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Reg WeekSM: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

FMCSA Implements Strong Sanctions Against Delinquent Motor Carriers
The final rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) amends the penalty provisions of the rules of practice of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations by implementing severe penalties against motor carriers who fail to pay civil penalties assessed by the FMCSA.

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    FMCSA Implements Strong Sanctions Against Delinquent Motor Carrier

    The action which implements section 206 of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA), specifies two penalties. First, motor carriers who do not pay civil penalties assessed by the FMCSA, or who do not arrange and abide by its payment agreements, will be prohibited from operating in interstate commerce. Second, the Secretary of Transportation is authorized to suspend, amend, or revoke any part of the registration of a motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder if the civil penalty has not been paid within ninety (90) days of the time specified by official order of payment, or has not arranged and abided by a payment plan.

    The rule also states that those who violate these penalties may be subject to additional penalties. This rule will not apply to anyone who is unable to pay a civil penalty because he or she is a debtor in a case under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

    This final rule will not become effective until April 16, 2001 so as to provide sufficient time for motor carriers to become aware of it and the severe penalties that it entails and so as to allow the FMCSA additional time to make necessary changes to its information systems and correspondence procedures in order to maintain timely and efficient communications between the FMCSA and brokers, freight forwarders, and motor carriers.