49 U.S. Code § 13541. Authority to exempt transportation or services
(a) In General.—In any matter subject to jurisdiction under this part, the Secretary or the Board, as applicable, shall exempt a person, class of persons, or a transaction or service from the application, in whole or in part, of a provision of this part, or use this exemption authority to modify the application of a provision of this part as it applies to such person, class, transaction, or service, when the Secretary or Board finds that the application of that provision—
is not needed to protect shippers from the abuse of market power or that the transaction or service is of limited scope; and
(b) Initiation of Proceeding.—
(c) Period of Exemption.—
(1) In general.—
The exemption authority under this section may not be used to relieve a person from the application of, and compliance with, any law, rule, regulation, standard, or order pertaining to cargo loss and damage, insurance, safety fitness, or activities approved under section 13703 or 14302 or not terminated under section 13907(d)(2).
(f) Continuation of Certain Existing Exemptions for Water Carriers.—
The Secretary or Board, as applicable, shall not regulate or exercise jurisdiction under this part over the transportation by water carrier in the non-contiguous domestic trade of any cargo or type of cargo or service which was not subject to regulation by, or under the jurisdiction of, either the Federal Maritime Commission or Interstate Commerce Commission under Federal law in effect on November 1, 1995.