The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration today once again extended, this time to June 14, an emergency declaration exempting from hours-of-service regulations truckers responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
According to the FMCSA, the regulatory relief is for commercial vehicle drivers hauling:
- 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 items in categories (1), (2) or (3)
- liquefied gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems
- equipment, supplies, and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19
- persons designated by federal, state or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes
- persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response.
The FMCSA said 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 this emergency declaration.
The original Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 waiving hours-of-service regulations, was issued on March 13, expanded on March 18, and extended and further expanded on April 8. It was issued in response to the declaration of a national emergency by President Trump, the public health emergency declared by the Health and Human Services Secretary, and the immediate risk COVID-19 presents to public health and welfare.
This extension continues the exemption granted from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.