Freight Forwarder Documentation Requirements Amended

On April 6, 2009, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final rule in the Federal Register that amends its regulations to require all surface freight forwarders to issue a bill of lading or a receipt for each shipment for which they arrange cargo transportation by commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. 

The current rule regarding receipts or bills of lading applies only to household goods freight forwarders, however, the new rule extends to both household and non-household goods freight forwarders. 

The requirement for all freight forwarders to provide a receipt or a bill of lading for property has been in effect by statute since 1942 and by regulation until 1990, until the former Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) limited the requirement to household goods freight forwarders.