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FMCSA announces guidance governing broker, freight forwarding authority

Section 32918 amended the financial security portion (a minimum $75,000 financial security requirement) and created new requirements for freight forwarders. FMCSA provides guidance for brokers and freight forwarders on how to comply with the new requirements and information regarding FMCSA's enforcement of the new provisions.

The Trucker News Services

9/13/2013

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration today announced guidance governing required  registration to obtain broker or freight forwarder authority.

The guidance was mandated in certain provisions of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

Section 32915 of MAP-21 requires anyone acting as a broker or a freight forwarder and subject to FMCSA jurisdiction, including motor carriers, “to register and obtain broker or freight forwarder authority from FMCSA.”

Section 32918 amended the financial security portion (a minimum $75,000 financial security requirement) and created new requirements for freight forwarders. FMCSA provides guidance for brokers and freight forwarders on how to comply with the new requirements and information regarding FMCSA's enforcement of the new provisions.

Companies providing broker or freight forwarder services, including motor carriers, are required to obtain the appropriate operating authorities and, as of October 1, are required to meet the new minimum financial responsibility requirements.

FMCSA will be providing a 60-day phase-in period beginning October 1 to allow the industry to complete all necessary filings. Beginning November 1, FMCSA will mail notifications to all brokers and freight forwarders that have not met the $75,000 minimum financial security requirement. FMCSA will provide 30 days advance notice before revoking freight forwarder and broker operating authority registrations.

FMCSA acknowledged that there are motor carriers that occasionally broker loads that have not previously been required to obtain operating authority registration from FMCSA as brokers. Therefore, FMCSA said it will phase in its enforcement of the broker registration requirements for motor carriers that also broker loads.

During the first phase-in period, FMCSA will accept complaints regarding unregistered brokerage activities of motor carriers through its National Consumer Complaint Database (see http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/).

“FMCSA will work with industry groups to use this complaint information and other data to ascertain the extent of the unlicensed broker population subset within the motor carrier industry,” the agency stated. It will then work toward developing a comprehensive enforcement program.

FMCSA said it “strongly encourages all motor carriers not to accept loads from unregistered brokers or freight forwarders, as these entities might not have the financial security mandated by MAP-21.”

 FMCSA also noted that motor carriers brokering loads without properly registering with FMCSA as brokers may be subject to private civil actions pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 14707.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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