OTTAWA, Ont. — After years of wrangling, Customs Self Assessment (CSA) kicked off this morning at border crossings along the 49th parallel.
The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency will now allow select fleets and drivers to largely zip painlessly across the border when entering Canada, and depending on the size of their operation, settle up the bill on an every-two-weeks or once-a-month basis, according to department officials.
But to take part, an importer first needs to register, as do the fleets it wants to use and similarly the O/Os and drivers actually pulling those loads.
“So far we have 11 importers registered,” says Colette Gentes-Hawn, a spokeswoman for both program and department.
While this doesn’t sound like a lot, she stresses they are very big importers, who have brought with them 135 fleets and 16,700 truck drivers. To put that final number in perspective — it’s equal to about 13 per cent of Canada’s total trucker labor pool.
The program has been touted by many as the first stop on the long journey to a common North American market. The legislation enabling CSA to get rolling finally passed through Parliament in early November and while no one wants to admit it had a lot to do with New York City, the timing is hard to ignore.
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