The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has offered exemptions from certain regulations to Canadian carriers providing direct relief to the British Columbia flooding emergency while they transit through the U.S.
The recent flooding has resulted in road closures in the province, and together with recent changes to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in-transit program, the exemption will “allow additional options for Canadian carriers and drivers in re-establishing key supply chain links to B.C. and Western Canada,” according to a statement released by the Canadian Trucking Alliance.
The exemption is limited to Canadian motor carriers and drivers providing emergency services or transporting essential goods, supplies, and equipment from Canada to other points in Canada to bypass road closures and areas isolated by flooding and landslides.
Specifically, the exemption provided by FMCSA will be valid until Jan. 31, 2022, or until canceled by the authorities, and includes the following points:
- The ability for Canadian trucking companies and drivers (holding class 1, 2 and 3 licenses) to operate from Canada to other points in Canada through the U.S. without a DOT number, provided they hold a valid National Safety Code certificate number, proof of registration in Canada, and have not been assigned a conditional or unsatisfactory safety rating.
- That FMCSA will not enforce specific parts of the Drug and Alcohol Testing Regime and Clearing House.
The freight delivery companies Canpar Express and Loomis Express have resumed service into and out of the Lower Mainland.
“Freight currently in our network and any new shipments destined to the affected areas within B.C. is expected to encounter continuing delays as we work to clear the backlog,” the companies said in a released statement.
Dan Elrod, president of the Calgary-based fleet Wallace & Carey’s, said in a statement released on LinkedIn that although his managers do not wish to expose their drivers to risks, customer service needs to be restored.
“There’s no product flowing right now. When we get out there, stores are out of stock and if you’re a retailer, that’s not a workable situation. We’re trying to find creative ways. We flew in some product to our distribution centres – everything that can possibly be done within reason and also within the rules,” Elrod said.
The B.C. government has imposed travel restrictions on Highway 7 from Murray Street in Mission to Highway 1 in Hope, B.C. to ensure that the vital movement of goods and services is maintained with limited disruption from non-essential traffic.