Regulatory Updates – June 10, 2016

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Notice and Request for Comment on Unified Registration System

On June 10, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a request for approval to extend an information collection request (ICR) titled, “Unified Registration System, FMCSA Registration/Updates.” This ICR is due to FMCSA’s development of a final rule titled, “Unified Registration System” requiring those entities that are subject to the FMCSA’s licensing, registration and certification regulations to use a new electronic online application form to make data more readily accessible for all regulated entities. On Oct. 21, 2015, FMCSA published a final rule delaying the final effective date of the URS final rule until September 30, 2016, with full compliance due by Dec. 31, 2016. Comments are due by Aug. 9, 2016.

FMCSA Announces Extension of Comment Period for ANPRM on Sleep Apnea

On June 8, 2016, FMCSA announced an extension of the comment period for its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) requesting information regarding the evaluation of safety sensitive personnel for moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The comment period is extended from June 8, 2016, to July 8, 2016.

FMCSA to Require Passengers of CMV’s to Use Seat Belts

On June 7, 2016, FMCSA published its final rule requiring passengers in property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to use the seat belt assembly whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce. The rule addresses one of CVSA’s petitions to the agency. The rule is effective Aug. 8, 2016. Petitions for reconsideration are due by July 7, 2016.

FMCSA Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee Meeting Announcement

On June 7, 2016, FMCSA announced that the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) will meet June 14-15, 2016, to provide recommendations to FMCSA regarding regulatory guidance that should be incorporated into the safety regulations, identify regulatory guidance that appears to be inconsistent with the intent of the safety regulations or makes enforcement of key safety requirements difficult, and identify guidance that should remain in place. The meeting is open to the public and there will be a period of time at the end of each day for the public to submit oral comments.

PHMSA Announces Amendments to HMR Final Rule

On June 2, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a final rule amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). The amendments include removing the packing group (PG) II designation for certain organic peroxides, self-reactive substances, and explosives; incorporating requirements for trailers of manifolded acetylene cylinders; providing requirements to allow for shipments of damaged wet electric batteries; and revising the requirements for the packaging of nitric acid, testing of pressure relief devices on cargo tanks and shipments of black or smokeless powder for small arms. The rule is effective July 5, 2016, with voluntary compliance starting June 2, 2016.

PHMSA Publishes Update on Special Permits

On May 31, 2016, PHMSA published updates on special permit applications:

PHMSA Announces Public Meeting in Preparation for UN SCOE TDG

On May 31, 2016, PHMSA announced a joint public meeting with the Department of Transportation (DOT) in preparation for the 49th session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN SCOE TDG). On Tuesday, June 14, 2016, PHMSA will solicit comments about potential new work items, which may be considered for inclusion in its international agenda and feedback on issues that PHMSA may put forward for consideration by the Sub-Committee. The UN SCOE TDG meeting will be held July 27 to July 6, 2016, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Update on Exemptions

STEMCO LP Exemption Request from Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation

On June 10, 2016, FMCSA announced it had received an application for exemption from STEMCO LP (STEMCO) to allow motor carriers to operate CMVs that are equipped with STEMCO’s TrailerTail® aerodynamic device with rear identification lamps and rear clearance lamps that are mounted lower than currently permitted by FMCSA’s regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) require rear identification lamps and rear clearance lamps to be located “as close as practicable to the top of the vehicle.” Comments are due by July 11, 2016.

CVSA Active Exemption Tracker

CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. Members can access the document by logging into their CVSA member account and clicking on the “Exemptions Tracker” tab at the top of the page.