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Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers, Freight Forwarders, and Brokers

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking

Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers, Freight Forwarders, and Brokers

Daphne Y. Jefferson
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
5 June 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 106 (Monday, June 5, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 25753-25754]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-11544]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 387

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0211]
RIN 2126-AB74


Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers, Freight Forwarders, 
and Brokers

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

[[Page 25754]]


ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; withdrawal.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA withdraws its November 28, 2014 advance notice of 
proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) concerning financial responsibility for 
motor carriers, freight forwarders, and brokers. FMCSA is authorized to 
establish minimum levels of financial responsibility for motor carriers 
at or above the minimum levels set by Congress. In the ANPRM, FMCSA 
sought public comment on whether to exercise its discretion to increase 
the minimum levels of financial responsibility, and, if so, to what 
levels. After reviewing all public comments to the ANPRM, FMCSA has 
determined that it has insufficient data or information to support 
moving forward with a rulemaking proposal, at this time.

DATES: As of June 5, 2017 the proposed published on November 28, 2014 
at 79 FR 70839 is withdrawn.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Secrist, Chief, Registration, 
Licensing & Insurance Division, Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, 
by telephone at 202-385-2367 or by email at jeff.secrist@dot.gov. If 
you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, 
please contact Docket Services at (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

ANPRM

    On November 28, 2014, FMCSA published an ANPRM regarding Financial 
Responsibility for Motor Carriers, Brokers, and Freight Forwarders (79 
FR 70839). In the ANPRM, the Agency announced that it was considering a 
rulemaking that would increase minimum levels of motor carrier 
financial responsibility for bodily injury or property damage \1\ and 
sought information in connection with that potential rulemaking. In 
addition, the Agency asked several questions related to broker/freight 
forwarder financial responsibility as it continues to implement Section 
32918 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (Pub. L. 
112-141) (MAP-21)(79 FR at 70842).\2\ Finally, the Agency asked a 
series of questions in the ANPRM pertaining to (1) trip insurance for 
Mexican carriers, (2) the discretionary imposition of financial 
responsibility requirements for motor passenger carrier brokers 
pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 13904(f), and (3) its self-insurance program for 
motor carriers.
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    \1\ FMCSA's regulations (49 CFR part 387 Subparts A and B) 
require certain property and passenger motor carriers to maintain 
financial responsibility at the statutory minimums set forth in 49 
U.S.C. 31138 and 31139.
    \2\ While FMCSA is withdrawing this ANPRM, the Agency continues 
its implementation of MAP-21 Section 32918 in a separate docket 
(FMCSA-2016-0102). On May 20, 2016, the Agency held a full-day 
informal roundtable discussion pertaining to broker/freight 
forwarder financial responsibility (81 FR 24935). The Agency 
received approximately 30 public comments in the meeting docket and 
is continuing to examine options for addressing the issues covered 
in that discussion.
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    Regarding the core ANPRM issue of motor carrier financial 
responsibility limits, FMCSA sought public comment on whether to 
exercise its discretion to increase the minimum levels, and, if so, to 
what levels. Specifically, in the effort to gather relevant data, FMCSA 
posed a series of questions addressing the following matters:
     Premium Rates.
     Current Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility.
     Impacts of Increasing the Minimum Level of Financial 
Responsibility.
     Compensation.
     Sources of Information.
     Timelines for implementation.

Discussion of Comments

    The Agency received 2,181 public comments in response to the ANPRM. 
Various stakeholders commented, including representatives of motor 
carriers, insurance companies, broker/freight forwarders, safety 
advocates, attorneys, drivers, and many others. Approximately 120 
submissions, including one submission reflecting a petition signed by 
11,366 individuals, expressed general support for increasing the 
minimum levels of financial responsibility for motor carriers without 
providing a substantive rationale for their opinion. Approximately 145 
submissions expressed general opposition to increasing the minimum 
levels of financial responsibility for motor carriers without providing 
a substantive rationale for their opinions. The Agency appreciates the 
level of interest shown in the ANPRM and the efforts that stakeholders 
made to provide responsive information.

FMCSA Decision

    After considering whether to move forward with this rulemaking, the 
Agency has decided to withdraw the November 28, 2014 ANPRM because the 
Agency does not have sufficient data or information to support further 
rulemaking.
    Despite receiving a significant number of comments in response to 
the ANPRM, commenters did not provide responsive information necessary 
to allow the Agency to proceed to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.\3\ 
In particular, commenters did not provide sufficient cost or benefit 
data and the Agency was unable to otherwise obtain sufficient data on 
industry practice with respect to the level of liability limits in 
excess of the Agency's minimum financial responsibility requirements, 
the cost of such premiums and the frequency of, and the amount by which 
bodily injury and property damage claims exceed policy liability 
limits. The anecdotal and hypothetical data provided by commenters are 
not sufficient to allow the Agency to perform a systematic cost-benefit 
analysis that would be required to raise motor carrier minimum 
financial responsibility through a rulemaking. That is, based on the 
information provided, FMCSA is not able to determine (1) potential 
increases in insurance premiums associated with increased financial 
responsibility limits, or (2) or the impact of an increase in minimum 
financial responsibility requirements on insurance company capital 
requirements set by insurance regulators to ensure there are sufficient 
reserves to minimize the risk of insolvency and protect consumers. 
Moreover, FMCSA is not able to calculate economic benefits from having 
more financial resources available to assist crash victims associated 
with increased minimum financial responsibility limits.
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    \3\ In a November 5, 2014 letter to the Acting Administrator of 
FMCSA, the Agency's Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) 
provided recommendations to the Agency related to financial 
responsibility requirements. While MCSAC provided useful 
information, its task was not to develop cost and benefit 
information for use in a rulemaking proceeding.

    Issued under the authority of delegation in 49 CFR 1.87 on: May 
25, 2017.
Daphne Y. Jefferson,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-11544 Filed 6-2-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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