FMCSA Extends HOS Waiver For Essential Goods Through Years End

HOS exemptions for essential goods are extended through December 31

At the end of last week, the FMCSA extended its COVID-19 HOS waiver until the end of the year for essential items. The waiver is intended to help transportation companies bring essential items to the areas of greatest need during the pandemic. 

The previous extension was set to expire on September 14. Here’s what is and is not covered under the new HOS waiver.

New HOS waiver 

The latest extension to the HOS waiver exempts drivers from certain HOS rules until December 31. You can find more information in the FMCSA announcement here.

Exempted cargo and products include:

  1. Livestock and livestock feed
  2. Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  3. 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
  4. Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stored.

The FMCSA was careful to say that “routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration”, are not covered under the waiver.

Drivers are also cautioned to follow traffic laws and carriers are reminded that they cannot force drivers to continue working if they need a break.

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