Tanker residue rule still in limbo

CALGARY — The controversial proposed rule by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to require the reporting of trace amounts of residue is still in limbo, and it’s still unclear when, or if, the rule will move forward.

Matthew Parrott, director of northern border operations with A.N. Deringer, was updating the crowd at ieCanada’s seventh annual western conference in Calgary on U.S. Customs rules, and as far as the tanker residue rule, there hasn’t been much progress.

“Trade was extremely vocal about their opposition to residue act,” says Parrott. “No date for compliance has been set yet. Hopefully lots of announcements will be made before they make any changes.”

The rule was originally supposed to go into effect on Sept. 16, 2009, when trace amounts of chemical residue in essentially empty tankers were to be reported on e-manifests when crossing into the U.S.

Previously, residue was exempt from the same reporting requirements as any other good entering the U.S. It was delayed until November, but CBP then decided to postpone it indefinitely in order to give the trade community more time to prepare for compliance.

As part of the ruling, the little bit of residue left in a tank truck or container after unloading will have to be measured, valued and treated like a good for CBP purposes.

How an accurate measure of trace amounts of residue was to be determined, and by whom, was one of the points of contention with the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

The CTA was also concerned with a trucker’s ability to use border FAST lanes, how the owner of the residue would be determined, and ultimately, how enforceable these requirements will be, given the difficulty in accurately quantifying and assigning a value to residual cargo.

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