FMCSA extends COVID-19 emergency declaration

The FMCSA has once again extended their COVID-19 emergency declaration, in an effort to provide direct assistance in relief efforts.

“This extension of the expanded modified Emergency Declaration addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies, and provides necessary relief from the FMCSRs for motor carriers and drivers,” reads the FMCSA release.

The agency issued its first emergency declaration back in March 2020 and has since extended it three times. 

One major regulation suspended by the emergency declaration was hours of service for drivers who are assisting in the relief effort. The FMCSA considers “direct assistance” to be providing “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 related to COVID-19 during the emergency.”

Per the agency’s release, the emergency declaration is currently limited to the transportation of:

  •  Livestock and livestock feed.
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention 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.
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.

If your company is completing routine commercial deliveries including mixed loads with a quantity of qualifying relief materials, please note that you are not considered to be providing direct assistance to the relief effort.

For more information, you can find the FMCSA Emergency Declaration here.