December 18, 2000
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration today announced a final rule that will shut down interstate commercial vehicle (CMV) owners, operators, brokers, and freight forwarders who do not pay their fines.
This action responds to a provision in the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999.
The final rule, effective on April 16, 2000, prohibits CMV owners and operators who do not pay fines assessed by the FMCSA, or who do not honor payment agreements, from operating in interstate commerce. Also under this rule, the registration of brokers, freight forwarders, or for-hire motor carriers who fail to pay a civil penalty will be suspended, preventing them from operating in interstate commerce.
The final rule includes the following key features:
- A 45-day show cause proceeding will begin on the 45th day after the payment date specified in the final agency order or on the 45th day after the due date of a missed payment arranged in a payment plan. This will allow 45 days to provide proof of payment or proof of Chapter 11 bankruptcy-debtor status.
- The prohibition to stop operating in interstate commerce would begin on the 91st day after the payment date specified in the final agency order or on the 91st day after the due date of a missed payment arranged in a payment plan.
- Parties who continue to operate would be subject to additional penalties, including revocation of their registration in some cases.
- Motor carriers or other parties who currently are delinquent in the payment of their penalties would not be affected, unless the FMCSA were to issue a final order on or after the rule's effective date.
- The prohibition will not apply to anyone who is unable to pay a civil penalty because the person is a debtor in a case under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
The final rule is in the Dec. 15, 2000, Federal Register and can be viewed at www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces140.html or on the FMCSA web site at www.fmcsa.dot.gov. It also can be found by searching for its docket, FMCSA-2000-7332-9, at http://dms.dot.gov.
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