U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Adopts Bulk of Household Goods Working Group Recommendations
Final Rule Increases Efficiency Processes for Movers, Enhances Communications to Consumer
Following a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) issued last year, this week the FMCSA formally adopted regulations for HHG estimates, consumer notifications and other key procedural/process areas for the domestic household goods moving industry. The final rules go into effect on June 27th.
The origin of the proposed rulemaking stretches back t0 2015, when the 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 Federal Advisory Committee, enabling the association to help lead discussion and provide direct input into the recommendations. After several meetings in 2016 and 2017, the FMCSA issued the Group's final recommendations in 2019. Ten of the eleven recommendations requiring rulemaking were adopted in the Final Rule.
Key changes in the Final Rule include:
- Requires preparation of a new binding (or non-binding estimate) when an individual shipper requests additional services - revised estimates are not permitted.
- Allows for virtual, live video surveys of household goods in lieu of in-person estimates. Virtual surveys are also permitted beyond a 50 mile radius.
- Removes 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.
- Replaces the freight bill with an invoice requirement - this change is intended to provide clarity to individual shippers regarding outstanding balances that must be paid.
- Requires 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.
IAM was among a handful of industries to comment on the proposed recommendations in October of last year. For additional information or any questions, please contact Bryan Vickers, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-403-2882, with IAM's Government and Regulatory Affairs Team.