In light of President Trump’s declared national emergency, acting Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Jim Mullen has invoked 49 CFR 390.23(a)(l)(i), which allows an exemption from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Pursuant to Mr. Mullen’s action and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs), motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 CFRs.
Direct assistance means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) incident to the immediate restoration of essential services, such as medical care, or essential supplies such as food, related to COVID-19 outbreaks during the emergency. Specifically, Mr. Mullen has provided regulatory relief for transportation of medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; supplies and equipment such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants; food for emergency restocking of stores; 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; and persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services.
Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services that are not in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce.
The 49 CFR 390.23 Emergency Declaration exempts qualified motor carriers and drivers from Parts 390 to 399 of the CFRs. These regulations include guidelines and rules related to driver qualification, operation of commercial motor vehicles, equipment, hours of service, inspection and maintenance, transportation of hazardous materials, transportation of migrant workers, and employee safety and health standards.
The declaration is to remain in effect until the termination of the emergency or until 11:59 PM (ET) on April 12, 2020, whichever occurs sooner.