FMCSA Requests Comments on Broker and Bona Fide Agents

On June 10, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a notice seeking public comments to aid it create direction clarifying the definitions of “broker” and “bona fide brokers.” The steering is meant to deal with no matter whether the agency regulates as brokers trucking firms that deliver electronic load board providers, dispatch providers, and other intermediary expert services. The feedback are because of July 11.

Queries have arisen about regardless of whether entities that provide dispatch services ought to qualify as bona fide agents and no matter whether entities in the trucking marketplace that run digital load board providers or have adopted other novel organization products qualify as brokers. In simple fact, the FMCSA’s see states that the agency has gained lots of requests about the broker definition and has come to be aware of “significant stakeholder curiosity in FMCSA’s unauthorized brokerage enforcement.” Also, Congress has directed the FMCSA to difficulty steerage clarifying its definitions in 49 CFR 371.2 of the phrases “broker” and “bona fide agents” by November 15, looking at the extent to which dispatch-service providers are brokers or bona fide agents and the extent to which technological know-how has adjusted the character of freight brokerage.

Advice on the definitions of broker and bona fide agent will most likely have a considerable effects on trucking intermediaries, specifically those people that use novel small business designs. The FMCSA needs brokers to have a $75,000 surety bond or rely on fund and comply with recordkeeping rules, misrepresentation prohibitions, rebating and payment constraints, accounting policies, and other demands. But the company does not regulate what it calls bona fide brokers as brokers in certain instances exactly where they complete what would normally be broker services. Depending on no matter if the company expands or narrows the definitions of broker and bona fide agent, trucking intermediaries may see their compliance obligations modify considerably, which could eventually have an affect on regulatory protections afforded shippers and the expenses of middleman providers.

Intrigued parties, like shippers and intermediaries, may supply comments to the FMCSA to tell the long term steering. Especially, the FMCSA’s June 10 notice invitations responses to quite a few crucial inquiries linked to the upcoming assistance, which include:

  • What analysis criteria ought to FMCSA use when analyzing no matter if a organization product/entity satisfies the definition of a broker?
  • What are some examples of functions that do/do not meet the definition of a broker in the FMCSA rules?
  • How need to the term “dispatch service” be defined, and what really should the company contemplate when analyzing if a dispatch company requirements broker operating authority?
  • Need to electronic bulletin boards be deemed brokers and be expected to acquire broker working authority?
  • Are there other business enterprise styles/companies that need to be deemed when clarifying the definition of broker?
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