The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended its pandemic-related emergency exemption by another month. This is the fourth extension of the order, which will now last through Aug. 14.
In its latest extension, however, FMCSA condensed its definition of motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to COVID-19. FMCSA has extended emergency relief for the following categories only:
- 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
“Direct assistance 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,” according to FMCSA's declaration.
FMCSA has concluded that there is no longer a need for emergency relief for the other categories of supplies, equipment, and drivers covered by the May 13 extension. The following categories are no longer covered under the exemption:
- Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores
- Immediate precursor raw materials — such as paper, plastic or alcohol
- Liquefied gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems
- Equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19
- Those designated by federal, state or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes
- Those necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response