Last week, multiple news outlets began sharing stories that stated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had made the ELD exemption for livestock and insect transporters, permanent. This information is NOT true.

This information is factual – Disagreements between and among the parties resulted in a federal government shutdown, which began on December 21, 2018. Unless the President and Congressional leaders can come to terms in advance of the January 2019 ousting of members of Congress who lost their bids for re-election, the appropriations process could be turned on its ear. This turn of events may have a dramatic impact on livestock haulers who are currently operating under the 2018 spending bill’s delay of ELD implementation. LMA and industry partners were successful in advocating for similar ELD delay language in both the Senate and House versions of the 2019 budget, which, if passed, would continue the delay until the end of September 2019. However, with Congress and the President at an impasse over funding a border wall and the House majority flipping after inauguration, the ELD delay for 2019 may be in danger. For the time being, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has posted the following on their website to clarify that livestock haulers are ELD exempt until further notice: “Transporters of livestock and insects are not required to have an ELD. The statutory exemption will remain in place until further notice. Drivers do not need to carry any documentation regarding this exemption.” Although LMA continues to advocate for continued delay of ELDs for livestock haulers, carriers are encouraged to explore ELD options as their use may become mandatory sooner than anticipated.

Some tips to remember from our friends at TruckerNation:

  • The ELD exemption for livestock and insect transporters is NOT permanent.
  • The current exemption was awarded by congress, not the FMCSA. FMCSA does not have the ability to alter or change the exemption. Furthermore, FMCSA does not have the regulatory authority to award permanent exemptions. According to 49 CFR 381.300 the agency can only award exemptions for up to 5 years.
  • Livestock and insect transporters are exempt from the ELD mandate under the 2018 federal appropriations law. It is written into the 2019 federal appropriations bill that livestock and insect transporters will be exempt from the ELD mandate until September 30, 2019.
  • It is unclear if livestock and insect transporters will be exempt from the ELD mandate past September 30, 2019 at this time.

Those following national news will have had a hard time not noticing border security wrangling impacting the nation’s budget.

Disagreements between and among the parties resulted in a federal government shutdown, which began on December 21, 2018. Unless the President and Congressional leaders can come to terms in advance of the January 2019 ousting of members of Congress who lost their bids for re-election, the appropriations process could be turned on its ear. This turn of events may have a dramatic impact on livestock haulers who are currently operating under the 2018 spending bill’s delay of ELD implementation. LMA and industry partners were successful in advocating for similar ELD delay language in both the Senate and House versions of the 2019 budget, which, if passed, would continue the delay until the end of September 2019. However, with Congress and the President at an impasse over funding a border wall and the House majority flipping after the inauguration, the ELD delay for 2019 may be in danger. For the time being, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has posted the following on their website to clarify that livestock haulers are ELD exempt until further notice: “Transporters of livestock and insects are not required to have an ELD.  The statutory exemption will remain in place until further notice.  Drivers do not need to carry any documentation regarding this exemption.” Although LMA continues to advocate for continued delay of ELDs for livestock haulers, carriers are encouraged to explore ELD options as their use may become mandatory sooner than anticipated.

If you have any questions regarding livestock transportation, please email LMA General Counsel, Jara Settles at jsettles@lmaweb.com.

Livestock Marketing Association

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