HHG movers draw attention in Missouri, Florida statehouses

| Monday, January 10, 2011

Household goods movers are getting attention at the statehouses in Missouri and Florida.

Missouri state Sen. Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, has offered a bill that would modify several issues relating to the regulation of HHG movers in the state.

Heidi Kolkmeyer, a spokeswoman for Stouffer, said the bill serves two purposes.

“It deregulates household goods movers and mirrors several components that are already in place at the federal level,” Kolkmeyer told Land Line.

Among the changes at the state level would be dropping the requirement that contract carriers of HHG be required to show that the service is needed when applying for a certificate of authority or permit.

Kolkmeyer said that Missouri is one of about 15 states that still require movers to show a need component for HHG movers.

Applicants would continue to be required to show that they “are fit, willing, and able to perform the service, and that they will conform to other standards established by law.”

The requirement that HHG movers file rates with the state Highways and Transportation Commission would be dropped. Currently, only movers operating solely within commercial zones are not required to file their schedule of rates with the commission.

Movers would continue to be required to publish the information at its offices.

The bill would also authorize rates in commercial zones to be different than rates collected in rural areas of the state. Missouri law now prohibits HHG movers from using schedules of rates that divide the state into territorial rate areas.

Stouffer’s bill – SB58 – is awaiting assignment to committee.

In Florida, a bill would require household movers to renew their registration every two years. Currently, renewal must be done each year.

The bill – S296 – would also authorize a mover to exclude liability for household goods packed by the shipper, under certain circumstances. The shipper must decline – in writing – to allow the mover to open and inspect a box or crate that was packed by the shipper.

Movers could also refuse to transport or ship household goods as long as the mover notifies the shipper and the shipper acknowledges the refusal in writing.

Sponsored by Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, the bill can be considered during the session that begins March 8.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Florida, click here. To view other legislative activities of interest for Missouri, click here.

Editor’s Note: Please share your thoughts with us about the legislation included in this story. Comments may be sent to statelegislativedesk@ooida.com.

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