SPECIAL REPORT: Fuel surcharge policy for DOD loads nears final OK

| 7/10/2009

Friday, July 10, 2009 – Most truckers recall that the Department of Defense authorization bill signed into law nine months ago included an amendment calling for the full pass-through of fuel surcharges for all of DOD’s military shipments. OOIDA worked closely with lawmakers on the development of this amendment, a measure that was sponsored and championed by U.S. Peter DeFazio, D-OR.

OOIDA also worked with U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, D-MO, and U.S. Sen. Duncan Hunter, R-CA, who were the chairman and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee and who supported the measure.

OOIDA Director of Government Affairs Rod Nofziger says the process is coming to a close, which takes that law from being a piece of paper with a presidential signature to full operational reality.

In November 2008, the interim rule was incorporated into DOD policy and in January 2009 it was approved by the department’s regulations council. The rule in its final form was subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Policy. That’s where it is now.

Nofziger says once they approve the language, it will be published in the Federal Register as an interim rule and could become effective sometime this month.

OOIDA Executive Vice-President Todd Spencer called the mandatory provision a “big shot in the arm for truckers who haul military shipments.”

Spencer said it was also a testament to how advocacy works and the effectiveness of OOIDA’s Washington, DC, lobbyists.

Does OOIDA see getting the pass-through into law for those military shipments as a big step in getting it mandated for all trucking transactions?

“We think the full pass-through of fuel surcharges is just good business ethics,” said Spencer. “It should be the norm rather than the exception.”

Watch OOIDA’s Web sites for details as they become available.

– By Sandi Soendker, managing editor