[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 154 (Thursday, August 10, 1995)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 40761-40763]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-19719]



Federal Highway Administration

49 CFR Part 390

[FHWA Docket No. MC-93-17]
RIN 2125-AD14

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; General; Intermodal 

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; petitions for reconsideration of effective date; 
final determination.


SUMMARY: Several petitioners requested an extension of the effective 
date of, and certain exemptions from, the final rule implementing the 
Intermodal Safe Container Transportation Act of 1992. On May 25, 1995 
(60 FR 27700), the FHWA requested comments on the major issues raised 
by these petitioners. The FHWA has determined that a further extension 
is warranted and, therefore, is extending the effective date of the 
final rule until September 1, 1996 to allow the intermodal 
transportation industry sufficient time to comply by means of 
electronic data interchange and to allow the FHWA, the intermodal 
transportation industry, and other parties enough time to inform 
affected domestic and foreign entities of their responsibilities.

EFFECTIVE DATE: September 1, 1996.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Peter C. Chandler, Office of Motor 
Carrier Research and Standards, HCS-10, (202) 366-5763; or Mr. Charles 
E. Medalen, Office of the Chief Counsel, HCC-20, (202) 366-1354, 
Federal Highway Administration, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 
20590. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., e.t., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays.



    On December 29, 1994, the FHWA published a final rule which 
implemented the requirements of the Intermodal Safe Container 
Transportation Act of 1992 (the Act) (Pub. L. 102-548, 106 Stat. 3646, 
partly codified at 49 U.S.C. 5901-5907 (formerly 49 U.S.C. 501 and 
508)). The original effective date of the final rule was June 27, 1995. 
The final rule requires any person who presents a container or trailer 
with a gross cargo weight of more than 4,536 kilograms or 10,000 pounds 
to an initial carrier for intermodal transportation to provide a 
certification to such carrier. Motor carriers are prohibited from 
accepting a loaded container or trailer prior to receiving a tangible 
certification. Motor carriers, rail carriers, water carriers, ocean 
common carriers, and intermediaries that receive a certification in the 
course of intermodal transportation must forward the certification to a 
subsequent carrier transporting the loaded container or trailer. The 
objective of the final rule is to reduce the number of overweight motor 
vehicles transporting intermodal containers or trailers by improving 
communication between shippers and motor carriers.

[[Page 40762]]


    During April and May 1995, the FHWA received letters from several 
companies and industry groups petitioning for an extension of the 
effective date of the final rule. Among those requesting an extension 
were APL Land Transport Services, Inc.; the European Shippers' 
Councils; ``K'' Line America, Inc.; the Intermodal Safe Container 
Coalition (Coalition); the National Industrial Transportation League; 
the Steamship Association of Southern California; and, Warren & 
Associates, a law firm representing two freight conferences.
    On May 16, 1995 (60 FR 26001), the FHWA administratively extended 
the June 27, 1995, effective date until September 27, 1995, to allow 
the agency sufficient time to consider public comment on whether a 
further extension was warranted. On May 25, 1995 (60 FR 27700), the 
FHWA requested comments on whether an extension of the effective date 
of the final rule beyond September 27, 1995, was necessary. As a part 
of the second publication, the FHWA requested comments on a petition 
filed by the American Trucking Associations, Inc. (ATA) to exempt three 
types of motor carrier operations from the rule.

General Discussion of the Comments

    Forty-six comments were received in response to the May 25, 1995, 
publication. Of these, twenty-two were from companies connected with 
intermodal transportation, nineteen from industry associations, two 
from individuals, and one each from a safety organization, a public 
association, and a port.

Comments Regarding Effective Date

    Three parties supported a further extension, but recommended no 
specific effective date. One party recommended an effective date one 
year after publication of the final determination of the petitions. 
Seven parties supported a January 1, 1996, effective date. Seventeen 
parties supported a May 1, 1996, effective date. One party supported an 
effective date in the spring of 1996. Five parties supported a June 1, 
1996, effective date. One party supported a September 1, 1996, 
effective date. Of the parties who supported a specific date, three 
stated that an additional extension may be necessary. Two parties 
opposed a further extension.

Electronic Data Interchange

    The intermodal transportation industry relies heavily on electronic 
data interchange (EDI). In order to forward certifications by EDI, the 
intermodal transportation industry, in particular rail and water 
carriers, need to complete the following steps: The development of 
standards; preliminary analysis and design; computer programming; field 
testing and coordination; training; and final computer programming. The 
Union Pacific System and the Coalition commented that the American 
National Standards Institute and the Intermodal Association of North 
America have incorporated the necessary changes in their EDI Standard 
3050 to accommodate a certification. The Coalition commented that EDI 
standard 3050 will be available in July, 1995, but Union Pacific and 
the Coalition stated that this standard will not become effective for 
the railroad industry until September 1, 1995. Union Pacific and the 
Association of American Railroads (AAR) explained further that 
railroads must be able to receive information via this standard by this 
date, but are not required to be able to send information via this 
standard until September 1, 1996. The Coalition and the AAR stated that 
one year from the effective date of a new standard is normally allowed 
for full implementation because of the complexity of the process. The 
Coalition explained that any company using a standard previous to EDI 
standard 3050 must modify the previous standard to accommodate a 
certification. Burlington Northern Railroad commented that programming 
the new or modified EDI standard will take until May, 1996 and that 
testing the standard and assisting their customers in the transition to 
the standard will take until September, 1996.
    Based on the information submitted by the commenters, the FHWA has 
determined that a further extension of the effective date of the final 
rule is warranted. The FHWA extends the effective date of the final 
rule until September 1, 1996 to allow the intermodal transportation 
industry sufficient time to complete the necessary steps to achieve 
compliance with the final rule through the use of EDI.


    Several commenters to the May 25, 1995, publication asserted that a 
further extension of the effective date is necessary to provide 
sufficient time to educate affected parties in their responsibilities. 
Some commenters stated that there is a widespread lack of knowledge of 
the Act and the implementation of regulations outside the United States 
and expressed concern about the difficult task of educating foreign 
entities. Some commenters also made suggestions about the FHWA's 
educational efforts. Several stressed that the agency should make 
educational materials available prior to the effective date. The FHWA 
agrees that additional time is needed to educate affected domestic and 
foreign entities in order to avoid large disruptions in trade and 
commerce which may result from inadvertent failures to comply with the 
rule. The extension of the effective date until September 1, 1996, will 
enable the FHWA and cooperating entities to distribute educational 
materials and will also provide the intermodal transportation industry 
additional time to familiarize appropriate parties with their 
    Educational pamphlets, in English, which provide an overview of the 
final rule are now available for distribution. Individuals and 
companies interested in obtaining the pamphlet should contact the local 
FHWA Office of Motor Carriers in their area. The pamphlet will also be 
available in German, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin Chinese in 
the near future. Pamphlets will be provided to various associations for 
domestic and international distribution. In addition, the Department of 
State will assist the FHWA with the international distribution of the 
pamphlets. The FHWA will also request the assistance of various 
embassies with this task.

Petition for Exemptions by the American Trucking Associations, Inc.

    On April 7, 1995, the ATA filed a petition to exempt three types of 
motor carrier operations from the final rule. In response to the May 
25, 1995, publication, the ATA and the National Industrial 
Transportation League (NITL) modified the third exemption requested and 
stated that they would also submit by August 1, 1995, a joint petition 
requesting further changes to the rule. In view of these developments, 
the FHWA will defer until a later time any discussion of the ATA and 
ATA/NITL petitions, as well as the comments already submitted on the 
ATA's petition for three exemptions.
Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    The FHWA has previously determined that the final rule implementing 
the Intermodal Safe Container Transportation Act of 1992 is a 
significant regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 
12866 and significant under Department of Transportation regulatory 
policies and 

[[Page 40763]]
procedures because it affects intermodal transportation and attracts 
substantial public interest. As such, the final rule was reviewed by 
the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the Secretary of 
Transportation before being published. This present action only extends 
the effective date of the final rule and provides clarification of the 
rule. It is anticipated that the economic impact of this action will be 
minimal; therefore, a full regulatory evaluation is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-
612), the FHWA has evaluated the effects of this action on small 
entities. Based upon this evaluation, as well as for the reasons set 
forth in the previous paragraph, the FHWA hereby certifies that this 
action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.

Executive Order 12612 (Federalism Assessment)

    This action has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Order 12612, and it has been determined 
that this action does not have sufficient Federalism implications to 
warrant the preparation of a Federalism assessment. Nothing in this 
action directly preempts any State law or regulation.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.217, Motor 
Carrier Safety. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 
regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and 
activities apply to this program.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirements contained in the December 
29, 1994, final rule have been approved by the Office of Management and 
Budget in accordance with the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1980, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and assigned the control number of 
2125-0557 which expires on June 30, 1997. This action does not affect 
the recordkeeping requirements previously established.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The agency has analyzed this rulemaking for the purpose of the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and 
has determined that this action would not have any effect on the 
quality of the environment.

Regulation Identification Number

    A regulation identification number (RIN) is assigned to each 
regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. 
The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda 
in April and October of each year. The RIN contained in the heading of 
this document can be used to cross reference this action with the 
Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 390

    Highway safety, Highways and roads, Intermodal transportation, 
Motor carriers, Recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 5901-5907, 31132, 31136, 31502 and 31504; 
49 CFR 1.48.

    Issued on August 3, 1995.
Rodney E. Slater,
Federal Highway Administrator.
[FR Doc. 95-19719 Filed 8-9-95; 8:45 am]