Friday, March 13, 2020

FMCSA waives HOS regs for COVID-19 emergency relief efforts

Earlier today, President Donald Trump declared a National State of Emergency to combat a growing crisis from the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). This move frees up $50 billion to help fight the pandemic and waives certain laws and regulations to ensure the virus can be contained and patients treated quickly and efficiently.

Following the declaration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) posted details with respect to targeted, limited relief from Hours of Service (HOS) for COVID-19 emergency efforts on its website.

Please read FMCSA’s declaration carefully, paying close attention to the section that clarifies what qualifies for this emergency relief from HOS regulations.

This Emergency Declaration provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations that are providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, including transportation to meet immediate needs for: (1) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; (2) 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; (3) food for emergency restocking of stores; (4) equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19; (5) persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and (6) persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response. Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, or transportation of mixed loads that include essential supplies, equipment and persons, along with supplies, equipment and persons that are not being transported in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks.

Meanwhile, for the latest information on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) visit the Center for Disease Control’s website.

The ATA team, along with our partners at the American Trucking Associations, are monitoring the government response to this crisis, and we will pass along additional information as it becomes available.