OTTAWA, Ont. — Two weeks of whirlwind negotiations with U.S. federal government agencies has resulted in an interim rule allowing Canadian truck drivers to transport explosives across the border.
The new Safe Explosives Act, which went into effect on Jan. 24, effectively banned Canadian-resident drivers from delivering loads of explosives to U.S. destinations. The prohibits non-U.S. residents from possessing explosives, even for the purpose of transportation.
The ban on Canadian drivers was delayed twice while U.S. federal agencies sorted out jurisdictional issues. Whirlwind talks at the end of last week between U.S. authorities, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), Canadian government agencies, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and U.S. explosives industry representatives resulted in a temporary 30-day solution to the problem.
U.S. authorities asked the CTA, Transport Canada and Natural Resources Canada to provide information on Canadian drivers, carriers and shippers of explosives. Canadian explosives carriers and drivers will be allowed to enter the U.S. if they are on the list approved by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs.
On Feb. 4, temporary regulations were issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) that effectively overrides the efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to prevent Canadian drivers from hauling explosives into the U.S. without a complicated and time-consuming background check.
Talks between government agencies and the CTA will be continuing during the 30-day period in order to find a permanent solution for security checks of explosives carriers and drivers operating across the border.
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