New Guidance Helps American Farmers & Commercial Drivers
Following a bipartisan effort led by U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) took action to ease regulatory burdens on agricultural trucking. FMCSA’s final rule provides clarity for our nation’s farmers and commercial truck drivers by leveling the playing field for the transportation of agricultural products.
Agriculture contributes over $1 trillion to the nation’s economy and $73 billion to Georgia’s economy annually. The inclusion of the Agricultural Trucking Relief Act language, which Senator Perdue introduced in 2019, in FMCSA’s final rule promotes consistency across all federal and state agencies and eases regulatory burdens on the trucking industry.
“Until now, Georgia farmers and truckers have had to navigate confusing shipping regulations in order to get products to market,” said Senator Perdue. “This new guidance clarifies the rules and levels the playing field, so agricultural products can be delivered further and faster.”
“The agriculture industry is vital to our nation, and this new rule will provide clarity and offer additional flexibility to farmers and commercial drivers, while maintaining the highest level of safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
“I applaud Secretary Chao for recognizing these obstacles and working with USDA to come up with common sense definitions for agricultural commodities and livestock that meet both the needs of agricultural haulers and public safety – critical concerns for all of trucking,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
The rule allows the expansion of FMCSA’s definitions of “any agricultural commodity,” “livestock,” and “non-processed food.” The broadened definition of an agricultural commodity will relieve regulatory burdens on the trucking industry, while also streamlining rules across the FMCSA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and all other federal and state agencies.