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Motor Carrier Registration Systems to be Upgraded and Web-Based

 

http://www.stpub.com/dot-hazardous-materials-transportation-and-motor-carrier-safety-federal-regulatory-guide-onlineLast week the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published major changes in the registration requirements it imposes on “motor carriers” that use roads and highways to transport materials—including hazardous materials.  Over the next two years, these changes will consolidate four separate registration systems into a new web-based Unified Registration System (URS), designed to cover every domestic entity subject to FMCSA authority.  Most elements of the new regulations will take effect on October 23, 2015, to allow FMCSA to develop additional URS features and to conduct several related rulemakings, and to allow regulated entities to prepare for the changes in compliance requirements.

Which Service Providers Will Be Affected?

The URS will consolidate the following registration and information systems:

  • U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) identification number system

  • FMCSA’s commercial registration system (49 U.S.C. chapter 139)

  • Financial responsibility information system (49 U.S.C. 13906)

  • Service of process agent designation system.

Collectively, these systems cover all of the following if required to register with FMCSA: for-hire and private motor carriers, property brokers (i.e., those who arrange for transport by motor carriers), freight forwarders, intermodal equipment providers, hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) holders and applicants, and cargo tank facilities.

How Will The URS Work?

All the regulated carriers will eventually be issued a USDOT number through URS.  The expanded system will supplement registrations that already involve USDOT numbers, by folding in:

  • Motor Carrier (MC) Numbers, for non-exempt for-hire motor carriers and freight forwarders.

  • Freight Forwarder (FF) Numbers, for freight forwarders.

  • MX Number, for Mexico-domiciled carriers operating within the US-Mexico international border commercial zones.

All these entities will apply for USDOT numbers using a still-pending Form MCSA-1, which will replace their existing registration forms, including Form MCS-150 for most registrations, and Form MCS-150B for registration to transport specified hazardous materials.  They will be charged a standard $300 registration fee.

Why Should Customers Care?

Registrants and would-be registrants obviously must prepare to establish or update their registrations using the new format, once it’s available.  Even if your organization is not subject to any of these registration requirements, you should still prepare for FMCSA’s transition to URS.  For example, federal hazmat transportation requirements explicitly make the entities that provide for shipping (such as manufacturers) and the entities that receive shipments (such as customers) responsible for ensuring that materials are transported in compliance with applicable requirements.  In effect, this means that manufacturers and customers are responsible for checking that their transporters comply with registration and operational requirements.  If you are one of these non-transporters, you will need to adjust your verification procedures to access URS for your transporter’s registration status.

Self-Assessment Checklist

Is my organization required to obtain any registration from FMCSA to allow road and highway transportation of materials in interstate commerce?

  • For-hire or private motor carrier?

  • Property broker?

  • Freight forwarder?

  • Intermodal equipment provider?

  • Hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) holder?

  • Cargo tank facility?

Does my organization engage the services of any entity required to obtain any registration from FMCSA to allow road and highway transportation of materials in interstate commerce?

  • For-hire or private motor carrier?

  • Property broker?

  • Freight forwarder?

  • Intermodal equipment provider?

  • Hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) holder?

  • Cargo tank facility?

If so, does any facility comply with applicable requirements to obtain registration, and/or to verify that a service provider has obtained registration?

Where Can I Go For More Information?

    • Proposed rules, which include a walk-through draft of the Form MCSA-1 (which does not appear in the 2013 final regulation)

Specialty Technical Publishers (STP) provides a variety of single-law and multi-law services, intended to facilitate clients’ understanding of and compliance with EH&S requirements. These include:


 

About the Author

http://www.stpub.com/dot-hazardous-materials-transportation-and-motor-carrier-safety-federal-regulatory-guide-onlineJon Elliott is President of Touchstone Environmental and has been a major contributor to STP’s product range for over 25 years. He was involved in developing 16 existing products, including Environmental Compliance: A Simplified National GuideGreenhouse Gas Auditing of Supply Chains and The Complete Guide to Environmental Law.

Mr. Elliott has a diverse educational background. In addition to his Juris Doctor (University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1981), he holds a Master of Public Policy (Goldman School of Public Policy [GSPP], UC Berkeley, 1980), and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Princeton University, 1977).

Mr. Elliott is active in professional and community organizations. In addition, he is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of the GSPP Alumni Association, and past member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California's Environmental Law Section (including past chair of its Legislative Committee).

You may contact Mr. Elliott directly at: tei@ix.netcom.com.


photo credit: Trucker Dan via photopin cc

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