The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) have raised concerns over the proposed truck driver registration requirements under the FAST program designed for US-Canada border crossings, according to information from CTA.
"While the FAST program is a significant step forward in efforts by the two governments to introduce bilateral programs to expedite the flow of commercial traffic across the Canada-US border, the $80.00 (Canadian) processing fee for truck driver registration/security checks every two years is not acceptable," said David Bradley, CTA chief executive officer.
Neither association questions the rationale behind voluntary driver background checks for those who wish to obtain expedited clearance at the border, and in fact some 30,000 Canadian and American drivers have already applied to the Commissioner of Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) Commercial Driver Registration Program (CDRP).
"Discussions with Canadian and US officials so far indicate that the level of the processing fee is non-negotiable, and while our associations do not support yet another charge on trade, we are hopeful that steps can be taken to attenuate the impact on the industry," said Bradley. "Specifically, CTA and ATA have proposed that the two-year validity period of the FAST card be extended to five years which would lessen the financial and administrative burden on the industry, reduce the workload of the respective customs agencies and bring the time period of driver registration renewal into line with that of NEXUS and most provincial and state driver’s licenses."