Truck News


D-Day is here for IRP

TORONTO, Ont. - The rollover by Canada's seven eastern-most provinces from the old Canadian Vehicle Registration system into the International Registration Plan (IRP) is Apr. 1.So far the only potenti...

TORONTO, Ont. – The rollover by Canada’s seven eastern-most provinces from the old Canadian Vehicle Registration system into the International Registration Plan (IRP) is Apr. 1.

So far the only potential April Fool might be Ontario where the process is once again starting to bog down.

All four Atlantic Provinces, along with Quebec and Ontario and Manitoba, are plowing through the work needed to get every carrier hauling interprovincial freight set-up under the international vehicle registration-fee payment system.

In particular, trucks running into the U.S. must be properly registered under the plan after that date – if not, they could be slapped with heavy fines when crossing state borders.

Presently, the Government of Ontario is staring down the barrel of a very dangerous gun.

The carriers and owner/operators it looks after are dragging their feet, says Mercedes Sawosch, the Ministry of Transportation official spearheading the effort.

As of the middle of March, the paperwork for only about half of the 20,000 vehicles to be listed under IRP by the Apr. 1 deadline had reached the ministry’s hands, she explains.

Perhaps due to that glut, rumor has spread to other provinces that Ontario – which had pushed its implementation back from Nov. 1, 2000 – wasn’t going to make the deadline again.

“No change,” she says. “No change in term’s of Ontario’s implementation date.”

Sawosch is firm about the D-Day.

“We will be issuing all the appropriate notices to carriers. Our intention is to send a letter to carriers, indicating that Ontario is taking full advantage of the 120-day grace period,” she points out.

The rules governing the switchover include a burn-in period to cover contingencies like this.

Registration for IRP is potentially very complicated. For example, the paperwork file that accompanies the four-part application may have to include records such as, emission certificates, vehicle permits, safety-standard certificates, and documentation for new vehicles, among others.

As a result, getting all those documents in order takes time.

Noting that the grace period is up at the end of July, Sawosch admits her department is, “behind the eight-ball with a hell of a lot of work to do.”

IRP is a system that distributes registration fees for commercial vehicles travelling throughout the U.S., and, soon, throughout Canada as well.

Started in 1973 south of the border, IRP simplifies the collection and payment of registration fees.

The secret is how the dues are paid is that the “base-plate” jurisdiction does all the paperwork – and money collecting – and the IRP people take care of dividing that pie among the states or provinces the rig runs through.

An O/O or a fleet then only pays a flat $10 fee to cover administration.

Canada’s western provinces are already IRP members. n

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