Federal Mover Tariff Law
Federal Mover Tariff Law
§ 13702. Tariff Requirement for Certain Transportation
(c) Tariff Requirements for Household Goods Carriers.—
(1) In general.— A carrier providing transportation described in subsection (a)(2) shall maintain rates and related rules and practices in a published tariff. The tariff must be available for inspection by the (Surface Transportation) Board and be made available for inspection by shippers upon reasonable request.
(2) Notice of availability.— A carrier that maintains a tariff under this subsection may not enforce the provisions of the tariff unless the carrier has given notice that the tariff is available for inspection in its bill of lading or by other actual notice to individuals whose shipments are subject to the tariff.
(3) Requirements.— A carrier that maintains a tariff under this subsection is bound by the tariff except as otherwise provided in this part. A tariff that does not comply with this subsection may not be enforced against any individual shipper.
(4) Incorporation by reference.— A carrier may incorporate by reference the rates, terms, and other conditions of a tariff in agreements covering the transportation of household goods.
(5) Complaints.— A complaint that a rate or related rule or practice maintained in a tariff under this subsection violates section 13701(a) may be submitted to the (Surface Transportation) Board for resolution.
§ 14903. Tariff Violations
(a) Civil Penalty for Undercharging and Overcharging.— A person that offers, grants, gives, solicits, accepts, or receives by any means transportation or service provided for property by a carrier subject to jurisdiction under chapter 135 at a rate different than the rate in effect under section 13702 is liable to the United States for a civil penalty of not more than $100,000 for each violation.
(b) General Criminal Penalty.— A carrier providing transportation or service subject to jurisdiction under chapter 135 or an officer, director, receiver, trustee, lessee, agent, or employee of a corporation that is subject to jurisdiction under that chapter, that willfully does not observe its tariffs as required under section 13702, shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
(c) Actions of Agents and Employees.— When acting in the scope of their employment, the actions and omissions of persons acting for or employed by a carrier or shipper that is subject to this section are considered to be the actions and omissions of that carrier or shipper as well as that person.
(d) Venue.— Trial in a criminal action under this section is in the judicial district in which any part of the violation is committed or through which the transportation is conducted.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. What is an Interstate Mover Tariff?
An Interstate Mover Tariff is a complex, 30+ page legal document which publishes a mover's custom weight or volume distance rate charts and accessorial service charges (i.e. packing, boxes, bubble wrap, tape) and the standard rules that apply to the transportation of residential household goods across state lines. A tariff incorporates provisions that have historically been mandated under Federal Law & Regulations as well as optional provisions that balance the rights of consumers and movers before, during and after business transactions.
2. Who needs an Interstate Mover Tariff?
All Interstate Residential Public Movers are required to publish an Interstate Mover Tariff under Federal Law and Federal Regulations before they begin operating. If a "common carrier of household goods" open to the public operates without a duly published tariff in effect, the mover cannot lawfully collect its rates and charges. Upon consumer complaint or by audit upon their own initiative, the United States Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the U.S. Surface Transportation Board can take the position that monies collected by the mover must be returned to consumers.
There are also significant civil and criminal penalties for violation of Federal Tariff Law, including imprisonment up to 2 years.
Carriers that confine their operations solely to commercial moves are not required to comply with the mover tariff publishing requirements as "commercial office moving" is now deemed trucking not moving; however, commercial office movers are now required to secure common or contract carrier of property authority. This 1996 federal change in definition preempts states' abilities to define moving operations to include commercial office moves and other types of moves formerly known as "third proviso" items (i.e. museum artifacts and fine arts).
3. What are my Interstate Mover Tariff publishing options?
Prior to January 1, 2008, interstate movers were permitted to collectively set tariff rates through Tariff Bureaus (i.e. American Moving & Storage Association's "400-N" tariff) as they enjoyed anti-trust immunity. However, in May of 2007, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board revoked interstate movers' anti-trust immunity leaving them open to criminal prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice if they engage in collective rate-making. Movers must therefore now publish individual tariffs under Federal Regulation.
To comply with the Law, you may publish your tariff through:
1. A transportation attorney.You can expect to pay well over $1,000 for an attorney;
2. A tariff publishing/mover software company. Beware, as many computerized services will sell you mover software that they call a "tariff" but their software may not publish the standard mover rules covering issues like valuation, claims, ect. These types of programs do not fully satisfy the traditional tariff publishing requirement leaving you open to civil penalties for non-compliance nor do they protect you against shipper claims or loss and damage lawsuits. Beware companies who are selling the old 400-N AMSA collective rates tariff. If you use these tariff rates we believe you can be arrested by the F.B.I. and prosecuted for collective rate-making, which is a violation of Federal Anti-Trust Law. These alleged "tariffs" are usually sold at unusually low "special" rates and some have monthly fees; or
3. MoverTariffs.com from just $750 (one-time fee). Additional expedite and U.S. Surface Transportation Board Practitioner review and compliance certification services available through which you can have a custom, certified individual interstate mover tariff on file in your office within just 48 hours! You only incur additional fees if you ask us to publish a supplement to change your rates down the road.
4. What do I need to do before I publish an Interstate Mover Tariff?
The 2010 Interstate Mover License Application Process
File FMCSA Application Form OP-1 and request “common carrier of household goods” authority and you will be issued your MC & USDOT Numbers. For help securing interstate moving authority, you can call (800) 215-6704 and mention code “STB.” Note: if you are conducting office moves (“commercial moving”), you must also secure “common carrier of property” authority.
Expect a 3-4 month Background Investigation.
If you pass, you will receive a letter advising your “application has been reviewed and accepted”. This letter will advise you must now secure vehicle liability (Form BMC-91X) & cargo (Form BMC-34) insurance, process agents (Form BOC-3) and a Tariff (you can call 800-215-6704 to publish your tariff from just $750).
Your application will be published in the FMCSA’s Daily Register.
There will be a 10 business day public notice and comment waiting period.
Once you have complied with insurance and process agents, the government will issue you a certificate of authority.
You must now have a published Tariff in your office, which lists your rates and charges available for inspection by the public, the USDOT, FMCSA, STB and the public upon request. You do not need to file your tariff with the government but you must have one available upon demand. Click Here to read the FMCSA Press Release, which indicates five movers were fined in the past-- in one case $11,200-- for not having a tariff or appropriate tariff provisions.
Effective January 1, 2008, the American Moving & Storage Association’s (“AMSA”) 400-N collective rates bureau tariff is no longer a legal option due to the STB’s revocation of antitrust immunity and may subject you to criminal prosecution by the U.S. Dept. of Justice if used.
You must register your authority with the Unified Carrier Registration (“UCR”) system.
Make sure you are in compliance with IFTA, IRP, HUT, KYU, Oregon & New Mexico permitting as needed based on the weight of your vehicles and scope of operations.
You may now begin lawfully operating interstate, using approved shipping documents.
If you operate point-to-point within a state you must secure intrastate authority from your state regulatory authority if that state regulates movers. For help securing intrastate authority call (888) 414-1874 and mention code “STB.”
5. How do I publish an Interstate Mover Tariff through MoverTariffs.com?
Simply complete our online Interstate Mover Tariff Questionnaire Order Form.
If you would like more information before you order, please complete our online
Information Request Form and a Tariff Publishing Specialist will contact you.
6. What happens after I publish an Interstate Mover Tariff?
You are not required to file your interstate mover tariff with the federal government unless they specifically request a copy. You must keep a copy of your tariff in your office and make it available for inspection upon demand by the government and the public. You may expect that the FMCSA will ask to see your tariff during your initial safety audit approximately 90 days after you are issued your USDOT Safety Tracking Number and during compliance review enforcement actions. You are also required to furnish consumers with copies of your tariff provisions upon their request under Federal Mover Regulations (49 CFR 375). You must apply your tariff uniformly in a non discriminatory, non-preferential manner. You must not deviate from your tariff and you can neither overcharge nor undercharge a consumer. If you wish to set your tariff rates aside, you must invoke your duly published tariff provision to offer written binding estimates and use the correct interstate written binding estimate shipping document.
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