AMSA Policy Proposal Accepted in House Highway Reauthorization Bill

 

Last week, two years of AMSA's lobbying efforts paid off when our policy proposals protecting consumers against rogue operators and providing regulatory relief for the moving and storage industry were included in the Highway Surface Re-authorization Bill. This win for the industry advances the Household Goods Working Group priorities and is included in the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act.

The bill passed out of Committee along party lines with a vote of 35-25 and now goes to the House floor for a full vote. The Senate will then take up the measure. There were over 300 amendments were submitted, and of that, 177 were debated. The AMSA-led provisions were among only 50 that were included in Chuck DeFazio's Managers Amendment, which is a group of non-controversial amendments that are passed together in a group.

Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Ca.) led the effort and negotiated with Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to ensure the passage of these important amendments. AMSA appreciates his leadership and attention to our industry during this process.

The following provisions were included in the INVEST in America Act.

  • Requires all household goods motor carriers to provide a link or copy of, “Ready to Move-Tips for a Successful Interstate Move” on their website.
     
  • Requires movers to provide, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” when an estimate is provided, rather than when preparing the order for service. This gets the information to the consumer earlier in the move process. Movers should be allowed to provide this document in paper or electronic form via a hyperlink on the carrier’s website.
     
  • Allows movers to provide, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” electronically without a signed receipt from the shipper. Electronic transmission of information is a more modern practice.
     
  • Requires movers to offer visual surveys for all household goods shipments regardless of distance, updating the old requirement for physical surveys. Allows movers and shippers to employ the use of virtual surveys (remote cameras or other technology) at the convenience of the shipper and mover. Physical surveys would still be permitted, and consumers would retain the right to waive the survey. This also requires the customer to receive, “Ready to Move,” earlier in the moving process.
     
  • If a shipper requests additional services or tenders additional items prior to loading the shipment, but after an estimate has been signed, the carrier must provide a new estimate with changes. This protects the consumer by closing a loophole exploited by rogue operators to inflate charges.
     
  • Allows movers to waive using a separate order for service if the information is combined into the bill of lading, allowing movers to consolidate duplicative paperwork.
     
  • Replaces the term, “freight bill,” or, “expense bill,” with the term, “invoice,” which is commonly understood by consumers. It also allows movers to combine the items listed on the freight bill onto the invoice.

AMSA is pleased that our amendments supporting consumers and the industry were accepted into the final Bill, and look forward to its passage.

If there are any questions or if further clarification is needed, please contact AMSA Director of Government Affairs, Katie McMichael.