.

    Issued under the authority of 49 CFR 1.87 on: March 12, 2014.
G. Kelly Leone,
Associate Administrator, Office of Research and Information Technology 
and Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2014-06839 Filed 3-26-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P



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