Thursday, December 11, 2014

CVSA's Legislative update of FY 2015 FMCSA Appropiations Funding

See below for CVSA's legislative update.
FY 2015 Appropriations Update
Yesterday, the House and Senate released the negotiated 2015 spending bill package. The measure funds transportation and most other government spending through the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2015). However, the Department of Homeland Security is funded for a shorter amount of time, through February of 2015. Funding for FY 2015 is essentially frozen at FY 2014 levels. The bill also contains a number of policy changes, including the provision suspending enforcement of a portion of the hours of service regulations while a study is conducted. A full summary of the relevant provisions can be found below. The House and Senate are both expected to pass the bill this week.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Comments Requested on Increase In Liability Insurance Minimum

Last month the FMCSA seemed ready to release an NPRM to raise the current amount of liability insurance carriers are required to maintain.

The current regulatory minimum for commercial motor vehicles carrying property is $750,000 per occurrence although most carriers maintain $1,000,000 in coverage. Although the minimum has not been changed in decades and the cost of catastrophic loss has escalated, determining a new amount requires a cost benefit analysis including an examination of the effect of resulting increased premiums on small carriers (ATA and OOIDA contend that just 1%  of all truck related crashes exceed the current minimum).

Friday, October 31, 2014

Electronic Filing Required For Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Return When Reporting More Than 25 Vehicles

11/10/2014 - UPDATE
In a final regulation published two days after the effective date of the regulation we reported on below, the Internal Revenue Service has rescinded the requirement that anyone paying the federal heavy vehicle use tax for more than 24 vehicles must file and pay electronically.  That rule has been in place since 2011.

IRS stated in the introduction to the amended regulation that the change was made to reduce the burden on small businesses.  In the future, IRS will accept paper filings of the HVUT Form 2290 for fleets of any size.

We are sorry for any confusion!  Please call with any questions you may have.

Final regulations have been issued by the Department of the Treasury's Internal Revenue Service requiring the electronic filing of Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return.  Those regulations in part provide that effective October 29, submission of a paper Form 2290 for 25 or more vehicles constitutes a failure to file for purpose of the Section 6651 penalty.  The tax form for fewer than 25 vehicles may still be filed by paper, but the IRS is moving toward electronic submission of all returns.

Bob Rothstein

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New Washington D.C. Commercial Vehicle Loading Permits

For any motor carriers that regularly make deliveries or will be delivering goods in Washington, D.C. please note that Washington's new curbside loading zone program starts on January 1, 2015. This program requires commercial vehicles to obtain an annual or daily permit to park in a curbside loading zone.

Carriers can begin acquiring permits on November 3, 2014.  

Daily permits can be purchased online and are $25.00 per vehicle per day.

Annual permits are $323 per vehicle and a $50.00 annual fee for the company

The permit allows the vehicle to park for 2 hours in a loading zone.  The permit must be displayed on the vehicle's windshield.

As anyone knows who spends or has spent time in Washington D.C. they are very aggressive on parking enforcement. Make arrangements to be in compliance or you can expect parking fines.

Jeffrey Cox, Esq.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fall 2014 Safety Update

Fall 2014 Safety Update

            1.         Safety Fitness Determination.  The FMCSA has scheduled for release in the next several months its safety fitness determination rulemaking.  Release of this water shed rulemaking has been delayed numerous times over the past 4 years and release cannot be predicted.  The Agency has said that the ultimate safety fitness determination will be based upon objective criteria, not the grade on the curve SMS percentile basis.  Yet, to the extent the safety fitness determination is based upon flawed SMS data and ratings are assigned without due process or audit, the systemic flaws (inadequate data, inaccurate data, enforcement anomalies, the law of large numbers, etc.) will remain.  The industry must be prepared to analyze and comment on any new rule, particularly if carriers are branded as "marginal" without due process and the negligent selection threat is not addressed.



            The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees that no persons property shall be taken without due process of law. 5 U.S.C. §702 et seq (The Administrative Procedures Act) states that: “A person suffering legal wrong because of agency action, or adversely affected or aggrieved by agency action within the meaning of a relevant statute, is entitled to judicial review thereof.”

Thursday, July 3, 2014

ASECTT v. FMCSA - Win, Lose or Draw?

ASECTT v. FMCSA – A Win, Lose or Draw?

On June 17, 2014 The D.C. Court of Appeals issued its decision in ASECTT v. FMCSA.  At issue was whether the FMCSA's guidance issued in May of 2012 amounted to a new rule directing shippers and brokers to use SMS methodology in credentialing carriers.  Petitioners' arguments were supported by Declarations showing that SMS methodology does not accurately measure carrier safety performance and that the guidance amounted to a new rule requiring shippers and brokers to use SMS methodology to bar from use thousands of carriers which the Agency itself has found are fit to operate on the nation's roadways.

Monday, June 2, 2014

New Requirements for Medical Examinations

If you or one of your drivers need a new medical examination for a CDL, the doctor who performed your last medical exam might not be qualified to perform a new one.  New rules adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provide that DOT physical examinations must be performed by a qualified health professional (generally a medical doctor, chiropractor, osteopath, nurse practitioner, or a physician's assistant.)  The important point is that a qualified health professional is an individual who has taken the required training, passed a certification test, and is certified by the FMCSA.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

S & H Talks To NASCAR

Bob Rothstein recently spoke at a safety seminar, sponsored by the North Carolina Motorsports Association and the American Society of Safety Engineers, and held at Joe Gibbs Racing in Huntersville, NC.  The subject of his presentation was fleet safety compliance for NASCAR teams.  All NASCAR teams have tractor-trailers that transport racecars around the country for races, racecar and tire testing, and sponsor commitments.  While teams may be focused on winning races, they also have a trucking operation to manage. 

Bob's presentation highlighted many facets of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, including driver qualification and hours-of service compliance, two areas on which the entire trucking industry is also very focused.  About 30 race directors, general and team managers, and human resources professionals attended the presentation.  Afterwards, Bob passed up the opportunity to buy a used race tire that came off Matt Kenseth's racecar.       

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Henry Seaton, Speaker -- Seminar: The Essential Guide to Understanding the Function, Practicalities and Complexities of a Bill of Lading

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
LCC, De La Garza Bldg., ITIA Room 101 Laredo, Texas 78041
8:30AM – 12:30AM

The Laredo Licensed U.S. Customs Brokers Association invites you to its 2014 International Trade & Customs Seminar Series

Speaker:  Henry E Seaton, Esq. Partner, the Law Offices of Seaton & Husk, LP

Seating is limited so please pre-register

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

TLA Annual Conference, Friday May 2, 2014 - Freight Charges 201, Moderator: John Husk

9-10AM:  Freight Charges 201: Beyond the ABCs of Collection Rights and Remedies (a/k/a This is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile)
An advanced course on freight charge claims, spanning alternative methods of collecting charges, defenses to claims asserted by collection companies against your clients, their trade partners and their customers, considerations north of the border and the latest developments in the field.

Moderator: John T. Husk

For More Information and Registration

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The $75,000 Bond is No Cure-All

The $75,000 Bond is No Cure-All
Henry E. Seaton, Esq.

MAP-21 requires any party which arranges for origin to destination shipments to hold either broker or freight forwarder authority and to post a $75,000 bond.  The new Act does not apply to exempt traffic, to shipments moving in intrastate commerce, or to joint line service in which a motor carrier either picks up or delivers the shipment in its own equipment.

The legislation was aimed at the transactional truckload market in which the majority of the intermediary abuse occurs.  Brokers and forwarders default on their payment obligations to carriers for two reasons:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Important Notice: Free Webinar on URS

See below for a Free Learning Opportunity brought to our attention by Delta Nu Alpha.

----------Forwarded Message----------

Please take note of this FREE learning opportunity.

URS Webinar: “Easy steps to complete a biennial update (and what happens if you don’t)”

Industry Webinar Briefing

The FMCSA National Training Center (NTC) is pleased to announce this Unified Registration System (URS) webinar, which was previously publicized in December.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Virginia Overweight Citations: Beware of Weight Limitations on Route 50 in Fairfax County, Virginia

Motor Carriers that are making deliveries to points in Fairfax County, Virginia should be aware that trucks and tractor trailers using Route 50 (Arlington Blvd.) West of 495 (Capital Beltway) are limited to 8 Tons maximum weight. This limitation starts at Prosperity Avenue and continues to the intersection of Route 50 and Route 29. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has been thoroughly enforcing this limitation over the last year with checkpoints and patrols. Being overweight in the restricted zone can result in a large fine levied against your company. Inform your drivers to check their routes and avoid this section of Route 50, even if making local deliveries.

If you have received an overweight citation on Route 50 in Fairfax County, or elsewhere in Virginia, our firm has extensive experience in defending such overweight and oversize citations

Contact Jeffrey Cox at 703-573-0700 with our firm today!

Monday, January 20, 2014

New York State Commercial Goods Transportation Industry Fair Play Act

On January 10, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the New York Commercial Goods Transportation Industry Fair Play Act (“Act”). The new law affects transportation companies in New York that utilize owner-operators operating commercial motor vehicles in excess of 10,000 pounds. Under the Act, businesses that currently treat these owner-operators as independent contractors must reclassify them as employees unless they meet one of two legal tests.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Regulation By Objective Standards v. Grading On The Curve

To my knowledge, every profession, trade or service subject to regulation by federal, state regulators or board of professional responsibility must meet minimum proficiency standards to be licensed and remains authorized to conduct trade or business until determined in violation of a prescribed standard of conduct.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

MAP-21 Update - Free Webinar

An analysis of MAP-21 has been placed on our blog and a free webinar concerning its effect will take place on January 21.   

Listening Sessions

The city in which I now live paved over the streetcar tracks over 100 years ago. Counting the surrounding counties, the metroplex area has now 1.7 million people, 6 interstates and an outer loop. Some say it's becoming congested - it can take as many as 20 minutes to get downtown from the county line.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Henry Seaton Update on MAP 21 (January 21, 2014 Webinar)

Free Webinar

 UPDATE on the impact of MAP 21 & $75k Bond Requirement - Presented by Henry E. Seaton Transportation Law Specialist

Tue, Jan 21, 2014 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM MST

Register today!