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U.S. Customs prenotification rules “liveable”: CTA

OTTAWA, Ont.-- At first glance, the Canadian Trucking Alliance is calling the latest U.S. customs prenotification r...

OTTAWA, Ont.– At first glance, the Canadian Trucking Alliance is calling the latest U.S. customs prenotification rules for carriers “liveable.”

The U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection is expected to publish the long awaited rules in the Federal Register this Wednesday.

But an advance copy of the rule was made available by the Federal Register Office in Washington. According to it, shipments into the U.S. by truck under the FAST (Free and Secure Trade) system will be subject to a 30-minute prenotification requirement before arriving at the border.

For carriers using PAPS (Pre-Arrival Processing System) the prenotification interval will be one hour.

U.S. export shipments to Canada will continue to be exempt from the advance notification requirements.

The CTA says the latest rules are “liveable” compared with the so-called “straw man” proposals floated by CBP earlier this year. These would have required four hours advance notification for truck shipments into the U.S. and a full 24 hours for exports, and were dropped after carriers and shippers on both sides of the border protested that they would destroy just-in-time shipping.

CTA officials say they are currently reviewing the details of the proposed rule and will be consulting with Canadian carriers to ensure that any remaining industry concerns are brought to the attention of CBP during the 30-day comment period which follows the publication of the new rule in the register.

After a transition period of 90 days following publication of the final rule, the new requirements are expected to come into force in early 2004, say CTA officials.

CTA along with a small number of Canadian carriers participated on the truck working group of the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee set up earlier this year to advise CBP on the content of the rules.

According to CTA chief executive officer David Bradley: “The industry was unanimous in its view that the straw man proposals were not workable, and we are encouraged that CBP has taken into consideration the concerns of shippers and carriers alike. We have all known for almost two years that the international trading environment is forever changed, and that security measures are now a major part of the picture. In the proposals to be published this week, CBP appears to have recognized that their security requirements can be met without imposing undue constraints on Canada-U.S. trade.”

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