OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has voiced concern over certain aspects of proposed legislation in Canada that could impact the in-bond inland clearance of goods.
The CTA made its opinion known to a Senate Committee on National Security and Defence this week, which was exploring the possible impacts of Bill S-2, An Act to Amend the Customs Act. For the most part, CTA supports the bill, which it says would “more fairly distribute the responsibility for gathering and presenting required data on goods entering Canada to all supply chain participants.”
Currently the onus is on the carrier to provide advanced information to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) about the truck, driver and goods entering Canada, even though the carrier does not own or package the cargo, and in some cases hasn’t loaded the freight.
This puts the carrier at risk of being held up at the border if there are inaccuracies in the paperwork, even if the incorrect data concerns the cargo. Under Bill S-2, it’s possible the Governor-in-Council could take some of the burden off the carrier, and make other supply chain partners more accountable.
“CTA supports this amendment,” said CTA CEO David Bradley during his testimony. “CTA believes that over time there has been far too much regulatory obligation placed on the carrier community relative to other supply chain partners and the proposed amendment could provide better balance. CTA has advocated that increased responsibility should be placed on all parties in the supply chain that own the information supplied to CBSA.”
While the CTA supported the move to collect data from importers, it also voiced concerns on how CBSA may react if it hasn’t received the required information from importers prior to the truck’s arrival at the border.
As it’s currently proposed, the CBSA would turn back trucks if the importer data had not yet been received before the truck arrived at the border. The truck would no longer be moved in-bond to an inland facility for clearance.
“This could substantially impact the efficient movement of goods into Canada,” warned Bradley. “By enabling carriers to proceed beyond the border, in-bond moves help avoid costly delays and the truck, trailer and driver rather than sitting at the border are freed up to get back to productive operation. This also facilitates compliance with drivers’ hours-of-service regulations and is consistent with low-risk security programs. While the obstacle may not be caused by the carrier, it is the carrier’s truck and driver that will be held up on the US side of the border.”
It’s especially a concern for LTL carriers, which will require the importers of all the freight within a trailer to submit their data on time – otherwise, the entire shipment will be held up and refused entry into Canada.
CTA is hopeful the CBSA will allow carriers to continue moving the goods in-bond for later release, so the truck and driver could continue on their way.
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