Canadian truckers to enter US on FAST cards

Canadian truck drivers entering the United States with hazardous materials loads will be required to be in possession of a FAST card, effective August 10, 2006, according to information from the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA). The requirement is restricted to products requiring a hazardous materials placard and includes explosives.

The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program allows US/Canada and US/Mexico partnering importers expedited border crossing for qualifying commercial shipments.

CTA welcomed the US Transportation Security Administration decision while criticizing the short time before the regulation inception, arguing that obtaining the card typically takes six to eight weeks. However, CTA said about 60,000 FAST cards already have been issued to Canadian drivers, which should prevent significant disruption.

An estimated 3.5 million US hazmat drivers are subject to a background security check in order to obtain, renew, or transfer a hazardous materials endorsement on a state-issued commercial driver's license, CTA pointed out.

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