Opening border to Mexican carriers awaits access for FMCSA inspections

President Bush may have modified the moratorium on Mexican motor carriers entering the United States, but until US Department of Transportation officials can inspect the carriers, the movement can't begin, according to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) official.

William Quade, FMCSA hazardous materials division chief, said the date for opening the border remains uncertain until the inspections can be conducted. Quade made the comments at the Cooperative Hazardous Materials Education (COHMED) training meeting January 14 in Houston TX.

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.

FMCSA, 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.

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