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Controversial Customs rules for cargo residue postponed indefinitely

OTTAWA, Ont. -- US Customs and Border Protection has once again delayed enforcement of a controversial ne...


OTTAWA, Ont. — US Customs and Border Protection has once again delayed enforcement of a controversial new rule that would require carriers to submit manifests and Customs entry forms for any containers or trailers containing cargo residue.

 

It’s the second time the US has delayed implementation of the rule, which has been widely criticized by the trucking industry. The first delay on Aug. 25 pushed back enforcement for 60 days and the latest delay has suspended the rule indefinitely.  Initially the rule was to kick in Sept. 16.

 

Prior to the proposed rule, cargo residue was treated as part of the Instrument of International Traffic and was exempt from manifest and entry requirements.

 

The proposed rule had its flaws – for one, it extended beyond HazMat materials to include non-harmful items such as milk or wood chips, which pose no safety risks. Also, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) argued it’s difficult to determine and measure trace amounts of residue in the first place.

 

“We are pleased that CBP has taken note of some of our concerns and appears to be taking a more realistic approach,” says David Bradley, CEO of the CTA, who also wrote about the law in the October issue of his Truck News column.  “Clearly CBP has recognized there are many outstanding industry concerns that have a significant bearing on the trade community’s ability to comply with the new rule.”

 

Going forward, however, the CTA still has its concerns.

 

“We are still concerned about how the owner of the residue will be determined, and ultimately, how enforceable these requirements will be, given the difficulty in accurately quantifying and assigning a value to residual cargo,” added Bradley. “We will continue to work with other industries affected by this ruling, and with CBP, to try and deal with these matters in a balanced way.”

 


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