Create a Custom Tariff – Tariff Publishing for Household Goods Movers

Interstate household goods moving companies are required by law to create and publish a tariff.

Moving companies needing a custom tariff should contact the Law Office of David Piotrowski.

All household goods interstate moving companies must publish a tariff. Movers may create or have a competent professional create a tariff for them, so long as the tariff meets all legal requirements. Publishing a tariff does not mean that the moving company must file their tariff with the government. The applicable moving company tariff regulations state that each moving company must have on file at its main office a copy of its tariff (as well as copies of other tariffs to which it is a party). Movers must make their tariffs available for inspection during normal business hours. The tariff shall be accessible and readable. The mover must also display a notice saying that the tariff is available for public inspection.

Here are some simple questions and answers about publishing a tariff:

Q. What is a tariff and must a motor carrier have one?
A. A tariff is a document that must be published by every interstate household goods moving company. Among other things, the tariff lists the prices, rules, policies, and types of services offered by the mover. For more information on what a tariff is, please click here.

Q. How does a moving company publish a tariff?
A. Movers may publish a tariff on their own or have a competent professional create a tariff for them, so long as the tariff meets all legal requirements. Click here for custom moving company tariff services.

Q. What must be included in a tariff?
A. Tariffs must include an accurate description of the services offered to the public; must provide the specific applicable rates, charges and service terms; and must be arranged in a way that allows for the determination of the exact rate, charges and service terms applicable to any given shipment. Increases, reductions and other changes must be symbolized or highlighted in some way to facilitate ready identification of the changes and their effective dates.

Q. Must a moving company file its tariff with the Department of Transportation (DOT)?
A. No. Interstate moving companies operating in the United States need not file their tariff with the DOT. However, moving companies must keep a current copy of their tariff on hand at their office and must make this tariff available to a customer or government body upon reasonable request. Additionally, moving companies must issue a notice to their customers stating that the tariff is available for inspection.

Q. Does a moving company list its prices in its tariff? What if a moving company wants to deviate from the prices in its tariff?
A. One of the key elements in a tariff is that it lists the prices that the mover will charge for the different types of services it offers. A moving company must charge exactly the rates it lists in its tariff. The mover may not deviate from these prices by even a fraction. The tariff is customized to each individual motor carrier’s needs, so the mover should not have a need to charge prices not listed in the tariff. If the motor carrier’s business needs change, then the mover may legally publish an update, or amendment, to their tariff, listing the new rates. At that point, the mover may charge its customers the new rates only – the old rates will no longer be effective. In sum, the mover may not charge its customers prices that are not specified in its tariff.

Q. What are the penalties for violating tariff rules and regulations?
A. Penalties for violating tariff rules and regulations can be both civil and criminal in nature. An interstate moving company may lose its operating authority. Any moving company that charges rates that are not consistent with their published tariff shall be liable for a civil penalty of up to $100,000.00 per violation. In addition, criminal charges for charging rates not consistent with the tariff may include a fine and prison for up to two (2) years for each violation.

Contact the Law Office of David Piotrowski for more information.

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This article is courtesy of the Law Office of David Piotrowski, a California law firm representing landlords with eviction matters.

2 thoughts on “Create a Custom Tariff – Tariff Publishing for Household Goods Movers”

  1. Gordon McAuley

    Hi Dave. Nice blog. But, Grampa grammar is upset. Second sentence of your first post should read: “This new law affects… [not effects]”. “Affects” is a verb or adverb; “effects” is a noun. Hope you are well, and please forgive my kneejerk editing. Best regards, Gordon.

  2. davidpiotrowski

    Thanks! I just made the change. Do you want to be an editor/contributor to the blog? Just let me know! I’d be happy to have you on board.

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