NewsTrucking Regulation

FMCSA reinstates groceries, paper products in latest HOS waiver

Emergency restocking of food, paper products and groceries at distribution centers or retail stores once again qualify for the national emergency hours of service (HOS) waiver, according to federal regulators.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had removed those categories when it modified and extended the waiver in June. However, “because of current conditions” related to COVID-19 relief, the agency decided to place those items back on the list of cargo that qualifies for the exemption, according to the order issued on August 11.

In addition to those products reinstated in the most recent extension, which is valid through September 14, the exemption continues to apply to:

  • Livestock and livestock feed
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment 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

Other categories of cargo that had been added to an earlier extension of the waiver but were subsequently taken off in June, including raw materials such as paper, plastics, and fuel, remained off the exemption list in the current extension.

As has been the case throughout the emergency waiver since it was initiated in March, direct assistance related to the pandemic does not include routine commercial deliveries, “including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.”

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One Comment

  1. No shortage of truck drivers at this point in time. We need to have pay truck drivers at least twice the minimum wage plus over time after 10 hours per day on all so called emergency freight shipments. Trucking companies that do cross border freight from Ont Canada are going.broke in record numbers. The insurance companies need to be put into the provisional medical bills for all cross border drivers and minimum freight rates and the freight will be moved.

John Gallagher

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.