These days, everything feels topsy-turvy and up in the air. The pandemic situation changes what seems like every day. The FMCSA issued an Emergency Declaration for the trucking world, and they recently extended that Emergency Declaration. It was due to expire on August 14th, but it has now been extended through September 14th. (Of course, the emergency declaration applies only to certain motor carriers – there are restrictions.) We’ll go over some of what you need to know.
What is happening with the Emergency Declaration?
Okay, so back when the pandemic started, the FMCSA took action and put an Emergency Declaration in place for the 50 states and DC. It was intended to address the national emergency, which has created a need for the immediate transport of essential supplies. It provides necessary relief from certain FMCSRs for carriers and drivers – but there are restrictions that apply and conditions that have to be met in order for a carrier to be eligible.
Now – to further expend on what that means, there are a few things you should know. The FMCSA Emergency Declaration 2020-002 is meant for motor carriers and drivers who are providing direct support of relief efforts related to COVID-19, and it gives relief from FMCSRs Parts 390 – 399 (of course except for the restrictions). Direct assistance in this case means transportation and other relief services that are provided by motor carriers and drivers that contribute to the restoration of essential services (i.e. medical care) or essential supplies.
The emergency declaration is limited to the transport of…
- Livestock and food for livestock
- Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing/diagnosing/treating of COVID-19
- Supplies and equipment needed for safety and sanitizing (i.e. masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectants)
- Food, paper products, and other groceries for the emergency stocking of distribution centers or stores
Again, you have to go through the official declaration from the FMCSA so that you can see if the exemptions apply to your situation or not. Like we said, there are restrictions and conditions you need to know about.
What is the new timeline for the extension?
Since the continuation of the national emergency has warranted an extension of the declaration, you might be wondering what the new timeline is. The extension was put into effect at 12 am on August 15th and it will last until 11:59 pm on on September 14, 2020. Or until the Presidential declaration of the COVID-19 national emergency is lifted. It’s whatever comes first.
Where can I find more information?
As we mentioned earlier in this article, the COVID-19 situation is changing constantly. That might have you feeling a bit overwhelmed and like you’ve got whiplash. And you might be wondering how you can stay abreast of the changes within the trucking world, COVID-19 situation. The FMCSA has an entire site devoted to these updates. You can find a lot of important information at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/COVID-19. That’s where you can keep up with the latest, detailed updates.
The trucking industry is crucial, and there are so many truckers doing vital work during the pandemic. The FMCSA recognizes this and has put an extension on Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002. This is intended to provide relief for truckers who are delivering vital supplies. To all the truckers who are on the roads doing this extremely important work, we say thank you.
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