FMCSA extends Emergency Declaration for COVID-19 relief and support to May 31
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced on February 12 that it is extending its Emergency Declaration set to expire on February 28. 2021.
The new extension is effective at midnight February 17, 2021, and expires May 31, 2021. It includes the same regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to COVID-19, as included in the December 1st declaration.
The expanded declaration is limited to the emergency transportation of the following:
- Livestock and livestock feed;
- Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
- Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention 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, and;
- Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.
Further, the agency stated that it intends “to wind down the exemptions granted under this Emergency Declaration and related COVID-19 regulatory relief measures to the extent possible”. Most industry experts believe this is likely an indication that this may be one of the final extensions.
As with previous declarations, emergency regulatory relief is provided from parts 390 through 399 of the FMCSRs, including the hours-of-service regulations. Emergency relief does not include certain FMCSR’s related to the safe operation of CMVs, such as controlled substance and alcohol testing, financial responsibility requirements, CDL requirements, operation of a CMV while ill or fatigued, size and weight requirements, and additional FMCSR’s which are outlined in the declaration.
Additionally, ATA is monitoring several other waivers that are set to expire at the end of this month, including the CDL/CLP and Medical Certificate waivers. We will provide an update if any extensions are issued. We also encourage everyone to review the applicability, restrictions, and limitations which are included in the exemption posted on the FMCSA’s website at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/
Source: Dave Horvath, American Trucking Associations