An agreement will have to be reached between the United States and Mexico before the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) personnel can begin safety audits of Mexican carriers, says William Quade, RSPA hazardous materials division chief. Fifty percent of the audits have to be conducted at the carriers' places of business in Mexico. Negotiations are underway by the US State Department to obtain an agreement.
FMCSA is required to review Mexican carrier applications and then grant provisional operating authority to qualified Mexican truck companies seeking the US access. Mexican trucking firms that receive operating authority as a result of the process will be permitted to deliver and back-haul cargo to and from the United States. Mexico is obligated under the North American Fair Trade Agreement to provided expanded access for US carriers, according to earlier FMCSA information.
The agency, which regulates interstate truck safety, will be granting operating authority only to Mexican motor carriers that comply with all US safety standards and insurance requirements. The agency has established an application process and a safety monitoring program. Individual applications are being reviewed and as soon as all the administrative steps are completed, including completion of on-site safety audits, qualified motor carriers will be granted provisional operating authority.