Groceries, paper products reinstated in FMCSA’s latest HOS waiver extension

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Tractor Trailer at Grocery Store
In addition to extending the hours-of-service waiver through Sept. 14 for drivers providing assistance in COVID-19 relief efforts, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has reinstated food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking to list of products and services covered by the exemption.

WASHINGTON — Commercial drivers transporting grocery and paper products for emergency restocking related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been reinstated in the latest extension of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) hours-of-service (HOS) waiver.

The extension, issued Aug. 11, extends Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 through Sept. 14, 2020. The declaration, initially enacted in March after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, was previously set to expire Aug. 14.

Under the extension, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 crisis are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for the 50 States and the District of Columbia. Direct assistance means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its drivers incident to the immediate restoration of essential services (such as medical care) or essential supplies related to COVID-19 during the emergency.

The FMCSA’s declaration provides for regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicles transporting the following:

  • Livestock and livestock feed;
  • 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; and
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.

“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.

To view the entire waiver, including limitations and restrictions, click here.

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