Regulatory Update – January 19, 2024

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Updates the Medical Advisory Criteria
On Jan. 19, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)  a final rule updating the Medical Advisory Criteria, which provides guidance for medical examiners listed on FMCSA’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners on the applicability and interpretation of the physical qualification standards for operators of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The final rule is effective on Jan. 19.

PHMSA Requests Comments on Cargo Tank Specification Requirements ICR
On Jan. 18, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)  comments on an information collection request (ICR) on cargo tank specification requirements. The ICR covers topics relating to the manufacture, qualification, maintenance and use of all specification cargo tank motor vehicles. Comments are due by March 18.

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On Jan. 18, PHMSA published updates on special permit applications:

NHTSA Announces Upcoming ACUP Meetings
On Jan. 17, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  multiple upcoming meetings of the Advisory Committee on Underride Protection (ACUP). The upcoming ACUP meetings will be held on Feb. 8, March 13, April 24 and May 22.  is required to attend each online meeting.

FMCSA Requests Comments on NODA for SFD ANPRM
On Jan. 12, FMCSA  comments on a notice of data availability (NODA) relating to its safety fitness determinations (SFD)  (ANPRM). The reports and studies included in the NODA provide information FMCSA may consider when responding to public comments on the issues raised and questions posed in the SFD ANPRM and in the context of further regulatory action. Comments are due by Feb. 12.

NHTSA Denies CGM Petitions for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance
On Jan. 12, NHTSA  petitions for decision of inconsequential noncompliance from Consolidated Glass & Mirror LLC (CGM). NHTSA determined that certain laminated glass parts do not fully comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 205, Glazing Materials.

FMCSA Proposes Amended Registration Fees for the UCR Plan and Agreement
On Jan. 9, FMCSA  amendments to its regulations governing the annual registration fees participating states collect from motor carriers, motor private carriers of property, brokers, freight forwarders and leasing companies for the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan and Agreement for the 2025 registration year and subsequent registration years. Comments are due by Feb. 8.

U.S. DOT Opens Application for Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award
On Jan. 9, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)  the application for the annual Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award, which seeks to raise awareness among transportation stakeholders about human trafficking and increase training and prevention to combat the crime. Submissions will be accepted through March 11.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Provisionally Renews WestRock HOS Exemption
On Jan. 19, FMCSA provisionally  the exemption held by WestRock from the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations that prohibit drivers from operating property-carrying CMVs after 14 hours on duty and require 10 hours off duty before resuming driving. FMCSA renewed this limited exemption for WestRock’s shipping department employees and occasional substitute commercial driver’s license holders who transport paper mill products short distances on a public road between its shipping and receiving locations. The exemption is restricted to a specific route, measuring less than 300 feet in one direction, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. FMCSA previously determined that the CMV operations of WestRock’s drivers under this exemption would likely maintain a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety that would be achieved in the absence of the exemption. The renewed exemption is effective from April 17, 2024, to April 16, 2029. Comments on the exemption are due by Feb. 20.

CVSA Active Exemption Tracker
CVSA maintains a  issued by FMCSA. The exemption tracker can be found at under the “Inspections” tab at the top of the page.

Other Items of Interest

FMCSA Administrator to Depart Role
On Jan. 19, FMCSA  Administrator Robin Hutcheson’s upcoming departure, which will take place on Jan. 26. FMCSA Executive Director and Chief Safety Officer Sue Lawless will serve as acting deputy administrator.