Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 4441 (ih) To amend title 49, United States Code, to provide a mandatory fuel surcharge for transportation provided by certain motor carriers, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 4441 (ih) To amend title 49, United States Code, to provide a mandatory fuel surcharge for transportation provided by certain motor carriers, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...


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106th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 4441

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

  To amend title 49, United States Code, to provide a mandatory fuel 
 surcharge for transportation provided by certain motor carriers, and 
                          for other purposes.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4441

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
  To amend title 49, United States Code, to provide a mandatory fuel 
 surcharge for transportation provided by certain motor carriers, and 
                          for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Motor Carrier Fuel Cost Equity Act 
of 2000''.

SEC. 2. MANDATORY FUEL SURCHARGE.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 137 of title 49, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 13714. Fuel surcharge
    ``(a) Mandatory Fuel Surcharge.--
            ``(1) Assessment of surcharge.--Any motor carrier, broker, 
        or freight forwarder subject to jurisdiction under chapter 135 
        regularly providing truck-load transportation service shall 
        assess under each contract or agreement for such service the 
        payor of transportation charges a surcharge under this section, 
        or a surcharge or other fuel cost adjustment permitted under 
        section 13715, for fuel used in the transportation provided to 
        such payor commencing when an increase in the price of such 
        fuel surpasses the benchmark in paragraph (2). A surcharge 
        assessed under this section by the motor carrier, broker, or 
        freight forwarder shall be calculated on the basis of mileage 
        or percentage of revenue (whichever basis the motor carrier, 
        broker, or freight forwarder elects) and shall be the amount 
        necessary to compensate the motor carrier, broker, or freight 
        forwarder or other person responsible for paying for fuel for 
        the difference in the price of fuel between the Current Fuel 
        Price and the Fuel Price Norm determined under paragraph (2).
            ``(2) Benchmark.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The benchmark referred to in 
                paragraph (1) is the difference between the Current 
                Fuel Price and the Fuel Price Norm, when such 
                difference exceeds $0.05.
                    ``(B) Current fuel price.--The Current Fuel Price 
                referred to in paragraph (1) and subparagraph (A) shall 
                be determined from the latest weekly Energy Information 
                Administration's Average Retail On-Highway Diesel 
                Prices, National U.S. Average, as published by the 
                Department of Energy.
                    ``(C) Fuel price norm.--The Fuel Price Norm 
                referred to in paragraph (1) and subparagraph (A) shall 
                be determined by calculating the latest 52-week average 
                of the Average Retail On-Highway Diesel Prices referred 
                to in subparagraph (B).
    ``(b) Implementation.--The surcharge referred to in subsection 
(a)(1) shall be--
            ``(1) calculated on the date the shipment is tendered to 
        the motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder;
            ``(2) itemized separately on the motor carrier, broker, or 
        freight forwarder's invoices; and
            ``(3) paid by the payor of the related transportation 
        charges.
    ``(c) Factors.--For purposes of calculating a surcharge under this 
section--
            ``(1) average fuel economy is 5 miles per gallon for 
        calendar year 2000 and shall be determined on January 1 of such 
        year thereafter by the Secretary of Transportation; and
            ``(2) mileage means the number of paid miles driven as 
        determined under the Department of Defense, Military Traffic 
        Management Command's `Defense Table of Official Distances'.
    ``(d) Limitation on Authority.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
of this part, any action to enforce this section under section 14704 
may only be brought by the motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder 
that provided the transportation services against the payor of the 
transportation charges or by the payor of the transportation charges 
against the motor carrier, broker, of freight forwarder that provided 
the transportation services. In such action, a court shall only have 
the authority to determine whether a fuel surcharge assessed under this 
section has been assessed or paid. A court shall not have the authority 
in such action to review any other charges imposed by the provider of 
the transportation services. Neither the Secretary of Transportation 
nor the Surface Transportation Board shall have regulatory or 
enforcement authority relating to provisions of this section.
    ``(e) Effective Period.--Subsections (a) through (d) and section 
13715 shall be in effect beginning the 60th day following the date of 
the enactment of this section and ending September 30, 2003.
``Sec. 13715. Negotiated fuel adjustments
    ``(a) In General.--Nothing in section 13714 shall be construed to 
abrogate provisions relating to fuel cost adjustments in any 
transportation contract or agreement in effect on the date of the 
enactment of the Motor Carrier Fuel Cost Equity Act of 2000 and any 
renewal of such a contract or agreement thereafter. Nothing in this 
section and sections 13714 and 14102 shall be construed to prohibit any 
motor carrier, broker, or freight forwarder from including any 
reasonable privately negotiated fuel cost adjustment provision in any 
contract or agreement to provide transportation.
    ``(b) Continuation of Authority.--Nothing in section 13714 shall 
impair the ability of any person to enter into any contract or 
agreement after the date of the enactment of the Motor Carrier Fuel 
Cost Equity Act of 2000 that provides for a fuel adjustment under this 
section or section 13714 during any period in which no fuel surcharge 
is required under section 13714.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The analysis for chapter 137 of such title 
is amended by adding at the end the following:

``13714. Fuel surcharge.
``13715. Negotiated fuel adjustments.''.

SEC. 3. CONFORMING AMENDMENT.

    Section 14102 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding 
at the end the following:
    ``(c) Mandatory Pass-Through to Cost Bearer.--
            ``(1) In general.--A motor carrier, broker, or freight 
        forwarder providing transportation or service using motor 
        vehicles not owned by it and using fuel not paid for by it--
                    ``(A) shall pass through to the person responsible 
                for paying for fuel any fuel surcharge required 
                pursuant to section 13714, or fuel cost adjustment 
                permitted under section 13715, or provided for in 
                transportation contracts or agreements;
                    ``(B) shall disclose in writing to the person 
                responsible for paying for fuel the amount of all 
                freight rates and charges and fuel surcharges under 
                section 13714 and fuel cost adjustments permitted under 
                section 13715 applicable to such transportation or 
                service; and
                    ``(C) is prohibited from--
                            ``(i) intentionally reducing compensatory 
                        transportation costs (other than the fuel 
                        surcharge) to the person responsible for paying 
                        for fuel for the purpose of adjusting for or 
                        avoiding the pass through of the fuel 
                        surcharge; and
                            ``(ii) intentionally imposing a fuel cost 
                        adjustment in accordance with section 13715 for 
                        the purpose of avoiding any payment under this 
                        section or section 13714.
            ``(2) Limitation on authority.--Notwithstanding any other 
        provision of this part, the person responsible for paying for 
        fuel may only bring an action to enforce this section under 
        section 14704 against the motor carrier, freight forwarder, or 
        broker providing the transportation services with vehicles not 
        owned by it. Neither the Secretary of Transportation nor the 
        Surface Transportation Board shall have regulatory or 
        enforcement authority relating to provisions of this 
        subsection.
            ``(3) Effective period.--Paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be in 
        effect beginning the 60th day following the date of the 
        enactment of this section and ending September 30, 2003.''.

            Passed the House of Representatives October 10, 2000.

            Attest:

                                                                 Clerk.

Pages: 1

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