Faxers Get 16-Month Reprieve

The Federal Communications Commission has delayed the enactment date of new rules governing fax solicitations until Jan. 1, 2005, giving fax marketers 16 more months to come into compliance.

In an order issued late yesterday, the FCC acknowledged that several companies and trade organizations had requested a stay of the new rules, which require faxers to get written permission from consumers and businesses before sending solicitations. Faxers needed only an existing business relationship under the old rules, but the new rules remove this exemption.

The delay will give faxers the time to obtain written permission from their customers and let the FCC consider the issue further, the agency said in the order.

“We believe that, in light of this new information, the public interest would best be served by allowing senders of such advertisements additional time to obtain such express permission before the new rules become effective,” the FCC said. “In addition, this extension will allow the commission the opportunity to consider any petitions for reconsideration and other filings that may be made on this issue.”

However, the FCC rejected a request from the American Teleservices Association to delay enforcement of all the changes it has announced to its telemarketing rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, including the national no-call list. The ATA is challenging the FCC and Federal Trade Commission in federal court to overturn the list.

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