WINNIPEG, Man. – Starting March 1, 2001, Manitoba will participate in the International Registration Plan (IRP), giving truck and bus operators streamlined vehicle registrations.
“Manitoba’s strong growth in north-south transportation requires our locally based companies to have quick and easy access into the states,” said Highways Minister Steve Ashton.
The plan eliminates the need for multiple licence plates and separate registration documents. Under IRP, registered vehicles receive a special plate and a cab card listing the approved weight requirements for each province or state that the vehicle is permitted to access.
The agreement for sharing commercial vehicle registration fees and road use taxes currently exists between the U.S. states and three other Canadian provinces.
The rest of the provinces have committed to joining IRP by the summer of 2001.
“Joining the International Registration Plan will ensure Manitoba remains an attractive and competitive base of operations for our transportation industry. It is an important step in sustaining our transportation sector as a significant contributor to our provincial economy,” said Ashton.
“Obviously, there will be some financial impact for some companies moving to IRP, but the advantages of streamlining should offset the costs,” says Bob Dolyniuk, general manager of the Manitoba Trucking Association.
Dolyniuk says a steering committee with representatives from the industry is going to be looking at legislation policies, sales tax issues, software, hardware and other matters over the next 12 months.
“We’re encouraged that the Ministry has publicly announced the commitment, and we’re hoping for an uneventful transition. It’s going to be a challenge,”he says.
Under IRP, carriers register their vehicles in their jurisdiction of origin, and that jurisdiction calculates, collects and distributes all fees on their behalf.
IRP will replace reciprocity agreements made with individual states. t”Manitoba exported more than $8 billion worth of goods to world markets in 1998 and most of the $6.2 billion to NAFTA countries was transported by truck,” said Ashton.
“Our participation in IRP will help our provincially based carriers remain highly competitive.”n
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