On November 29, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that it has extended the Hours of Service (HOS) regulatory waivers due to continued public health concerns.
The waiver took effect December 1st and has been extended through February 28, 2022.
FMCSA explained, “although the number of COVID-19 cases began to decline in the U.S. following widespread introduction of vaccinations, persistent issues arising out of COVID-19 continue to affect the U.S. including impacts on supply chains and the need to ensure capacity to respond to variants and potential rises in infections.”
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also stated that this exemption of the normal HOS regulations is necessary to continue to provide “direct emergency assistance” for overwhelmed supply chains. “This extension of the modified emergency declaration addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies and provides necessary relief from the [Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations] for motor carriers and drivers.”
It’s important to note that the waiver is limited, however. The HOS waiver only applies to the transportation of the following:
- Livestock and livestock feed
- Medical supplies for the treatment of COVID-19 – such as vaccines, ancillary supplies, and kits for the administration of vaccines
- Supplies and equipment deemed necessary for public safety – such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectants
- Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores
- Gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and ethyl alcohol
The FMCSA has strict rules for what qualifies for the HOS waiver and what does not. The exemption does not apply to the following:
- Transportation of qualifying commodities listed above if it is a non-emergency transport
- Routine commercial deliveries
- Mixed loads with an insignificant quantity of qualifying emergency relief
To be eligible for the exemption, the transportation must be both of qualifying commodities and related to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies. Read the full exemption here.
As your partner in freight, we will continue to watch the HOS waiver’s progress and will always keep you informed of any updates. Our entire team is dedicated to providing you with personal, hometown service you can count on, no matter what is going on in the great big world.
CONTACT US today to see why shippers are turning to Hawkeye.