Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
HHG Working Group Recommendations Issued
Earlier this month, the FMCSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR), updating regulations for HHG move estimates, consumer notifications and other key procedural/process areas for the U.S. HHG industry.
The origin of the proposed rulemaking stretches back to 2015, when an FMCSA convened HHG Working Group (Federal Advisory Committee) was formed as part of the 2015 Highway Reauthorization Bill (FAST Act). IAM was represented by Chuck White on the Advisory Committee, enabling the association to help lead the discussions and provide direct input into the recommendations. After several meetings in 2016 and 2017, the FMCSA issued the Group's final recommendations in 2019. Several, but not all, of the recommendations were incorporated into this month's proposed rulemaking notice.
- Require preparation of a new binding (or non-binding estimate) when an individual shipper requests additional services - revised estimates would not be permitted.
- Allow for virtual, live video surveys of household goods in lieu of in-person estimates. Virtual surveys would be permitted beyond a 50 mile radius.
- Removal of the requirement for an "order for service" to be issued, and a connected requirement that the bill of lading be provided earlier in the moving process - and signed at least 3 days before the scheduled date of the move.
- Replace the freight bill with an invoice requirement - this change is intended to provide clarity to individual shippers regarding outstanding balances that must be paid.
- Require all motor carriers who have a website to prominently display a link to either the FMCSA's Ready to Move? or an accurate copy of the pamphlet. The pamphlet is also scheduled to be updated in the proposed rulemaking. All comments are due to the FMCSA by October 12th.