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FMCSA Broker Bond Update

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You may be aware that the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) was signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012. Many in the transportation industry were not only concerned about an increase of the required broker’s bond from $10,000 to $75,000, but also with the fact that the bond would be applicable to motor carriers who provide broker services by occasionally brokering loads.

Recently the FMCSA addressed the second concern in published guidance dated September 5, 2013.

Here is what the FMCSA had to say: 

“There are motor carriers that occasionally broker loads that have not previously been required to obtain operating authority registration from FMCSA as brokers. However, FMCSA is unable to determine at this time how many motor carriers may be engaged in some brokering activities, making implementation of a comprehensive enforcement program difficult. Therefore, FMCSA will phase in its enforcement of the broker registration requirements for motor carriers that also broker loads.”

So what does this mean for you, the motor carrier?

The FMCSA is allowing a 60 day soft enforcement period to allow the industry enough time to prepare for the changes. Brokers and freight forwarders will receive a written notice on November 1 if they have not met the $75,000 minimum requirement, but have until December 1 to become fully compliant with MAP-21. Motor carriers not previously registered as brokers may have additional time, but beware, the FMCSA is going to be accepting complaints about unregistered brokerage services and is encouraging motor carriers not to accept loads from unregistered brokers.

Stay tuned to our blog for more developments on this and other trucking industry regulation changes.