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AMSA Praises Congress for Approving New Consumer Protections

June 30, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) applauds Congress for passing legislation to help the hard-working people of the professional moving and storage industry fight back against rogues that have been wreaking havoc with the industry, ensuring strong new protections for the moving public.

The two-year federal highway spending plan approved by the House and Senate Friday contained several provisions AMSA had sponsored, such as strengthening entry requirements for household goods carriers, as well as other provisions strongly supported by AMSA, including giving the Department of Transportation authority to order the return of household goods being “held hostage” by unscrupulous firms to the customer and to impose civil penalties.

“The highway bill represents a series of legislative victories for both our members and their customers,” said Linda Bauer Darr, AMSA president and CEO.  “We have been working on these issues for three years. These provisions will help to further reduce the number of unscrupulous ‘movers’ who prey on consumers, and it also calls for a number of important studies to ensure proposed regulatory changes would be effective and appropriate for the moving industry.

“We especially congratulate House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. John Mica; the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. Barbara Boxer; and Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller for their efforts. Although AMSA’s ProMover certification program is proving effective in putting illegitimate companies out of business, we must maintain an effective partnership with the federal government to enforce the law, and this measure is an important step in right direction,” Darr added.

The legislation specifically tightens entry requirements for new household goods carriers, lays the groundwork for possible improvements to the hours-of-service rule for drivers, mandates electronic logging devices for commercial drivers, provides a process to expedite qualified veterans receiving commercial driver’s licenses; cracks down on reincarnated or “chameleon” carriers, and establishes a national alcohol and drug clearinghouse for commercial drivers.

Other sections of interest to the moving industry include prioritizing projects to alleviate the shortage of long-term parking for commercial motor vehicles, including parking at safety rest areas, truck stops and travel plazas, inspection and weigh stations, and park-and-ride facilities.

The underlying legislation, expected to be signed into law quickly by the president, will provide critically-needed funding to repair and maintain the nation’s highway infrastructure to make highway travel safer and more efficient for all users.