FMCSA offers exemptions to Canadian carriers aiding B.C. relief

by Today's Trucking

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has exempted Canadian carriers providing direct relief to the British Columbia emergency from certain regulations while they transit the U.S. due to flooding and road closures in the province.

This declaration complements recent changes made to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in-transit program and will allow additional options for Canadian carriers and drivers in re-establishing key supply chain links to B.C. and Western Canada, the Canadian Trucking Alliance said in a press release.

Highway 5 – Coquihalla is work underway to repair Jessica Bridge. (Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

The declaration provides an exemption from certain regulatory requirements and is limited to Canadian motor carriers and drivers providing emergency services or transporting essential goods, supplies and equipment from Canada to other points in Canada to bypass road closures and areas cut off by flooding and landslides.  

The highlights of the regulatory relief provided by FMCSA include:

  • The ability for Canadian trucking companies and drivers (holding class 1, 2 and 3 licences) to operate from Canada to other points in Canada through the U.S. without a DOT number, provided they hold a valid National Safety Code certificate number, proof of registration in Canada, and have not been assigned a conditional or unsatisfactory safety rating.
  • That FMCSA will not enforce specific parts of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Regime and Clearing House.

The exemption is valid until Jan. 31, 2022 or until it is cancelled by the authorities.

Delivery services resume

Meanwhile, package and freight delivery companies Canpar Express and Loomis Express on Tuesday announced resumption of service into and out of the Lower Mainland.

Extended area surcharges to all impacted areas have been removed or restored to their original levels, the companies said on LinkedIn.

Highway 5 – Bottletop Bridge. (Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

“Freight currently in our network and any new shipments destined to the affected areas within B.C. is expected to encounter continuing delays as we work to clear the backlog,” the companies said.

One of Calgary-based Wallace & Carey’s biggest customers is 7-Eleven. Dan Elrod, president of the fleet said his managers don’t want to put drivers in harm’s way, but it also has to be balanced with customer service.

“There’s no product flowing right now. When we get out there, stores are out of stock and if you’re a retailer, that’s not a workable situation. We’re trying to find creative ways. We flew in some product to our distribution centers – everything that can possibly be done within reason and also within the rules,” he said.

The B.C. government on Tuesday imposed travel restrictions on Highway 7 from Murray Street in Mission to Highway 1 in Hope.

This measure is to ensure the vital movement of goods and services continues with limited disruption from non-essential traffic.

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