Contact:  Ed Greenberg @ (202) 342-5200                                                                                                                  For Immediate Release
                                                                                                                       Janet Fields @ (912) 963-2964
                                                                                                                        Tom Mathers @ (202) 466-02222


FMSCA Overreaching According to NCBFAA Comments


Washington, DC: In response to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) expressed concern that recently “proposed regulations would unduly interfere with the efficient operation of the transportation market, unnecessarily complicate relationships between the industry participants, and inappropriately place liability on parties not in a position to ensure compliance with FMCSRs [Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations].”

In its proposal, the FMSCA defines transportation intermediaries in a way that could include customs brokers, ocean forwarders, indirect air carriers, and NVOCCs, thus making them subject to FMSCA jurisdiction. As a result, NCBFAA members may be considered “employers” of any trucking company drivers they contract for carriage which would subject them to FMCSRs related to hours of service (HOS) and driver coercion. Such a circumstance would prevent an NCBFAA member from replacing an HOS limited driver because the FMCSA could construe it to be “coercion” of an HOS limited driver who refuses to violate the agency’s safety rules. Such inability to replace an ineligible driver would bring commerce to a halt. The NCBFAA’s view is that members hire the trucking company, not the driver, and responsibility for monitoring compliance with FMCSRAs falls on the trucking company.

“But the proposal – which purports to make a shipper or transportation intermediary the ‘employer’ of a driver simply because it needs goods delivered by a date certain,” wrote the NCBFAA, “ is inappropriate and will open a Pandora’s box of unintended consequences for these non-carrier parties.”

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the NCBFAA represents more than 970 member companies with 110,000 employees in international trade - the nation's leading freight forwarders, customs brokers, ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs), NVOCCs and air cargo agents, serving more than 250,000 importers and exporters. Established in 1897 in New York, NCBFAA is the effective national voice of the industry. Through its various committees, counsel and representatives, the Association maintains a close watch over legislative and regulatory issues that affect its members. It keeps them informed of these and other related issues through its weekly Monday Morning eBriefing, and various meetings and conferences throughout the year.


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