The emergency declaration from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that was put in place to get much-needed COVID-19 relief supplies to Americans has been renewed. But in the renewal, many supplies which were exempted from Hours of Service (HOS) regulations will no longer qualify.
FMCSA’s expanded emergency declaration has been extended twice already. Once through May 15th, and then through June 14th. This most recent notice will extend HOS exemptions until July 14th, 2020. But the only categories that will qualify for exemption are as follows:
- 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.
According to the FMCSA extension notice, the “other categories of supplies, equipment, and persons” covered by previous exemptions are no longer needed for emergency relief.
Even loads which would otherwise be exempted can be disqualified if they are part of “routine commercial deliveries” or if the load only includes “a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.”