A different opinion on border programs

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Dear Editor,

A ‘Viewpoint’ article by Mr. Smyrlis and two articles by Ms. Phaneuf (including one under an editorial banner) give the impression that participation in recent Canadian and US Customs initiatives offered few, if any, benefits (especially for LTL carriers) and that many carriers and importers were unable, or unwilling, to comply with newly instituted regulations.

Instead of encouraging stakeholders to participate in programs that improve the border crossing experience, or providing evidence that compliance with new initiatives is, in fact, possible, both authors make reference to the “onerous demands” on participants.

Groups that truly want to understand “life from a transportation provider’s point of view” should understand that there are many LTL carriers that are able to comply with these new customs regulations and these same carriers generally make a concerted effort to encourage their customers to participate in important initiatives such as C-TPAT/FAST and PIP/CSA.

Reporting on the industry’s difficulties with compliance is one thing; presenting negative views within editorial context as representative of the industry is another!

You have an editorial platform from which you should educate and encourage stakeholders in the transportation industry to comply and participate.

As mentioned by Ontario Trucking Association Chairman Scott Smith in a column featured in the same issue, “We have the opportunity to accelerate our development as a professional and responsible industry.”

Given your overall assessment of the futility of compliance, what do you envision the border to be like in the event of another tragic episode like 9/11?

Do we as an industry not owe the U.S. and Canadian governments our commitment to due diligence and “Best Practices?”

Do we always have to measure benefits in our favour?

With memories of 9/11 still fresh in our minds, how can you possibly refer to the debate on participation in national security initiatives, U.S. or Canadian, as a “game?”

If a carrier, or importer, chooses to ignore their responsibility to be “good corporate citizens'” well, shame on them.

For you to implicitly discourage carriers and importers from participating in these important initiatives – shame on you!

Lorne McIntosh

Mgr. Customs Compliance

The Quik X Group of Companies

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