Roanoke Trade Services is advising freight forwarders and property brokers that they need to "re-comply" with new permitting and bonding mandate put forth in the 2012 highway reauthorization bill - the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21).
"What we have found is that many property broker/domestic forwarders haven't updated their contact information with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in years and they must do so before any changes are made to their bonds," said Rick Bridges, a vice president at Roanoke.
"The issue is most folks have long forgotten their login credentials to the FMCSA Website so the process is taking a couple days. The bottom line is that there are thousands of entities that need to make these changes," he said. "Doing so at the 11th hour will likely add further delays and it's recommended that folks get this squared away early."
Bridges said the new property broker and surface freight forwarder permit and bond requirement of MAP 21 requires property brokers and surface freight forwarders to file a $75,000 surety bond or trust fund agreement by Oct. 1.
"Because the language of the bond form will change, every property broker and surface freight forwarder will need to have a new bond filed and their old bond will no longer be valid," he said.
Bridges said the FMCSA has drafted new language for the bonds, but the Office of Management and Budget must approve a host of new FMCSA regulations and the bond language may not be completed until early September.
He said it's critical that for this process to go smoothly (as there is not much time between Sept. 1 and Oct. 1, and maybe even less time if there are further approval delays) that property brokers and forwarders have their correct address and contact information in the FMCSA database.
"It may take several business days for you to make these changes, especially if you need to obtain a PIN from the FMCSA. Your surety cannot file any new bonds until your information is current and FMCSA will not allow the surety to make those changes on your behalf," he explained.
Bridges said updates to an address can be made via email with the subject line: "Address Change" and the correct address to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
. (This email is only to request address changes.)
"It is imperative this be done before you request your surety to file any new bonds," he said. - Chris Dupin