Household goods brokers are unique to the transportation industry. They do not operate trucks or employ drivers but play a role in the shipment of a variety of commodities. Brokers engaged in interstate commerce are regulated by FMCSA and are subject to several Federal statutes and regulations, in particular 49 CFR §371. Brokers are required to register with FMCSA, maintain process agents to accept legal service, and establish and maintain appropriate coverage for financial liability. Brokers also have administrative and financial recordkeeping requirements. Brokers are prohibited from misrepresenting themselves as motor carriers or as anything other than providers of brokerage services registered with FMCSA.
Some highlights from the household goods broker compliance guide (link to the full guide below):
- The initial fee to apply for household goods broker authority is $300
- The broker must supply proof of financial responsibility. All brokers are required to either have a Surety Bond or a Trust Fund as Financial Responsibility
- Brokers must also file a BOC-3
- Once the broker application is submitted properly, the household goods broker application will go through the vetting process. Vetting is the process by which the information submitted by the applicant is closely examined, and in many cases verified to ensure that the applicant has not evaded accountability for non-compliance with Federal regulations by using the name of another company
- Household goods brokers must keep records of all transactions and all shipments for which they arrange transportation, and the records must be kept for a minimum of 3 years
- The household goods broker must not represent itself as a motor carrier
- The guide also includes new requirements for household goods brokers that became effective in 2011
Read the full pdf document here: Household Goods Broker Compliance Guide.
The Law Office of David Piotrowski assists interstate household goods carriers and brokers.
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