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Lease and Interchange of Vehicles by Mexico-Domiciled Motor Carriers:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a notice on November 22, 2016 concerning the authority of Mexico-Domiciled Motor Carriers to lease and interchange vehicles to U.S. motor carriers.

Section 219(d) of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999, restricted Mexico-domiciled motor carriers from leasing commercial motor vehicles to U.S. carriers to transport property into the United States. This restriction was in place until the international obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on cross-border trade were met. Pursuant to Section 6901 of the U.S. Troops Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act of 2007, the FMCSA was unable to process applications for long-haul authority from Mexico-domiciled motor carriers until a pilot program was completed to ensure the safe operation of Mexican vehicles in the United States.

From October 14, 2011, through October 10, 2014, FMCSA conducted a pilot program to determine the ability of Mexican motor carriers to operate safely in the United States. FMCSA delivered the requisite report to Congress in January, 2015. On January 15, 2015, FMCSA announced that it would begin accepting and processing applications for long-haul operating authority from Mexico-domiciled property carriers under 49 U.S.C. 13902.

Because Mexico-domiciled motor carriers may now apply for and receive long-haul operating authority, and the land transportation provisions of NAFTA have been implemented, the leasing restrictions are now no longer applicable.

The notice serves to inform all motor carriers that Mexican-domiciled motor carriers (lessors) are allowed to lease their equipment to U.S. motor carriers (lessees) regardless of the destination of the cargo, as long as the carriers meet the requirements of 49 CFR 376. If you are looking to lease your authority with a Mexican-domiciled motor carrier, please feel free to contact us to review important considerations with your Independent Contractor Agreement, DOT file and record retention requirements.

Please follow the link below in order to read the published notice of the FMCSA in the Federal Register.

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-11-22/pdf/2016-28018.pdf

Hours of Service of Drivers Extension of Compliance Date:

In addition to the above notice, the FMCSA also published a notice regarding the extension of the exemption from the 30-minute rest break requirement granted to the American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA) on August 21, 2015. This extension was granted on behalf of motor carriers whose drivers transport security-sensitive hazardous materials (HM) requiring constant attendance on the vehicle.

The FMCSA has extended the expiration date from August 21, 2015 to August 20, 2020. The ATA rest break exemption is limited to drivers transporting HM loads requiring placarding, and who have filed security plans requiring constant attendance of HM.

Should the FMCSA determine a deterioration in safety has occurred due to this exemption, they could revoke the exemption. If you handle hazardous materials, and have any questions on compliance with hazardous materials regulations or hours of service provisions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to answering any questions or concerns you have with your operations.

Please follow the link below in order to read the published notice of the FMCSA in the Federal Register.

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-11-22/pdf/2016-28014.pdf

As always, we are available to answer any questions you may have regarding these recent notices and the effect it may have on your operations.

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