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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 17, 2014

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIISubchapter B → Part 375


Title 49: Transportation


PART 375—TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE; CONSUMER PROTECTION REGULATIONS


Contents

Subpart A—General Requirements

§375.101   Who must follow the regulations in this part?
§375.103   What are the definitions of terms used in this part?
§375.105   What are the information collection requirements of this part?

Subpart B—Before Offering Services to My Customers

Liability Considerations

§375.201   What is my normal liability for loss and damage when I accept goods from an individual shipper?
§375.203   What actions of an individual shipper may limit or reduce my normal liability?

General Responsibilities

§375.205   May I have agents?
§375.207   What items must be in my advertisements?
§375.209   How must I handle complaints and inquiries?
§375.211   Must I have an arbitration program?
§375.213   What information must I provide to a prospective individual shipper?

Collecting Transportation Charges

§375.215   How must I collect charges?
§375.217   How must I collect charges upon delivery?
§375.219   May I extend credit to shippers?
§375.221   May I use a charge or credit card plan for payments?

Subpart C—Service Options Provided

§375.301   What service options may I provide?
§375.303   If I sell liability insurance coverage, what must I do?

Subpart D—Estimating Charges

§375.401   Must I estimate charges?
§375.403   How must I provide a binding estimate?
§375.405   How must I provide a non-binding estimate?
§375.407   Under what circumstances must I relinquish possession of a collect-on-delivery shipment transported under a non-binding estimate?
§375.409   May household goods brokers provide estimates?

Subpart E—Pick Up of Shipments of Household Goods

Before Loading

§375.501   Must I write up an order for service?
§375.503   Must I write up an inventory?
§375.505   Must I write up a bill of lading?

Weighing the Shipment

§375.507   Must I determine the weight of a shipment?
§375.509   How must I determine the weight of a shipment?
§375.511   May I use an alternative method for shipments weighing 3,000 pounds or less?
§375.513   Must I give the individual shipper an opportunity to observe the weighing?
§375.515   May an individual shipper waive his/her right to observe each weighing?
§375.517   May an individual shipper demand re-weighing?
§375.519   Must I obtain weight tickets?
§375.521   What must I do if an individual shipper wants to know the actual weight or charges for a shipment before I tender delivery?

Subpart F—Transportation of Shipments

§375.601   Must I transport the shipment in a timely manner?
§375.603   When must I tender a shipment for delivery?
§375.605   How must I notify an individual shipper of any service delays?
§375.607   What must I do if I am able to tender a shipment for final delivery more than 24 hours before a specified date?
§375.609   What must I do for shippers who store household goods in transit?

Subpart G—Delivery of Shipments

§375.701   May I provide for a release of liability on my delivery receipt?
§375.703   What is the maximum collect-on-delivery amount I may demand at the time of delivery?
§375.705   If a shipment is transported on more than one vehicle, what charges may I collect at delivery?
§375.707   If a shipment is partially lost or destroyed, what charges may I collect at delivery?
§375.709   If a shipment is totally lost or destroyed, what charges may I collect at delivery?

Subpart H—Collection of Charges

§375.801   What types of charges apply to subpart H?
§375.803   How must I present my freight or expense bill?
§375.805   If I am forced to relinquish a collect-on-delivery shipment before the payment of ALL charges, how do I collect the balance?
§375.807   What actions may I take to collect the charges upon my freight bill?

Subpart I—Penalties

§375.901   What penalties do we impose for violations of this part?
Appendix A to Part 375—Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move Subpart G—Delivery of My Shipment

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 13102, 13301, 13501, 13704, 13707, 13902, 14104, 14706, 14708; subtitle B, title IV of Pub. L. 109-59; and 49 CFR 1.87.

Source: 68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—General Requirements

§375.101   Who must follow the regulations in this part?

You, a household goods motor carrier engaged in the interstate transportation of household goods, must follow the regulations in this part when offering your services to individual shippers. You are subject to this part only when you transport household goods for individual shippers by motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Interstate commerce is defined in §390.5 of this subchapter.

[72 FR 36771, July 5, 2007]

§375.103   What are the definitions of terms used in this part?

Terms used in this part are defined as follows. You may find other terms used in these regulations defined in 49 U.S.C. 13102. The definitions contained in this statute control. If terms are used in this part and the terms are neither defined here nor in 49 U.S.C. 13102, the terms will have the ordinary practical meaning of such terms.

Advertisement means any communication to the public in connection with an offer or sale of any interstate household goods transportation service. This includes written or electronic database listings of your name, address, and telephone number in an on-line database or displayed on an Internet web site. This excludes listings of your name, address, and telephone number in a telephone directory or similar publication. However, Yellow Pages advertising is included in the definition.

Cashier's check means a check that has all four of the following characteristics:

(1) Drawn on a bank as defined in 12 CFR 229.2.

(2) Signed by an officer or employee of the bank on behalf of the bank as drawer.

(3) A direct obligation of the bank.

(4) Provided to a customer of the bank or acquired from the bank for remittance purposes.

Certified scale means any scale inspected and certified by an authorized scale inspection and licensing authority, and designed for weighing motor vehicles, including trailers or semi-trailers not attached to a tractor, or designed as a platform or warehouse type scale.

Commercial shipper means any person who is named as the consignor or consignee in a bill of lading contract who is not the owner of the goods being transported but who assumes the responsibility for payment of the transportation and other tariff charges for the account of the beneficial owner of the goods. The beneficial owner of the goods is normally an employee of the consignor and/or consignee. A freight forwarder tendering a shipment to a carrier in furtherance of freight forwarder operations is also a commercial shipper. The Federal government is a government bill of lading shipper, not a commercial shipper.

Force majeure means a defense protecting the parties in the event that a part of the contract cannot be performed due to causes which are outside the control of the parties and could not be avoided by exercise of due care.

Government bill of lading shipper means any person whose property is transported under the terms and conditions of a government bill of lading issued by any department or agency of the Federal government to the carrier responsible for the transportation of the shipment.

Household goods, as used in connection with transportation, means the personal effects or property used, or to be used, in a dwelling, when part of the equipment or supplies of the dwelling. Transportation of the household goods must be arranged and paid for by the individual shipper or by another individual on behalf of the shipper. Household goods includes property moving from a factory or store if purchased with the intent to use in a dwelling and transported at the request of the householder, who also pays the transportation charges.

Household goods motor carrier means—

(1) In general, a motor carrier that, in the ordinary course of its business of providing transportation of household goods, offers some or all of the following additional services:

(i) Binding and nonbinding estimates;

(ii) Inventorying;

(iii) Protective packing and unpacking of individual items at personal residences;

(iv) Loading and unloading at personal residences.

(2) The term includes any person considered to be a household goods motor carrier under regulations, determinations, and decisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in effect on the date of enactment of the Household Goods Mover Oversight Enforcement and Reform Act of 2005 (August 10, 2005).

(3) The term does not include any motor carrier providing transportation of household goods in containers or trailers that are entirely loaded and unloaded by an individual other than an employee or agent of the motor carrier.

(4) The term does not include any motor carrier that acts as a service for the delivery of furniture, appliances, or other furnishings between a factory or a store and an individual's household.

Individual shipper means any person who—

(1) Is the shipper, consignor, or consignee of a household goods shipment;

(2) Is identified as the shipper, consignor, or consignee on the face of the bill of lading;

(3) Owns the goods being transported; and

(4) Pays his or her own tariff transportation charges

May means an option. You may do something, but it is not a requirement.

Must means a legal obligation. You must do something.

Order for service means a document authorizing you to transport an individual shipper's household goods.

Reasonable dispatch means the performance of transportation on the dates, or during the period, agreed upon by you and the individual shipper and shown on the Order For Service/Bill of Lading. For example, if you deliberately withhold any shipment from delivery after an individual shipper offers to pay the binding estimate or 110 percent of a non-binding estimate, you have not transported the goods with reasonable dispatch. The term “reasonable dispatch” excludes transportation provided under your tariff provisions requiring guaranteed service dates. You will have the defenses of force majeure, i.e., superior or irresistible force, as construed by the courts.

Should means a recommendation. We recommend you do something, but it is not a requirement.

Surface Transportation Board means an agency within the Department of Transportation. The Surface Transportation Board regulates household goods carrier tariffs among other responsibilities.

Tariff means an issuance (in whole or in part) containing rates, rules, regulations, classifications or other provisions related to a motor carrier's transportation services. The Surface Transportation Board requires a tariff contain specific items under §1312.3(a) of this title. These specific items include an accurate description of the services offered to the public and the specific applicable rates (or the basis for calculating the specific applicable rates) and service terms. A tariff must be arranged in a way that allows for the determination of the exact rate(s) and service terms applicable to any given shipment.

We, us, and our means the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

You and your means a household goods motor carrier engaged in the interstate transportation of household goods and its household goods agents.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 72 FR 36771, July 5, 2007; 77 FR 36934, June 20, 2012; 77 FR 59823, Oct. 1, 2012]

§375.105   What are the information collection requirements of this part?

(a) The information collection requirements of this part have been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and have been assigned OMB control number 2126-0025.

(b) The information collection requirements are found in the following sections: §§375.205, 375.207, 375.209, 375.211, 375.213, 375.215, 375.217, 375.303, 375.401, 375.403, 375.405, 375.409, 375.501, 375.503, 375.505, 375.507, 375.515, 375.519, 375.521, 375.605, 375.607, 375.609, 375.803, 375.805, and 375.807.

[69 FR 10575, Mar. 5, 2004, as amended at 78 FR 58479, Sept. 24, 2013]

Subpart B—Before Offering Services to My Customers

Liability Considerations

§375.201   What is my normal liability for loss and damage when I accept goods from an individual shipper?

(a) In general, you are legally liable for loss or damage if it happens during performance of any transportation of household goods and all related services identified on your lawful bill of lading.

(b) Full Value Protection Obligation—In general, your liability is for the household goods that are lost, damaged, destroyed, or otherwise not delivered to the final destination in an amount equal to the replacement value of the household goods. The maximum amount is the declared value of the shipment. The declared value is subject to rules issued by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and applicable tariffs.

(c) If the shipper waives, in writing, your liability for the full value of the household goods, then you are liable for loss of, or damage to, any household goods to the extent provided in the STB released rates order. Contact the STB for a current copy of the Released Rates of Motor Carrier Shipments of Household Goods. The rate may be increased annually by the motor carrier based on the U.S. Department of Commerce's Cost of Living Adjustment.

(d) As required by §375.303(g), you may have additional liability if you sell liability insurance and fail to issue a copy of the insurance policy or other appropriate evidence of insurance.

(e) You must, in a clear and concise manner, disclose to the individual shipper the limits of your liability.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 72 FR 36771, July 5, 2007]

§375.203   What actions of an individual shipper may limit or reduce my normal liability?

(a) If an individual shipper includes perishable, dangerous, or hazardous articles in the shipment without your knowledge, you need not assume liability for those articles or for the loss or damage caused by their inclusion in the shipment. If the shipper requests that you accept such articles for transportation, you may elect to limit your liability for any loss or damage by appropriately published tariff provisions.

(b) If an individual shipper agrees to ship household goods released at a value greater than 60 cents per pound ($1.32 per kilogram) per article, your liability for loss and damage may be limited to $100 per pound ($220 per kilogram) per article if the individual shipper fails to notify you in writing of articles valued at more than $100 per pound ($220 per kilogram).

(c) If an individual shipper notifies you in writing that an article valued at greater than $100 per pound ($220 per kilogram) will be included in the shipment, the shipper will be entitled to full recovery up to the declared value of the article or articles, not to exceed the declared value of the entire shipment.

General Responsibilities

§375.205   May I have agents?

(a) You may have agents provided you comply with paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. A household goods agent is defined as either one of the following two types of agents:

(1) A prime agent provides a transportation service for you or on your behalf, including the selling of, or arranging for, a transportation service. You permit or require the agent to provide services under the terms of an agreement or arrangement with you. A prime agent does not provide services on an emergency or temporary basis. A prime agent does not include a household goods broker or freight forwarder.

(2) An emergency or temporary agent provides origin or destination services on your behalf, excluding the selling of, or arranging for, a transportation service. You permit or require the agent to provide such services under the terms of an agreement or arrangement with you. The agent performs such services only on an emergency or temporary basis.

(b) If you have agents, you must have written agreements between you and your prime agents. You and your retained prime agent must sign the agreements.

(c) Copies of all your prime agent agreements must be in your files for a period of at least 24 months following the date of termination of each agreement.

§375.207   What items must be in my advertisements?

(a) You and your agents must publish and use only truthful, straightforward, and honest advertisements.

(b) You must include, and you must require each of your agents to include, in all advertisements for all services (including any accessorial services incidental to or part of interstate household goods transportation), the following two elements:

(1) Your name or trade name, as it appears on our document assigning you a U.S. DOT number, or the name or trade name of the motor carrier under whose operating authority the advertised service will originate.

(2) Your U.S. DOT number, assigned by us authorizing you to operate as a for-hire motor carrier transporting household goods.

(c) Your FMCSA-assigned U.S. DOT number must be displayed only in the following form in every advertisement: U.S. DOT No. (assigned number).

§375.209   How must I handle complaints and inquiries?

(a) You must establish and maintain a procedure for responding to complaints and inquiries from your individual shippers.

(b) Your procedure must include all three of the following items:

(1) A communications system allowing individual shippers to communicate with your principal place of business by telephone.

(2) A telephone number.

(3) A written or electronic record system for recording all inquiries and complaints received from an individual shipper by any means of communication.

(c) You must produce a clear and concise written description of your procedure for distribution to individual shippers.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 77 FR 36934, June 20, 2012; 77 FR 59824, Oct. 1, 2012]

§375.211   Must I have an arbitration program?

(a) You must have an arbitration program for individual shippers to resolve disputes about property loss and damage and disputes about whether carrier charges in addition to those collected at delivery must be paid. You must establish and maintain an arbitration program with the following 11 minimum elements:

(1) You must design your arbitration program to prevent you from having any special advantage in any case where the claimant resides or does business at a place distant from your principal or other place of business.

(2) Before execution of the order for service, you must provide notice to the individual shipper of the availability of neutral arbitration, including all three of the following items:

(i) A summary of the arbitration procedure.

(ii) Any applicable costs.

(iii) A disclosure of the legal effects of election to use arbitration.

(3) Upon the individual shipper's request, you must provide information and forms you consider necessary for initiating an action to resolve a dispute under arbitration.

(4) You must require each person you authorize to arbitrate to be independent of the parties to the dispute and capable of resolving such disputes, and you must ensure the arbitrator is authorized and able to obtain from you or the individual shipper any material or relevant information to carry out a fair and expeditious decisionmaking process.

(5) You must not charge the individual shipper more than one-half of the total cost for instituting the arbitration proceeding against you. In the arbitrator's decision, the arbitrator may determine which party must pay the cost or a portion of the cost of the arbitration proceeding, including the cost of instituting the proceeding.

(6) You must refrain from requiring the individual shipper to agree to use arbitration before a dispute arises.

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

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

(9) If all parties agree, the arbitrator may provide for an oral presentation of a dispute by a party or representative of a party.

(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.

(11) The arbitrator may extend the 60-day period for a reasonable period if you or the individual shipper fail to provide, in a timely manner, any information the arbitrator reasonably requires to resolve the dispute.

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

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10575, Mar. 5, 2004; 72 FR 36772, July 5, 2007]

§375.213   What information must I provide to a prospective individual shipper?

(a) When you provide the written estimate to a prospective individual shipper, you must also provide the individual shipper with a copy of Department of Transportation publication FMCSA-ESA-03-005 (or its successor publication) entitled “Ready to Move?—Tips for a Successful Interstate Move.” You may provide the individual shipper with a paper copy or you may provide a hyperlink on your Internet Web site to the FMCSA Web site containing the information in FMCSA's publication “Ready to Move?—Tips for a Successful Interstate Move.”

(b) Before you execute an order for service for a shipment of household goods, you must furnish to your prospective individual shipper all five of the following documents:

(1) The contents of appendix A of this part, entitled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” (Department of Transportation publication FMCSA-ESA-03-006, or its successor publication). You may provide the individual shipper with a paper copy or you may provide a hyperlink on your Internet Web site to the FMCSA Web site containing the information in FMCSA's publication “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.”

(2) A concise, easy-to-read, accurate estimate of your charges.

(3) A notice of the availability of the applicable sections of your tariff for the estimate of charges, including an explanation that individual shippers may examine these tariff sections or have copies sent to them upon request.

(4) A concise, easy-to-read, accurate summary of your arbitration program.

(5) A concise, easy-to-read, accurate summary of your customer complaint and inquiry handling procedures. Included in this description must be both of the following two items:

(i) The main telephone number the individual shipper may use to communicate with you.

(ii) A clear and concise statement concerning who must pay for telephone calls.

(c) To comply with paragraph (b)(1) of this section, you must ensure that the text and general order of the document you produce and distribute to prospective individual shippers are consistent with the text and general order of appendix A to this part. The following three items also apply:

(1) If we, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, choose to modify the text or general order of appendix A, we will provide the public appropriate notice in the Federal Register and an opportunity for comment as required by part 389 of this chapter before making you change anything.

(2) If you publish the document, you may choose the dimensions of the publication as long as the type font size is 10 points or larger and the size of the booklet is at least as large as 36 square inches (232 square centimeters).

(3) If you publish the document, you may choose the color and design of the front and back covers of the publication. The following words must appear prominently on the front cover in 12-point or larger bold or full-faced type: “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. Furnished by Your Mover, as Required by Federal Law.” You may substitute your name or trade name in place of “Your Mover” if you wish (for example, Furnished by XYZ Van Lines, as Required by Federal Law).

(d) Paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(3) of this section do not apply to exact copies of appendix A published in the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, or on FMCSA's Web site.

(e) If an individual shipper elects to waive physical receipt of the Federal consumer protection information by one of the methods described in paragraphs (a) and (b)(1) of this section, and elects to access the same information via the hyperlink on the Internet as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b)(1) of this section:

(1) You must include a clear and concise statement on the written estimate described in §375.401 that the individual shipper expressly agreed to access the Federal consumer protection information on the Internet.

(2) You must obtain a signed, dated, electronic or paper receipt showing the individual shipper has received both booklets that includes, if applicable, verification of the shipper's agreement to access the Federal consumer protection information on the Internet.

(3) You must maintain the signed receipt required by paragraph (e)(2) of this section for one year from the date the individual shipper signs the receipt. You are not required to maintain the signed receipt when you do not actually transport household goods or perform related services for the individual shipper who signed the receipt.

[72 FR 36772, July 5, 2007, as amended at 75 FR 72998, Nov. 29, 2010; 77 FR 41704, Nov. 13, 2012]

Collecting Transportation Charges

§375.215   How must I collect charges?

You must issue an honest, truthful freight or expense bill in accordance with subpart A of part 373 of this chapter. All rates and charges for the transportation and related services must be in accordance with your appropriately published tariff provisions in effect, including the method of payment.

§375.217   How must I collect charges upon delivery?

(a) You must specify the form of payment when you prepare the estimate. You and your agents must honor the form of payment at delivery, except when a shipper agrees to a change in writing.

(b) You must specify the same form of payment provided in paragraph (a) of this section when you prepare the order for service and the bill of lading.

(c) Charge or credit card payments:

(1) If you agree to accept payment by charge or credit card, you must arrange with the individual shipper for the delivery only at a time when you can obtain authorization for the shipper's credit card transaction.

(2) Paragraph (c)(1) of this section does not apply to you when you have equipped your motor vehicle(s) to process card transactions.

(d) You may maintain a tariff setting forth nondiscriminatory rules governing collect-on-delivery service and the collection of collect-on-delivery funds.

(e) If an individual shipper pays you at least 110 percent of the approximate costs of a non-binding estimate on a collect-on-delivery shipment, you must relinquish possession of the shipment at the time of delivery.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10575, Mar. 5, 2004]

§375.219   May I extend credit to shippers?

You may extend credit to shippers, but, if you do, it must be in accordance with §375.807.

§375.221   May I use a charge or credit card plan for payments?

(a) You may provide in your tariff for the acceptance of charge or credit cards for the payment of freight charges. Accepting charge or credit card payments is different than extending credit to shippers in §§375.219 and 375.807. Once you provide an estimate you are bound by the provisions in your tariff regarding payment as of the estimate date, until completion of any transaction that results from that estimate, unless otherwise agreed with a shipper under §375.217(a).

(b) You may accept charge or credit cards whenever shipments are transported under agreements and tariffs requiring payment by cash, certified check, money order, or a cashier's check.

(c) If you allow an individual shipper to pay for a freight or expense bill by charge or credit card, you are deeming such payment to be the same as payment by cash, certified check, money order, or a cashier's check.

(d) The charge or credit card plans you participate in must be identified in your tariff rules as items permitting the acceptance of the charge or credit cards.

(e) If an individual shipper causes a charge or credit card issuer to reverse a charge transaction, you may consider the individual shipper's action tantamount to forcing you to provide an involuntary extension of your credit. In such instances, the rules in §375.807 apply.

Subpart C—Service Options Provided

§375.301   What service options may I provide?

(a) You may design your household goods service to provide individual shippers with a wide range of specialized service and pricing features. Many carriers provide at least the following five service options:

(1) Space reservation.

(2) Expedited service.

(3) Exclusive use of a vehicle.

(4) Guaranteed service on or between agreed dates.

(5) Liability insurance.

(b) If you sell liability insurance, you must follow the requirements in §375.303.

§375.303   If I sell liability insurance coverage, what must I do?

(a) You, your employee, or an agent may sell, offer to sell, or procure liability insurance coverage for loss or damage to shipments of any individual shipper only when the individual shipper releases the shipment for transportation at a value not exceeding 60 cents per pound ($1.32 per kilogram) per article.

(b) You may offer, sell, or procure any type of insurance policy on behalf of the individual shipper covering loss or damage in excess of the specified carrier liability.

(c) If you sell, offer to sell, or procure liability insurance coverage for loss or damage to shipments:

(1) You must issue to the individual shipper a policy or other appropriate evidence of the insurance that the individual shipper purchased.

(2) You must provide a copy of the policy or other appropriate evidence to the individual shipper at the time you sell or procure the insurance.

(3) You must issue policies written in plain English.

(4) You must clearly specify the nature and extent of coverage under the policy.

(5) Your failure to issue a policy, or other appropriate evidence of insurance purchased, to an individual shipper will subject you to full liability for any claims to recover loss or damage attributed to you.

(6) You must provide in your tariff for the provision of selling, offering to sell, or procuring liability insurance coverage. The tariff must also provide for the base transportation charge, including your assumption of full liability for the value of the shipment. This would be in the event you fail to issue a policy or other appropriate evidence of insurance to the individual shipper at the time of purchase.

[69 FR 10575, Mar. 5, 2004]

Subpart D—Estimating Charges

§375.401   Must I estimate charges?

(a) You must conduct a physical survey of the household goods to be transported and provide the prospective individual shipper with a written estimate, based on the physical survey, of the charges for the transportation and all related services. There are two exceptions to the requirement to conduct a physical survey:

(1) If the household goods are located beyond a 50-mile radius of the location of the household goods motor carrier's agent preparing the estimate, the requirement to base the estimate on a physical survey does not apply.

(2) An individual shipper may elect to waive the physical survey. The waiver agreement is subject to the following requirements:

(i) It must be in writing;

(ii) It must be signed by the shipper before the shipment is loaded; and

(iii) The household goods motor carrier must retain a copy of the waiver agreement as an addendum to the bill of lading with the understanding that the waiver agreement will be subject to the same record retention requirements that apply to bills of lading, as provided in §375.505(d).

(b) Before you execute an order for service for a shipment of household goods for an individual shipper, you must provide a written estimate of the total charges and indicate whether it is a binding or a non-binding estimate, as follows:

(1) A binding estimate is an agreement made in advance with your individual shipper. It guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on your estimate, which shall be based on the physical survey of the household goods, if required. You may impose a charge for providing a written binding estimate. The binding estimate must indicate that you and the shipper are bound by the charges.

(2) A non-binding estimate is what you believe the total cost will be for the move, based upon both the estimated weight or volume of the shipment and the accessorial services requested and the physical survey of the household goods, if required. A non-binding estimate is not binding on you. You will base the final charges upon the actual weight of the individual shipper's shipment and the tariff provisions in effect. You may not impose a charge for providing a non-binding estimate.

(c) You must specify the form of payment you and your agent will honor at delivery. Payment forms may include, but are not limited to, cash, a certified check, a money order, a cashier s check, a specific charge card such as American ExpressTM, a specific credit card such as VisaTM, or your credit as allowed by §375.807.

(d) For non-binding estimates, you must provide your reasonably accurate estimate of the approximate costs the individual shipper should expect to pay for the transportation and services of such shipments. If you provide an inaccurately low estimate, you may be limiting the amount you will collect at the time of delivery as provided in §375.407.

(e) If you provide a shipper with an estimate based on volume that will later be converted to a weight-based rate, you must provide the shipper an explanation in writing of the formula used to calculate the conversion to weight. You must specify the final charges will be based on actual weight and services subject to the 110 percent rule at delivery.

(f) You must determine charges for any accessorial services such as elevators, long carries, etc., before preparing the order for service and the bill of lading for binding or non-binding estimates. If you fail to ask the shipper about such charges and fail to determine such charges before preparing the order for service and the bill of lading, you must deliver the goods and bill the shipper after 30 days for the additional charges.

(g) You must include as a part of your estimate the liability election notice provided in the Surface Transportation Board's released rates order. Contact the STB for a copy of the Released Rates of Motor Carrier Shipments of Household Goods.

(h) You and the individual shipper must sign the estimate of charges. You must provide a dated copy of the estimate of charges to the individual shipper at the time you sign the estimate.

(i) Before loading a household goods shipment, and upon mutual agreement of both you and the individual shipper, you may amend an estimate of charges. You may not amend the estimate after loading the shipment.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 72 FR 36772, July 5, 2007; 77 FR 25373, Apr. 30, 2012]

§375.403   How must I provide a binding estimate?

(a) You may provide a guaranteed binding estimate of the total shipment charges to the individual shipper, so long as it is provided for in your tariff. The individual shipper must pay the amount for the services included in your estimate. You must comply with the following 11 requirements:

(1) You must base the binding estimate on the physical survey unless one of the exceptions provided in §375.401(a)(1) and (2) applies.

(2) You must provide the binding estimate in writing to the individual shipper or other person responsible for payment of the freight charges.

(3) You must retain a copy of each binding estimate as an attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract.

(4) You must clearly indicate upon each binding estimate's face that the estimate is binding upon you and the individual shipper. Each binding estimate must also clearly indicate on its face that the charges shown apply only to those services specifically identified in the estimate.

(5) You must clearly describe binding-estimate shipments and all services you are providing.

(6) If it appears an individual shipper has tendered additional household goods or requires additional services not identified in the binding estimate, you are not required to honor the estimate. If an agreement cannot be reached as to the price or service requirements for the additional goods or services, you are not required to service the shipment. However, if you do service the shipment, before loading the shipment you must do one of the following three things:

(i) Reaffirm your binding estimate.

(ii) Negotiate a revised written binding estimate accurately listing, in detail, the additional household goods or services.

(iii) Agree with the individual shipper, in writing, that both of you will consider the original binding estimate as a non-binding estimate subject to §375.405.

(7) Once you load a shipment, failure to execute a new binding estimate or a non-binding estimate signifies you have reaffirmed the original binding estimate. You may not collect more than the amount of the original binding estimate, except as provided in paragraphs (a)(8) and (9) of this section.

(8) If you believe additional services are necessary to properly service a shipment after the bill of lading has been issued, you must inform the individual shipper what the additional services are before performing those services. You must allow the shipper at least one hour to determine whether he or she wants the additional services performed. If the individual shipper agrees to pay for the additional services, you must execute a written attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract and have the individual shipper sign the written attachment. This may be done through fax transmissions; e-mail; overnight courier; or certified mail, return receipt requested. You must bill the individual shipper for the additional services after 30 days from delivery. If the individual shipper does not agree to pay the additional services, the carrier should perform only those additional services as are required to complete the delivery, and bill the individual shipper for the additional services after 30 days from delivery, except that you may collect at delivery charges for impracticable operations that do not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery.

(9) If the individual shipper requests additional services after the bill of lading has been issued, you must inform the individual shipper of the additional charges involved. You may require full payment at destination for these additional services and for 100 percent of the original binding estimate. If applicable, you also may require payment at delivery of charges for impracticable operations (as defined in your carrier tariff) not to exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery. You must bill and collect from the individual shipper any applicable charges not collected at delivery in accordance with subpart H of this part.

(10) Failure to relinquish possession of a shipment upon the individual shipper's offer to pay the binding estimate amount (or, in the case of a partial delivery, a prorated percentage of the binding estimate as set forth in paragraph (a)(11) of this section) plus charges for any additional services requested by the shipper after the bill of lading has been issued and charges, if applicable, for impracticable operations (subject to a maximum amount as set forth in paragraph 9 of this section), constitutes a failure to transport a shipment with “reasonable dispatch” and subjects you to cargo delay claims pursuant to part 370 of this chapter.

(11) If you make only a partial delivery of the shipment, you may not demand upon delivery full payment of the binding estimate. You may demand only a prorated percentage of the binding estimate. The prorated percentage must be the percentage of the weight of that portion of the shipment delivered relative to the total weight of the shipment. For example, if you deliver only 2,500 pounds of a shipment weighing 5,000 pounds, you may demand payment at destination for only 50 percent of the binding estimate.

(b) In accordance with §375.401(a), you may impose a charge for providing a written binding estimate. If you do not provide a binding estimate to an individual shipper, you must provide a non-binding estimate in accordance with §375.405.

(c) You must retain a copy of the binding estimate for each move you perform for at least one year from the date you made the estimate and keep it as an attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10575, Mar. 5, 2004; 69 FR 17317, May 5, 2004; 72 FR 36773, July 5, 2007; 77 FR 36934, June 20, 2012]

§375.405   How must I provide a non-binding estimate?

(a) If you do not provide a binding estimate to an individual shipper in accordance with §375.403, you must provide a non-binding written estimate to the individual shipper.

(b) If you provide a non-binding estimate to an individual shipper, you must provide your reasonably accurate estimate of the approximate costs the individual shipper should expect to pay for the transportation and services of the shipment. You must comply with the following ten requirements:

(1) You must provide reasonably accurate non-binding estimates based upon both the estimated weight or volume of the shipment and services required and the physical survey of the household goods, if required. If you provide a shipper with an estimate based on volume that will later be converted to a weight-based rate, you must provide the shipper an explanation in writing of the formula used to calculate the conversion to weight.

(2) You must explain to the individual shipper that final charges calculated for shipments moved on non-binding estimates will be those appearing in your tariffs applicable to the transportation. You must explain that these final charges may exceed the approximate costs appearing in your estimate.

(3) You must furnish non-binding estimates without charge and in writing to the individual shipper or other person responsible for payment of the freight charges.

(4) You must retain a copy of each non-binding estimate as an attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract.

(5) You must clearly indicate on the face of a non-binding estimate that the estimate is not binding upon you and the charges shown are the approximate charges to be assessed for the service identified in the estimate. The estimate must clearly state that the shipper will not be required to pay more than 110 percent of the non-binding estimate at the time of delivery.

(6) You must clearly describe on the face of a non-binding estimate the entire shipment and all services you are providing.

(7) If it appears an individual shipper has tendered additional household goods or requires additional services not identified in the non-binding estimate, you are not required to honor the estimate. If an agreement cannot be reached as to the price or service requirements for the additional goods or services, you are not required to service the shipment. However, if you do service the shipment, before loading the shipment, you must do one of the following two things:

(i) Reaffirm your non-binding estimate.

(ii) Negotiate a revised written non-binding estimate accurately listing, in detail, the additional household goods or services.

(8) Once you load a shipment, failure to execute a new non-binding estimate signifies you have reaffirmed the original non-binding estimate. You may not collect more than 110 percent of the amount of the original non-binding estimate at destination, except as provided in paragraphs (b)(9) and (10) of this section.

(9) If you believe additional services are necessary to properly service a shipment after the bill of lading has been issued, you must inform the individual shipper what the additional services are before performing those services. You must allow the shipper at least one hour to determine whether he or she wants the additional services performed. If the individual shipper agrees to pay for the additional services, you must execute a written attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract and have the individual shipper sign the written attachment. This may be done through fax transmissions; e-mail; overnight courier; or certified mail, return receipt requested. You must bill the individual shipper for the additional services after 30 days from delivery. If the individual shipper does not agree to pay the additional services, the carrier should perform only those additional services as are required to complete the delivery, and bill the individual shipper for the additional services after 30 days from delivery, except that you may collect at delivery charges for impracticable operations that do not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery.

(10) If the individual shipper requests additional services after the bill of lading has been issued, you must inform the individual shipper of the additional charges involved. You may require full payment at destination for these additional services and (unless you make only a partial delivery, in which case you must collect a prorated percentage of the original non-binding estimate as set forth in §375.407(c) of this part) for up to 110 percent of the original non-binding estimate. If applicable, you also may require payment at delivery of charges for impracticable operations (as defined in your carrier tariff) not to exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery. You must bill and collect from the individual shipper any applicable charges not collected at delivery in accordance with subpart H of this part.

(c) If you furnish a non-binding estimate, you must enter the estimated charges upon the order for service and upon the bill of lading.

(d) You must retain a copy of the non-binding estimate for each move you perform for at least one year from the date you made the estimate and keep it as an attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10576, Mar. 5, 2004; 72 FR 36773, July 5, 2007; 77 FR 36935, June 20, 2012]

§375.407   Under what circumstances must I relinquish possession of a collect-on-delivery shipment transported under a non-binding estimate?

(a) If an individual shipper pays you up to 110 percent of the non-binding estimate on a collect-on-delivery shipment (or, in the case of a partial delivery, a prorated percentage of the non-binding estimate as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section), you must relinquish possession of the shipment at the time of delivery. If there are either charges for any additional services requested by the shipper after the bill of lading has been issued and/or charges, if applicable, for impracticable operations (subject to a maximum amount as set forth in paragraph (d) of this section), and the shipper also pays you for such charges, you must relinquish possession of the shipment at the time of delivery. You must accept the form of payment agreed to at the time of estimate, unless the shipper agrees in writing to a change in the form of payment.

(b) Failure to relinquish possession of a shipment after the individual shipper offers to pay you up to 110 percent of the approximate costs of a non-binding estimate plus any additional charges described in paragraph (a) of this section constitutes a failure to transport a shipment with “reasonable dispatch” and subjects you to cargo delay claims pursuant to part 370 of this chapter.

(c) If you make only a partial delivery of the shipment, you may not demand full payment of the non-binding estimate. You may demand at delivery only a prorated percentage of the non-binding estimate (or a prorated percentage of an amount up to 110 percent of the non-binding estimate). The prorated percentage must be the percentage of the weight of that portion of the shipment delivered relative to the total weight of the shipment. For example, if you deliver only 2,500 pounds of a shipment weighing 5,000 pounds, you may demand payment of 50 percent of not more than 110 percent of the non-binding estimate.

(d) You may not demand payment of charges for impracticable operations, as defined in your tariff, of more than 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery. You must bill and collect from the individual shipper charges for impracticable operations not collected at delivery in accordance with subpart H of this part.

[72 FR 36774, July 5, 2007]

§375.409   May household goods brokers provide estimates?

(a) Subject to the limitations in §371.113(a) of this subchapter, household goods brokers may provide estimates to individual shippers provided there is a written agreement between the broker and you, the motor carrier, adopting the broker's estimate as your own estimate. If you, the motor carrier, make such an agreement with a household goods broker, you must ensure compliance with all requirements of this part pertaining to estimates, including the requirement that you must relinquish possession of the shipment if the shipper pays you no more than 110 percent of a non-binding estimate at the time of delivery.

(b) Your written agreement with the household goods broker(s) must include the items required in §371.115(a) of this subchapter.

[75 FR 72998, Nov. 29, 2010]

Subpart E—Pick Up of Shipments of Household Goods

Before Loading

§375.501   Must I write up an order for service?

(a) Before you receive a shipment of household goods you will move for an individual shipper, you must prepare an order for service. The order for service must contain the information described in the following 15 items:

(1) Your name and address and the FMCSA U.S. DOT number assigned to the mover who is responsible for performing the service.

(2) The individual shipper's name, address, and, if available, telephone number(s).

(3) The name, address, and telephone number of the delivering mover's office or agent located at or nearest to the destination of the shipment.

(4) A telephone number where the individual shipper/consignee may contact you or your designated agent.

(5) One of the following three entries must be on the order for service:

(i) The agreed pickup date and agreed delivery date of the move.

(ii) The agreed period(s) of the entire move.

(iii) If you are transporting the shipment on a guaranteed service basis, the guaranteed dates or periods for pickup, transportation, and delivery. You must enter any penalty or per diem requirements upon the agreement under this item.

(6) The names and addresses of any other motor carriers, when known, who will participate in interline transportation of the shipment.

(7) The form of payment you and your agents will honor at delivery. The payment information must be the same that was entered on the estimate.

(8) The terms and conditions for payment of the total charges, including notice of any minimum charges.

(9) The maximum amount you will demand at the time of delivery to obtain possession of the shipment, when you transport on a collect-on-delivery basis.

(10) A statement of the declared value of the shipment, which is the maximum amount of your liability to the individual shipper under your Full Value Protection for the replacement value of any household goods that are lost, damaged, destroyed, or otherwise not delivered to the final destination. If the individual shipper waives, in writing, your Full Value Protection liability, you must include a copy of the waiver; the Surface Transportation Board's required released rates valuation statement; and the charges, if any, for optional valuation coverage (other than Full Value Protection). The released rates may be increased annually by the motor carrier based on the U.S. Department of Commerce's Cost of Living Adjustment.

(11) A complete description of any special or accessorial services ordered and minimum weight or volume charges applicable to the shipment, subject to the following two conditions:

(i) If you provide service for individual shippers on rates based upon the transportation of a minimum weight or volume, you must indicate on the order for service the minimum weight- or volume-based rates, and the minimum charges applicable to the shipment.

(ii) If you do not indicate the minimum rates and charges, your tariff must provide you will compute the final charges relating to such a shipment based upon the actual weight or volume of the shipment.

(12) Any identification or registration number you assign to the shipment.

(13) For non-binding estimates, your reasonably accurate estimate of the amount of the charges, the method of payment of total charges, and the maximum amount (no more than 110 percent of the non-binding estimate) you will demand at the time of delivery to relinquish possession of the shipment.

(14) For binding estimates, the amount of charges you will demand based upon the binding estimate and the terms of payment under this estimate.

(15) Whether the individual shipper requests notification of the charges before delivery. The individual shipper must provide you with the fax number(s) or address(es) where you will transmit the notifications by fax transmission; e-mail; overnight courier; or certified mail, return receipt requested.

(b) You, your agent, or your driver must inform the individual shipper if you reasonably expect a special or accessorial service is necessary to safely transport a shipment. You must refuse to accept the shipment when you reasonably expect a special or accessorial service is necessary to safely transport a shipment and the individual shipper refuses to purchase the special or accessorial service. You must make a written note if the shipper refuses any special or accessorial services that you reasonably expect to be necessary.

(c) You and the individual shipper must sign the order for service. You must provide a dated copy of the order for service to the individual shipper at the time you sign the order.

(d)(1) You may provide the individual shipper with blank or incomplete estimates, orders for service, bills of lading, or any other blank or incomplete documents pertaining to the move.

(2) You may require the individual shipper to sign an incomplete document at origin provided it contains all relevant shipping information except the actual shipment weight and any other information necessary to determine the final charges for all services performed.

(e) You must provide the individual shipper the opportunity to rescind the order for service without any penalty for a three-day period after the shipper signs the order for service, if the shipper scheduled the shipment to be loaded more than three days after signing the order.

(f) Before loading the shipment, and upon mutual agreement of both you and the individual shipper, you may amend an order for service.

(g) You must retain a copy of the order for service for each move you perform for at least one year from the date you made the order for service and keep it as an attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract.

(h) You have the option of placing the valuation statement on either the order for service or the bill of lading, provided the order for service or bill of lading states the appropriate valuation selected by the shipper.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10576, Mar. 5, 2004; 72 FR 36774, July 5, 2007]

§375.503   Must I write up an inventory?

(a) You must prepare a written, itemized inventory for each shipment of household goods you transport for an individual shipper. The inventory must identify every carton and every uncartoned item that is included in the shipment. When you prepare the inventory, an identification number that corresponds to the inventory must be placed on each article that is included in the shipment.

(b) You must prepare the inventory before or at the time of loading in the vehicle for transportation in a manner that provides the individual shipper with the opportunity to observe and verify the accuracy of the inventory if he or she so requests.

(c) You must furnish a complete copy of the inventory to the individual shipper before or at the time of loading the shipment. A copy of the inventory, signed by both you and the individual shipper, must be provided to the shipper, together with a copy of the bill of lading, before or at the time you load the shipment.

(d) Upon delivery, you must provide the individual shipper with the opportunity to observe and verify that the same articles are being delivered and the condition of those articles. You must also provide the individual shipper the opportunity to note in writing any missing articles and the condition of any damaged or destroyed articles. In addition, you must also provide the shipper with a copy of all such notations.

(e) You must retain inventories for each move you perform for at least one year from the date you made the inventory and keep it as an attachment to be made an integral part of the bill of lading contract.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10576, Mar. 5, 2004]

§375.505   Must I write up a bill of lading?

(a) You must issue a bill of lading. The bill of lading must contain the terms and conditions of the contract. A bill of lading may be combined with an order for service to include all the items required by §375.501 of this subpart. You must furnish a partially complete copy of the bill of lading to the individual shipper before the vehicle leaves the residence at origin. The partially complete bill of lading must contain all relevant shipment information, except the actual shipment weight and any other information necessary to determine the final charges for all services performed.

(b) On a bill of lading, you must include the following 14 items:

(1) Your name and address, or the name and address of the motor carrier issuing the bill of lading.

(2) The names and addresses of any other motor carriers, when known, who will participate in transportation of the shipment.

(3) The name, address, and telephone number of your office (or the office of your agent) where the individual shipper can contact you in relation to the transportation of the shipment.

(4) The form of payment you and your agents will honor at delivery. The payment information must be the same that was entered on the estimate and order for service.

(5) When you transport on a collect-on-delivery basis, the name, address, and if furnished, the telephone number, facsimile number, or e-mail address of a person to notify about the charges. The notification may also be made by overnight courier or certified mail, return receipt requested.

(6) For non-guaranteed service, the agreed date or period of time for pickup of the shipment and the agreed date or period of time for the delivery of the shipment. The agreed dates or periods for pickup and delivery entered upon the bill of lading must conform to the agreed dates or periods of time for pickup and delivery entered upon the order for service or a proper amendment to the order for service.

(7) For guaranteed service, subject to tariff provisions, the dates for pickup and delivery, and any penalty or per diem entitlements due the individual shipper under the agreement.

(8) The actual date of pickup.

(9) The company or carrier identification number of the vehicle(s) upon which you load the individual shipper's shipment.

(10) The terms and conditions for payment of the total charges, including notice of any minimum charges.

(11) The maximum amount you will demand at the time of delivery to obtain possession of the shipment, when you transport under a collect-on-delivery basis.

(b)(12) The valuation statement provided in the Surface Transportation Board's released rates order requires individual shippers either to choose Full Value Protection for your liability or waive the Full Value Protection in favor of the STB's released rates. The released rates may be increased annually by the motor carrier based on the U.S. Department of Commerce's Cost of Living Adjustment. Contact the STB for a copy of the Released Rates of Motor Carrier Shipments of Household Goods. If the individual shipper waives your Full Value Protection in writing on the STB's valuation statement, you must include the charges, if any, for optional valuation coverage (other than Full Value Protection).

(13) Evidence of any insurance coverage sold to or procured for the individual shipper from an independent insurer, including the amount of the premium for such insurance.

(14) Each attachment to the bill of lading. Each attachment is an integral part of the bill of lading contract. If not provided elsewhere to the shipper, the following three items must be added as an attachment to the bill of lading.

(i) The binding or non-binding estimate.

(ii) The order for service.

(iii) The inventory.

(c) A copy of the bill of lading must accompany a shipment at all times while in your (or your agent's) possession. Before the vehicle leaves the residence of origin, the bill of lading must be in the possession of the driver responsible for the shipment.

(d) You must retain bills of lading for each move you perform for at least one year from the date you created the bill of lading.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10576, Mar. 5, 2004; 72 FR 36774, July 5, 2007; 77 FR 25373, Apr. 30, 2012]

Weighing the Shipment

§375.507   Must I determine the weight of a shipment?

(a) When you transport household goods on a non-binding estimate dependent upon the shipment weight, you must determine the weight of each shipment transported before the assessment of any charges.

(b) You must weigh the shipment upon a certified scale.

(c) You must provide a written explanation of volume to weight conversions, when you provide an estimate by volume and convert the volume to weight.

§375.509   How must I determine the weight of a shipment?

(a) You must weigh the shipment by using one of the following two methods:

(1) First method—origin weigh. You determine the difference between the tare weight of the vehicle before loading at the origin of the shipment and the gross weight of the same vehicle after loading the shipment.

(2) Second method—back weigh. You determine the difference between the gross weight of the vehicle with the shipment loaded and the tare weight of the same vehicle after you unload the shipment.

(b) The following three conditions must exist for both the tare and gross weighings:

(1) The vehicle must have installed or loaded all pads, dollies, hand trucks, ramps, and other equipment required in the transportation of the shipment.

(2) The driver and other persons must be off the vehicle at the time of either weighing.

(3) The fuel tanks on the vehicle must be full at the time of each weighing, or, in the alternative, when you use the first method—origin weigh, in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, where the tare weighing is the first weighing performed, you must refrain from adding fuel between the two weighings.

(c) You may detach the trailer of a tractor-trailer vehicle combination from the tractor and have the trailer weighed separately at each weighing provided the length of the scale platform is adequate to accommodate and support the entire trailer at one time.

(d) You must use the net weight of shipments transported in containers. You must calculate the difference between the tare weight of the container (including all pads, blocking and bracing used in the transportation of the shipment) and the gross weight of the container with the shipment loaded in the container.

§375.511   May I use an alternative method for shipments weighing 3,000 pounds or less?

For shipments weighing 3,000 pounds or less (1,362 kilograms or less), you may weigh the shipment upon a platform or warehouse certified scale before loading for transportation or after unloading.

§375.513   Must I give the individual shipper an opportunity to observe the weighing?

You must give the individual shipper or any other person responsible for the payment of the freight charges the right to observe all weighings of the shipment. You must advise the individual shipper, or any other person entitled to observe the weighings, where and when each weighing will occur. You must give the person who will observe the weighings a reasonable opportunity to be present to observe the weighings.

§375.515   May an individual shipper waive his/her right to observe each weighing?

(a) If an individual shipper elects not to observe a weighing, the shipper is presumed to have waived that right.

(b) If an individual shipper elects not to observe a reweighing, the shipper must waive that right in writing. The individual shipper may send the waiver notification via fax transmission; e-mail; overnight courier; or certified mail, return receipt requested.

(c) Waiver of the right to observe a weighing or re-weighing does not affect any other rights of the individual shipper under this part or otherwise.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10576, Mar. 5, 2004]

§375.517   May an individual shipper demand re-weighing?

After you inform the individual shipper of the billing weight and total charges and before actually beginning to unload a shipment weighed at origin (first method under §375.509(a)(1)), the individual shipper may demand a re-weigh. You must base your freight bill charges upon the re-weigh weight.

§375.519   Must I obtain weight tickets?

(a) You must obtain weight tickets whenever we require you to weigh the shipment in accordance with this subpart. You must obtain a separate weight ticket for each weighing. The weigh master must sign each weight ticket. Each weight ticket must contain the following six items:

(1) The complete name and location of the scale.

(2) The date of each weighing.

(3) The identification of the weight entries as being the tare, gross, or net weights.

(4) The company or carrier identification of the vehicle.

(5) The last name of the individual shipper as it appears on the bill of lading.

(6) The carrier's shipment registration or bill of lading number.

(b) When both weighings are performed on the same scale, one weight ticket may be used to record both weighings.

(c) As part of the file on the shipment, you must retain the original weight ticket or tickets relating to the determination of the weight of a shipment.

(d) All freight bills you present to an individual shipper must include true copies of all weight tickets obtained in the determination of the shipment weight in order to collect any shipment charges dependent upon the weight transported.

§375.521   What must I do if an individual shipper wants to know the actual weight or charges for a shipment before I tender delivery?

(a) If an individual shipper of a shipment being transported on a collect-on-delivery basis specifically requests notification of the actual weight or volume and charges on the shipment, you must comply with this request. This requirement is conditioned upon the individual shipper's supplying you with an address or telephone number where the individual shipper will receive the communication. You must make your notification by telephone; in person; fax transmissions; e-mail; overnight courier; or certified mail, return receipt requested.

(b) The individual shipper must receive your notification at least one full 24-hour day before any tender of the shipment for delivery, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays.

(c) You may disregard the 24-hour notification requirement on shipments in any one of the following three circumstances:

(1) The shipment will be back weighed (i.e., weighed at destination).

(2) Pickup and delivery encompass two consecutive weekdays, if the individual shipper agrees.

(3) The shipment is moving under a non-binding estimate and the maximum payment required at time of delivery is 110 percent of the estimated charges, but only if the individual shipper agrees to waive the 24-hour notification requirement.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10576, Mar. 5, 2004]

Subpart F—Transportation of Shipments

§375.601   Must I transport the shipment in a timely manner?

Yes. Transportation in a timely manner is also known as “reasonable dispatch service.” You must provide reasonable dispatch service to all individual shippers, except for transportation on the basis of guaranteed pickup and delivery dates.

§375.603   When must I tender a shipment for delivery?

You must tender a shipment for delivery for an individual shipper on the agreed delivery date or within the period specified on the bill of lading. Upon the request or concurrence of the individual shipper, you may waive this requirement.

§375.605   How must I notify an individual shipper of any service delays?

(a) When you are unable to perform either the pickup or delivery of a shipment on the dates or during the periods specified in the order for service and as soon as the delay becomes apparent to you, you must notify the individual shipper of the delay, at your expense, in one of the following six ways:

(1) By telephone.

(2) In person.

(3) Fax transmissions.

(4) E-mail.

(5) Overnight courier.

(6) Certified mail, return receipt requested.

(b) You must advise the individual shipper of the dates or periods you expect to be able to pick up and/or deliver the shipment. You must consider the needs of the individual shipper in your advisement. You also must do the following four things:

(1) You must prepare a written record of the date, time, and manner of notification.

(2) You must prepare a written record of your amended date or period for pick-up or delivery.

(3) You must retain these records as a part of your file on the shipment. The retention period is one year from the date of notification.

(4) You must furnish a copy of the notice to the individual shipper by first class mail or in person if the individual shipper requests a copy of the notice.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10576, Mar. 5, 2004]

§375.607   What must I do if I am able to tender a shipment for final delivery more than 24 hours before a specified date?

(a) You may ask the individual shipper to accept an early delivery date. If the individual shipper does not concur with your request or the individual shipper does not request an early delivery date, you may, at your discretion, place a shipment in storage under your own account and at your own expense in a warehouse located near the destination of the shipment. If you place the shipment in storage, you must comply with paragraph (b) of this section. You may comply with paragraph (c) of this section, at your discretion.

(b) You must immediately notify the individual shipper of the name and address of the warehouse where you place the shipment. You must make and keep a record of your notification as a part of your shipment records. You have responsibility for the shipment under the terms and conditions of the bill of lading. You are responsible for the charges for redelivery, handling, and storage until you make final delivery.

(c) You may limit your responsibility under paragraph (b) of this section up to the agreed delivery date or the first day of the period of time of delivery as specified in the bill of lading.

§375.609   What must I do for shippers who store household goods in transit?

(a) If you are holding goods for storage-in-transit (SIT) and the period of time is about to expire, you must comply with this section.

(b) You must notify the individual shipper, in writing of the following four items:

(1) The date of conversion to permanent storage.

(2) The existence of a nine-month period after the date of conversion to permanent storage when the individual shipper may file claims against you for loss or damage occurring to the goods in transit or during the storage-in-transit period.

(3) The fact your liability is ending.

(4) The fact the individual shipper's property will be subject to the rules, regulations, and charges of the warehouseman.

(c) You must make this notification at least 10 days before the expiration date of either one of the following two periods:

(1) The specified period of time when the goods are to be held in storage.

(2) The maximum period of time provided in your tariff for storage-in-transit.

(d) You must notify the individual shipper by facsimile transmission; e-mail; overnight courier; or certified mail, return receipt requested.

(e) If you are holding household goods in storage-in-transit for a period of time less than 10 days, you must give notification to the individual shipper of the information specified in paragraph (b) of this section one day before the expiration date of the specified time when the goods are to be held in such storage.

(f) You must maintain a record of notifications as part of the records of the shipment.

(g) Your failure or refusal to notify the individual shipper will automatically effect a continuance of your carrier liability according to the applicable tariff provisions with respect to storage-in-transit, until the end of the day following the date when you actually gave notice.

(h) When you place household goods in permanent storage, you must place the household goods in the name of the individual shipper and provide contact information for the shipper in the form of a telephone number, mailing address and/or email address.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 10577, Mar. 5, 2004; 77 FR 36935, June 20, 2012]

Subpart G—Delivery of Shipments

§375.701   May I provide for a release of liability on my delivery receipt?

(a) Your delivery receipt or shipping document must not contain any language purporting to release or discharge you or your agents from liability.

(b) The delivery receipt may include a statement the property was received in apparent good condition except as noted on the shipping documents.

§375.703   What is the maximum collect-on-delivery amount I may demand at the time of delivery?

(a) On a binding estimate, the maximum amount is the exact estimate of the charges, plus charges for any additional services requested by the shipper after the bill of lading has been issued and charges, if applicable, for impracticable operations as defined in your carrier tariff. The maximum amount of charges for impracticable operations you may collect on delivery is an amount equal to 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery.

(b) On a non-binding estimate, the maximum amount is 110 percent of the non-binding estimate of the charges, plus charges for any additional services requested by the shipper after the bill of lading has been issued and charges, if applicable, for impracticable operations as defined in your carrier tariff. The maximum amount of charges for impracticable operations you may collect on delivery is an amount equal to 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery.

[72 FR 36774, July 5, 2007]

§375.705   If a shipment is transported on more than one vehicle, what charges may I collect at delivery?

(a) At your discretion, you may do one of the following three things:

(1) You may defer the collection of all charges until you deliver the entire shipment.

(2) If you have determined the charges for the entire shipment, you may collect charges for the portion of the shipment tendered for delivery. You must determine the percentage of the charges for the entire shipment represented by the portion of the shipment tendered for delivery.

(3) If you cannot reasonably calculate the charges for the entire shipment, you must determine the charges for the portion of the shipment being delivered. You must collect this amount. The total charges you assess for the transportation of the separate portions of the shipment must not be more than the charges due for the entire shipment.

(b) In the event of the loss or destruction of any part of a shipment transported on more than one vehicle, you must collect the charges as provided in §375.707.

§375.707   If a shipment is partially lost or destroyed, what charges may I collect at delivery?

(a) (1) If a shipment is partially lost or destroyed, you may collect at delivery:

(i) A prorated percentage of the binding estimate or a prorated percentage of up to 110 percent of the non-binding estimate. The prorated percentage is equal to the percentage of the weight of that portion of the shipment delivered relative to the total weight of the shipment. For example, if you deliver only 2,500 pounds of a shipment weighing 5,000 pounds, you may demand at destination, as applicable, only 50 percent of a binding estimate or 50 percent of not more than 110 percent of a non-binding estimate;

(ii) Charges for any additional services requested by the shipper after the bill of lading has been issued; and

(iii) Charges for impracticable operations, if applicable, except that such charges must not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery.

(iv) Any specific valuation charge due.

(2) You must bill and collect from the individual shipper any remaining charges not collected at delivery in accordance with subpart H of this part.

(b) You must determine, at your own expense, the proportion of the shipment, based on actual or constructive weight, not lost or destroyed in transit.

(c) You may disregard paragraph (a)(1) of this section if loss or destruction was due to an act or omission of the individual shipper.

(d) The individual shipper's rights are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other rights the individual shipper may have with respect to a shipment of household goods you or your agent(s) partially lost or destroyed in transit. This applies whether or not the individual shipper exercises any rights to obtain a refund of the portion of your published freight charges corresponding to the portion of the lost or destroyed shipment (including any charges for accessorial or terminal services) at the time you dispose of claims for loss, damage, or injury to articles in the shipment under part 370 of this chapter.

[72 FR 36775, July 5, 2007]

§375.709   If a shipment is totally lost or destroyed, what charges may I collect at delivery?

(a) You are forbidden from collecting, or requiring an individual shipper to pay, any freight charges (including any charges for accessorial or terminal services) when a household goods shipment is totally lost or destroyed in transit. The following two conditions also apply:

(1) You must collect any specific valuation charge due.

(2) You may disregard paragraph (a) of this section if loss or destruction was due to an act or omission of the individual shipper.

(b) The individual shipper's rights are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other rights the individual shipper may have with respect to a shipment of household goods you or your agent(s) totally lost or destroyed in transit. This applies whether or not the individual shipper exercises its rights provided in paragraph (a) of this section.

Subpart H—Collection of Charges

§375.801   What types of charges apply to subpart H?

This subpart applies to all shipments of household goods that:

(a) Entail a balance due freight or expense bill, or

(b) Are transported on an extension of credit basis.

[69 FR 10577, Mar. 5, 2004]

§375.803   How must I present my freight or expense bill?

You must present your freight or expense bill in accordance with §375.807 of this subpart.

[69 FR 10577, Mar. 5, 2004]

§375.805   If I am forced to relinquish a collect-on-delivery shipment before the payment of ALL charges, how do I collect the balance?

On “collect-on-delivery” shipments, you must present your freight bill for all transportation charges within 15 days as required by §375.807.

§375.807   What actions may I take to collect the charges upon my freight bill?

(a) You must present a freight bill within 15 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays) of the date of delivery of a shipment at its destination.

(b) The credit period must be seven days (including Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays).

(c) You must provide in your tariffs the following four things:

(1) You must automatically extend the credit period to a total of 30 calendar days for any shipper who has not paid your freight bill within the 7-day period. However, for charges for impracticable operations that are not collected at delivery, you may not extend the credit period beyond 30 days after you present your freight bill.

(2) You will assess a service charge to each individual shipper equal to one percent of the amount of the freight bill, subject to a $20 minimum charge, for the extension of the credit period. You will assess the service charge for each 30-day extension the charges go unpaid.

(3) You must deny credit to any shipper who fails to pay a duly-presented freight bill within the 30-day period. You may grant credit to the individual shipper when the individual shipper satisfies he/she will promptly pay all future freight bills duly presented.

(4) You must ensure all payments of freight bills are strictly in accordance with the rules and regulations of this part for the settlement of your rates and charges.

[68 FR 35091, June 11, 2003, as amended at 72 FR 36775, July 5, 2007]

Subpart I—Penalties

§375.901   What penalties do we impose for violations of this part?

The penalty provisions of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 149, Civil and Criminal Penalties apply to this part. These penalties do not overlap. Notwithstanding these civil penalties, nothing in this section shall deprive any holder of a receipt or a bill of lading any remedy or right of action under existing law.

Appendix A to Part 375—Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move

OMB No. 2126-0025

Furnished by Your Mover, as Required by Federal Law

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 13301, 13704, 13707, and 14104; 49 CFR 1.87.

What Is Included in This Pamphlet?

In this pamphlet, you will find a discussion of each of these topics:

Why Was I Given This Pamphlet?

What Are the Most Important Points I Should Remember From This Pamphlet?

What If I Have More Questions?

Subpart A—General Requirements

Who must follow the regulations?

What definitions are used in this Pamphlet?

Subpart B—Before Requesting Services From Any Mover

What is my mover's normal liability for loss or damage when my mover accepts goods from me?

What actions by me limit or reduce my mover's normal liability?

What are dangerous or hazardous materials that may limit or reduce my mover's normal liability?

May my mover have agents?

What items must be in my mover's advertisements?

How must my mover handle complaints and inquiries?

Do I have the right to inspect my mover's tariffs (schedules of charges) applicable to my move?

Must my mover have an arbitration program?

Must my mover inform me about my rights and responsibilities under Federal Law?

What other information must my mover provide to me?

How must my mover collect charges?

May my mover collect charges upon delivery?

May my mover extend credit to me?

May my mover accept charge or credit cards for my payments?

Subpart C—Service Options Provided

What service options may my mover provide?

If my mover sells liability insurance coverage, what must my mover do?

Subpart D—estimating charges

Must my mover estimate the transportation and accessorial charges for my move?

How must my mover estimate charges under the regulations?

What payment arrangements must my mover have in place to secure delivery of my household goods shipment?

Subpart E—Pickup of My Shipment of Household Goods

Must my mover write up an order for service?

Must my mover write up an inventory of the shipment?

Must my mover write up a bill of lading?

Should I reach an agreement with my mover about pickup and delivery times?

Must my mover determine the weight of my shipment?

How must my mover determine the weight of my shipment?

What must my mover do if I want to know the actual weight or charges for my shipment before delivery?

Subpart F—Transportation of My Shipment

Must my mover transport the shipment in a timely manner?

What must my mover do if it is able to deliver my shipment more than 24 hours before I am able to accept delivery?

What must my mover do for me when I store household goods in transit?

Subpart G—Delivery of My Shipment

May my mover ask me to sign a delivery receipt releasing it from liability?

What is the maximum collect-on-delivery amount my mover may demand I pay at the time of delivery?

If my shipment is transported on more than one vehicle, what charges may my mover collect at delivery?

If my shipment is partially or totally lost or destroyed, what charges may my mover collect at delivery?

How must my mover calculate the charges applicable to the shipment as delivered?

Subpart H—Collection of Charges

Does this subpart apply to most shipments?

How must my mover present its freight or expense bill to me?

If I forced my mover to relinquish a collect-on-delivery shipment before the payment of ALL charges, how must my mover collect the balance?

What actions may my mover take to collect from me the charges in its freight bill?

Do I have a right to file a claim to recover money for property my mover lost or damaged?

Subpart I—Resolving Disputes With My Mover

What may I do to resolve disputes with my mover?

Why Was I Given This Pamphlet?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) regulations protect consumers on interstate moves and define the rights and responsibilities of consumers and household goods carriers.

The household goods carrier (mover) gave you this booklet to provide information about your rights and responsibilities as an individual shipper of household goods. Your primary responsibility is to select a reputable household goods carrier, ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the contract, and understand and pursue the remedies that are available to you in case problems arise. You should talk to your mover if you have further questions. The mover will also furnish you with additional written information describing its procedure for handling your questions and complaints. The additional written information will include a telephone number you can call to obtain additional information about your move.

What Are the Most Important Points I Should Remember From This Pamphlet?

1. Movers must give written estimates.

2. Movers may give binding estimates.

3. Non-binding estimates are not always accurate; actual charges may exceed the estimate.

4. If your mover provides you (or someone representing you) with any partially complete document for your signature, you should verify the document is as complete as possible before signing it. Make sure the document contains all relevant shipping information, except the actual shipment weight and any other information necessary to determine the final charges for all services performed.

5. You may request from your mover the availability of guaranteed pickup and delivery dates.

6. Be sure you understand the mover's responsibility for loss or damage, and request an explanation of the difference between valuation and actual insurance.

7. You have the right to be present each time your shipment is weighed.

8. You may request a reweigh of your shipment.

9. If you agree to move under a non-binding estimate, you should confirm with your mover—in writing—the method of payment at delivery as cash, certified check, cashier's check, money order, or credit card.

10. Movers must offer a dispute settlement program as an alternative means of settling loss or damage claims. Ask your mover for details.

11. You should ask the person you speak to whether he or she works for the actual mover or a household goods broker. A household goods broker must not represent itself as a mover. The broker is responsible only for arranging the transportation. It does not own the trucks used to transport the shipment and is required to find an authorized mover to provide the transportation. You should know that a household goods broker generally has no authority to provide you with an estimate for the move, unless the broker has a written agreement with the household goods carrier. If a household goods broker provides you with an estimate without a written agreement with the carrier, the estimate may not be binding and you may instead be required to pay the actual charges assessed by the mover. A household goods broker is not responsible for loss or damage.

12. You may request complaint information about movers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration under the Freedom of Information Act. You may be assessed a fee to obtain this information. See 49 CFR part 7 for the schedule of fees.

13. You should seek estimates from at least three different movers. You should not disclose any information to the different movers about their competitors, as it may affect the accuracy of their estimates.

What if I Have More Questions?

If this pamphlet does not answer all of your questions about your move, do not hesitate to ask for additional information from your mover's representative who handled the arrangements for your move, the driver who transports your shipment, or the mover's main office.

Subpart A—General Requirements

The primary responsibility for your protection lies with you in selecting a reputable household goods carrier, ensuring you understand the terms and conditions of your contract with your mover, and understanding and pursuing the remedies that are available to you in case problems arise.

Who Must Follow the Regulations?

The regulations inform motor carriers engaged in the interstate transportation of household goods (household goods motor carriers or movers) what standards they must follow when offering services to you. You, an individual shipper, are not directly subject to the regulations. However, your mover may be required by the regulations to demand that you pay on time. The regulations apply only to a mover that both transports your household goods by motor vehicle in interstate commerce—that is, when you are moving from one State to another—and provides certain types of additional services. The regulations do not apply when your interstate move takes place within a single commercial zone. A commercial zone is roughly equivalent to the local metropolitan area of a city or town. For example, a move between Brooklyn, NY, and Hackensack, NJ, would be considered within the New York City commercial zone and would not be subject to these regulations. Commercial zones are defined in 49 CFR part 372.

What Definitions Are Used in This Pamphlet?

Accessorial (Additional) Services—These are services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking, or piano stair carries that you request be performed (or that are necessary because of landlord requirements or other special circumstances). Charges for these services may be in addition to the line-haul charges.

Advanced Charges—These are charges for services performed by someone other than the mover. A professional, craftsman, or other third party may perform these services at your request. The mover pays for these services and adds the charges to your bill of lading charges.

Advertisement—This is any communication to the public in connection with an offer or sale of any interstate household goods transportation service. This will include written or electronic database listings of your mover's name, address, and telephone number in an online database. This excludes listings of your mover's name, address, and telephone number in a telephone directory or similar publication. However, Yellow Pages advertising is included within the definition.

Agent—A local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national company.

Appliance Service by Third Party—The preparation of major electrical appliances to make them safe for shipment. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line-haul charges.

Bill of Lading—The receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation.

Carrier—The mover transporting your household goods.

Collect on Delivery (COD)—This means payment is required at the time of delivery at the destination residence (or warehouse).

Certified Scale—Any scale designed for weighing motor vehicles, including trailers or semi-trailers not attached to a tractor, and certified by an authorized scale inspection and licensing authority. A certified scale may also be a platform or warehouse type scale that is properly inspected and certified.

Estimate, Binding—This is a written agreement made in advance with your mover. It guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on the estimate.

Estimate, Non-Binding—This is what your mover believes the cost will be, based upon the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the mover. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided, and the tariff provisions in effect.

Expedited Service—This is an agreement with the mover to perform transportation by a set date in exchange for charges based upon a higher minimum weight.

Flight Charge—A charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line-haul charges.

Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service—An additional level of service featuring guaranteed dates of service. Your mover will provide reimbursement to you for delays. This premium service is often subject to minimum weight requirements.

High-Value Article—These are items included in a shipment valued at more than $100 per pound ($220 per kilogram).

Household Goods, as used in connection with transportation, means the personal effects or property used, or to be used, in a dwelling, when part of the equipment or supplies of the dwelling. Transportation of the household goods must be arranged and paid for by you or by another individual on your behalf. This may include items moving from a factory or store when you purchase them to use in your dwelling. You must request that these items be transported, and you (or another individual on your behalf) must pay the transportation charges to the mover.

Household Goods Motor Carrier means a motor carrier that, in the ordinary course of its business of providing transportation of household goods, offers some or all of the following additional services: (1) Binding and non-binding estimates, (2) Inventory, (3) Protective packing and unpacking of individual items at personal residences, and (4) Loading and unloading at personal residences. The term does not include a motor carrier when the motor carrier provides transportation of household goods in containers or trailers that are entirely loaded and unloaded by an individual other than an employee or agent of the motor carrier.

Individual Shipper—Any person who—

1. Is the shipper, consignor, or consignee of a household goods shipment;

2. Is identified as the shipper, consignor, or consignee on the face of the bill of lading;

3. Owns the goods being transported; and

4. Pays his or her own tariff transportation charges.

Impracticable Operations generally refer to services required when operating conditions make it physically impossible for the motor carrier to perform pickup or delivery with its normally assigned road-haul equipment, so that the carrier must use smaller equipment and/or additional labor to complete pickup or delivery of the shipment. A mover may require payment of additional charges for impracticable operations even if you do not request these services. The specific services considered to be impracticable operations by your mover are defined in your mover's tariff.

Inventory—The detailed descriptive list of your household goods showing the number and condition of each item.

Line-Haul Charges—The charges for the vehicle transportation portion of your move. These charges, if separately stated, apply in addition to the accessorial service charges.

Long Carry—A charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover's vehicle and your residence. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line-haul charges.

May—An option. You or your mover may do something, but it is not a requirement.

Mover—A household goods motor carrier and its household goods agents.

Must—A legal obligation. You or your mover must do something.

Order for Service—The document authorizing the mover to transport your household goods.

Order (Bill of Lading) Number—The number used to identify and track your shipment.

Peak Season Rates—Higher line-haul charges applicable during the summer months.

Pickup and Delivery Charges—Separate transportation charges applicable to transporting your shipment between the storage-in-transit warehouse and your residence.

Reasonable Dispatch—The performance of transportation on the dates, or during the period of time, agreed upon by you and your mover and shown on the Order for Service/Bill of Lading. For example, if your mover deliberately withholds any shipment from delivery after you offer to pay the binding estimate or up to 110 percent of a non-binding estimate, plus any charges for additional services you requested that were not included in the estimate and/or permissible charges for impracticable operations, your mover has not transported the goods with reasonable dispatch. The term ”reasonable dispatch“ excludes transportation provided under your mover's tariff provisions requiring guaranteed service dates. Your mover will have the defense of force majeure, i.e., that the contract cannot be performed owing to causes that are outside the control of the parties and could not be avoided by exercise of due care.

Should—A recommendation. We recommend you or your mover do something, but it is not a requirement.

Shuttle Service—The use of a smaller vehicle to provide service to residences not accessible to the mover's normal line-haul vehicles.

Storage-In-Transit (SIT)—The temporary warehouse storage of your shipment pending further transportation, with or without notification to you. If you (or someone representing you) cannot accept delivery on the agreed-upon date or within the agreed-upon time period (for example, because your home is not quite ready to occupy), your mover may place your shipment into SIT without notifying you. In those circumstances, you will be responsible for the added charges for SIT service, as well as the warehouse handling and final delivery charges. However, your mover also may place your shipment into SIT if your mover was able to make delivery before the agreed-upon date (or before the first day of the agreed-upon delivery period) but you did not concur with early delivery. In those circumstances, your mover must notify you immediately of the SIT, and your mover is fully responsible for redelivery charges, handling charges, and storage charges.

Surface Transportation Board—An agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that regulates household goods carrier tariffs, among other responsibilities. The Surface Transportation Board's address is 395 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001. Tele. 202-245-0245.

Tariff—An issuance (in whole or in part) containing rates, rules, regulations, classifications, or other provisions. The Surface Transportation Board requires that a tariff contain three specific items. First, an accurate description of the services the mover offers to the public. Second, the specific applicable rates (or the basis for calculating the specific applicable rates) and service terms for services offered to the public. Third, the mover's tariff must be arranged in a way that allows you to determine the exact rate(s) and service terms applicable to your shipment.

Valuation—The degree of worth of the shipment. The valuation charge compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than is provided for in its base transportation charges.

Warehouse Handling—A charge may be applicable each time SIT service is provided. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line-haul charges. This charge compensates the mover for the physical placement and removal of items within the warehouse.

We, Us, and Our—The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

You and Your—You are an individual shipper of household goods. You are a consignor or consignee of a household goods shipment and your mover identifies you as such in the bill of lading contract. You own the goods being transported and pay the transportation charges to the mover.

Where may other terms used in this pamphlet be defined? You may find other terms used in this pamphlet defined in 49 U.S.C. 13102. The statute controls the definitions in this pamphlet. If terms are used in this pamphlet and the terms are defined neither here nor in 49 U.S.C. 13102, the terms will have the ordinary practical meaning of such terms.

Subpart B—Before Requesting Services From Any Mover

What Is My Mover's Normal Liability for Loss or Damage When My Mover Accepts Goods From Me?

In general, your mover is legally liable for loss or damage that occurs during performance of any transportation of household goods and of all related services identified on your mover's lawful bill of lading.

Your mover is liable for loss of, or damage to, any household goods to the extent provided in the current Surface Transportation Board's Released Rates Order. You may obtain a copy of the current Released Rates Order by contacting the Surface Transportation Board at the address provided under the definition of the Surface Transportation Board. The rate may be increased annually by your mover based on the U.S. Department of Commerce's Cost of Living Adjustment. Your mover may have additional liability if your mover sells liability insurance to you.

All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of the goods transported. However, there are different levels of liability, and you should be aware of the amount of protection provided and the charges for each option.

Basically, most movers offer two different levels of liability under the terms of their tariffs and the Surface Transportation Board's Released Rates Orders. These orders govern the moving industry. The levels of liability are as follows:

(1) FULL VALUE PROTECTION (FVP). This is the most comprehensive option available for the protection of your goods. Unless you waive full-value protection in writing and agree to Release Value Protection as described below, your shipment will be transported under your mover's full (replacement) value level of liability. If any article is lost, destroyed, or damaged while in your mover's custody, your mover will, at its option, either: repair the article to the extent necessary to restore it to the same condition as when it was received by your mover, or pay you for the cost of such repairs; replace the article with an article of like kind; or pay you for the cost of a replacement article at the current market replacement value, regardless of the age of the lost or damaged article. Your mover will charge you for this level of protection, or you may select the Alternative Level of Liability described below.

The cost for FVP is based on the value that you place on your shipment. For example, the valuation charge for a shipment valued at $25,000 would be about $250.00. However, the exact cost for full-value protection may vary by mover and may be further subject to various deductible levels of liability that could reduce your cost. Ask your mover for the details and cost of its specific plan.

Under the FVP level of liability, movers are permitted to limit their liability for loss of, or damage to, articles of extraordinary value, unless you specifically list on the shipping documents such articles for which you want liability coverage. An article of extraordinary value is any item whose value exceeds $100 per pound (for example, jewelry, silverware, china, furs, antiques, oriental rugs and computer software). Ask your mover for a complete explanation of this limitation before your move. It is your responsibility to study this provision carefully and to make the necessary declaration.

(2) RELEASED VALUE of 60 Cents Per Pound Per Article. This is the most economical protection option available; however, this no-cost option provides only minimal protection. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per article. Loss or damage claims are settled based on the weight of the article multiplied by 60 cents per pound. For example, if a 10-pound stereo component valued at $1,000 were lost or destroyed, the mover would be liable for no more than $6.00 (10 pounds × 60 cents per pound). Obviously, you should think carefully before agreeing to such an arrangement. There is no extra charge for this minimal protection, but you must sign a specific statement on the bill of lading agreeing to it. If you do not select this Alternative Level of Liability, your shipment will be transported at the Full (Replacement) Value level of liability and you will be assessed the applicable valuation charge.

These two levels of liability are not insurance agreements governed by State insurance laws but instead are contractual tariff levels of liability authorized under Released Rates Orders of the Surface Transportation Board of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In addition to these options, some movers may also offer to sell, or procure for you, separate liability insurance from a third-party insurance company when you release your shipment for transportation at the minimum released value (60 cents per pound [$1.32 per kilogram] per article). This is not valuation coverage governed by Federal law but optional insurance regulated under State law. If you purchase this separate coverage and your mover is responsible for loss or damage, the mover is liable only for an amount not exceeding 60 cents per pound ($1.32 per kilogram) per article, and the balance of the loss is recoverable from the insurance company up to the amount of insurance purchased. The mover's representative can advise you of the availability of such liability insurance, and the cost.

If you purchase liability insurance from or through your mover, the mover is required to issue a policy or other written record of the purchase and to provide you with a copy of the policy or other document at the time of purchase. If the mover fails to comply with this requirement, the mover becomes fully liable for any claim for loss or damage attributed to its negligence.

What Actions by Me Limit or Reduce My Mover's Normal Liability?

Your actions may limit or reduce your mover's normal liability under the following three circumstances:

(1) You include perishable, dangerous, or hazardous materials in your household goods without your mover's knowledge.

(2) You choose the alternative level of liability (60 cents per pound per article) but ship household goods valued at more than 60 cents per pound ($1.32 per kilogram) per article.

(3) You fail to notify your mover in writing of articles valued at more than $100 per pound ($220 per kilogram). (If you do notify your mover, you will be entitled to full recovery up to the declared value of the article or articles, not to exceed the declared value of the entire shipment.)

What Are Dangerous or Hazardous Materials That May Limit or Reduce My Mover's Normal Liability?

Federal law forbids you to ship hazardous materials in your household goods boxes or luggage without informing your mover. A violation can result in 5 years' imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). You could also lose or damage your household goods by fire, explosion, or contamination.

If you offer hazardous materials to your mover, you are considered a hazardous materials shipper and must comply with the hazardous materials requirements in 49 CFR parts 171, 172, and 173, including but not limited to package labeling and marking, shipping papers, and emergency response information. Your mover must comply with 49 CFR parts 171, 172, 173, and 177 as a hazardous materials carrier.

Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives, and radioactive materials. Examples: Nail polish remover, paints, paint thinners, lighter fluid, gasoline, fireworks, oxygen bottles, propane cylinders, automotive repair and maintenance chemicals, and radio-pharmaceuticals.

There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your household goods and certain smoking materials carried on your person. For further information, contact your mover.

May My Mover Have Agents?

Yes, your mover may have agents. If your mover has agents, your mover must have written agreements with its prime agents. Your mover and its retained prime agent must sign their agreements. Copies of your mover's prime agent agreements must be in your mover's files for a period of at least 24 months following the date of termination of each agreement.

What Items Must Be in My Mover's Advertisements?

Your mover must publish and use only truthful, straightforward, and honest advertisements. Your mover must include certain information in all advertisements for all services (including any accessorial services incidental to or part of interstate transportation). Your mover must require each of its agents to include the same information in its advertisements. The information must include the following two pieces of information about your mover:

(1) Name or trade name of the mover under whose U.S. DOT number the advertised service will originate.

(2) U.S. DOT number assigned by FMCSA authorizing your mover to operate. Your mover must display the information as: U.S. DOT No. (assigned number).

You should compare the name or trade name of the mover and its U.S. DOT number to the name and U.S. DOT number on the sides of the truck(s) that arrive at your residence. The names and numbers should be identical. If the names and numbers are not identical, you should ask your mover immediately why they are not. You should not allow the mover to load your household goods on its truck(s) until you obtain a satisfactory response from the mover's local agent. The discrepancies may warn of problems you will have later in your business dealings with this mover.

How Must My Mover Handle Complaints and Inquiries?

All movers are expected to respond promptly to complaints or inquiries from you, the customer. Should you have a complaint or question about your move, you should first attempt to obtain a satisfactory response from the mover's local agent, the sales representative who handled the arrangements for your move, or the driver assigned to your shipment.

If for any reason you are unable to obtain a satisfactory response from one of these persons, you should then contact the mover's principal office. When you make such a call, be sure to have available your copies of all documents relating to your move. Particularly important is the number assigned to your shipment by your mover.

Interstate movers are also required to offer neutral arbitration as a means of resolving consumer disputes involving loss of or damage to your household goods shipment and disputes regarding charges that your mover billed in addition to those collected at delivery. Your mover is required to provide you with information regarding its arbitration program. You have the right to pursue court action under 49 U.S.C. 14706 to seek judicial redress directly rather than participate in your mover's arbitration program.

All interstate moving companies are required to maintain a complaint and inquiry procedure to assist their customers. At the time you make the arrangements for your move, you should ask the mover's representative for a description of the mover's procedure, the telephone number to be used to contact the mover, and whether the mover will pay for such telephone calls. Your mover's procedure must include the following four things:

(1) A communications system allowing you to communicate with your mover's principal place of business by telephone.

(2) A telephone number.

(3) A clear and concise statement about who must pay for complaint and inquiry telephone calls.

(4) A written or electronic record system for recording all inquiries and complaints received from you by any means of communication.

Your mover must give you a clear and concise written description of its procedure. You may want to be certain that the system is in place.

Do I Have the Right to Inspect My Mover's Tariffs (Schedules of Charges) Applicable to My Move?

Federal law requires your mover to advise you of your right to inspect your mover's tariffs (its schedules of rates or charges) governing your shipment. Movers' tariffs are made a part of the contract of carriage (bill of lading) between you and the mover. You may inspect the tariff at the mover's facility, or, upon request, the mover will furnish you a free copy of any tariff provision containing the mover's rates, rules, or charges governing your shipment.

Tariffs may include provisions limiting the mover's liability. This is generally described in a section on declaring value on the bill of lading. A second tariff provision may set the periods for filing claims. This is generally described in Section 6 on the reverse side of a bill of lading. A third tariff provision may reserve your mover's right to assess additional charges for additional services performed. For non-binding estimates, another tariff provision may base charges upon the exact weight of the goods transported. Your mover's tariff may contain other provisions that apply to your move. Ask your mover what they might be, and request a copy.

Must My Mover Have an Arbitration Program?

Your mover must have an arbitration program for your use in resolving disputes concerning loss of or damage to your household goods and disputes regarding charges that were billed to you in addition to those collected at delivery of your shipment. You have the right not to participate in the arbitration program. You may pursue court action under 49 U.S.C. 14706 to seek judicial remedies directly. Your mover must establish and maintain an arbitration program with the following 11 minimum elements:

(1) The arbitration program offered to you must prevent your mover from having any special advantage because you live or work in a place distant from the mover's principal or other place of business.

(2) Before your household goods are tendered for transport, your mover must provide notice to you of the availability of neutral arbitration, including the following three things:

(a) A summary of the arbitration procedure.

(b) Any applicable costs.

(c) A disclosure of the legal effects of electing to use arbitration.

(3) Upon your request, your mover must provide information and forms it considers necessary for initiating an action to resolve a dispute under arbitration.

(4) Each person authorized to arbitrate must be independent of the parties to the dispute and capable of resolving such disputes fairly and expeditiously. Your mover must ensure the arbitrator is authorized and able to obtain from you or your mover any material or relevant information to carry out a fair and expeditious decision-making process.

(5) You must not be required to pay more than one-half of the arbitration's cost. The arbitrator may determine the percentage of payment of the costs for each party in the arbitration decision, but must not make you pay more than half.

(6) Your mover must not require you to agree to use arbitration before a dispute arises.

(7) You and your mover will be bound by arbitration for claims of $10,000 or less if you request arbitration.

(8) You and your mover will be bound by arbitration for claims of more than $10,000 only if you request arbitration and your mover agrees to it.

(9) If you and your mover both agree, the arbitrator may provide for an oral presentation of a dispute by a party or representative of a party.

(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.

(11) The 60-day period may be extended for a reasonable period if either you or your mover fails to provide information in a timely manner. Your mover must produce and distribute a concise, easy-to-read, accurate summary of its arbitration program.

Must My Mover Inform Me About My Rights and Responsibilities Under Federal Law?

Yes, your mover must inform you about your rights and responsibilities under Federal law. Your mover must produce and distribute this document. It should follow the general order and contain the text of appendix A to 49 CFR part 375.

What Other Information Must My Mover Provide Me?

At the time your mover provides a written estimate, it must provide you with a copy of the U.S. Department of Transportation publication FMCSA-ESA-03-005 entitled “Ready to Move?” (or its successor publication). Before your mover executes an order for service for a shipment of household goods, your mover must furnish you with the following four documents:

1. The contents of Appendix A, ”Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”—this booklet.

2. A concise, easy-to-read, and accurate summary of your mover's arbitration program.

3. A notice of availability of the applicable sections of your mover's tariff for the estimate of charges, including an explanation that you may examine the tariff sections or have copies sent to you upon request.

4. A concise, easy-to-read, accurate summary of your mover's customer complaint and inquiry handling procedures. Included in this summary must be the following two items:

(a) The main telephone number you may use to communicate with your mover.

(b) A clear and concise statement concerning who must pay for telephone calls.

Your mover may, at its discretion, provide additional information to you.

How Must My Mover Collect Charges?

Your mover must issue you an honest, truthful freight or expense bill for each shipment transported. Your mover's freight or expense bill must contain the following 17 items:

(1) Name of the consignor.

(2) Name of the consignees.

(3) Date of the shipment.

(4) Origin point.

(5) Destination points.

(6) Number of packages.

(7) Description of the freight.

(8) Weight of the freight (if your shipment is moved under a non-binding estimate).

(9) Exact rate(s) assessed.

(10) Disclosure of the actual rates, charges, and allowances for the transportation service, when your mover electronically presents or transmits freight or expense bills to you. These rates must be in accordance with the mover's applicable tariff.

(11) An indication of whether adjustments may apply to the bill.

(12) Total charges due and acceptable methods of payment.

(13) The nature and amount of any special service charges.

(14) The points where special services were rendered.

(15) Route of movement and name of each mover participating in the transportation.

(16) Transfer points where shipments moved.

(17) Address where you must pay or address of bill issuer's principal place of business.

Your mover must present its freight or expense bill to you within 15 days of the date of delivery of a shipment at its destination. The computation of time excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. If your mover lacks sufficient information to compute its charges, your mover must present its freight bill for payment within 15 days of the date when sufficient information does become available.

May My Mover Collect Charges Upon Delivery?

Yes. Your mover must specify the form of payment acceptable at delivery when the mover prepares an estimate and order for service. The mover and its agents must honor the form of payment at delivery, except when you mutually agree to a change in writing. The mover must also specify the same form of payment when it prepares your bill of lading, unless you agree to a change. See also “May my mover accept charge or credit cards for my payments?”

You must be prepared to pay 10 percent more than the estimated amount, if your goods are moving under a non-binding estimate. Every collect-on-delivery shipper must have available 110 percent of the estimate at the time of delivery. In addition, your mover may also collect at the time of delivery the charges for any additional services you requested after the contract with your mover was executed (charges therefore not included in the estimate) and any charges for impracticable operations needed to accomplish delivery, as defined by the carrier's tariff. Charges collected at the time of delivery for impracticable operations must not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at the time of delivery. You must pay all remaining charges for impracticable operations within 30 days after you receive the mover's freight bill.

May My Mover Extend Credit to Me?

Extending credit to you is not the same as accepting your charge or credit card(s) as payment. Your mover may extend credit to you in the amount of the tariff charges. If your mover extends credit to you, your mover becomes like a bank offering you a line of credit, whose size and interest rate are determined by your ability to pay its tariff charges within the credit period. Your mover must ensure you will pay its tariff charges within the credit period. Your mover may relinquish possession of freight before you pay its tariff charges, at its discretion.

The credit period must begin on the day following presentation of your mover's freight bill to you. Under Federal regulation, the standard credit period is 7 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. Your mover must also extend the credit period to a total of 30 calendar days if the freight bill is not paid within the 7-day period. A service charge equal to one percent of the amount of the freight bill, subject to a $20 minimum, will be assessed for this extension and for each additional 30-day period the charges go unpaid.

Your failure to pay within the credit period will require your mover to determine whether you will comply with the Federal household goods transportation credit regulations in good faith in the future before extending credit again.

May My Mover Accept Charge or Credit Cards for My Payments?

Your mover may allow you to use a charge or credit card for payment of the freight charges. Your mover may accept charge or credit cards whenever you ship with it under an agreement and tariff requiring payment by cash or cash equivalents. Cash equivalents are a certified check, money order, or cashier's check (a check that a financial institution—bank, credit union, savings and loan—draws upon itself and that is signed by an officer of the financial institution).

If your mover allows you to pay for a freight or expense bill by charge or credit card, your mover deems such a payment to be equivalent to payment by cash, certified check, or cashier's check. It must note in writing on the order for service and the bill of lading whether you may pay for the transportation and related services using a charge or credit card. You should ask your mover at the time the estimate is written whether it will accept charge or credit cards at delivery.

The mover must specify what charge or credit cards it will accept, such as American ExpressTM, DiscoverTM, MasterCardTM, or VisaTM. If your mover agrees to accept payment by charge or credit card, you must arrange with your mover for the delivery only at a time when your mover can obtain authorization for your credit card transaction. If you cause a charge or credit card issuer to reverse a transaction, your mover may consider your action tantamount to forcing your mover to provide an involuntary extension of its credit.

Subpart C—Service Options Provided

What Service Options May My Mover Provide?

Your mover may provide any service options it chooses. It is customary for movers to offer several price and service options.

The total cost of your move may increase if you want additional or special services. Before you agree to have your shipment moved under a bill of lading providing special service, you should have a clear understanding with your mover of what the additional cost will be. You should always consider whether other movers might provide the services you need without requiring you to pay the additional charges.

One service option is a space reservation. If you agree to have your shipment transported under a space reservation agreement, you will pay for a minimum number of cubic feet of space in the moving van regardless of how much space in the van your shipment actually occupies.

A second option is expedited service. This aids you if you must have your shipments transported on or between specific dates when the mover could not ordinarily agree to do so in its normal operations.

A third customary service option is exclusive use of a vehicle. If for any reason you desire or require that your shipment be moved by itself on the mover's truck or trailer, most movers will provide such service.

Another service option is guaranteed service on or between agreed dates. You enter into an agreement with the mover where the mover provides for your shipment to be picked up, transported to destination, and delivered on specific guaranteed dates. If the mover fails to provide the service as agreed, you are entitled to be compensated at a predetermined amount or a daily rate (per diem) regardless of the expense you might actually have incurred as a result of the mover's failure to perform.

Before requesting or agreeing to any of these price and service options, be sure to ask the mover's representatives about the final costs you will pay.

Transport of Shipments on Two or More Vehicles

Although all movers try to move each shipment on one truck, it becomes necessary, at times, to divide a shipment among two or more trucks. This may occur if your mover has underestimated the cubic feet (meters) of space required for your shipment and it will not all fit on the first truck. Your mover will pick up the remainder, or “leave behind,” on a second truck at a later time, and this part of your shipment may arrive at the destination later than the first truck. When this occurs, your transportation charges will be determined as if the entire shipment had moved on one truck.

If it is important for you to avoid this inconvenience of a “leave behind,” be sure your estimate includes an accurate calculation of the cubic feet (meters) required for your shipment. Ask your estimator to use a “Table of Measurements” form in making this calculation. Consider asking for a binding estimate. A binding estimate is more likely to be conservative with regard to cubic feet (meters) than a non-binding estimate. If the mover offers space reservation service, consider purchasing this service for the necessary amount of space plus some margin for error. In any case, you would be prudent to “prioritize” your goods in advance of the move so the driver will load the more essential items on the first truck if some are left behind.

If My Mover Sells Liability Insurance Coverage, What Must My Mover Do?

If your mover provides the service of selling additional liability insurance, your mover must follow certain regulations.

Your mover, its employees, or its agents may sell, offer to sell, or procure additional liability insurance coverage for you for loss of or damage to your shipment if you release the shipment for transportation at a value not exceeding 60 cents per pound ($1.32 per kilogram) per article.

Your mover may offer, sell, or procure any type of insurance policy covering loss or damage in excess of its specified liability.

Your mover must issue you a policy or other appropriate evidence of the insurance you purchased. Your mover must provide a copy of the policy or other appropriate evidence to you at the time your mover sells or procures the insurance. Your mover must issue policies written in plain English.

Your mover must clearly specify the nature and extent of coverage under the policy. Your mover's failure to issue you a policy, or other appropriate evidence of insurance you purchased, will subject your mover to full liability for any claims to recover loss or damage attributed to it.

Your mover's tariff must provide for liability insurance coverage. The tariff must also provide for the base transportation charge, including its assumption of full liability for the value of the shipment. This would offer you a degree of protection in the event your mover fails to issue you a policy or other appropriate evidence of insurance at the time of purchase.

Subpart D—Estimating Charges

Must My Mover Estimate the Transportation and Accessorial Charges for My Move?

We require your mover to prepare a written estimate on every shipment transported for you. You are entitled to a copy of the written estimate when your mover prepares it. Your mover must provide you a written estimate of all charges, including transportation, accessorial, and advance charges. Your mover's “rate quote” is not an estimate. You and your mover must sign the estimate of charges. Your mover must provide you with a dated copy of the estimate of charges at the time you sign the estimate.

If the location you are moving from is within a 50-mile radius of your mover's (or its agent's) place of business, the estimate that your mover provides you must be based on a physical survey of your goods. You have the right to waive the requirement for a physical survey if you choose, but your waiver must be in the form of a written agreement signed by you before your shipment is loaded.

You should be aware that if you receive an estimate from a household goods broker, the mover may not be required to accept the estimate. Be sure to obtain a written estimate from a mover who tells you orally that it will accept the broker's estimate.

Your mover must specify the form of payment the mover and its delivering agent will honor at delivery. Payment forms may include but are not limited to cash, certified check, money order, cashier's check, a specific charge card such as American ExpressTM, a specific credit card such as VisaTM, and your mover's own credit.

Before loading your household goods, and upon mutual agreement between you and your mover, your mover may amend an estimate of charges. Your mover may not amend the estimate after loading the shipment.

A binding estimate is a written agreement made in advance with your mover, indicating you and the mover are bound by the charges. It guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on your mover's estimate.

A non-binding estimate is what your mover believes the total cost will be for the move, based upon the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on your mover. Your mover will base the final charges upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided, and its tariff provisions in effect. You must be prepared to pay 10 percent more than the estimated amount at delivery.

You must also be prepared to pay at delivery the charges for any additional services you requested after the contract was executed (charges therefore not included in the estimate) and any charges for impracticable operations. Impracticable operations are defined in your mover's tariff. You should ask to see the mover's tariff to determine what services constitute impracticable operations. Charges for impracticable operations due at delivery must not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery.

How Must My Mover Estimate Charges Under the Regulations?

Binding Estimates

Your mover may charge you for providing a binding estimate. The binding estimate must clearly describe the shipment and all services provided.

When you receive a binding estimate, you cannot be required to pay any more than the estimated amount at delivery. If you have requested the mover provide more services than those included in the estimate, your mover will collect the charges for those services when your shipment is delivered. However, charges for impracticable operations due at delivery must not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery.

A binding estimate must be in writing, and a copy must be made available to you before you move.

If you agree to a binding estimate, you are responsible for paying the charges due by cash, certified check, money order, or cashier's check. The charges are due your mover at the time of delivery unless your mover agrees, before you move, to extend credit or to accept payment by a specific charge card such as American ExpressTM or a specific credit card such as VisaTM. If you are unable to pay at the time the shipment is delivered, the mover may place your shipment in storage at your expense until you pay the charges.

Other requirements of binding estimates include the following eight elements:

(1) Your mover must retain a copy of each binding estimate as an attachment to the bill of lading.

(2) Your mover must clearly indicate upon each binding estimate's face that the estimate is binding upon you and your mover. Each binding estimate must also clearly indicate on its face that the charges shown are the charges to be assessed for only those services specifically identified in the estimate.

(3) Your mover must clearly describe binding estimate shipments and all services to be provided.

(4) If, before loading your shipment, your mover believes you are tendering additional household goods or are requiring additional services not identified in the binding estimate, and you and your mover cannot reach an agreement, your mover may refuse to service the shipment. If your mover agrees to service the shipment, your mover must do one of the following three things:

(a) Reaffirm the binding estimate.

(b) Negotiate a revised written binding estimate listing the additional household goods or services.

(c) Add an attachment to the contract, in writing, stating you both will consider the original binding estimate as a non-binding estimate. Before you agree to this option, read the information about non-binding estimates in the next section of this pamphlet. Accepting a non-binding estimate may seriously affect how much you may pay for the entire move.

(5) Once your mover loads your shipment, your mover's failure to execute a new binding estimate or to agree with you to treat the original estimate as a non-binding estimate signifies it has reaffirmed the original binding estimate. Your mover may not collect more than the amount of the original binding estimate, except as provided in the next two paragraphs.

(6) If you request additional services after the bill of lading is executed, your mover will collect the charges for these additional services when your shipment is delivered.

(7) If your mover must perform impracticable operations, as defined in its tariff, to accomplish the delivery of your shipment, your mover will collect the charges for these services when your shipment is delivered. However, charges for impracticable operations collected at delivery must not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery. Any remaining impracticable operations charges must be paid within 30 days after you receive the mover's freight bill.

(8) Failure of your mover to relinquish possession of a shipment upon your offer to pay the binding estimate amount plus the cost of any additional services you requested after the bill of lading was executed and any charges for impracticable operations (not to exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery) constitutes your mover's failure to transport a shipment with “reasonable dispatch” and subjects your mover to cargo delay claims pursuant to 49 CFR part 370.

Non-Binding Estimates

Your mover is not permitted to charge you for giving a non-binding estimate.

A non-binding estimate is not a bid or contract. Your mover provides it to you to give you a general idea of the cost of the move, but it does not bind your mover to the estimated cost. You should expect the final cost to be more than the estimate. The actual cost will be in accordance with your mover's tariffs. Federal law requires your mover to collect the charges shown in its tariffs, regardless of what your mover writes in its non-binding estimates. That is why it is important to ask for copies of the applicable portions of the mover's tariffs before deciding on a mover. The charges contained in movers' tariffs are essentially the same for shipments of equal weight moving equal distances. Even if you obtain different non-binding estimates from different movers, you must pay only the amount specified in your mover's tariff. Therefore, a non-binding estimate may differ substantially from the amount that you ultimately will pay.

You must be prepared to pay 10 percent more than the estimated amount at the time of delivery. Every collect-on-delivery shipper must have available 110 percent of the estimate at the time of delivery. If you order additional services from your mover after the mover issues the bill of lading, the mover will collect the charges for those additional services when your shipment is delivered.

Non-binding estimates must be in writing and clearly describe the shipment and all services provided. Any time a mover provides such an estimate, the amount of the charges estimated must be on the order for service and bill of lading related to your shipment. When you are given a non-binding estimate, do not sign or accept the order for service or bill of lading unless the mover enters the amount estimated on each form it prepares.

Other requirements of non-binding estimates include the following 10 elements:

(1) Your mover must provide reasonably accurate non-binding estimates based upon the estimated weight of the shipment and services required.

(2) Your mover must explain to you that all charges on shipments moved under non-binding estimates will be those appearing in your mover's tariffs applicable to the transportation. If your mover provides a non-binding estimate of approximate costs, your mover is not bound by such an estimate.

(3) Your mover must furnish non-binding estimates without charge and in writing to you.

(4) Your mover must retain a copy of each non-binding estimate as an attachment to the bill of lading.

(5) Your mover must clearly indicate on the face of a non-binding estimate that the estimate is not binding upon your mover and the charges shown are the approximate charges to be assessed for the services identified in the estimate.

(6) Your mover must clearly describe on the face of a non-binding estimate the entire shipment and all services to be provided.

(7) If, before loading your shipment, your mover believes you are tendering additional household goods or requiring additional services not identified in the non-binding estimate, and you and your mover cannot reach an agreement, your mover may refuse to service the shipment. If your mover agrees to service the shipment, your mover must do one of the following two things:

(a) Reaffirm the non-binding estimate.

(b) Negotiate a revised written non-binding estimate listing the additional household goods or services.

(8) Once your mover loads your shipment, your mover's failure to execute a new estimate signifies it has reaffirmed the original non-binding estimate. Your mover may not collect more than 110 percent of the amount of this estimate at destination for the services and quantities shown on the estimate.

(9) If you request additional services after the bill of lading is executed, your mover will collect the charges for these additional services when your shipment is delivered.

(10) If your mover must perform impracticable operations, as defined in its tariff, to accomplish the delivery of your shipment, your mover will collect the charges for these services when your shipment is delivered. However, charges for impracticable operations collected at delivery must not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery. Any remaining impracticable operations charges must be paid within 30 days after you receive the mover's freight bill.

If your mover furnishes a non-binding estimate, your mover must enter the estimated charges upon the order for service and the bill of lading. Your mover must retain a record of all estimates of charges for each move performed for at least one year from the date your mover made the estimate.

What Payment Arrangements Must My Mover Have in Place To Secure Delivery of My Household Goods Shipment?

If your total bill is 110 percent or less of the non-binding estimate, the mover can require payment in full upon delivery. If the bill exceeds 110 percent of the non-binding estimate, your mover must relinquish possession of the shipment at the time of delivery upon payment of 110 percent of the estimated amount, and defer billing for the remaining charges for at least 30 days.

There are two exceptions to this requirement. Your mover may demand at the time of delivery payment of the charges for any additional services you requested after the bill of lading was executed (charges therefore not included in the estimate). Your mover may also require you to pay charges for impracticable operations at the time of delivery, provided these do not exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery. Impracticable operations charges that exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery are due within 30 days after you receive the mover's freight bill. Your mover should have specified its acceptable form of payment on the estimate, order for service, and bill of lading.

Your mover's failure to relinquish possession of a shipment after you offer to pay 110 percent of the estimated charges, plus the charges for any additional services you requested after the bill of lading was executed (charges therefore not included in the estimate) and any charges for impracticable operations (not to exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery), constitutes its failure to transport the shipment with “reasonable dispatch” and subjects your mover to your cargo delay claims under 49 CFR part 370.

Subpart E—Pickup of My Shipment of Household Goods

Must My Mover Write Up an Order for Service?

We require your mover to prepare an order for service on every shipment transported for you. You are entitled to a copy of the order for service when your mover prepares it.

The order for service is not a contract. Should you cancel or delay your move or decide not to use the mover, you should promptly cancel the order.

If you or your mover change any agreed-upon dates for pickup or delivery of your shipment, or agree to any change in the non-binding estimate, your mover may prepare a written change to the order for service. The written change must be attached to the order for service.

The order for service must contain the following 15 elements:

(1) Your mover's name and address and the U.S. DOT number assigned to your mover.

(2) Your name, address and, if available, telephone number(s).

(3) The name, address, and telephone number of the delivering mover's office or agent at or nearest to the destination of your shipment.

(4) A telephone number where you may contact your mover or its designated agent.

(5) One of the following three dates and times:

(i) The agreed-upon pickup date and agreed delivery date of your move.

(ii) The agreed-upon period(s) of the entire move.

(iii) If your mover is transporting the shipment on a guaranteed service basis, the guaranteed dates or periods of time for pickup, transportation, and delivery. Your mover must enter any penalty or per diem requirements upon the agreement under this item.

(6) The names and addresses of any other motor carriers, when known, that will participate in interline transportation of the shipment.

(7) The form of payment your mover will honor at delivery. The payment information must be the same as was entered on the estimate.

(8) The terms and conditions for payment of the total charges, including notice of any minimum charges.

(9) The maximum amount your mover will demand, based on the mover's estimate, for you to obtain possession of the shipment at the time of delivery, when the household goods are transported on a collect-on-delivery basis.

(10) If not provided in the Bill of Lading, the Surface Transportation Board's required released rates valuation statement, and the charges, if any, for optional valuation coverage. The STB's required released rates may be increased annually by your mover based on the U.S. Department of Commerce's Cost of Living Adjustment.

(11) A complete description of any special or accessorial services ordered and minimum weight or volume charges applicable to the shipment.

(12) Any identification or registration number your mover assigns to the shipment.

(13) For non-binding estimated charges, your mover's reasonably accurate estimate of the amount of the charges, the method of payment of total charges, and the maximum amount (110 percent of the non-binding estimate) your mover will demand at the time of delivery for you to obtain possession of the shipment.

(14) For binding estimated charges, the amount of charges your mover will demand based upon the binding estimate and the terms of payment under the estimate.

(15) An indication of whether you request notification of the charges before delivery. You must provide your mover with the telephone number(s) or address(es) where your mover will transmit such communications.

You and your mover must sign the order for service. Your mover must provide a dated copy of the order for service to you at the time your mover signs the order. Your mover must provide you the opportunity to rescind the order for service without any penalty for a 3-day period after you sign the order for service, if you scheduled the shipment to be loaded more than 3 days after you sign the order.

Your mover should provide you with documents that are as complete as possible, and with all charges clearly identified. However, as a practical matter, your mover usually cannot give you a complete bill of lading before transporting your goods. This is both because the shipment cannot be weighed until it is in transit and because other charges for service, such as unpacking, storage-in-transit, and various destination charges, cannot be determined until the shipment reaches its destination.

Therefore, your mover can require you to sign a partially complete bill of lading if it contains all relevant information except the actual shipment weight and any other information necessary to determine the final charges for all services provided. Signing the bill of lading allows you to choose the valuation option, request special services, and/or acknowledge the terms and conditions of released valuation.

Your mover also may provide you, strictly for informational purposes, with blank or incomplete documents pertaining to the move. Before loading your shipment, and upon mutual agreement between you and your mover, your mover may amend an order for service. Your mover must retain records of an order for service it transported for at least one year from the date your mover wrote the order.

Your mover must inform you, before or at the time of loading, if the mover reasonably expects a special or accessorial service is necessary to transport a shipment safely. Your mover must refuse to accept the shipment when your mover reasonably expects a special or accessorial service is necessary to transport a shipment safely but you refuse to purchase the special or accessorial service. Your mover must make a written note if you refuse any special or accessorial services that your mover reasonably expects to be necessary.

Must My Mover Write Up an Inventory of the Shipment?

Yes. Your mover must prepare an inventory of your shipment before or at the time of loading. If your mover's driver fails to prepare an inventory, you should write a detailed inventory of your shipment listing any damage or unusual wear to any items. The purpose is to make a record of the existence and condition of each item.

After completing the inventory, you should sign each page and ask the mover's driver to sign each page. Before you sign it, it is important you make sure that the inventory lists every item in the shipment and that the entries regarding the condition of each item are correct. You have the right to note any disagreement. If an item is missing or damaged when your mover delivers the shipment, your subsequent ability to dispute the items lost or damaged may depend upon your notations.

You should retain a copy of the inventory. Your mover may keep the original if the driver prepared it. If your mover's driver completed an inventory, the mover must attach the complete inventory to the bill of lading as an integral part of the bill of lading.

Must My Mover Write Up a Bill of Lading?

The bill of lading is the contract between you and the mover. The mover is required by law to prepare a bill of lading for every shipment it transports. The information on a bill of lading is required to be the same information shown on the order for service. The driver who loads your shipment must give you a copy of the bill of lading before or at the time of loading your furniture and other household goods.

It is your responsibility to read the bill of lading before you accept it. It is your responsibility to understand the bill of lading before you sign it. If you do not agree with something on the bill of lading, do not sign it until you are satisfied it is correct.

The bill of lading requires the mover to provide the service you have requested. You must pay the charges set forth in the bill of lading. The bill of lading is an important document. Do not lose or misplace your copy. Have it available until your shipment is delivered, all charges are paid, and all claims, if any, are settled.

A bill of lading must include the following 14 elements:

(1) Your mover's name and address, or the name and address of the motor carrier issuing the bill of lading.

(2) The names and addresses of any other motor carriers, when known, who will participate in the transportation of the shipment.

(3) The name, address, and telephone number of the office of the motor carrier you must contact in relation to the transportation of the shipment.

(4) The form of payment your mover will honor at delivery. The payment information must be the same that was entered on the estimate and order for service.

(5) When your mover transports your shipment under a collect-on-delivery basis, your name, address, and telephone number where the mover will notify you about the charges.

(6) For non-guaranteed service, the agreed-upon date or period of time for pickup of the shipment and the agreed-upon date or period of time for the delivery of the shipment. The agreed-upon dates or periods for pickup and delivery entered upon the bill of lading must conform to the agreed-upon dates or periods of time for pickup and delivery entered upon the order for service or a proper amendment to the order for service.

(7) For guaranteed service, the dates for pickup and delivery and any penalty or per diem entitlements due you under the agreement.

(8) The actual date of pickup.

(9) The identification number(s) of the vehicle(s) in which your mover loads your shipment.

(10) The terms and conditions for payment of the total charges including notice of any minimum charges.

(11) The maximum amount your mover, based on the estimate, will demand from you at the time of delivery for you to obtain possession of your shipment, when your mover transports under a collect-on-delivery basis.

(12) If not provided for in the Order for Service, the Surface Transportation Board's required released rates valuation statement, and the charges, if any, for optional valuation coverage. The Board's required released rates may be increased annually by your mover based on the U.S. Department of Commerce's Cost of Living Adjustment.

(13) Evidence of any insurance coverage sold to or procured for you from an independent insurer, including the amount of the premium for such insurance.

(14) Each attachment to the bill of lading. Each attachment is an integral part of the bill of lading contract. If not provided to you elsewhere by the mover, the following three items must be added as attachments:

(i) The binding or non-binding estimate.

(ii) The order for service.

(iii) The inventory.

A copy of the bill of lading must accompany your shipment at all times while it is in the possession of your mover or its agent(s). When your mover loads the shipment on a vehicle for transportation, the bill of lading must be in the possession of the driver responsible for the shipment. Your mover must retain bills of lading for shipments it transported for at least one year from the date your mover created the bill of lading.

Should I Reach an Agreement With My Mover About Pickup and Delivery Times?

You and your mover should reach an agreement for pickup and delivery times. It is your responsibility to determine on what date, or between what dates, you need to have the shipment picked up and on what date, or between what dates, you require delivery. It is your mover's responsibility to tell you if it can provide service on or between those dates, or, if not, on what other dates it can provide the service.

In the process of reaching an agreement with your mover, you may find it necessary to alter your moving and travel plans if no mover can provide service on the specific dates you desire.

Do not agree to have your shipment picked up or delivered ”as soon as possible.” The dates or periods you and your mover agree upon should be definite.

Once an agreement is reached, your mover must enter those dates upon the order for service and the bill of lading.

Once your goods are loaded, your mover is contractually bound to provide the service described in the bill of lading. Your mover's only defense for not providing the service on the dates called for is the defense of force majeure. This is a legal term. It means that when circumstances change, were not foreseen, and are beyond the control of your mover, preventing your mover from performing the service agreed to in the bill of lading, your mover is not responsible for damages resulting from its nonperformance.

This may occur when you do not inform your mover of the exact delivery requirements. For example, because of restrictions trucks must follow at your new location, the mover may not be able to take its truck down the street of your residence and may need to shuttle the shipment using another type of vehicle.

Must My Mover Determine the Weight of My Shipment?

Generally, yes. If your mover transports your household goods on a non-binding estimate, your mover must determine the actual weight of the shipment in order to calculate its lawful tariff charge. If your mover provided a binding estimate and has loaded your shipment without claiming you have added additional items or services, the weight of the shipment will not affect the charges you will pay.

Your mover must determine the weight of your shipment before requesting you to pay for any charges dependent upon your shipment's weight.

Most movers have a minimum weight charge for transporting a shipment. Generally, the minimum is the charge for transporting a shipment of at least 3,000 pounds (1,362 kilograms).

If your shipment appears to weigh less than the mover's minimum weight, your mover must advise you on the order for service of the minimum cost before transporting your shipment. Should your mover fail to advise you of the minimum charges and your shipment is less than the minimum weight, your mover must base your final charges upon the actual weight, not upon the minimum weight.

How Must My Mover Determine the Weight of My Shipment?

Your mover must weigh your shipment upon a certified scale.

The weight of your shipment must be obtained by using one of two methods:

Origin Weighing—Your mover may weigh your shipment in the city or area where it loads your shipment. If it elects this option, the driver must weigh the truck before coming to your residence. This is called the tare weight. At the time of this first weighing, the truck may already be partially loaded with another shipment(s). This will not affect the weight of your shipment. The truck should also contain the pads, dollies, hand trucks, ramps, and other equipment normally used in the transportation of household goods shipments.

After loading, the driver will weigh the truck again to obtain the loaded weight, called the gross weight. The net weight of your shipment is then obtained by subtracting the tare weight before loading from the gross weight.

Gross Weight less the Tare Weight Before Loading = Net Weight.

Destination Weighing (Also called Back Weighing)—The mover is also permitted to determine the weight of your shipment at the destination after it delivers your load. Weighing your shipment at destination instead of at origin will not affect the accuracy of the shipment weight. The most important difference is that your mover will not determine the exact charges on your shipment before it is unloaded.

Destination weighing is done in reverse of origin weighing. After arriving in the city or area where you are moving, the driver will weigh the truck. Your shipment will still be on the truck. Your mover will determine the gross weight before coming to your new residence to unload. After unloading your shipment, the driver will again weigh the truck to obtain the tare weight. The net weight of your shipment will then be obtained by subtracting the tare weight after delivery from the gross weight.

Gross Weight less the Tare Weight After Delivery = Net Weight.

At the time of both weighings, your mover's truck must have installed or loaded all pads, dollies, hand trucks, ramps, and other equipment required in the transportation of your shipment. The driver and other persons must be off the vehicle at the time of both weighings. The fuel tanks on the vehicle must be full at the time of each weighing; or, if the fuel tanks are not full, your mover must not add fuel between the two weighings when the tare weighing is the first weighing performed.

Your mover may detach the trailer of a tractor-trailer vehicle combination from the tractor and have the trailer weighed separately at each weighing, provided the length of the scale platform is adequate to accommodate and support the entire trailer.

Your mover may use an alternative method to weigh your shipment if it weighs 3,000 pounds (1,362 kilograms) or less. The only alternative method allowed is weighing the shipment upon a platform or warehouse certified scale before loading your shipment for transportation or after unloading.

Your mover must use the net weight of shipments transported in large containers, such as ocean or railroad containers. Your mover will calculate the difference between the tare weight of the container (including all pads, blocking and bracing used in the transportation of your shipment) and the gross weight of the container with your shipment loaded in the container.

You have the right, and your mover must inform you of your right, to observe all weighings of your shipment. Your mover must tell you where and when each weighing will occur. Your mover must give you a reasonable opportunity to be present to observe the weighings.

You may waive your right to observe any weighing or reweighing. This does not affect any of your other rights under Federal law.

Your mover may request that you waive your right to have a shipment weighed upon a certified scale. Your mover may want to weigh the shipment upon a trailer's on-board, non-certified scale. You should demand your right to have a certified scale used. The use of a non-certified scale may cause you to pay a higher final bill for your move, if the non-certified scale does not accurately weigh your shipment. Remember that certified scales are inspected and approved for accuracy by a government inspection or licensing agency. Non-certified scales are not inspected and approved for accuracy by a government inspection or licensing agency.

Your mover must obtain a separate weight ticket for each weighing. The weigh master must sign each weight ticket. Each weight ticket must contain the following six items:

(1) The complete name and location of the scale.

(2) The date of each weighing.

(3) Identification of the weight entries as being the tare, gross, or net weights.

(4) The company or mover identification of the vehicle.

(5) Your last name as it appears on the Bill of Lading.

(6) Your mover's shipment registration or Bill of Lading number.

Your mover must retain the original weight ticket or tickets relating to the determination of the weight of your shipment as part of its file on your shipment. When both weighings are performed on the same scale, one weight ticket may be used to record both weighings.

Your mover must present all freight bills with true copies of all weight tickets. If your mover does not present its freight bill with all weight tickets, your mover is in violation of Federal law.

Before the driver actually begins unloading your shipment weighed at origin and after your mover informs you of the billing weight and total charges, you have the right to demand a reweigh of your shipment. If you believe the weight is not accurate, you have the right to request your mover reweigh your shipment before unloading.

You have the right, and your mover must inform you of your right, to observe all reweighings of your shipment. Your mover must tell you where and when each reweighing will occur. Your mover must give you a reasonable opportunity to be present to observe the reweighing. You may waive your right to observe any reweighing; however, you must waive that right in writing. You may send the written waiver via fax or e-mail, as well as by overnight courier or certified mail, return receipt requested. This does not affect any of your other rights under Federal law.

Your mover is prohibited from charging you for the reweighing. If the weight of your shipment at the time of the reweigh is different from the weight determined at origin, your mover must recompute the charges based upon the reweigh weight.

Before requesting a reweigh, you may find it to your advantage to estimate the weight of your shipment using the following three-step method:

1. Count the number of items in your shipment. Usually there will be either 30 or 40 items listed on each page of the inventory. For example, if there are 30 items per page and your inventory consists of four complete pages and a fifth page with 15 items listed, the total number of items will be 135. If an automobile is listed on the inventory, do not include this item in the count of the total items.

2. Subtract the weight of any automobile included in your shipment from the total weight of the shipment. If the automobile was not weighed separately, its weight can be found on its title or license receipt.

3. Divide the number of items in your shipment into the weight. If the average weight resulting from this exercise ranges between 35 and 45 pounds (16 and 20 kilograms) per article, it is unlikely a reweigh will prove beneficial to you. In fact, it could result in your paying higher charges.

Experience has shown that the average shipment of household goods will weigh about 40 pounds (18 kilograms) per item. If a shipment contains a large number of heavy items, such as cartons of books, boxes of tools or heavier than average furniture, the average weight per item may be 45 pounds or more (20 kilograms or more).

What Must My Mover Do if I Want To Know the Actual Weight or Charges for My Shipment Before Delivery?

If you request notification of the actual weight and charges of your shipment, your mover must comply with your request if it is moving your goods on a collect-on-delivery basis. This requirement is conditioned upon your supplying your mover with an address or telephone number where you will receive the communication. Your mover must make its notification by telephone; fax transmissions; e-mail; overnight courier; certified mail, return receipt requested; or in person.

You must receive the mover's notification at least one full 24-hour day before its scheduled delivery, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Your mover may disregard this 24-hour notification requirement on shipments subject to one of the following three things:

(1) Back weigh (when your mover weighs your shipment at its destination).

(2) Pickup and delivery encompassing two consecutive weekdays, if you agree.

(3) Maximum payment amounts at time of delivery of 110 percent of the estimated charges, if you agree.

Subpart F—Transportation of My Shipment

Must My Mover Transport the Shipment in a Timely Manner?

Yes, your mover must transport your household goods in a timely manner. This is also known as ”reasonable dispatch service.” Your mover must provide reasonable dispatch service to you, except for transportation on the basis of guaranteed delivery dates.

When your mover is unable to perform either the pickup or delivery of your shipment on the dates or during the periods of time specified in the order for service, your mover must notify you of the delay, at the mover's expense. As soon as the delay becomes apparent to your mover, it must give you notification it will be unable to provide the service specified in the terms of the order for service. Your mover may notify you of the delay in any of the following ways: By telephone; fax transmissions; e-mail; overnight courier; certified mail, return receipt requested; or in person.

When your mover notifies you of a delay, it also must advise you of the dates or periods of time it may be able to pick up and/or deliver the shipment. Your mover must consider your needs in its advisement. Your mover must prepare a written record of the date, time, and manner of its notification.

Your mover must prepare a written record of its amended date or period for delivery. Your mover must retain these records as a part of its file on your shipment. The retention period is one year from the date of notification. Your mover must furnish a copy of the notification to you either by first class mail or in person, if you request a copy of the notice.

Your mover must tender your shipment for delivery on the agreed-upon delivery date or within the period specified on the bill of lading. Upon your request or concurrence, your mover may deliver your shipment on another day.

The establishment of a delayed pickup or delivery date does not relieve your mover from liability for damages resulting from your mover's failure to provide service as agreed. However, when your mover notifies you of alternate delivery dates, it is your responsibility to be available to accept delivery on the dates specified. If you are not available and are not willing to accept delivery, your mover has the right to place your shipment in storage at your expense or hold the shipment on its truck and assess additional charges.

If after the pickup of your shipment, you request your mover to change the delivery date, most movers will agree to do so provided your request will not result in unreasonable delay to its equipment or interfere with another customer's move. However, your mover is under no obligation to consent to amended delivery dates. Your mover has the right to place your shipment in storage at your expense if you are unwilling or unable to accept delivery on the date agreed to in the bill of lading.

If your mover fails to pick up and deliver your shipment on the date entered on the bill of lading and you have expenses you otherwise would not have had, you may be able to recover those expenses from your mover. This is what is called an inconvenience or delay claim. Should your mover refuse to honor such a claim and you continue to believe you are entitled to be paid damages, you may take your mover to court under 49 U.S.C. 14706. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has no authority to order your mover to pay such claims.

While we hope your mover delivers your shipment in a timely manner, you should consider the possibility your shipment may be delayed, and find out what payment you can expect if a mover delays service through its own fault, before you agree with the mover to transport your shipment.

What Must My Mover Do if It Is Able To Deliver My Shipment More Than 24 Hours Before I Am Able To Accept Delivery?

At your mover's discretion, it may place your shipment in storage. This will be under its own account and at its own expense in a warehouse located in proximity to the destination of your shipment. Your mover may do this if you fail to request or concur with an early delivery date, and your mover is able to deliver your shipment more than 24 hours before your specified date or the first day of your specified period.

If your mover exercises this option, your mover must immediately notify you of the name and address of the warehouse where your mover places your shipment. Your mover must make and keep a record of its notification as a part of its shipment records. Your mover has full responsibility for the shipment under the terms and conditions of the bill of lading. Your mover is responsible for the charges for redelivery, handling, and storage until it makes final delivery. Your mover may limit its responsibility to the agreed-upon delivery date or the first day of the period of delivery as specified in the bill of lading.

What Must My Mover Do for Me When I Store Household Goods in Transit?

If you request your mover to hold your household goods in storage-in-transit and the storage period is about to expire, your mover must notify you, in writing, about the four following items:

(1) The date when storage-in-transit will convert to permanent storage.

(2) The existence of a 9-month period after the date of conversion to permanent storage, during which you may file claims against your mover for loss or damage occurring to your goods while in transit or during the storage-in-transit period.

(3) The date your mover's liability will end.

(4) Your property will be subject to the rules, regulations, and charges of the warehouseman.

Your mover must make this notification at least 10 days before the expiration date of one of the following two periods of time:

(1) The specified period of time when your mover is to hold your goods in storage.

(2) The maximum period of time provided in its tariff for storage-in-transit.

Your mover must notify you by facsimile transmission; overnight courier; e-mail; or certified mail, return receipt requested.

If your mover holds your household goods in storage-in-transit for less than 10 days, your mover must notify you, one day before the storage-in-transit period expires, of the same information specified above.

Your mover must maintain a record of all notifications to you as part of the records of your shipment. Under the applicable tariff provisions regarding storage-in-transit, your mover's failure or refusal to notify you will automatically extend your mover's liability until the end of the day following the date when your mover actually gives you notice.

Subpart G—Delivery of My Shipment

May My Mover Ask Me To Sign a Delivery Receipt Purporting To Release It From Liability?

At the time of delivery, your mover will expect you to sign a receipt for your shipment. Normally, you will sign each page of your mover's copy of the inventory.

Your mover's delivery receipt or shipping document must not contain any language purporting to release or discharge it or its agents from liability.

Your mover may include a statement about your receipt of your property in apparent good condition, except as noted on the shipping documents.

Do not sign the delivery receipt if it contains any language purporting to release or discharge your mover or its agents from liability. Strike out such language before signing, or refuse delivery if the driver or mover refuses to provide a proper delivery receipt.

What Is the Maximum Collect-on-Delivery Amount My Mover May Demand I Pay at the Time of Delivery?

On a binding estimate, the maximum amount is the exact estimate of the charges, plus the charges for any additional services you requested after the bill of lading was executed (charges therefore not included in the estimate) and any charges for impracticable operations (not to exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery). Your mover must specify on the estimate, order for service, and bill of lading the form of payment acceptable to it (for example, a certified check).

On a non-binding estimate, the maximum amount is 110 percent of the approximate costs, plus the charges for any additional services you requested after the bill of lading was executed (charges therefore not included in the estimate) and any charges for impracticable operations (not to exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery). Your mover must specify on the estimate, order for service, and bill of lading the form of payment acceptable to it (for example, cash).

If My Shipment Is Transported on More Than One Vehicle, What Charges May My Mover Collect at Delivery?

Although all movers try to move each shipment on one truck, it becomes necessary at times to divide a shipment among two or more trucks. This frequently occurs when an automobile is included in the shipment and transported on a specially designed vehicle. When this occurs, your transportation charges are the same as if the entire shipment moved on one truck.

If your shipment is divided for transportation on two or more trucks, the mover may require payment for each portion as it is delivered.

Your mover may delay the collection of all the charges until the entire shipment is delivered, at its discretion, not yours. When you order your move, you should ask the mover about its policies in this regard.

If My Shipment Is Partially Lost or Destroyed, What Charges May My Mover Collect at Delivery?

Movers customarily make every effort to avoid losing, damaging, or destroying any of your items while your shipment is in their possession for transportation. However, despite the precautions taken, articles are sometimes lost or destroyed during the move.

In addition to any money you may recover from your mover to compensate for lost or destroyed articles, you also may recover the transportation charges represented by the portion of the shipment lost or destroyed. Your mover may apply this paragraph only to the transportation of household goods. Your mover may disregard this paragraph if loss or destruction was due to an act or omission by you. Your mover must require you to pay any specific valuation charge due.

For example, if you pack a hazardous material (i.e., gasoline, aerosol cans, motor oil, etc.) and your shipment is partially lost or destroyed by fire in storage or in the mover's trailer, your mover may require you to pay for the full cost of transportation.

If your shipment is partially lost or destroyed, your mover is permitted to collect at delivery only a prorated percentage based on the freight charges for the goods actually delivered, plus the charges for any additional services you requested after the bill of lading was executed and any charges for impracticable operations. Charges for impracticable operations collected at delivery must not exceed 15 percent of the total charges your mover collects at delivery.

Your mover is forbidden from collecting, or requiring you to pay, any freight charges (including any charges for accessorial or terminal services) when your household goods shipment is totally lost or destroyed in transit, unless the loss or destruction was due to an act or omission by you.

How Must My Mover Calculate the Charges Applicable to the Shipment as Delivered?

Your mover must multiply the percentage equal to the weight of the portion of the shipment delivered to the total weight of the shipment times the total charges applicable to the shipment tendered by you to obtain the total charges it must collect from you.

If your mover's computed charges exceed the charges otherwise applicable to the shipment as delivered, the lesser of those charges must apply. This will apply only to the transportation of your household goods.

Your mover must require you to pay any specific valuation charge due.

Your mover may not refund the freight charges if the loss or destruction was due to an act or omission by you. For example, you fail to disclose to your mover that your shipment contains perishable live plants. Your mover may disregard its loss or destruction of your plants because you failed to inform your mover you were transporting live plants.

Your mover must determine, at its own expense, the proportion of the shipment, based on actual or constructive weight, not lost or destroyed in transit.

Your rights are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other rights you may have with respect to your shipment of household goods your mover lost or destroyed, or partially lost or destroyed, in transit. This applies whether or not you have exercised your rights provided above.

Subpart H—Collection of Charges

Does This Subpart Apply to Most Shipments?

It applies to all shipments of household goods that involve a balance due freight or expense bill or are shipped on credit.

How Must My Mover Present Its Freight or Expense Bill to Me?

At the time of payment of transportation charges, your mover must give you a freight bill identifying the service provided and the charge for each service. It is customary for most movers to use a copy of the bill of lading as a freight bill; however, some movers use an entirely separate document for this purpose.

Except in those instances where a shipment is moving on a binding estimate, the freight bill must specifically identify each service performed, the rate or charge per service performed, and the total charges for each service. If this information is not on the freight bill, do not accept or pay the freight bill.

Movers' tariffs customarily specify that freight charges must be paid in cash, by certified check, or by cashier's check. When this requirement exists, the mover will not accept personal checks. At the time you order your move, you should ask your mover about the form of payment your mover requires.

Some movers permit payment of freight charges by use of a charge or credit card. However, do not assume your nationally recognized charge, credit, or debit card will be acceptable for payment. Ask your mover at the time you request an estimate. Your mover must specify the form of payment it will accept at delivery.

If you do not pay the transportation charges at the time of delivery, your mover has the right, under the bill of lading, to refuse to deliver your goods. The mover may place them in storage, at your expense, until the charges are paid. However, the mover must deliver your goods upon payment of 100 percent of a binding estimate, plus the charges for any additional services you requested after the bill of lading was executed (charges therefore not included in the estimate) and any charges for impracticable operations (not to exceed 15 percent of all other charges due at delivery).

If, before payment of the transportation charges, you discover an error in the charges, you should attempt to correct the error with the driver or the mover's local agent, or by contacting the mover's main office. If an error is discovered after payment, you should write the mover (the address will be on the freight bill) explaining the error, and request a refund.

Movers customarily check all shipment files and freight bills after a move has been completed to make sure the charges were accurate. If an overcharge is found, you should be notified and a refund should be made. If an undercharge occurred, you may be billed for the additional charges due.

On “to be prepaid” shipments, your mover must present its freight bill for all transportation charges within 15 days of the date your mover received the shipment. This period excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

On “collect” shipments, your mover must present its freight bill for all transportation charges on the date of delivery, or, at its discretion, within 15 days, calculated from the date the shipment was delivered at your destination. This period excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. (Bills for additional charges based on the weight of the shipment will be presented 30 days after delivery; charges for impracticable operations not paid at delivery are due within 30 days of the invoice.) Your mover's freight bills and accompanying written notices must state the following five items:

(1) Penalties for late payment.

(2) Credit time limits.

(3) Service or finance charges.

(4) Collection expense charges.

(5) Discount terms.

If your mover extends credit to you, freight bills or a separate written notice accompanying a freight bill or a group of freight bills presented at one time must state, “You may be subject to tariff penalties for failure to timely pay freight charges,” or a similar statement. Your mover must state on its freight bills or other notices when it expects payment and any applicable service charges, collection expense charges, and discount terms.

When your mover lacks sufficient information to compute its tariff charges at the time of billing, your mover must present its freight bill for payment within 15 days following the day when sufficient information becomes available. This period excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Your mover must not extend additional credit to you if you fail to furnish sufficient information to your mover. Your mover must have sufficient information to render a freight bill within a reasonable time after shipment.

When your mover presents freight bills by mail, it must deem the time of mailing to be the time of presentation of the bills. The term “freight bills,” as used in this paragraph, includes both paper documents and billing by use of electronic media such as computer tapes, disks, or the Internet (e-mail).

When you mail acceptable checks or drafts in payment of freight charges, your mover must deem the act of mailing the payment within the credit period to be the proper collection of the tariff charges within the credit period for the purposes of Federal law. In case of a dispute as to the date of mailing, your mover must accept the postmark as the date of mailing.

If I Forced My Mover To Relinquish a Collect-on-Delivery Shipment Before the Payment of ALL Charges, How Must My Mover Collect the Balance?

On “collect-on-delivery” shipments, your mover must present its freight bill for transportation charges within 15 days, calculated from the date the shipment was delivered at your destination. This period excludes Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. (Bills for additional charges based on the weight of the shipment will be presented 30 days after delivery; charges for impracticable operations not paid at delivery are due within 30 days of the invoice.)

What Actions May My Mover Take To Collect From Me the Charges in Its Freight Bill?

Your mover must present a freight bill within 15 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays) of the date of delivery of a shipment at your destination. (Bills for additional charges based on the weight of the shipment will be presented 30 days after delivery; charges for impracticable operations not paid at delivery are due within 30 days of the invoice.)

Your mover must provide in its tariffs the following three things:

(1) A provision indicating its credit period is a total of 30 calendar days.

(2) A provision indicating you will be assessed a service charge by your mover equal to one percent of the amount of the freight bill, subject to a $20 minimum charge, for the extension of the credit period. The mover will assess the service charge for each 30-day extension that the charges go unpaid.

(3) A provision that your mover must deny credit to you if you fail to pay a duly presented freight bill within the 30-day period. Your mover may grant credit to you, at its discretion, when you satisfy your mover's condition that you will pay all future freight bills duly presented. Your mover must ensure all your payments of freight bills are strictly in accordance with Federal rules and regulations for the settlement of its rates and charges.

Do I Have a Right To File a Claim To Recover Money for Property My Mover Lost or Damaged?

Should your move result in the loss of or damage to any of your property, you have the right to file a claim with your mover to recover money for such loss or damage.

You should file a claim as soon as possible. If you fail to file a claim within 9 months, your mover may not be required to accept your claim. If you institute a court action and win, you may be entitled to attorney's fees if you submitted your claim to the carrier within 120 days after delivery or the scheduled date of delivery (whichever is later), and (1) the mover did not advise you during the claim settlement process of the availability of arbitration as a means for resolving the dispute; (2) a decision was not rendered through arbitration within the time required by law; or (3) you are instituting a court action to enforce an arbitration decision with which the mover has not complied.

While the Federal Government maintains regulations governing the processing of loss and damage claims (49 CFR part 370), it cannot resolve those claims. If you cannot settle a claim with the mover, you may file a civil action to recover your claim in court under 49 U.S.C. 14706. You may obtain the name and address of the mover's agent for service of legal process in your State by contacting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You may also obtain the name of a process agent via the Internet. Go to http.//www.fmcsa.dot.gov then click on Licensing and Insurance (L&I) section.

In addition, your mover must participate in an arbitration program. As described earlier in this pamphlet, an arbitration program gives you the opportunity to settle, through a neutral arbitrator, certain types of unresolved loss or damage claims and disputes regarding charges that were billed to you by your mover after your shipment was delivered. You may find submitting your claim to arbitration under such a program to be a less expensive and more convenient way to seek recovery of your claim. Your mover is required to provide you with information about its arbitration program before you move. If your mover fails to do so, ask the mover for details of its program.

Subpart I—Resolving Disputes With My Mover

What May I Do To Resolve Disputes With My Mover?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Does Not Help You Settle Your Dispute With Your Mover

Generally, you must resolve your own loss and damage disputes with your mover. You enter a contractual arrangement with your mover. You are bound by each of the following three things:

(1) The terms and conditions you negotiated before your move.

(2) The terms and conditions you accepted when you signed the bill of lading.

(3) The terms and conditions you accepted when you signed for delivery of your goods.

You have the right to take your mover to court. We require your mover to offer you arbitration to settle your disputes with it.

[72 FR 36775, July 5, 2007, as amended at 77 FR 59824, Oct. 1, 2012]



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