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Understanding FMCSA's New Guidance on "Broker" and "Bona Fide Agents" Definitions

On June 16, 2023, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a sector of the U.S. Department of Transportation, issued final guidance to clarify the definitions of "broker" and "bona fide agents". This move is a much-awaited response to the stipulations set forth by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) and the Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Act.

This definitive guidance serves as an essential resource for freight brokers and entities operating as bona fide agents or dispatch services within the trucking industry. It provides them with the necessary information to make informed decisions about their operations. According to FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson, the guidance also delineates whether regulated carriers should collaborate with entities lacking broker authority and associated financial responsibility.

The FMCSA, through this guidance, hopes to increase the efficiency of operations and precisely define the financial responsibilities in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations. The administration released interim guidance in November 2022 before this final directive.

Stakeholders throughout the trucking industry, including brokers, dispatch services, and trade associations, are set to benefit from this clearer picture. The FMCSA has taken into account more than 130 comments received over multiple periods of open commentary when forming this guidance. It has also sought input during a broker listening session conducted at a major trucking show earlier this year.

The new guidance goes a long way in assisting regulated entities to better understand when their operations require broker authority. The FMCSA is committed to providing necessary information to promote

smooth operations. With this new guidance, they continue their mission to prevent crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving commercial trucks and buses, while also working on developing safety and regulatory standards for commercial driver’s licenses.

The final guidance is publicly accessible and can be viewed on the Federal Register. It is highly recommended for all stakeholders to review this guidance to stay updated and ensure full compliance with these newly clarified regulations.

For more updates on such regulatory changes and their implications for CDL and ELD stakeholders, stay tuned to our blog at CDLELDTPREP.

The FMCSA’s role in sponsoring research, conducting enforcement and education, and collaborating with nonprofit organizations, local and State governments, and other stakeholders to promote innovative commercial driver training, safety inspections, and enhanced compliance and enforcement initiatives, continues to be pivotal for the industry.

Stay safe, stay informed, and let's navigate these roads together!

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