Feedback sought on carrier financial reporting
Sep 1, 2003 12:00 PM
A move to exempt motor carriers from filing financial reports with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has made its way to the Department of Transportation (DOT), according to information August 15 in The Federal Register. The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has petitioned DOT for the exemption, and the department has published a request for comments on the TCA proposal.
Reporting forms require motor carriers to provide certain financial information at a minimum, and such reports must include balance sheets and income statements. The information is made publicly available. However, BTS grants an exemption from filing to an individual carrier that shows that an exemption is required to avoid competitive harm and preserve confidential business information not otherwise publicly available. The carrier must submit a written request containing sufficient supporting documentation before BTS will consider a proposed exemption.
In addition, BTS grants an exemption from public release upon a showing that the carrier is not a publicly held corporation or not subject to financial reporting requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission. An exemption is also granted if it is necessary to avoid substantial competitive harm and to avoid disclosure of information that qualifies as a trade secret or privileged or confidential information. However, the carrier must submit a written request containing supporting information.
TCA argues that “BTS disregarded the congressional intent by making exemptions from reporting or public release available only in theory, while denying them in fact,” and that “any benefits of the reporting scheme are far outweighed by its burdens.”
BTS regulations create three carrier classes based on revenue: Class I, with annual operating revenues of $10 million or more, file the annual report (Form M) and quarterly reports (Form QFR); Class II, with annual operating revenues of between $3 million and $10 million, file only the annual report (Form M); and Class III, with annual operating revenues of less than $3 million, are exempt from any filing requirements.
Comments must be received by DOT by Oct 14, 2003.
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