Transportation of Household Goods in Interstate Commerce; Consumer Protection Regulations, 36932-36935 [2012-14999]

Download as PDF 36932 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 119 / Wednesday, June 20, 2012 / Rules and Regulations (A) The corrective actions to which you have committed, or (B) Conditions that FAA has imposed following review of your analysis and corrective actions. (c) If information coming to the attention of FAA demonstrates that current trends make it unlikely that you, as an airport, will achieve ACDBE awards and commitments that would be necessary to allow you to meet your overall goal at the end of the fiscal year, FAA may require you to make further good faith efforts, such as modifying your race-conscious/race-neutral split or introducing additional race-neutral or race-conscious measures for the remainder of the fiscal year. (2) Fax: 202–493–2251. (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M–30) West Building Ground Floor Room W12–140, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001. (4) Hand Delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202–366–9329. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these methods. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments. [FR Doc. 2012–14893 Filed 6–19–12; 8:45 am] FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: BILLING CODE 4910–9X–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 49 CFR Part 375 [Docket No. FMCSA–2012–0119] RIN 2126–AB52 Transportation of Household Goods in Interstate Commerce; Consumer Protection Regulations Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Direct final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) amends the regulations governing the transportation of household goods to remove an obsolete requirement related to collect calls, resolve ambiguities, and reduce a regulatory burden on household goods motor carriers. DATES: This final rule is effective August 20, 2012, unless an adverse comment, or notice of intent to submit an adverse comment, is either submitted to the above docket via http:// www.regulations.gov on or before July 20, 2012 or reaches the Docket Management Facility by that date. If an adverse comment, or notice of intent to submit an adverse comment, is received by July 20, 2012, FMCSA will withdraw this direct final rule and publish a timely notice of withdrawal in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number FMCSA– 2012–0119 using any one of the following methods: (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:15 Jun 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 Mr. Brodie Mack, FMCSA, Household Goods Team Leader, Commercial Enforcement and Investigations Division at (202) 385–2400 or by email at brodie.mack@dot.gov. I. Public Participation and Comments If you would like to participate in this rulemaking, you may submit comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. A. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (FMCSA–2012–0119), indicate the specific section of this direct final rule to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that the Agency can contact you if it has questions regarding your submission. As a reminder, FMCSA will only consider adverse comments as defined in 49 CFR 389.39(b) and explained below. To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘submit a comment’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Document Type’’ drop down menu select ‘‘Final Rule’’ and insert ‘‘FMCSA– 2012–0119’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box. Click ‘‘Search’’ then click on the balloon shape in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8c by 11 inches, PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would like to know that they reached the Docket Management Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. B. Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘read comments’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Keyword’’ box insert ‘‘FMCSA–2012– 0119’’ and click ‘‘Search.’’ Click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may also view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. C. Privacy Act Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316). II. Regulatory Information FMCSA publishes this direct final rule under 49 CFR 389.39 because the Agency determined that the rule is a routine and non-controversial amendment to 49 CFR part 375. This rule clarifies that certain independent delivery services are not household goods motor carriers, removes an obsolete provision requiring household goods motor carriers to post notices relating to acceptance of collect telephone calls, clarifies the Agency’s requirement that re-negotiated estimates contain detailed descriptions of the goods or services that gave rise to the renegotiation, and requires household goods motor carriers that relinquish possession of goods to permanent storage to do so in the shipper’s name. If no adverse comments, or notices of intent to submit an adverse comment, are received by July 20, 2012, this rule will become effective as stated in the DATES section. In that case, approximately 30 days before the effective date, FMCSA will publish a document in the Federal Register stating that no adverse comments were E:\FR\FM\20JNR1.SGM 20JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 119 / Wednesday, June 20, 2012 / Rules and Regulations received and confirming that this rule will become effective as scheduled. However, if the Agency receives any adverse comments or notices of intent to submit an adverse comment, FMCSA will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the withdrawal of all or part of this direct final rule. If FMCSA decides to proceed with a rulemaking following receipt of any adverse comments, the Agency will publish a separate notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) and provide a new opportunity for comment. A comment is considered ‘‘adverse’’ if the comment explains why this rule or a part of this rule would be inappropriate, including a challenge to its underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES III. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking The Secretary of Transportation’s (Secretary) general jurisdiction to establish regulations over transportation of property by motor carrier is found at 49 U.S.C. 13501. Household goods motor carriers are a subset of property motor carriers and are required by 49 U.S.C. 13902 to register with FMCSA as household goods motor carriers. This rulemaking is based on the statutory provisions cited above and on the authority Congress granted to the Secretary to regulate the operations of household goods motor carriers in the ICC Termination Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–88, 109 Stat. 803, Dec. 29, 1995) and in the Household Goods Mover Oversight Enforcement and Reform Act of 2005, Title IV, Subtitle B of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) (Pub. L. 109–59, 119 Stat. 1144, Aug. 10, 2005). The Secretary has delegated these various authorities to the FMCSA Administrator (49 CFR 1.73(a)). This rulemaking only applies to household goods motor carriers that provide forhire transportation in interstate or foreign commerce. IV. Discussion of the Rule FMCSA updates the household goods motor carrier regulations at 49 CFR part 375 to eliminate an obsolete requirement, remove uncertainty, and reduce a regulatory burden on household goods motor carriers. FMCSA amends the definition of ‘‘Household goods motor carrier’’ in § 375.103 to clarify that motor carriers that provide delivery services transporting furniture, appliances or other furnishings between a factory or a store and an individual’s household are not household goods motor carriers for VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:15 Jun 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 the purposes of 49 CFR part 375. Currently, Agency regulations define a household goods carrier as a motor carrier that transports household goods and provides some or all of the following services: (1) Binding and nonbinding estimates, (2) inventorying, (3) protective packing and unpacking of individual items at personal residences, and (4) loading and unloading at personal residences (49 U.S.C. 13102(12); 49 CFR 375.103). FMCSA does not currently consider delivery services that load and/or provide protective packing of household goods at a factory or store and then unload and/or unpack at an individual’s household to fall within this definition. Regardless, the Agency has received a number of requests for clarification. In addition, the Agency believes that some motor carriers providing this type of delivery service have obtained household goods operating authority registration because they mistakenly believed it was an Agency requirement. As a result, these carriers may have incurred unnecessary expenses to establish and maintain household goods operating authority. This change definitively establishes that these types of motor carriers are not household goods motor carriers, so long as they only transport household goods between a factory or retailer and an individual’s household. Section 375.209 currently requires household goods motor carriers to establish and maintain a procedure for responding to complaints and inquiries from individual shippers. Paragraph (b) requires the procedure to include four items. FMCSA removes the third requirement which directs household goods motor carriers to include a statement of who must pay for complaint and inquiry telephone calls. This requirement was originally adopted to require household goods motor carriers to indicate whether they would accept collect calls from shippers. This reference is outdated and no longer necessary. Most motor carriers and shippers conduct business using a combination of Internet, email or mobile telephone communications that have rendered this requirement obsolete. Section 375.403(a)(6) provides that if a shipper requests that a household goods carrier transport goods or perform services in excess of those previously identified in a binding estimate and the carrier services the shipment, the carrier has one of three options before loading the shipment: (i) Reaffirm the binding estimate; (ii) negotiate a revised written binding estimate listing the additional goods and services; or (iii) convert the original estimate to a written non- PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 36933 binding estimate, if the shipper agrees. FMCSA amends § 375.403(a)(6)(ii) to clarify that if the parties negotiate a revised written binding estimate, the additional goods or services must be accurately listed, in detail. Although FMCSA currently interprets § 375.403(a)(6)(ii) to require a detailed listing of the additional goods or services, this change will resolve any ambiguity as to the motor carrier’s obligation under this section. Similarly, § 375.405(b)(7) provides that if a shipper requests that a household goods carrier transport goods or perform services in excess of those identified in a non-binding estimate and the carrier services the shipment, then the carrier has one of two options before loading the shipment: (i) reaffirm the non-binding estimate or (ii) negotiate a revised written non-binding estimate listing the additional goods and services. FMCSA amends § 375.405(b)(7)(ii) to clarify that if the parties negotiate a revised non-binding estimate, the additional goods or services must be accurately listed, in detail. As it does with binding estimates, FMCSA currently interprets § 375.405(b)(7)(ii) to require a detailed listing of additional goods or services. Regardless, this change will resolve any ambiguity as to the motor carrier’s obligation when it re-negotiates a nonbinding estimate under this section. FMCSA amends § 375.609 by adding a new paragraph (h) requiring that when a carrier places goods into permanent storage, the storage arrangements must be made in the individual shipper’s name and the carrier must provide the shipper’s contact information to the warehouse. FMCSA regulations provide that once a shipper’s goods are placed in permanent storage, the motor carrier’s liability ends and the individual shipper is subject to the rules, regulations and charges of the warehouseman (49 CFR 375.609(b)(4)). This change will facilitate transfer of the goods to the individual shipper from the warehouseman, after the motor carrier is no longer in possession of the goods. V. Regulatory Analyses A. Regulatory Planning and Review This action does not meet the criteria for a ‘‘significant regulatory action,’’ either as specified in Executive Order 12866 as supplemented by Executive Order 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 18, 2011), or within the meaning of the DOT regulatory policies and procedures (44 FR 1103, February 26, 1979). The estimated economic costs of the rule do not exceed the $100 million annual threshold nor does the Agency expect E:\FR\FM\20JNR1.SGM 20JNR1 36934 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 119 / Wednesday, June 20, 2012 / Rules and Regulations the rule to have substantial Congressional or public interest. Therefore, this rule has not been formally reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. No expenditures are required of the affected population because this rule reaffirms or clarifies existing Agency interpretations, removes uncertainty and reduces a regulatory burden. B. Regulatory Flexibility Act Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104–121, 110 Stat. 857), FMCSA is not required to prepare a final regulatory flexibility analysis under 5 U.S.C. 604(a) for this final rule because the agency has not issued an NPRM prior to this action. C. Federalism (Executive Order 13132) A rule has federalism implications if the rule has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on the States. FMCSA analyzed this rule under E.O. 13132 and have determined that it does not have federalism implications. D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 FMCSA is not required to prepare an assessment under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1531, et seq., evaluating a discretionary regulatory action because the Agency has not issued an NPRM prior to this action. E. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) This final rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES F. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children) FMCSA analyzed this action under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. The Agency determined that this rule will not create an environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately affect children. G. Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property) FMCSA reviewed this final rule in accordance with Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:15 Jun 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 Rights, and has determined it will not affect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications. H. Privacy Impact Assessment Section 522 of title I of division H of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, enacted December 8, 2004 (Pub. L. 108–447, 118 Stat. 2809, 3268, 5 U.S.C. 552a note), requires the Agency to conduct a privacy impact assessment (PIA) of a regulation that will affect the privacy of individuals. This rule does not require the collection of any personally identifiable information. The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) applies only to Federal agencies and any non-Federal agency which receives records contained in a system of records from a Federal agency for use in a matching program. FMCSA has determined this rule will not result in a new or revised Privacy Act System of Records for FMCSA. I. Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review) The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this program. J. Paperwork Reduction Act This direct final rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3520). K. National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Air Act FMCSA analyzed this rule in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The Agency has determined under its environmental procedures Order 5610.1, published March 1, 2004 in the Federal Register (69 FR 9680), that this action is categorically excluded (CE) from further environmental documentation under Appendix 2, Paragraph 6(b) and 6(m) of the Order (69 FR 9702). The CE in Paragraph 6(b) applies to the editorial aspects of this rule, and the CE in Paragraph 6(m) relates to regulations implementing procedures applicable to the operations of carriers engaged in the transportation of household goods. In addition, the Agency believes this rule includes no extraordinary circumstances that will have any effect on the quality of the environment. Thus, the action does not require an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement. FMCSA also analyzed this rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended (CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 and implementing regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Approval of this action is exempt from the CAA’s general conformity requirement since it does not affect direct or indirect emissions of criteria pollutants. L. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects) FMCSA has analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution or Use. The Agency has determined that it is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under that Executive Order because it is not economically significant and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 375 Advertising, Arbitration, Consumer protection, Freight, Highways and roads, Insurance, Motor carriers, Moving of household goods, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The Final Rule For the reasons stated in the preamble, FMCSA amends 49 CFR part 375 in title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, chapter III, subchapter B, as follows: PART 375—TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE; CONSUMER PROTECTION REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 375 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 13102, 13301, 13501, 13704, 13707, 13902, 14104, 14706, 14708; subtitle B, title IV of Pub. L. 109–59; and 49 CFR 1.73. 2. Amend § 375.103 to add paragraph (4) to the definition of Household goods motor carrier, to read as follows: ■ § 375.103 What are the definitions of terms used in this part? * * * * * Household goods motor carrier * * * (4) The term does not include any motor carrier that acts as a service for the delivery of furniture, appliances, or other furnishings between a factory or a store and an individual’s household. * * * * * § 375.209 [Amended] 3. Amend § 375.209 by removing paragraph (b)(3) and redesignating paragraph (b)(4) as (b)(3). ■ 4. Amend § 375.403 by revising paragraph (a)(6)(ii) to read as follows: ■ E:\FR\FM\20JNR1.SGM 20JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 119 / Wednesday, June 20, 2012 / Rules and Regulations § 375.403 How must I provide a binding estimate? (a) * * * (6) * * * (ii) Negotiate a revised written binding estimate accurately listing, in detail, the additional household goods or services. * * * * * ■ 5. Amend § 375.405 by revising paragraph (b)(7)(ii) to read as follows: § 375.405 How must I provide a nonbinding estimate? * * * * * (b) * * * (7) * * * (ii) Negotiate a revised written nonbinding estimate accurately listing, in detail, the additional household goods or services. * * * * * ■ 6. Amend § 375.609 by adding new paragraph (h) to read as follows: § 375.609 What must I do for shippers who store household goods in transit? * * * * * (h) When you place household goods in permanent storage, you must place the household goods in the name of the individual shipper and provide contact information for the shipper in the form of a telephone number, mailing address and/or email address. Issued on: June 14, 2012. Anne S. Ferro, Administrator, FMCSA. [FR Doc. 2012–14999 Filed 6–19–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P vehicle transfers involving casual or private sales, and Florida’s petition is denied as to sales involving licensed dealers and sales of leased vehicles. DATES: Effective date: July 20, 2012. ADDRESSES: Requests for reconsideration must be submitted in writing to Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Requests should refer to the docket and notice number above. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78) or you may visit http:// DocketInfo.dot.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www. regulations.gov or the street address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marie Choi, Office of the Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 (Telephone: 202–366–1738) (Fax: 202– 366–3820). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 580 [Docket No. NHTSA–2011–0109; Notice 2] Petition for Approval of Alternate Odometer Requirements National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final determination. AGENCY: The State of Florida (‘‘Florida’’) has petitioned for approval of alternate odometer requirements. Florida’s petition 1 is granted as to pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: 1 ‘‘Florida’s petition’’ or ‘‘petition’’ shall refer to Florida’s Petition for Approval of Alternate Odometer Disclosure Requirements (Dec. 21, 2009) and the Letter from Carl A. Ford, Director, Florida Division of Motor Vehicles, to O. Kevin Vincent, Chief Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration supplementing Florida’s Petition for Approval of Alternate Odometer Disclosure Requirements (Oct. 5, 2010). VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:15 Jun 19, 2012 Jkt 226001 Federal odometer law, which is largely based on the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act of 1972 (Cost Savings Act) 2 and Truth in Mileage Act of 1986, as amended (TIMA),3 contains a number of provisions to limit odometer fraud and ensure that the buyer of a motor vehicle knows the true mileage of the vehicle. The Cost Savings Act requires the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate regulations requiring the transferor (seller) of a motor vehicle to provide a written statement of the vehicle’s mileage registered on the odometer to the transferee (buyer) in connection with the transfer of ownership. This written statement is generally referred to as the odometer disclosure statement. Further, under TIMA, vehicle titles themselves must have a space for the odometer disclosure statement and states are prohibited from 2 Sec. 401–13, Public Law 92–513, 86 Stat. 961– 63. 3 Sec. PO 00000 1–3, Public Law 99–579, 100 Stat. 3309. Frm 00029 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 36935 licensing vehicles unless a valid odometer disclosure statement on the title is signed and dated by the transferor. Titles must also be printed by a secure process. With respect to leased vehicles, TIMA provides that the regulations promulgated by the Secretary require written mileage disclosures be made by lessees to lessors upon the lessor’s transfer of the ownership of the leased vehicle. Lessors must also provide written notice to lessees about odometer disclosure requirements and the penalties for not complying with them. Federal law also contains document retention requirements for odometer disclosure statements. TIMA’s motor vehicle mileage disclosure requirements apply in a State unless the State has alternate requirements approved by the Secretary. The Secretary has delegated administration of the odometer program to NHTSA. Therefore, a State may petition NHTSA for approval of such alternate odometer disclosure requirements. Seeking to implement an electronic vehicle title transfer system, Florida has petitioned for approval of alternate odometer disclosure requirements. In 2009, NHTSA reviewed certain requirements for alternative state programs and approved the Commonwealth of Virginia’s alternate odometer disclosure program. 74 FR 643, Jan. 7, 2009. Florida’s program is similar to Virginia’s program in some respects and broader in scope than Virginia’s in others. Like Virginia’s program, the scope of Florida’s proposed program does not include transactions involving an out-of-state party. Unlike Virginia’s program, Florida’s proposed program encompasses transactions involving leased vehicles and odometer disclosures by power of attorney. In addition, Florida’s proposed program would use different mechanisms to document mileage than Virginia’s. In its initial determination, NHTSA reviewed the statutory background and set out the agency’s tentative view on applicable statutory factors governing whether to grant a state’s petition. NHTSA initially determined that Florida’s petition regarding proposed alternate disclosure requirements for vehicle transfers involving casual or private sales satisfied Federal odometer law, and that Florida’s petition regarding sales involving licensed dealers and sales of leased vehicles did not satisfy Federal odometer law. See 76 FR 48101, Aug. 8, 2011. E:\FR\FM\20JNR1.SGM 20JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 119 (Wednesday, June 20, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 36932-36935]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-14999]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 375

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0119]
RIN 2126-AB52


Transportation of Household Goods in Interstate Commerce; 
Consumer Protection Regulations

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Direct final rule; request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) amends 
the regulations governing the transportation of household goods to 
remove an obsolete requirement related to collect calls, resolve 
ambiguities, and reduce a regulatory burden on household goods motor 
carriers.

DATES: This final rule is effective August 20, 2012, unless an adverse 
comment, or notice of intent to submit an adverse comment, is either 
submitted to the above docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or 
before July 20, 2012 or reaches the Docket Management Facility by that 
date. If an adverse comment, or notice of intent to submit an adverse 
comment, is received by July 20, 2012, FMCSA will withdraw this direct 
final rule and publish a timely notice of withdrawal in the Federal 
Register.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number FMCSA-
2012-0119 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30) West Building Ground 
Floor Room W12-140, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand Delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The 
telephone number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these methods. See the 
``Public Participation and Comments'' portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Brodie Mack, FMCSA, Household 
Goods Team Leader, Commercial Enforcement and Investigations Division 
at (202) 385-2400 or by email at brodie.mack@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Public Participation and Comments

    If you would like to participate in this rulemaking, you may submit 
comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, 
without change, to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any 
personal information you have provided.

A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking (FMCSA-2012-0119), indicate the specific section of this 
direct final rule to which each comment applies, and provide a reason 
for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and 
material online, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only 
one of these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a 
mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of 
your document so that the Agency can contact you if it has questions 
regarding your submission. As a reminder, FMCSA will only consider 
adverse comments as defined in 49 CFR 389.39(b) and explained below.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
click on the ``submit a comment'' box, which will then become 
highlighted in blue. In the ``Document Type'' drop down menu select 
``Final Rule'' and insert ``FMCSA-2012-0119'' in the ``Keyword'' box. 
Click ``Search'' then click on the balloon shape in the ``Actions'' 
column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit 
them in an unbound format, no larger than 8[frac12] by 11 inches, 
suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail 
and would like to know that they reached the Docket Management 
Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or 
envelope.

B. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
click on the ``read comments'' box, which will then become highlighted 
in blue. In the ``Keyword'' box insert ``FMCSA-2012-0119'' and click 
``Search.'' Click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column. 
If you do not have access to the Internet, you may also view the docket 
online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on 
the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

C. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any 
of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice 
regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the 
Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

II. Regulatory Information

    FMCSA publishes this direct final rule under 49 CFR 389.39 because 
the Agency determined that the rule is a routine and non-controversial 
amendment to 49 CFR part 375. This rule clarifies that certain 
independent delivery services are not household goods motor carriers, 
removes an obsolete provision requiring household goods motor carriers 
to post notices relating to acceptance of collect telephone calls, 
clarifies the Agency's requirement that re-negotiated estimates contain 
detailed descriptions of the goods or services that gave rise to the 
re-negotiation, and requires household goods motor carriers that 
relinquish possession of goods to permanent storage to do so in the 
shipper's name. If no adverse comments, or notices of intent to submit 
an adverse comment, are received by July 20, 2012, this rule will 
become effective as stated in the DATES section. In that case, 
approximately 30 days before the effective date, FMCSA will publish a 
document in the Federal Register stating that no adverse comments were

[[Page 36933]]

received and confirming that this rule will become effective as 
scheduled. However, if the Agency receives any adverse comments or 
notices of intent to submit an adverse comment, FMCSA will publish a 
document in the Federal Register announcing the withdrawal of all or 
part of this direct final rule. If FMCSA decides to proceed with a 
rulemaking following receipt of any adverse comments, the Agency will 
publish a separate notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) and provide a 
new opportunity for comment.
    A comment is considered ``adverse'' if the comment explains why 
this rule or a part of this rule would be inappropriate, including a 
challenge to its underlying premise or approach, or would be 
ineffective or unacceptable without a change.

 III. Legal Basis for the Rulemaking

    The Secretary of Transportation's (Secretary) general jurisdiction 
to establish regulations over transportation of property by motor 
carrier is found at 49 U.S.C. 13501. Household goods motor carriers are 
a subset of property motor carriers and are required by 49 U.S.C. 13902 
to register with FMCSA as household goods motor carriers.
    This rulemaking is based on the statutory provisions cited above 
and on the authority Congress granted to the Secretary to regulate the 
operations of household goods motor carriers in the ICC Termination Act 
of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-88, 109 Stat. 803, Dec. 29, 1995) and in the 
Household Goods Mover Oversight Enforcement and Reform Act of 2005, 
Title IV, Subtitle B of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient 
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Pub. L. 
109-59, 119 Stat. 1144, Aug. 10, 2005).
    The Secretary has delegated these various authorities to the FMCSA 
Administrator (49 CFR 1.73(a)). This rulemaking only applies to 
household goods motor carriers that provide for-hire transportation in 
interstate or foreign commerce.

IV. Discussion of the Rule

    FMCSA updates the household goods motor carrier regulations at 49 
CFR part 375 to eliminate an obsolete requirement, remove uncertainty, 
and reduce a regulatory burden on household goods motor carriers.
    FMCSA amends the definition of ``Household goods motor carrier'' in 
Sec.  375.103 to clarify that motor carriers that provide delivery 
services transporting furniture, appliances or other furnishings 
between a factory or a store and an individual's household are not 
household goods motor carriers for the purposes of 49 CFR part 375. 
Currently, Agency regulations define a household goods carrier as a 
motor carrier that transports household goods and provides some or all 
of the following services: (1) Binding and nonbinding estimates, (2) 
inventorying, (3) protective packing and unpacking of individual items 
at personal residences, and (4) loading and unloading at personal 
residences (49 U.S.C. 13102(12); 49 CFR 375.103). FMCSA does not 
currently consider delivery services that load and/or provide 
protective packing of household goods at a factory or store and then 
unload and/or unpack at an individual's household to fall within this 
definition. Regardless, the Agency has received a number of requests 
for clarification. In addition, the Agency believes that some motor 
carriers providing this type of delivery service have obtained 
household goods operating authority registration because they 
mistakenly believed it was an Agency requirement. As a result, these 
carriers may have incurred unnecessary expenses to establish and 
maintain household goods operating authority. This change definitively 
establishes that these types of motor carriers are not household goods 
motor carriers, so long as they only transport household goods between 
a factory or retailer and an individual's household.
    Section 375.209 currently requires household goods motor carriers 
to establish and maintain a procedure for responding to complaints and 
inquiries from individual shippers. Paragraph (b) requires the 
procedure to include four items. FMCSA removes the third requirement 
which directs household goods motor carriers to include a statement of 
who must pay for complaint and inquiry telephone calls. This 
requirement was originally adopted to require household goods motor 
carriers to indicate whether they would accept collect calls from 
shippers. This reference is outdated and no longer necessary. Most 
motor carriers and shippers conduct business using a combination of 
Internet, email or mobile telephone communications that have rendered 
this requirement obsolete.
    Section 375.403(a)(6) provides that if a shipper requests that a 
household goods carrier transport goods or perform services in excess 
of those previously identified in a binding estimate and the carrier 
services the shipment, the carrier has one of three options before 
loading the shipment: (i) Reaffirm the binding estimate; (ii) negotiate 
a revised written binding estimate listing the additional goods and 
services; or (iii) convert the original estimate to a written non-
binding estimate, if the shipper agrees. FMCSA amends Sec.  
375.403(a)(6)(ii) to clarify that if the parties negotiate a revised 
written binding estimate, the additional goods or services must be 
accurately listed, in detail. Although FMCSA currently interprets Sec.  
375.403(a)(6)(ii) to require a detailed listing of the additional goods 
or services, this change will resolve any ambiguity as to the motor 
carrier's obligation under this section.
    Similarly, Sec.  375.405(b)(7) provides that if a shipper requests 
that a household goods carrier transport goods or perform services in 
excess of those identified in a non-binding estimate and the carrier 
services the shipment, then the carrier has one of two options before 
loading the shipment: (i) reaffirm the non-binding estimate or (ii) 
negotiate a revised written non-binding estimate listing the additional 
goods and services. FMCSA amends Sec.  375.405(b)(7)(ii) to clarify 
that if the parties negotiate a revised non-binding estimate, the 
additional goods or services must be accurately listed, in detail. As 
it does with binding estimates, FMCSA currently interprets Sec.  
375.405(b)(7)(ii) to require a detailed listing of additional goods or 
services. Regardless, this change will resolve any ambiguity as to the 
motor carrier's obligation when it re-negotiates a non-binding estimate 
under this section.
    FMCSA amends Sec.  375.609 by adding a new paragraph (h) requiring 
that when a carrier places goods into permanent storage, the storage 
arrangements must be made in the individual shipper's name and the 
carrier must provide the shipper's contact information to the 
warehouse. FMCSA regulations provide that once a shipper's goods are 
placed in permanent storage, the motor carrier's liability ends and the 
individual shipper is subject to the rules, regulations and charges of 
the warehouseman (49 CFR 375.609(b)(4)). This change will facilitate 
transfer of the goods to the individual shipper from the warehouseman, 
after the motor carrier is no longer in possession of the goods.

V. Regulatory Analyses

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    This action does not meet the criteria for a ``significant 
regulatory action,'' either as specified in Executive Order 12866 as 
supplemented by Executive Order 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 18, 2011), 
or within the meaning of the DOT regulatory policies and procedures (44 
FR 1103, February 26, 1979). The estimated economic costs of the rule 
do not exceed the $100 million annual threshold nor does the Agency 
expect

[[Page 36934]]

the rule to have substantial Congressional or public interest. 
Therefore, this rule has not been formally reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget. No expenditures are required of the affected 
population because this rule reaffirms or clarifies existing Agency 
interpretations, removes uncertainty and reduces a regulatory burden.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121, 
110 Stat. 857), FMCSA is not required to prepare a final regulatory 
flexibility analysis under 5 U.S.C. 604(a) for this final rule because 
the agency has not issued an NPRM prior to this action.

C. Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    A rule has federalism implications if the rule has a substantial 
direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt 
State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on the 
States. FMCSA analyzed this rule under E.O. 13132 and have determined 
that it does not have federalism implications.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    FMCSA is not required to prepare an assessment under the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1531, et seq., evaluating a 
discretionary regulatory action because the Agency has not issued an 
NPRM prior to this action.

E. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This final rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 
3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize 
litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

F. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

    FMCSA analyzed this action under Executive Order 13045, Protection 
of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. The 
Agency determined that this rule will not create an environmental risk 
to health or safety that may disproportionately affect children.

G. Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    FMCSA reviewed this final rule in accordance with Executive Order 
12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally 
Protected Property Rights, and has determined it will not affect a 
taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications.

H. Privacy Impact Assessment

    Section 522 of title I of division H of the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2005, enacted December 8, 2004 (Pub. L. 108-447, 
118 Stat. 2809, 3268, 5 U.S.C. 552a note), requires the Agency to 
conduct a privacy impact assessment (PIA) of a regulation that will 
affect the privacy of individuals. This rule does not require the 
collection of any personally identifiable information.
    The Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) applies only to Federal agencies 
and any non-Federal agency which receives records contained in a system 
of records from a Federal agency for use in a matching program. FMCSA 
has determined this rule will not result in a new or revised Privacy 
Act System of Records for FMCSA.

I. Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do 
not apply to this program.

J. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This direct final rule calls for no new collection of information 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

K. National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Air Act

    FMCSA analyzed this rule in accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The 
Agency has determined under its environmental procedures Order 5610.1, 
published March 1, 2004 in the Federal Register (69 FR 9680), that this 
action is categorically excluded (CE) from further environmental 
documentation under Appendix 2, Paragraph 6(b) and 6(m) of the Order 
(69 FR 9702). The CE in Paragraph 6(b) applies to the editorial aspects 
of this rule, and the CE in Paragraph 6(m) relates to regulations 
implementing procedures applicable to the operations of carriers 
engaged in the transportation of household goods. In addition, the 
Agency believes this rule includes no extraordinary circumstances that 
will have any effect on the quality of the environment. Thus, the 
action does not require an environmental assessment or an environmental 
impact statement.
    FMCSA also analyzed this rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended 
(CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and implementing 
regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. 
Approval of this action is exempt from the CAA's general conformity 
requirement since it does not affect direct or indirect emissions of 
criteria pollutants.

L. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    FMCSA has analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions 
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution or Use. The Agency has determined that it is not a 
``significant energy action'' under that Executive Order because it is 
not economically significant and is not likely to have a significant 
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 375

    Advertising, Arbitration, Consumer protection, Freight, Highways 
and roads, Insurance, Motor carriers, Moving of household goods, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

The Final Rule

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, FMCSA amends 49 CFR part 
375 in title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, chapter III, subchapter 
B, as follows:

PART 375--TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE; 
CONSUMER PROTECTION REGULATIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 375 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 13102, 13301, 13501, 13704, 13707, 13902, 
14104, 14706, 14708; subtitle B, title IV of Pub. L. 109-59; and 49 
CFR 1.73.


0
2. Amend Sec.  375.103 to add paragraph (4) to the definition of 
Household goods motor carrier, to read as follows:


Sec.  375.103  What are the definitions of terms used in this part?

* * * * *
    Household goods motor carrier * * *
    (4) The term does not include any motor carrier that acts as a 
service for the delivery of furniture, appliances, or other furnishings 
between a factory or a store and an individual's household.
* * * * *


Sec.  375.209  [Amended]

0
3. Amend Sec.  375.209 by removing paragraph (b)(3) and redesignating 
paragraph (b)(4) as (b)(3).

0
4. Amend Sec.  375.403 by revising paragraph (a)(6)(ii) to read as 
follows:

[[Page 36935]]

Sec.  375.403  How must I provide a binding estimate?

    (a) * * *
    (6) * * *
    (ii) Negotiate a revised written binding estimate accurately 
listing, in detail, the additional household goods or services.
* * * * *

0
5. Amend Sec.  375.405 by revising paragraph (b)(7)(ii) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  375.405  How must I provide a non-binding estimate?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (7) * * *
    (ii) Negotiate a revised written non-binding estimate accurately 
listing, in detail, the additional household goods or services.
* * * * *

0
6. Amend Sec.  375.609 by adding new paragraph (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  375.609  What must I do for shippers who store household goods in 
transit?

* * * * *
    (h) When you place household goods in permanent storage, you must 
place the household goods in the name of the individual shipper and 
provide contact information for the shipper in the form of a telephone 
number, mailing address and/or email address.

    Issued on: June 14, 2012.
Anne S. Ferro,
Administrator, FMCSA.
[FR Doc. 2012-14999 Filed 6-19-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P