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Border bound?

MONTREAL, Que. – Web sites provide border information such as border web cams, crossing delay times, lane maps, Customs information and document forms. Yet something like half of Quebec trucking companies are not taking advantage of these...


MONTREAL, Que. – Web sites provide border information such as border web cams, crossing delay times, lane maps, Customs information and document forms. Yet something like half of Quebec trucking companies are not taking advantage of these Web sites. Many are not even aware that some of them exist.

This was the finding of a survey published last year for Transports Quebec by Montreal-based Jolicoeur & Associes. Many who responded to the survey wanted Web site access to information and, very likely, many of these same respondents were unaware that this information is already out there.

Following is some of the Quebec-US border information that can be found on the Internet; Canadian-based Web sites often have French and English pages. Note that on the Internet there are many ways to get to the same information. As well, the Internet is constantly changing: Web site names (known technically as uniform resource locators, or URLs) change and links to sites are frequently broken – they don’t work any more.

Web cams: On www.inforoutiere.qc.ca there are northbound- and southbound-facing cameras at the Lacolle, Saint-Armand, Stanstead crossings (Americans call them the Champlain, Highgate Springs and Derby Line crossings, respectively). Lacolle has a second camera located six kilometres north of the border. On this Web site the Stanstead camera was not working on Feb. 6. Is this temporary?

Lane maps: See www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca, the Transports Quebec Web site. Click on Companies, then Trucking in the drop-down menu. Near the bottom of this page is a link to the FAST/EXPRES program. Click it. Under Routes is a link to a pdf with a map of the truck lanes on either side of the Lacolle border. Too, from Transports Quebec’s home page, clicking on the Quebec 511 icon will take you to a page where you can link to the border web cams page.

Wait times: On www.inforoutiere.qc.ca, near the bottom of the left side of the page are links to southbound and northbound wait times given by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The times are updated once an hour. CBSA lists the crossings from east to west and CBP lists them alphabetically.

Border agencies: CBSA (www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca) has tons of information, including crossing programs of interest to trucking companies, such as Free and Secure Trade and Partners in Protection. On the CBP Web site (http://apps.cbp.gov), in the left-hand column, follow the Questions/Complaints link to the page Top Import/Export Topics, such as #5: Brokers or Carriers. If you know what form you are looking for, follow the Forms link to a long list of them that you can download and print off.

Forms and other border information: A specialized source of information for trucking companies is the Forum des intervenants de l’industrie du camionnage general (www.forum-cam.qc.ca). The Forum received particular mention in the survey because only 21% of the survey respondents knew about it, yet of those who did, between 66% and 92% of them, depending on the kind of trucking they did, frequently access the Web site. All of the instructions are in French, but there are French and English versions of many of the documents. First, follow the link Frontieres. On the right, see the column called Pages. Follow Archives to find lane diagrams, photos and discussions of truck identification technology and signs at the Lacolle crossing; it’s a nice little education. Some Acts are reproduced here, and there are presentations on topics such as US CBP: ACE and FAST/EXPRES best practices and e-manifests. There is even a list of contacts at the CBP that could be helpful.

Follow the Formalites Import Export link to a list of documents on ACE and e-manifests. The Programmes de securite (FAST, C-TPAT, PEP) link circles back to CBSA and Transports Quebec.

The Forum website has decent reading if you are chilling in a place with Wi-Fi and a computer or smart phone.

Anything and everything: Buried deep on the Eastern Border Transportation Coalition (EBTC) Web site (http://ebtc.info) is a document titled Trucker’s Web Guide (for eastern Canada/US border crossings). Don’t bother searching, just enter this URL: http://ebtc.info/~ebtcinfo/images/stories/docs/pdf/truckers_web_guide.pdf. This document has six sections, each with a healthy list of URLs. There are Web sites for federal agencies at the border, federal, state and provincial departments of transportation, commercial border crossings information and contacts, bridge and tunnel operators and authorities, other resource contacts and general information on border crossing procedures.

In this last section are items such as Canadian and US programs, US regulations and programs such as PAPS, SCAC CODE, ACI, CAFES and BRASS.  As for the EBTC Web site itself, there is news, reports and links to quite a few Canadian and US government agencies, associations and programs.


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