Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations demand an arbitration program for moving goods across state lines

As a trucker, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations demand that you have an arbitration program in place for shippers to resolve disputes about property loss and damages and delivery payment.

In simple terms, if you have an arbitration program in place, you can put your mind at rest and get your eyes back on the road. If you do not comply, then you are at risk of sizable fines and potential suspension of license.

Brief makes things easy. With our streamlined Arbitration Program, you get the protection your moving company needs, faster.

It’s simple (100 percent online) and cheaper (no lawyer’s fees).

Our arbitration program ensures your moving company meets the DOT’s classification and requirements for a Household Movers Permit (HTR) so you remove the risk of heavy fines for non-compliance.

What law is it under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations?

The easy answer is: If you are moving household goods over state lines in the United States,  the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations you must have an arbitration clause in your agreements and these are subject to arbitration under the Federal mandate.

Now for the legal explanation. The law was drafted and enacted by the Department of Transportation as (49 CFR 375.211) under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. 

It was specifically created to reduce pressure on the Civil Courts backlog and to make life easier for truckers and removalists as well as shippers in the event of a dispute arising. 

The law is listed under Title 49 – Transportation Subtitle B – Other Regulations Relating to Transportation Chapter III – Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, Department of Transportation Subchapter B – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Part 375 – Transportation of Household Goods in Interstate Commerce; Consumer Protection Regulations.

What do I need to do to ensure compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations stipulate that you must have an arbitration program in place for individual shippers. 

The program must be designed to allow shippers to resolve disputes on the loss of property and damages and if carrier charges over and above what is collected on delivery are to be paid.

We’re not done yet. There are 11 distinct elements that your program must establish and maintain.

  1. You are not allowed to design your program to give yourself any special advantage in any cases where the claimant (the person filing the claim) lives or does business at a place that is distant from where you do business.
  2. Before you perform the service, you must notify the shipper that they have recourse to neutral arbitration. You must include the following items:
  1. A summary of the procedure (we can do this for you)
  2. Any applicable costs (flat fee with Brief)
  3. You must disclose the legal effection of the choice to use arbitration

(3) Upon the individual shipper’s request, you must provide the information and forms necessary to start any arbitration action to resolve a dispute. If you choose Brief, all you need to do is point them to our website.

(4) Each person/party you authorize to resolve any disputes must be independent of the parties to the dispute and must be certified to be capable of resolving the said disputes. You must also ensure that the arbitrator is authorized and able to obtain from you and the other party, any material or information to carry out a far and swift decision-making process.

You will have no such worries with Brief. We are a certified arbitration platform with a network of screened E-Judges that are appointed on the basis of expertise and jurisdiction.

Our platform is 100 percent document-centric, so parties just need to upload their claim, evidence and counter-evidence and leave it in the hands of the arbitrator. 

(5) The  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations stipulate that you cannot charge the individual shipper more than half of the cost to open arbitration proceedings against you. With Brief, the claimant simply pays a flat fee to start proceedings. The arbitrator may decide which of the parties (you or the shipper) pay the cost of proceedings.

(6) You cannot press or require the shipper to agree to use arbitration before any dispute arises. 

(7) If the individual shipper requests arbitration, arbitration must be binding for claims of $10,000 or less.

(8) If the individual shipper requests arbitration and the carrier agrees to it, arbitration must be binding for claims of more than $10,000.

(9) The arbitrator may provide for an oral presentation of a dispute by a party or representative of a party, if parties agree to the proviso.

(10) The arbitrator must render a decision within 60 days of receipt of written notification of the dispute, and a decision by an arbitrator may include any remedies appropriate under the circumstances.

Filing an arbitration claim with Brief is easy. The average time to turn around an arbitration claim with Brief is 45 days.

The claimant pays an upfront fee which is dependent on case complexity starting at $600.

(11) If you or the shipper fail to provide any information the arbitrator reasonably requires to resolve the dispute, the arbitrator may extend by another 60 days.

(b) You must produce and distribute a concise and accurate summary of your arbitration program, including the items in this section.

Why choose Brief to comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations 

Brief offers a free arbitration sample clause and clause builder.  We also take the hassle out of arbitration. If you sign up to Brief, you can keep on trucking and let us handle any issues which arise.

The Brief six-step process involves opening a claim, to which the respondent (the person defending the claim) will be notified.

You will be given the opportunity to respond to the claim, but if you don’t, the assigned E-Judge will decide that you have defaulted and an arbitration award will be issued, which can be filed in the local court and reduced to an enforceable judgment. 

Once both parties submit their evidence, the E-Judge will proceed to evaluate the evidence and will also handle the Discovery phase, eliminating “fishing expeditions” that can take place in both civil lawsuits as well as traditional arbitration. 

Should you prevail, the E-Judge will issue an Award in your favor.

Brief’s main focus is on bringing parties to the table. This is why we also offer the ability to settle the claim.

As the respondent, your business will be given the opportunity to set out a settlement sum, which is presented to the claimant. 

If they do not find the offer acceptable, they are invited to make a counteroffer which you can accept or dismiss in favor of the arbitration process running its natural course. 

The arbitration process is swift and cost-effective and it is faster and cheaper than using the courts or traditional “brick and mortar” arbitration companies.

The arbitration decision is final and legally binding and can also be reduced to an enforceable judgment in the appropriate court.  

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or simply want us to talk you through what the process involves, give us a call on +12134443794 to speak to one of arbitration consultants today.

Our friendly consultants will be more than happy to set your mind at ease, obligation free.

Alternatively, drop us an email at [email protected] to book an appointment for a chat when it is convenient for you.

Brief is a market-leading online arbitration platform in the United States. Our 100 percent online alternative dispute resolution platform helps businesses protect their contracts and agreements through online arbitration. Follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook for updates and news about online arbitration and more.

*Brief cannot and will not give legal advice on any matters, financial or not.