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FMCSA Posts Guidance on New Broker, Freight Forwarder Requirements

Friday, September 6, 2013  
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is setting an Oct. 1 deadline for compliance with new requirements for brokers and freight forwarders.

In a Federal Register notice Thursday, the agency laid out its plan for implementing the terms of last year’s highway law, including a $75,000 bond requirement.

By Oct. 1, all regulated brokers and freight forwarders will have to have a $75,000 surety bond or trust fund agreement, the agency said.

The law requires brokers, freight forwarders and carriers that provide these services to register with the agency, which also has to be done by Oct. 1.  A broker or freight forwarder that operates without registering could be fined as much as $10,000.

The agency said it still is considering the possibility of allowing group surety bonds or trust funds to meet the $75,000 requirement, but for the time being they will not be allowed.

The agency set a 60-day grace period starting Oct. 1 for implementing the new requirements. It said that on Nov. 1 it will start mailing notices to companies that have not met the bond requirement.

The agency acknowledged that it does not know how many motor carriers engage in occasional brokerage that now must register as brokers. For that reason it will phase-in registration for carriers that also offer brokerage, using its consumer complaint line to gather information about these carriers.