CTA meets with US border protection commissioner

by Array

TORONTO: The Canadian Trucking Alliance met with Alan Bersin, commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to discuss several border issues that the organization says affect Canadian motor carriers and thicken congestion at trade gateways. The CTA said it was encouraged with the commissioner’s willingness to look into issues affecting Canadian carriers operating south of the border. Some of the topics CTA addressed with Bersin, included:

  • a solution to repositioning empty foreign trailers by Canadian-based drivers engaged in international commerce;
  • the requirement that all liquid cargo residues in empty tanker trailers be manifested before entering the US;
  • re-establishing the practice of in-transit domestic shipments that travel through parts of the US in between two Canadian points; and
  • mutual recognition and harmonization of “trusted trader” programs between Canada and the US.

Regarding the trusted trader issue, the CTA said Bersin pointed out solutions would be outlined in the Beyond the Border security initiative soon to be announced by President Barack Obama and Prime Minster Stephen Harper. He hinted this would involve streamlining some aspects of the US Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program and the Canadian Partners in Protection (PIP), as well as the bi-national Free And Secure Trade (FAST) program. According to the CTA, Bersin also suggested new pre-inspection and pre-clearance measures for credentialed transporters would be part of the plan, but would like to see more carriers and shippers certified under the trusted trader programs in order to take advantage of the benefits.

“We continue to be impressed by Mr. Bersin and his candour,” says CTA president and CEO David Bradley. “He seemed to share our opinion that the best way to approach security is to isolate the bad guys and let certified trusted carriers move across the border more quickly. He also talked about significantly increasing participation in the trusted trader programs, which is encouraging.”

Some headway was made on other issues, including greater flexibility in re-positioning foreign empty trailers and examining different approaches towards in-transit shipments and residue reporting requirements for trusted traders.