Temporary fix to avoid ACI penalties

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OTTAWA, ON — Trucks that arrive at the Canada-U.S. border without Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) will for a 90-day period be allowed to turn around without incurring Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPS), Canada Border Services Agency has announced.

eManifest requirements have been mandatory for highway carriers since January 11, 2016, and carriers still have to transmit cargo and conveyance data electronically before arriving at the border.

It’s good news for the Canadian Trucking Alliance. The group has recently been citing recurring delays and system outages, and for several months been working with the agency to solve issues surrounding the AMPS linked to ACI reporting requirements.

The policy will apply to highway modes across the country as of May 29 and will run under a 90-day evaluation period, during which time the agency will monitor whether compliance rates improve or worsen. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will also be watching the frequency of trucks turning around.

“This isn’t a free pass for carriers,” stresses Canadian Trucking Alliance president Stephen Laskowski. “If compliance rates start going backwards, CBSA could eliminate the evaluation period and consider other compliance measures.”

“Carriers will need to remain diligent to ensure drivers, dispatch and operations are all on the same page with ACI compliance protocols,” he added.

Companies with repeated compliance issues will be contacted by CBSA to discuss additional training or other support.

A long-term solution still needs to be put in place to ensure fairness in the AMP system, says Laskowski. He says a mitigation system for members of Trusted Trader programs based on volumetrics – where carriers’ exposure rates to ACI are weighted by the volume of freight annually transported across the border- should be a part of CBSA’s strategy to reform Administrative Monetary Penalties.

Carriers that want to be informed of CBSA system outages can email TCCU-USTCC@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca.



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John G. Smith is Newcom Media's vice-president - editorial, and the editorial director of its trucking publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, and Transport Routier. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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