As the situation in Ukraine evolves, businesses should be mindful of potential risks to their people, assets, operations, or supply chains in the region and globally. Marsh, as part of the Marsh McLennan family of companies, has created a page with information, tools, and resources related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Please visit the page for the latest information.

January 12, 2022

Important Information on FMCSA COVID Emergency Declaration

Kenny Ray

Our MMA Risk Consultants have received several questions referencing the last FMCSA COVID Emergency Declaration extension that runs until February 28, 2022. You should be aware that the vast majority of trucking companies likely do NOT qualify for this exemption. Trucking companies that are determined to have used the exemption inappropriately, open themselves up to both audit and violations.

The Emergency Declaration provides specific regulatory relief to motor carriers and their drivers to provide direct assistance to the COVID-19 relief efforts. ‘Direct assistance’ refers to commercial motor vehicle operations that are providing direct assistance in transporting the following commodities:

  • Livestock and livestock feed.
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19.
  • Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectants.
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.
  • Gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and ethyl alcohol; and
  • Supplies to assist individuals impacted by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., building materials for individuals displaced or otherwise impacted as a result of the emergency).

‘Direct assistance’ does NOT include non-emergency transportation of qualifying commodities or routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration. To be eligible for the exemption, the transportation must be both 1) of qualifying commodities, and  2) incident to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies.

Motor carriers and drivers who qualify under this specific Emergency Declaration are exempted from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) while providing direct assistance to the emergency relief efforts. These Parts include requirements under driver qualification, hours of service, and vehicle maintenance requirements. The exemption does NOT relieve motor carriers and drivers for having to comply with drug and alcohol testing, CDL requirements, and applicable state laws such as speed limits, weight laws and permit requirements.

‘Direct assistance’ ends when the driver or vehicle is used to transport cargo that is NOT in support of the emergency relief efforts or when the motor carrier dispatches the driver to begin non-emergency operations. Once ‘Direct assistance’ ends, motor carrier and driver operations are once again subject to all applicable safety regulations. The only exception is that the driver is allowed to return empty to their normal work reporting location while still under this specific exemption. Upon return, the driver must then take a 10-hour break if the driver has exceeded his/her 14-hour clock.  The full text of the declaration is available at the following link: Extension of the Modified Emergency Declaration 2020-002 - FINAL Nov 29 21.pdf (dot.gov)

Please contact your Marsh McLennan Agency representative if you have any questions or need additional information.