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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 12, 2019

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIISubchapter B → Part 371


Title 49: Transportation


PART 371—BROKERS OF PROPERTY


Contents

Subpart A—General Requirements

§371.1   Applicability.
§371.2   Definitions.
§371.3   Records to be kept by brokers.
§371.7   Misrepresentation.
§371.9   Rebating and compensation.
§371.10   Duties and obligations of brokers.
§371.13   Accounting.

Subpart B—Special Rules for Household Goods Brokers

§371.101   If I operate as a household goods broker in interstate or foreign commerce, must I comply with subpart B of this part?
§371.103   What are the definitions of terms used in this subpart?
§371.105   Must I use a motor carrier that has a valid U.S. DOT number and valid operating authority issued by FMCSA to transport household goods in interstate or foreign commerce?
§371.107   What information must I display in my advertisements and Internet Web homepage?
§371.109   Must I inform individual shippers which motor carriers I use?
§371.111   Must I provide individual shippers with Federal consumer protection information?
§371.113   May I provide individual shippers with a written estimate?
§371.115   Must I maintain agreements with motor carriers before providing written estimates on behalf of these carriers?
§371.117   Must I provide individual shippers with my policies concerning cancellation, deposits, and refunds?
§371.121   What penalties may FMCSA impose for violations of this part?

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 13301, 13501, and 14122; subtitle B, title IV of Pub. L. 109-59; and 49 CFR 1.87.

Source: 45 FR 68942, Oct. 17, 1980, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 61 FR 54707, Oct. 21, 1996.

Subpart A—General Requirements

§371.1   Applicability.

This part applies, to the extent provided therein, to all brokers of transportation by motor vehicle as defined in §371.2.

[32 FR 20034, Dec. 20, 1967, as amended at 62 FR 15421, Apr. 1, 1997]

§371.2   Definitions.

(a) Broker means a person who, for compensation, arranges, or offers to arrange, the transportation of property by an authorized motor carrier. Motor carriers, or persons who are employees or bona fide agents of carriers, are not brokers within the meaning of this section when they arrange or offer to arrange the transportation of shipments which they are authorized to transport and which they have accepted and legally bound themselves to transport.

(b) Bona fide agents are persons who are part of the normal organization of a motor carrier and perform duties under the carrier's directions pursuant to a preexisting agreement which provides for a continuing relationship, precluding the exercise of discretion on the part of the agent in allocating traffic between the carrier and others.

(c) Brokerage or brokerage service is the arranging of transportation or the physical movement of a motor vehicle or of property. It can be performed on behalf of a motor carrier, consignor, or consignee.

(d) Non-brokerage service is all other service performed by a broker on behalf of a motor carrier, consignor, or consignee.

§371.3   Records to be kept by brokers.

(a) A broker shall keep a record of each transaction. For purposes of this section, brokers may keep master lists of consignors and the address and registration number of the carrier, rather than repeating this information for each transaction. The record shall show:

(1) The name and address of the consignor;

(2) The name, address, and registration number of the originating motor carrier;

(3) The bill of lading or freight bill number;

(4) The amount of compensation received by the broker for the brokerage service performed and the name of the payer;

(5) A description of any non-brokerage service performed in connection with each shipment or other activity, the amount of compensation received for the service, and the name of the payer; and

(6) The amount of any freight charges collected by the broker and the date of payment to the carrier.

(b) Brokers shall keep the records required by this section for a period of three years.

(c) Each party to a brokered transaction has the right to review the record of the transaction required to be kept by these rules.

[45 FR 68942, Oct. 17, 1980. Redesignated at 61 FR 54707, Oct. 21, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 15421, Apr. 1, 1997]

§371.7   Misrepresentation.

(a) A broker shall not perform or offer to perform any brokerage service (including advertising), in any name other than that in which its registration is issued.

(b) A broker shall not, directly or indirectly, represent its operations to be that of a carrier. Any advertising shall show the broker status of the operation.

[45 FR 68942, Oct. 17, 1980. Redesignated at 61 FR 54707, Oct. 21, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 15421, Apr. 1, 1997]

§371.9   Rebating and compensation.

(a) A broker shall not charge or receive compensation from a motor carrier for brokerage service where:

(1) The broker owns or has a material beneficial interest in the shipment or

(2) The broker is able to exercise control over the shipment because the broker owns the shipper, the shipper owns the broker, or there is common ownership of the two.

(b) A broker shall not give or offer to give anything of value to any shipper, consignor or consignee (or their officers or employees) except inexpensive advertising items given for promotional purposes.

§371.10   Duties and obligations of brokers.

Where the broker acts on behalf of a person bound by law or the FMCSA regulation as to the transmittal of bills or payments, the broker must also abide by the law or regulations which apply to that person.

[45 FR 68943, Oct. 17, 1980, as amended at 62 FR 15421, Apr. 1, 1997]

§371.13   Accounting.

Each broker who engages in any other business shall maintain accounts so that the revenues and expenses relating to the brokerage portion of its business are segregated from its other activities. Expenses that are common shall be allocated on an equitable basis; however, the broker must be prepared to explain the basis for the allocation.

[45 FR 68943, Oct. 17, 1980]

Subpart B—Special Rules for Household Goods Brokers

Source: 75 FR 72996, Nov. 29, 2010, unless otherwise noted.

§371.101   If I operate as a household goods broker in interstate or foreign commerce, must I comply with subpart B of this part?

Yes, you must comply with all regulations in this subpart when you operate as a household goods broker offering services to individual shippers in interstate or foreign commerce. The regulations in this subpart do not apply to a household goods broker when providing services to commercial or government shippers in interstate or foreign commerce.

§371.103   What are the definitions of terms used in this subpart?

FMCSA means the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Household goods has the same meaning as the term is defined in §375.103 of this subchapter.

Household goods broker means a person, other than a motor carrier or an employee or bona fide agent of a motor carrier, that as a principal or agent sells, offers for sale, negotiates for, or holds itself out by solicitation, advertisement, or otherwise as selling, providing, or arranging for, transportation of household goods by motor carrier for compensation.

Individual shipper has the same meaning as the term is defined in §375.103 of this subchapter.

§371.105   Must I use a motor carrier that has a valid U.S. DOT number and valid operating authority issued by FMCSA to transport household goods in interstate or foreign commerce?

You may only act as a household goods broker for a motor carrier that has a valid, active U.S. DOT number and valid operating authority issued by FMCSA to transport household goods in interstate or foreign commerce.

§371.107   What information must I display in my advertisements and Internet Web homepage?

(a) You must prominently display in your advertisements and Internet Web homepage(s) the physical location(s) (street or highway address, city, and State) where you conduct business.

(b) You must prominently display your U.S. DOT registration number(s) and MC license number issued by the FMCSA in your advertisements and Internet Web homepage(s).

(c) You must prominently display in your advertisements and Internet Web site(s) your status as a household goods broker and the statement that you will not transport an individual shipper's household goods, but that you will arrange for the transportation of the household goods by an FMCSA-authorized household goods motor carrier, whose charges will be determined by its published tariff.

(d) If you provide estimates on any carrier's behalf pursuant to §371.113(b), you must prominently display in your Internet Web site(s) that the estimate must be based on the carrier's tariff and that the carrier is required to make its tariff available for public inspection upon a reasonable request.

(e) You may only include in your advertisements or Internet Web site(s) the names or logos of FMCSA-authorized household goods motor carriers with whom you have a written agreement as specified in §371.115 of this part.

§371.109   Must I inform individual shippers which motor carriers I use?

(a) You must provide to each potential individual shipper who contacts you a list of all authorized household goods motor carriers you use, including their U.S. DOT registration number(s) and MC license numbers.

(b) You must provide to each potential individual shipper who contacts you a statement indicating that you are not a motor carrier authorized by the Federal Government to transport the individual shipper's household goods, and you are only arranging for an authorized household goods motor carrier to perform the transportation services and, if applicable, additional services.

[75 FR 72996, Nov. 29, 2010, as amended at 83 FR 16224, Apr. 16, 2018]

§371.111   Must I provide individual shippers with Federal consumer protection information?

(a) You must provide potential individual shippers with Federal consumer protection information by one of the following three methods:

(1) Provide a hyperlink on your Internet Web site to the FMCSA Web site containing the information in FMCSA's publications “Ready to Move?—Tips for a Successful Interstate Move” and “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.”

(2) Distribute to each shipper and potential shipper at the time you provide an estimate, copies of FMCSA's publications “Ready to Move?—Tips for a Successful Interstate Move” and “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.”

(3) Distribute to each shipper and potential shipper at the time you provide an estimate, copies of “Ready to Move?—Tips for a Successful Interstate Move” and “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” as modified and produced by the authorized, lawful motor carrier to which you intend to provide the shipment under your written agreement required by §371.115.

(b) If an individual shipper elects to waive physical receipt of the Federal consumer protection information by one of the methods described in paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section, and elects to access the same information via the hyperlink on the Internet as provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, you must include a clear and concise statement on the written estimate described in §371.113 that the individual shipper expressly agreed to access the Federal consumer protection information on the Internet.

(c) You must obtain a signed, dated 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.

(d) You must maintain the signed receipt required by paragraph (c) of this section for three years from the date the individual shipper signs the receipt.

[75 FR 72996, Nov. 29, 2010, as amended at 83 FR 16224, Apr. 16, 2018]

§371.113   May I provide individual shippers with a written estimate?

(a) You may provide each individual shipper with an estimate of transportation and accessorial charges. If you provide an estimate, it must be in writing and must be based on a physical survey of the household goods conducted by the authorized motor carrier on whose behalf the estimate is provided if the goods are located within a 50-mile radius of the motor carrier's or its agent's location, whichever is closer. The estimate must be prepared in accordance with a signed, written agreement, as specified in §371.115 of this subpart.

(b) You must base your estimate upon the published tariffs of the authorized motor carrier who will transport the shipper's household goods.

(c)(1) A shipper may elect to waive the physical survey required in paragraph (a) of this section by written agreement signed by the shipper before the shipment is loaded.

(2) The household goods broker must explain the physical survey waiver agreement to the individual shipper in plain English. The physical survey waiver agreement must be printed on the written estimate and must be printed at no less than 7-point font size and with the font typeface Universe.

(3) A copy of the waiver agreement must be retained as an addendum to the bill of lading and is subject to the same record inspection and preservation requirements as are applicable to bills of lading.

(d) You must keep the records required by this section for three years following the date you provide the written estimate for an individual shipper who accepts the estimate and has you procure the transportation.

§371.115   Must I maintain agreements with motor carriers before providing written estimates on behalf of these carriers?

(a) In order to provide estimates of charges for the transportation of household goods, you must do so in accordance with the written agreement required by §375.409 of this subchapter. Your written agreement with the motor carrier(s) must include the following items:

(1) Your broker name as shown on your FMCSA registration, your physical address, and your U.S. DOT registration number and MC license number;

(2) The authorized motor carrier's name as shown on its FMCSA registration, its physical address, and its U.S. DOT registration number and MC license number;

(3) A concise, easy to understand statement that your written estimate to the individual shipper:

(i) Will be exclusively on behalf of the authorized household goods motor carrier;

(ii) Will be based on the authorized household goods motor carrier's published tariff; and

(iii) Will serve as the authorized household goods motor carrier's estimate for purposes of complying with the requirements of part 375 of this chapter, including the requirement that the authorized household goods motor carrier relinquishes possession of the shipment upon payment of no more than 110 percent of a non-binding estimate at the time of delivery;

(4) Your owner's, corporate officer's, or corporate director's signature lawfully representing your household goods broker operation and the date;

(5) The signature of the authorized household goods motor carrier's owner, corporate officer, or corporate director lawfully representing the household goods motor carrier's operation and the date; and

(b) The signed written agreement required by this section is public information and you must produce it for review upon reasonable request by a member of the public.

(c) You must keep copies of the agreements required by this section for as long as you provide estimates on behalf of the authorized household goods motor carrier and for three years thereafter.

§371.117   Must I provide individual shippers with my policies concerning cancellation, deposits, and refunds?

(a) You must disclose prominently on your Internet Web site and in your agreements with prospective shippers your cancellation policy, deposit policy, and policy for refunding deposited funds in the event the shipper cancels an order for service before the date an authorized household goods motor carrier has been scheduled to pick up the shipper's property.

(b) You must maintain records showing each individual shipper's request to cancel a shipment and the disposition of each request for a period of three years after the date of a shipper's cancellation request. If you refunded a deposit, your records must include:

(1) Proof that the individual shipper cashed or deposited the check or money order, if the financial institution provides documentary evidence; or

(2) Proof that you delivered the refund check or money order to the individual shipper.

§371.121   What penalties may FMCSA impose for violations of this part?

The penalty provisions of 49 U.S.C. chapter 149, Civil and Criminal Penalties apply to this subpart. These penalties do not overlap. Notwithstanding these civil penalties, nothing in this section deprives an individual shipper of any remedy or right of action under existing law.

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