The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Monday issued an hours of service waiver for haulers of baby formula and related manufacturing ingredients.
Baby formula was already included in the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration that allowed for hours of service waivers for drivers transporting baby formula as a finished product. Monday's emergency declaration clarifies that HOS requirements are temporarily waived for carriers transporting both baby formula and the other ingredients used for production, such as corn syrup, casein, hydrolyzed protein and whey.
The waiver covers motor carriers hauling formula and its ingredients to either manufacturers, distributors or stores.
Baby formula has been in short supply since the FDA in February closed Abbott Nutrition's plant in Sturgis, Michigan, after four infants contracted bacterial infections from formula made there. President Biden last week invoked the Defense Production Act to increase baby formula production, requiring suppliers to direct ingredients to baby formula manufacturers as a priority.
According to FMCSA, by execution of its emergency declaration, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the emergency in direct support of relief efforts related to the baby formula shortage are granted relief from 49 CFR § 395.3, maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles.
Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, FMCSA says, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration. To be eligible for relief from 49 CFR § 395.3, the load must be related to the immediate restoration of baby formula supplies.