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FMCSA releases guidance on requirements for brokers and freight forwarders


Alexandria, VA–The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released guidance concerning the implementation of certain provisions of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) pertaining to persons acting as brokers or a freight forwarder.

The Agency said it will phase in enforcement of this provision, but recommends that entities file complaints regarding unregistered brokerage activities of motor carriers through the National Consumer Compliant Database (http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov), until a broad enforcement program is implemented.

With regard to interlining, the agency stated that any entity providing brokerage services is required to register for brokerage authority by October 1, 2013. The Agency will continue to allow motor carriers to interline provided the originating carrier picks up and transports the load as part of a single continuous transportation movement under its own operating authority or the authority of the originating motor carrier.

The Agency confirmed that all regulated brokers and freight forwarders must obtain and file with FMCSA a surety bond or trust fund agreement in the amount of $75,000 by October 1, 2013. The Agency said it would not be accepting group surety bonds or trust funds to satisfy the financial requirements at this time.

The enforcement period for the bonding requirements will also be phased-in over a two month period. Entities that do not have their bond in place by October 1st, will receive a warning letter by November 1st and if no action is taken by the end of the month or early December, the operating authority will be terminated. In regard to companies that have broker and freight forwarder authority, the Agency stated that one $75,000 bond or trust fund is sufficient as long as the legal entity holding the authorities is the same. The company will be required to file separate BMC-84/85 forms for the broker and freight forwarder authority, however, the underlying bond or trust fund can be the same for both operations.

After the release of the guidance Transportation Intermediaries Association president and CEO Robert Voltmann stated: “TIA applauds the Agency for the release of this guidance and their leadership, which will not only ensure a fairer marketplace for all licensed entities operating in the supply-chain, but have a significant impact on combating fraud in the marketplace.”