FMCSA is continuing the COVID-emergency hours-of-service (HOS) exemption and associated regulatory relief in accordance with 49 CFR § 390.25 through August 31, 2022, with some changes.
The extension was granted due to the presidentially declared COVID emergency remains in place, persistent issues arising out of COVID-19 continue to affect the U.S. including impacts on supply chains, and nationwide reporting continues to demonstrate substantial ongoing use of the regulatory relief under Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002.
This extension and amendment of the modified Emergency Declaration addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies and provides necessary relief from the FMCSRs for motor carriers and drivers.
Motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 public health emergency are granted emergency relief from 49 CFR § 395.3, maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles, except as restricted herein.
Direct assistance means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) incident to the immediate restoration of essential services (such as medical care) or essential supplies related to COVID-19 during the emergency.
Commodities included for emergency relief
- 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; and
- gasoline, diesel, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), jet fuel, ethyl alcohol, and heating fuel including propane, natural gas, and heating oil.
The waiver no longer applies to vehicles, building materials and other commodities that had been specifically mentioned by the FMCSA in previous extensions.
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 (i) of qualifying commodities and (ii) incident to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies.