December 27, 2013 9:00 AM, EST

Group Requests Exemption from New Bond Level for All Brokers

The Association of Independent Property Brokers and Agents has asked the federal government to exempt all brokers from the new requirement that they each obtain surety bonds of at least $75,000.

In a Dec. 26 notice in the Federal Register, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said it received AIPBA’s petition in August. It argues that the new bond level, which was written into MAP-21, is contrary to FMCSA’s policy to encourage fair competition among brokers and is not necessary to protect carriers.

FMCSA is asking the public to comment on AIPBA’s petition.

“The unnecessarily high $75,000 broker bond requirement will cause the majority of property brokers to leave the marketplace, which will expose shippers to abuses of market power by the few large property brokers able to stay in business,” AIPBA said in its petition.

AIPBA sent its petition soon after suing FMCSA in federal court to stop the new bond level, which started Oct. 1. In November, the court refused to block FMCSA from fully enforcing the requirement.

About 38% of freight brokers have had their licenses revoked because of the new bond level, AIPBA said on its website.

The same day that it publicized the AIPBA petition, FMCSA said the International Association of Movers also requested an exemption from the new bond level. IAM’s exemption would apply to companies who are certified to broker household goods for the Department of Defense.