Truck turnaround project coming to end at border

by Today's Trucking

TORONTO, Ont. – The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will end a truck turnaround pilot project for Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) offences on Nov. 2, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) reports.

In cases where ACI data had not been submitted for a load, the policy helped to avoid administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) by allowing truck drivers to return to the U.S. and submit paperwork before entering Canada.

Canada-U.S. border
(Photo: iStock)

Border service officers were inconsistently issuing penalties for problems with eManifests, but have since shifted the role of issuing ACI-related penalties to a centralized team. A case management tool was developed to track ACI issues, and high-volume carriers can now be issued lower penalties on a case-by-case basis depending on compliance. Systems used by the CBSA were also stabilized to address recurring outages.

As of Nov. 3, carriers will have the option of returning to the U.S. to wait for ACI data to be corrected, or park and wait at a port of entry to wait for the correction, according to a CBSA bulletin on the matter.

“In both cases, highway carriers arriving in Canada without being fully compliant with Advance Commercial Information (ACI) /eManifest pre-arrival cargo and conveyance data may be subjected to monetary penalties. Furthermore, carriers must submit ACI that is incompliance with all requirements before being permitted to proceed,” it says.

Compliance levels have increased, while the CBSA launched outreach efforts to educate and work with carriers, the CTA reports, noting that the border agency believes it has addressed concerns – including a review of the penalties.

“CTA has significant concerns regarding the removal of this policy – especially during the pandemic and with the current border restrictions in place,” says Lak Shoan, CTA director of policy and industry awareness programs.

The alliance will monitor the situation in November and subsequent months to ensure carriers are not “unduly penalized” like they were before the turnaround policy was in place, Shoan adds.

Ongoing discussions in the coming months will include topics like excessive monetary penalty levels; how the AMPs system adversely impacts high-volume and less-then-truckload (LTL) carriers; and the responsibility of other supply chain partners in ensuring compliance, CTA says.

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