ASECTT et al. v. FMCSA was born following the Agency`s may 16, 2012 publication of guidelines for shippers, brokers and insurers, who proposed that the SMS method be used for carrier certification and that safety assessments should not be a reliable reference. ASECTT (Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation) is accompanied by 19 other applicants named in the complaint. Seaton represents petitioners at ASECTT et al. v. FMCSA, who seek judicial confirmation that only the FMCSA is required to determine the safety of the carrier. Shippers and brokers should rely on the Agency`s ultimate security provision for a particular agency, Seaton says. And under current legislation, chargers and brokers are not obligated to question the agency`s final decision (known as security assessment) by monitoring SMS reviews. According to congressional laws, the trade clause of the Constitution and the doctrine of federal preemption power, federal law exceeds state law, Seaton says.
But not all lawyers agree. “You have the right to ask airlines to comply with the law and to control their actions in general when they are on site with you,” explains Leibman von Riker. “It`s a big leap from a contract that says the seller must respect the federal wage right to the one who says you control the employees of that company.” All of these developments encourage shippers to pay more attention to the language of the contract and the details of shippers` and carriers` insurance. Knowing the details of the responsibility for the shipment is no longer just for lawyers. The biggest illusion in freight insurance is that the requirement for an insurance certificate is equivalent to proof of coverage, Seaton says. Almost all freight policies have exclusions and the best policies that thieves can buy will at best respect their legal liability under the Carmack Amendment. Some shippers take the opportunity to take contracts to the extreme and dictate how the forwarder should handle a shipment even after leaving their property. This opens the door to all kinds of legal complications, including the definition of legal relationships between the parties.
In July 2012, Congress passed the Movement for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Part of this vast highway law requires brokers to publish a loan or other financial guarantees of at least $75,000, up from $10,000, between mid-2013 and the end of 2013. This amendment is intended to ensure that the broker has sufficient resources to pay a forwarder for a shipment or any legal action resulting from that shipment.