376.12 Lease requirements.§ 376.12 Lease requirements.
Except as provided in the exemptions set forth in subpart C of this part, the written lease required under § 376.11(a) shall contain the following provisions. The required lease provisions shall be adhered to and performed by the authorized carrier.
(a) Parties. The lease shall be made between the authorized carrier and the owner of the equipment. The lease shall be signed by these parties or by their authorized representatives.
(b) Duration to be specific. The lease shall specify the time and date or the circumstances on which the lease begins and ends. These times or circumstances shall coincide with the times for the giving of receipts required by § 376.11(b).
(c) Exclusive possession and responsibilities. (1) The lease shall provide that the authorized carrier lessee shall have exclusive possession, control, and use of the equipment for the duration of the lease. The lease shall further provide that the authorized carrier lessee shall assume complete responsibility for the operation of the equipment for the duration of the lease.
(2) Provision may be made in the lease for considering the authorized carrier lessee as the owner of the equipment for the purpose of subleasing it under these regulations to other authorized carriers during the lease.
(3) When an authorized carrier of household goods leases equipment for the transportation of household goods, as defined by the Secretary, the parties may provide in the lease that the provisions required by paragraph (c)(1) of this section apply only during the time the equipment is operated by or for the authorized carrier lessee.
(4) Nothing in the provisions required by paragraph (c)(1) of this section is intended to affect whether the lessor or driver provided by the lessor is an independent contractor or an employee of the authorized carrier lessee. An independent contractor relationship may exist when a carrier lessee complies with 49 U.S.C. 14102 and attendant administrative requirements.
(d) Compensation to be specified. The amount to be paid by the authorized carrier for equipment and driver's services shall be clearly stated on the face of the lease or in an addendum which is attached to the lease. Such lease or addendum shall be delivered to the lessor prior to the commencement of any trip in the service of the authorized carrier. An authorized representative of the lessor may accept these documents. The amount to be paid may be expressed as a percentage of gross revenue, a flat rate per mile, a variable rate depending on the direction traveled or the type of commodity transported, or by any other method of compensation mutually agreed upon by the parties to the lease. The compensation stated on the lease or in the attached addendum may apply to equipment and driver's services either separately or as a combined amount.
(e) Items specified in lease. The lease shall clearly specify which party is responsible for removing identification devices from the equipment upon the termination of the lease and when and how these devices, other than those painted directly on the equipment, will be returned to the carrier. The lease shall clearly specify the manner in which a receipt will be given to the authorized carrier by the equipment owner when the latter retakes possession of the equipment upon termination of the lease agreement, if a receipt is required at all by the lease. The lease shall clearly specify the responsibility of each party with respect to the cost of fuel, fuel taxes, empty mileage, permits of all types, tolls, ferries, detention and accessorial services, base plates and licenses, and any unused portions of such items. The lease shall clearly specify who is responsible for loading and unloading the property onto and from the motor vehicle, and the compensation, if any, to be paid for this service. Except when the violation results from the acts or omissions of the lessor, the authorized carrier lessee shall assume the risks and costs of fines for overweight and oversize trailers when the trailers are pre-loaded, sealed, or the load is containerized, or when the trailer or lading is otherwise outside of the lessor's control, and for improperly permitted overdimension and overweight loads and shall reimburse the lessor for any fines paid by the lessor. If the authorized carrier is authorized to receive a refund or a credit for base plates purchased by the lessor from, and issued in the name of, the authorized carrier, or if the base plates are authorized to be sold by the authorized carrier to another lessor the authorized carrier shall refund to the initial lessor on whose behalf the base plate was first obtained a prorated share of the amount received.
(f) Payment period. The lease shall specify that payment to the lessor shall be made within 15 days after submission of the necessary delivery documents concerning a trip in the service of the authorized carrier. The documentation required before the lessor can receive payment is limited to log books required by the Department of Transportation and those documents necessary for the authorized carrier to secure payment from the shipper. In addition, the lease may provide that, upon termination of the lease agreement, as a condition precedent to payment, the lessor shall remove all identification devices of the authorized carrier and, except in the case of identification painted directly on equipment, return them to the carrier. If the identification device has been lost or stolen, a letter certifying its removal will satisfy this requirement. Until this requirement is complied with, the carrier may withhold final payment. The authorized carrier may require the submission of additional documents by the lessor but not as a prerequisite to payment. Payment to the lessor shall not be made contingent upon submission of a bill of lading to which no exceptions have been taken. The authorized carrier shall not set time limits for the submission by the lessor of required delivery documents.
(g) Copies of freight bill or other form of freight documentation. When a lessor's revenue is based on a percentage of the gross revenue for a shipment, the lease must specify that the authorized carrier will give the lessor, before or at the time of settlement, a copy of the rated freight bill, or, in the case of contract carriers, any other form of documentation actually used for a shipment containing the same information that would appear on a rated freight bill. Regardless of the method of compensation, the lease must permit lessor to examine copies of the carrier's tariff or, in the case of contract carriers, other documents from which rates and charges are computed, provided that where rates and charges are computed from a contract of a contract carrier, only those portions of the contract containing the same information that would appear on a rated freight bill need be disclosed. The authorized carrier may delete the names of shippers and consignees shown on the freight bill or other form of documentation.
(h) Charge-back items. The lease shall clearly specify all items that may be initially paid for by the authorized carrier, but ultimately deducted from the lessor's compensation at the time of payment or settlement, together with a recitation as to how the amount of each item is to be computed. The lessor shall be afforded copies of those documents which are necessary to determine the validity of the charge.
(i) Products, equipment, or services from authorized carrier. The lease shall specify that the lessor is not required to purchase or rent any products, equipment, or services from the authorized carrier as a condition of entering into the lease arrangement. The lease shall specify the terms of any agreement in which the lessor is a party to an equipment purchase or rental contract which gives the authorized carrier the right to make deductions from the lessor's compensation for purchase or rental payments.
(j) Insurance. (1) The lease shall clearly specify the legal obligation of the authorized carrier to maintain insurance coverage for the protection of the public pursuant to FMCSA regulations under 49 U.S.C. 13906. The lease shall further specify who is responsible for providing any other insurance coverage for the operation of the leased equipment, such as bobtail insurance. If the authorized carrier will make a charge back to the lessor for any of this insurance, the lease shall specify the amount which will be charged-back to the lessor.
(2) If the lessor purchases any insurance coverage for the operation of the leased equipment from or through the authorized carrier, the lease shall specify that the authorized carrier will provide the lessor with a copy of each policy upon the request of the lessor. Also, where the lessor purchases such insurance in this manner, the lease shall specify that the authorized carrier will provide the lessor with a certificate of insurance for each such policy. Each certificate of insurance shall include the name of the insurer, the policy number, the effective dates of the policy, the amounts and types of coverage, the cost to the lessor for each type of coverage, and the deductible amount for each type of coverage for which the lessor may be liable.
(3) The lease shall clearly specify the conditions under which deductions for cargo or property damage may be made from the lessor's settlements. The lease shall further specify that the authorized carrier must provide the lessor with a written explanation and itemization of any deductions for cargo or property damage made from any compensation of money owed to the lessor. The written explanation and itemization must be delivered to the lessor before any deductions are made.
(k) Escrow funds. If escrow funds are required, the lease shall specify:
(1) The amount of any escrow fund or performance bond required to be paid by the lessor to the authorized carrier or to a third party.
(2) The specific items to which the escrow fund can be applied.
(3) That while the escrow fund is under the control of the authorized carrier, the authorized carrier shall provide an accounting to the lessor of any transactions involving such fund. The carrier shall perform this accounting in one of the following ways:
(i) By clearly indicating in individual settlement sheets the amount and description of any deduction or addition made to the escrow fund; or
(ii) By providing a separate accounting to the lessor of any transactions involving the escrow fund. This separate accounting shall be done on a monthly basis.
(4) The right of the lessor to demand to have an accounting for transactions involving the escrow fund at any time.
(5) That while the escrow fund is under the control of the carrier, the carrier shall pay interest on the escrow fund on at least a quarterly basis. For purposes of calculating the balance of the escrow fund on which interest must be paid, the carrier may deduct a sum equal to the average advance made to the individual lessor during the period of time for which interest is paid. The interest rate shall be established on the date the interest period begins and shall be at least equal to the average yield or equivalent coupon issue yield on 91-day, 13-week Treasury bills as established in the weekly auction by the Department of Treasury.
(6) The conditions the lessor must fulfill in order to have the escrow fund returned. At the time of the return of the escrow fund, the authorized carrier may deduct monies for those obligations incurred by the lessor which have been previously specified in the lease, and shall provide a final accounting to the lessor of all such final deductions made to the escrow fund. The lease shall further specify that in no event shall the escrow fund be returned later than 45 days from the date of termination.
(l) Copies of the lease. The parties must sign the lease. The authorized carrier shall keep a copy and shall place another copy of the lease on the equipment during the period of the lease unless a statement as provided for in § 376.11(c)(2) is carried on the equipment instead. The owner of the equipment shall keep a copy of the lease.
(m) This paragraph applies to owners who are not agents but whose equipment is used by an agent of an authorized carrier in providing transportation on behalf of that authorized carrier. In this situation, the authorized carrier is obligated to ensure that these owners receive all the rights and benefits due an owner under the leasing regulations, especially those set forth in paragraphs (d)-(k) of this section. This is true regardless of whether the lease for the equipment is directly between the authorized carrier and its agent rather than directly between the authorized carrier and each of these owners. The lease between an authorized carrier and its agent shall specify this obligation.[44 FR 4681, Jan. 23, 1979, as amended at 45 FR 13092, Feb. 28, 1980; 47 FR 28398, June 30, 1982; 47 FR 51140, Nov. 12, 1982; 47 FR 54083, Dec. 1, 1982; 49 FR 47851, Dec. 7, 1984; 51 FR 37406, 37407, Oct. 22, 1986; 52 FR 2412, Jan. 22, 1987; 57 FR 32905, July 24, 1992; 62 FR 15424, Apr. 1, 1997; 83 FR 16224, Apr. 16, 2018; 83 FR 24228, May 25, 2018]