Explosives transporting ban delayed

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TORONTO, Ont. — A last-minute reprieve means explosives haulers will find out today whether Canadian drivers will still be banned from transporting shipments to the U.S.

Under the new U.S. Safe Explosives Act, non-American residents are prohibited from possessing explosives even for transportation purposes. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) was to have started enforcing the prohibition on Friday.

But last-minute lobbying by the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) resulted in Washington delaying the ban on Canadian drivers while it spent the weekend sorting out which agency has jurisdiction over motor carriers – the Department of Justice or the Department of Transportation.

The situation that has Canadian explosives companies and carriers in turmoil is being called an “unintended consequence” of the new U.S. law.

A decision from Washington is expected some time today. If the ban remains in force, Canadian truckers will be barred from carrying explosives across the border as of midnight tonight until a political solution is worked out.

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