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UCR Fees to Drop, UCR Registration Delayed

In the Federal Register last week, a notice of proposed rulemaking from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposes new, lower fees for the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement, effective for both the 2018 calendar year and for 2019 and future years. UCR fees have not changed since 2010. However, the UCR program has begun to collect more money than the federal law setting up the program allows. In that situation, the statute calls on the UCR board of directors to recommend that FMCSA set lower fees in order both to refund to industry the excess revenues already collected and to ensure that overcollections do not continue. Earlier this year, the UCR board made its fee recommendation to FMCSA, and the agency has now responded. What's in the September 21, 2017, Register is only a proposal, but we believe it is very likely that what's being proposed will in fact take effect without change on November 1. For 2018, the UCR fees will drop approximately 9.1 percent, taking care of both prior and future UCR overcollections. In 2019, the fees will rebound to a level about 4.55 percent lower than this year's. The UCR fees have been imposed at a range, depending on the size of a carrier's fleet, from $76 to $73,346. For 2018, the range will likely be $69 for the smallest fleets, to $66,597 for the largest. For 2019 and after, the range is proposed to be $73 to $69,971. (We believe it's possible that continued overcollection by UCR may in fact drive the 2019 fees lower still, but that's an issue for next year.) You can find the Federal Register at www.federalregister.gov.

 At its meeting by conference call on September 14, 2017, the UR board of directors moved to delay the start of UCR registration for the 2018 registration year by a month, from October 1 to November 1, 2017. Carriers and other businesses subject to UCR will not be able to register or pay their 2018 UCR fees until November 1, either through the national on-line UCR system at www.ucr.in.govor directly through their base states. At that point, however, as outlined above, the UCR rates will have fallen somewhat more than 9 percent. The board delayed the start of registration so that FMCSA would have enough time to complete its rulemaking, which has been expedited. (There is a shortened, ten-day period for public comment, after which the agency will presumably finalize the rule, with an immediate effective date.) It is anticipated that the board's recommended for states to begin roadside enforcement of payment of the 2018 UCR fees will remain January 1 of the coming year as it has been in the past.

Information via ATA

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