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Canada OKs flexibility in foreign trailer use

The Canadian government has approved a measure that will increase flexibility in the use of foreign transportation equipment by Canadian carriers, according to information from the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).

"An arcane provision of the Customs Tariff (section 9801.10) prevented Canadian carriers from using containers (including trailers) on cross border moves into Canada if the equipment is owned or controlled outside of the country," CTA stated in a news release. "This denied Canadian carriers the flexibility to use foreign trailers on cross border moves when required, something the comparable United States rules allow. The provision has been on the books for a number of years, and in response to lobbying by CTA, the federal government agreed in 2007 to suspend enforcement of section 9801.10."

With passage of the Canadian budget provisions, which technically required Canadian carriers to pay duty and taxes on US trailers used in cross-border moves, the regulations have now been expunged from the law.

“This particular measure was buried deep in the budget’s Notice of Ways and Means and the wording was so subtle, we were not sure if it was what we thought it was," stated David Bradley, CTA chief executive officer. "We have now confirmed with the Department of Finance that indeed it is what we have been seeking. This has been an irritant for some time; in some cases Canadian carriers were forced to turn over business to American counterparts. The measures passed address this problem and put our carriers on an equal footing with their US counterparts”.

CTA cautions that the changes have nothing to do with the use of foreign trucking equipment in domestic operations, which is referred to as cabotage. In addition, CTA said it is awaiting promised public consultations on other aspects of the Customs Tariff, such as the length of time foreign equipment can remain in Canada.

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