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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     106-865

======================================================================



 
               MOTOR CARRIER FUEL COST EQUITY ACT OF 2000

                                _______
                                

 September 19, 2000.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4441]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 4441) to amend title 49, United 
States Code, to provide a mandatory fuel surcharge for 
transportation provided by certain motor carriers, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

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 
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 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, of 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 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 sec
                tion 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 enactment 
        of this section and ending September 30, 2003.''.

                              Introduction

    The Motor Carrier Fuel Cost Equity Act of 2000 is a 
targeted bill, designed to help those trucking companies and 
independent operators that primarily provide truckload 
transportation cope with surges in diesel fuel prices.
    Independent truck drivers operate at a very low profit 
margin, and even modest increases in overhead can diminish that 
small return even further. Although larger motor carriers are 
able to compensate for high diesel prices by negotiating 
floating rates that are pegged to the cost of fuel, independent 
operators and small truckload companies argue that they often 
lack the necessary leverage or market share to pass added costs 
on to shippers. Diesel fuel price spikes, such as the one the 
U.S. experienced earlier this year, forced some small motor 
carriers and independent operators to cancel deliveries and 
keep their trucks in the driveway rather than drive 
unprofitably.
    These cancellations undoubtedly affect the industry. More 
than two-thirds of the trucking operations in the country 
operate six or fewer trucks. Owner-operators, who own their own 
vehicle and lease their services to a motor carrier, do not 
negotiate rates directly with the shipper. They collect the 
rate that the motor carrier to whom they are leased has 
contracted with shipper. When the price of diesel fuel suddenly 
increases, the owner-operator, who bears the cost of the fuel, 
cannot go to the shipper to renegotiate a rate that covers 
these added costs.
    H.R. 4441 establishes a diesel price benchmark that, when 
surpassed, triggers a surcharge that a motor carrier, broker or 
freight forwarder must assess to the shipper as part of the 
total cost of transportation of truckload goods. In this way, 
although the motor carrier, broker or freight forwarder would 
have to absorb an increase in fuel costs, those costs would 
ultimately be paid by the customer and passed through to the 
entity bearing the cost.
    The statutory trigger for the mandatory fuel surcharge is 
the difference between the latest weekly average retail on-
highway diesel price as quoted by the Energy Information 
Administration, and the most recent 52-week average of such on-
highway diesel prices. When the difference exceeds 5 cents-per-
gallon, the surcharge is imposed. Regardless of whether the 
surcharge is calculated on the basis of mileage or as a percentage 
of revenue, it must sufficiently cover the cost of the carrier's 
fuel overhead when the price surges.
    This bill does not abrogate current or ongoing truckload 
transportation contracts, nor does it impair the ability of 
shippers and providers of truckload transportation to enter 
into future, privately negotiated fuel adjustments that are 
included in contracts as long as they are reasonable.
    It is not the intention of the Committee to re-regulate the 
trucking industry, and nothing in this legislation should be 
construed to be part an effort to set trucking rates. This 
legislation is a response to a recent sharp increase in the 
cost of diesel fuel, and after a three-year probationary 
period, the bill will sunset. The surcharge provisions are 
enforced through a private right of action, not through the 
Secretary of Transportation or the Surface Transportation 
Board.

                       Section-by-Section Summary


Section 1--Short title

    The short title of the bill is the Motor Carrier Fuel Cost 
Equity Act of 2000.

Section 2--Mandatory fuel surcharge

    Section 2(a) creates two new sections of title 49, section 
13714 and section 13715.
    New section 13714(a) directs that any for truckload 
transportation services, a fuel surcharge imposed under section 
13714 or a privately negotiated fuel surcharge assessed 
pursuant to section 13715 shall be imposed as part of any 
contract or agreement for such transportation services. This 
section applies only to companies whose principal business is 
providing truckload transportation. Carriers that routinely 
engage in less than truckload transportation are not subject to 
the provisions of the bill even if they occasionally provide 
truckload service. A surcharge under section 13714 shall be 
assessed when the weekly average price of diesel fuel for that 
week surpasses the 52-week average by more than five cents. 
These prices are to be drawn from the Energy Information Agency 
at the U.S. Department of Energy. The surcharge is calculated 
and assessed on either the basis of miles driven and the 
additional cost in fuel or by percentage of revenue, and shall 
be the amount necessary to compensate the payor of fuel for the 
increased fuel costs determined by section 13714(a)(2).
    New section 13714(b) directs that the surcharge be 
calculated on the date that the shipment is tendered to the 
provider of transportation services, and that the surcharge be 
itemized separately on the invoice.
    New section 13714(c) sets the average fuel economy and 
mileage distances to be used when calculating the amount of any 
fuel surcharge.
    New section 13714(d) sets a limitation on the types of 
judicial actions that may be brought to enforce section 13714 
to actions between the motor carrier, freight forwarder or 
broker that provided for the services and the shipper and that 
a court may only determine whether any surcharge assessed under 
this section has been assessed or paid,and may not review any 
other charges or actionsby any party. This subsection also clarifies 
that neither the Secretary of Transportation nor the Surface 
Transportation Board has regulatory or enforcement authority over 
this section. The Committee intends that the enforcement of this 
Act be entirely the responsibility of private parties using the 
private right of action in title 49, section 14704, as provided 
in the ICC Termination Act. This section authorized private 
parties to enforce certain statutes and regulations as an alternative 
to agency enforcement action.
    New section (e) makes the requirement to include a fuel 
surcharge under section 13714 or a negotiated fuel adjustment 
included pursuant to section 13715 effective until September 
30, 2003.
    New subsection 13715(a) provides that no provision in 
section 13714 shall abrogate or preclude any privately 
negotiated fuel cost adjustment in any existing transportation 
contract or agreement, or any renewal of such contract or 
agreement. It also expressly permits any reasonable privately 
negotiated fuel cost adjustment to be included in any new or 
future contract or agreement. The purpose of this section is to 
allow larger motor carriers to maintain established reasonable 
fuel surcharge programs. The Committee intends that these 
privately negotiated surcharges be reasonable so that the 
payers of transportation services do not demand that a carrier 
accept a token or minimal fuel surcharge for the purposes of 
avoiding either the payment of the mandatory fuel surcharge or 
the payment of a privately negotiated surcharge that reasonably 
compensates the payer of fuel for its additional fuel costs.
    New subsection 13715(b) clarifies that nothing in section 
13714 shall prohibit entering into a contract or agreement that 
includes a privately negotiated fuel surcharge when no 
surcharge is required to be assessed under section 13714.
    Section 2(b) conforms the table of contents in title 49 to 
incorporate the two new sections created by the bill.

Section 3--Conforming amendment

    This section makes conforming changes to section 14102 of 
title 49. Existing section 14102 includes the rules established 
under the Interstate Commerce Act for leased vehicles.
    New subsection 14102(c) provides that a motor carrier, 
freight forwarder or broker that collects a fuel surcharge 
pursuant to section 13714 or fuel cost adjustment pursuant to 
section 13715 must pass it on to the person paying the fuel 
charges, disclose the amount of such surcharge or assessment 
and is prohibited from intentionally attempting to avoid 
assessing the surcharge or assessment. An operator of a leased 
vehicle may only bring an action to enforce this section 
against the carrier leasing such vehicle. Neither the Secretary 
of Transportation nor the Surface Transportation Board has any 
regulatory or enforcement authority over the right of action 
described above. These changes shall be in effect until 
September 30, 2003.

                    Hearings and Legislative History

    On June 8, 2000 the Subcommittee on Ground Transportation 
held a hearing on H.R. 4441, the Motor Carrier Fuel Cost Equity 
Act of 2000. Representatives of both the trucking and shipping 
industries offered testimony.

                        Committee Consideration

    On July 19, 2000, the Subcommittee on Ground Transportation 
adopted a bipartisan amendment in the nature of a substitute by 
voice vote, and later that day, the Full Committee met in open 
session and favorably reported H.R. 4441 as amended.

                             Rollcall Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each rollcall vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. A motion 
by Mr. Shuster to order H.R. 4441 reported to the House was 
agreed to by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
references the report of the Congressional Budget Office 
included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 4441
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
4441 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 15, 2000.
Hon. Bud Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of 
        Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4441, the Motor 
Carrier Fuel Cost Equity Act of 2000.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are James 
O'Keeffe (for federal costs), and Jean Wooster (for the 
private-sector impact).
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4441--Motor Carrier Fuel Cost Equity Act of 2000

    Sixty days following enactment, H.R. 4441 would require 
motor carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders to include a 
fuel surcharge in their transportation services contracts under 
certain circumstances. The bill would require those contracts 
to contain a specified fuel surcharge, until September 30, 
2003, if the average retail price of diesel fuel exceeds a 
specified benchmark price. CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 
4441 would not have a significant impact on the federal budget 
because it would not expand the regulatory or enforcement 
authorities of federal agencies. H.R. 4441 would not affect 
direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 4441 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no 
signiciant costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 4441 would impose private-sector mandates, as defined 
by UMRA, on certain motor carriers, brokers, and freight 
forwarders that regularly provide transportation service. CBO 
cannot estimate the cost of the mandates because information on 
existing financial and business arrangements among shippers, 
motor carriers, brokers, freight forwarders, and independent 
truckers is not available.
    The bill would require motor carriers, brokers, and freight 
forwarders to assess a surcharge or other fuel cost adjustment 
in any new contract or agreement with shippers. The fuel cost 
adjustment would be based on either a calculation specified in 
H.R. 4441 or a privately negotiated formula. According to 
information from industry sources, the administrative cost to 
assess the fuel adjustment would be small, particularly because 
this is now commonly done.
    H.R. 4441 also would require motor carriers, brokers, and 
freight forwarders to pass on any fuel adjustment to 
independent truckers who they hire to transport the freight and 
are responsible for purchasing the fuel. In addition, the bill 
would require motor carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders 
to disclose in writing to the independent truckers the amount 
of that fuel adjustment collected from the shipper. Industry 
sources indicate that the cost of disclosure would be small. 
CBO cannot, however, estimate the amount of the fuel adjustment 
that would be required to be passed on to the independent 
truckers because information on existing financial and business 
arrangements among shippers, motor carriers, brokers, freight 
forwarders, and independent truckers is not available. As a 
result, we cannot determine whether the total costs of private-
sector mandates imposed by H.R. 4441 would exceed the annual 
threshold established by UMRA ($109 million in 2000, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    The CBO staff contacts are James O'Keeffe (for federal 
costs), and Jean Wooster (for the private-sector impact). This 
estimatewas approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause (3)(d)(1) of Rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or 
joint resolution of a public character shall include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act. (Public Law 104-4.)

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act. (Public Law 
104-1.)

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     TITLE 49, UNITED STATES CODE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



               SUBTITLE IV--INTERSTATE TRANSPORTATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART B--MOTOR CARRIERS, WATER CARRIERS, BROKERS, AND FREIGHT FORWARDERS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                 CHAPTER 137--RATES AND THROUGH ROUTES

Sec.
13701. Requirements for reasonable rates, classifications,
     * * * * * * *

13714. Fuel surcharge.
13715. Negotiated fuel adjustments.
     * * * * * * *

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 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 
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, of 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 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.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 141--OPERATIONS OF CARRIERS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 14102. Leased motor vehicles

  (a)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (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

[[Page 11]]

                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 enactment of this section and ending September 30, 
        2003.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *