Law Alert: FMCSA Seeks Comment on Proposal Regarding Broker Transparency
August 19, 2020
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a request for comment in response to a petition filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) regarding broker records. OOIDA’s petition requests that FMCSA adopt a rule requiring property brokers to provide “an electronic copy of each transaction record automatically within 48 hours of completion of the contractual service” and that the agency prohibit brokers from requiring carriers to waive their right to access such records. SBTC requests that FMCSA adopt a regulation saying that contracts may not include a clause exempting brokers from having to comply with requests for records under 49 C.F.R. 371.3. Interested parties have until October 19, 2020 to comment. FMCSA has specifically requested comment as to whether the agency has statutory authority to provide the requested redress; what actions the agency should take to ensure appropriate exercise of such authority (assuming it exists; whether perceived roadblocks to receiving records are more common amongst large brokers, small brokers, or is the issue more widely spread; if large brokers only, what revenue threshold should be adopted with a rule (if one is adopted); how would electronic records be provided to carriers as OOIDA demands; cost estimates related to complying with OOIDA’s request; quantitative benefit to motor carriers if FMCSA adopted OOIDA’s and SBTC’s requests; and a quantitative estimate of the economic costs to brokers or others if FMCSA adopted the rules OOIDA and SBTC request.