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FMCSA issues exemption to carriers hauling baby formula


In a notice posted May 23, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) declared a national emergency related to the closure of a key manufacturing facility for baby formula and the resulting nationwide formula shortage. According to the notice, "th[e] Emergency Declaration addresses nationwide emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of baby formula, ingredients for the production of baby formula including but not limited to whey, casein, corn syrup and hydrolyzed protein, and containers and packaging for baby formula, and provides necessary relief."


Pursuant to the declaration, carriers and drivers providing "direct assistance to the nationwide emergency are granted emergency relief from 49 CFR § 395.3, maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles," provided however:

  1. Nothing in this Emergency Declaration shall be construed as a waiver of or exemption from any applicable requirements or any portion of the FMCSRs or other regulations for which relief is not specifically granted herein.

  2. Motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order are not eligible for the relief granted by this Emergency Declaration until they have met the applicable conditions for its rescission and the order has been rescinded in writing by the issuing jurisdiction.

  3. This Emergency Declaration provides for regulatory relief from 49 CFR § 395.3 for commercial motor vehicle operations while providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts. Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services that are not in support of emergency relief efforts related to the emergency as set forth in this Emergency Declaration, or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce. (49 CFR § 390.23(b)). Upon termination of direct assistance to emergency relief efforts related to the emergency as set forth in this Emergency Declaration, the motor carrier and driver are subject to the requirements of 49 CFR § 395.3 while operating commercial motor vehicles, except that a driver may return empty to the motor carrier’s terminal or the driver’s normal work reporting location without complying with 49 CFR § 395.3, except as noted herein. When a driver is moving from emergency relief efforts to normal operations, a 10-hour break is required when the total time a driver is engaged in emergency relief efforts, or in a combination of emergency relief and normal operations, equals 14 hours.

The emergency declaration and its exemption for eligible carriers is now in effect nationwide through the end of the emergency or June 30th, whichever is earlier.


You can read the full text of the agency's declaration here.

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