FMCSA provides regulatory relief for transportation of baby formula

May 24, 2022

Mark Schremmer


The federal government is calling on truck drivers to help out with the nation’s shortage of baby formula.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an emergency declaration that provides regulatory relief for motor carriers who are transporting baby formula or the ingredients needed for production.

President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act on May 18 to increase baby formula production and require suppliers to direct ingredients to baby formula manufacturers as a priority. On Monday, May 23, the FMCSA issued an emergency declaration, exempting motor carriers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia who are providing direct emergency assistance from certain regulatory requirements in the hours of service.

The emergency declaration addresses a nationwide need for immediate transportation of baby formula and the ingredients needed for production, including whey, casein, corn syrup, hydrolyzed protein, and containers and packaging for baby formula.

“By execution of this emergency declaration, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the emergency in direct support of relief efforts related to the emergency as set out in this declaration are granted relief from 49 CFR § 395.3, maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles, subject to the restrictions and conditions set forth herein,” the FMCSA wrote. “Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.”

To be eligible for the emergency exemption, the agency said the transportation must provide direct and immediate assistance to the restoration of baby formula supplies.

More details about the emergency declaration’s restrictions and conditions can be found here.

The declaration is set to remain in effect through June 30.

COVID-19 emergency declaration

In addition to the baby formula emergency, FMCSA has had a declaration in effect regarding the transportation of COVID-19 relief items for more than two years.

Earlier this month, the declaration added heating fuel to the list of qualifying loads.

The COVID-19 emergency declaration remains in effect through May 31. LL