OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) wants Ottawa and Washington to find a fast fix to a new U.S. law that will stop explosives shipments at the border starting Jan. 24.
As of this Friday, no non-resident of the U.S. will be allowed to possess explosives, including for the purposes of transporting them. The prohibition includes Canadian resident drivers who transport explosives between the U.S. and Canada.
The situation is being described as an “unintended consequence” of the new Safe Explosives Act, which was attached to the Homeland Security Bill passed by the U.S. Congress late last year.
The objective of the Act was to ensure that a complete background check, including photographing and fingerprinting, is done on anyone in the U.S. possessing explosives. The CTA says the bill’s authors apparently forgot that non-residents can be screened satisfactorily, as Canadian drivers are when they apply for driver identity cards under the Free and Secure Trade (FAST)program.
It says prohibiting Canadian transport drivers from crossing the border with explosives cargo is “misguided and unnecessary.”
The CTA wants Ottawa to pressure the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to find a fast political solution to the situation because making a technical correction to the Safe Explosives Act in the U.S. Congress could take weeks or months.
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