November 19, 2021
BCTA: As per our previous update, the best resource for real time specifics will always be Drive BC (www.drivebc.ca ). We will NOT be providing notice of real-time highway conditions as the provincial government is best positioned to do this.
Please DO NOT “read between the lines.” As always, we will pass along what we know and tell you what we do not. Simply because we do not know does not mean it’s “bad,” or “terrible,” or otherwise. We just do not know.
We are very heartened to see BC’s first east-west connection restored today with opening of Highway 7 (from Lower Mainland to Hope) and Highway 3.
Both highways are only open for essential travel and movement of goods (as defined below).
It is critical that carriers ensure their drivers are well stocked on supplies, fuel and chains to travel these roads
which is expected to be very slow moving with multiple stoppages to allow for movement of emergency vehicles.
We can’t stress it enough, please tell your drivers to obey all posted speed signs and drive with an abundance of caution as this will be the first time for many commercial drivers will be navigating Highway 3 and the supporting connectors.
Government is also hopeful that Highway 99 will be opened this weekend, from the junction of Highway 99 and Lillooet River Road to the BC Hydro Seton Lake Campsite access in Lillooet. Only passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles up to 14,500 kilograms will be permitted once opened.
All other connections from Hope to the interior of BC to the coast remain closed (Highway 1 and 5).
Fuel Rationing in BC
To help ensure movement of critical goods and services, government has taken measures to ensure fuel (gas and diesel) is prioritized for essential vehicles by Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General order.
This order is effective immediately and is in place until December 1, 2021 and applies to all fuel suppliers in the Lower Mainland-to-Hope region, the Sea-to-Sky region, Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Island and Vancouver Island.
Under this order, essential vehicles will have unrestricted access to fuel as required, using predominately commercial trucking gas stations (cardlock gas stations).
Non-essential vehicles, including the general public, will still have access to fuel available through retail gas stations. People will be limited to 30 litres per trip to the gas station.
Details on the provincial Order for fuel rationing and travel restrictions found here.
Provincial Definition of Essential Vehicles:
The following vehicles will have access to commercial gas stations where available fuel will be prioritized. For vehicles that do not typically access commercial trucking gas stations (cardlock gas stations), the Province is working to provide priority access.
The groups are defined as:
- Emergency service vehicles (fire, police, ambulance and health care including urgent medical treatment)
- Public transit vehicles
- Commercial transport trucks – critical goods and services (food and beverage, health care, safety)
- Refrigerated trucks
- Potable water delivery/wastewater service
- Grocery delivery
- Road repair, maintenance and recovery vehicles/tow trucks
- Military vehicles
- Critical infrastructure, construction and repair vehicles
- Home-care workers
- Municipal services vehicles
- First Nations government services vehicles
- BC Ferries/Coast Guard/tugboats/marine emergency/pilot boats
- Canada Post and other couriers/package delivery vehicles
- Vehicles for the provision of critical government services
- Airport authority vehicles and air travel
- Waste disposal/recycling
- BC Hydro, Fortis and other heavy-duty and light-duty utility vehicles
- Telecommunication repair and installation vehicles
- Fuel delivery trucks and boats
- School buses
- Agricultural and farm-use vehicles, including vehicles supporting flood response
- Veterinarians supporting flood response
- Inter-city buses
Provincial Definition of Essential Travel, Goods and Services in BC
The provincial travel order applies to non-essential travel. It does not apply to:
- commercially transporting goods
- transporting essential goods and supplies, specifically:
- food, water and other beverages
- fuel and gasoline
- health-care goods, pharmaceuticals and medical supplies
- personal hygiene, sanitation and cleaning goods.
- transporting livestock, agricultural or seafood products and supplies
- livestock producers returning to a farm to provide care for animals
- responding to emergencies, including search and rescue operations
- evacuations for medical reasons and urgent medical treatment
- highway repair and maintenance
- transporting essential personnel
- returning to a person’s own principal residence
- exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right as recognized and affirmed by Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.
Hours of Service Exemption
For those assisting with transportation related to flood relief who have concerns about Hours of Service requirements, BCTA has confirmed with Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) that the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations (MVAR) allow for an exemption for drivers in this case. At the beginning of Part 3 – Hours of Service, MVAR 37.11(d) states:
“This Part does not apply to a driver who is driving a commercial motor vehicle transporting passengers or goods for the purpose of providing relief in the case of an earthquake, flood, fire, famine, drought, epidemic, pestilence or other disaster.”
CVSE still expects that there is a responsibility under MVAR 37.12 for both carriers and drivers assisting in this emergency to ensure that the drivers do not operate while impaired by fatigue to a point that it is unsafe for them to operate their vehicles.
Also, regarding trip inspections, MVAR 37.22 (5) states:
“If a commercial motor vehicle’s first trip of the day is to provide relief from earthquake, flood, fire, famine, drought, epidemic, pestilence or other disaster by transporting passengers or goods, the inspection required by subsection (2) shall be carried out before the commercial motor vehicle’s first trip that is not for that purpose.”
Please note that this HOS exemption is only for carriers/drivers operating in the province of BC and does not apply to driver HOS in the US or other jurisdictions. Carriers and drivers must be complaint with HOS in the jurisdiction they operate in.
Earlier today, the Canadian and US government customs officials implemented a proposal brought forth by BCTA and CTA to expedite allowances for Canadian trucks to transit through the US to re-establish road connections to British Columbia and allow the resumption of the supply chain in the beleaguered province.
Notices issued today by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) outline the details of what is required for trucks and drivers to participate in in-transit movements (domestic Canadian shipments that transit the US to reach another Canadian destination).
The plan was proposed by CTA and BCTA as an immediate response to get supplies into B.C. after floods and mudslides took out highways and bridges, leaving communities stranded and cut off from the rest of Canada.
The guidelines for this special interim measure (included below) were developed in consultation with industry stakeholders, USCBP and other government departments in Canada and the U.S. to facilitate the movement of goods impacted by the crisis while respecting the relevant laws and regulations that govern joint CA-US border and national interests.
Ports of entry that will be able to meet in-transit movements in the immediate term include:
- Emerson MB (Pembina, North Dakota);
- North Portal Saskatchewan (Portal Station, North Dakota);
- Coutts AB (Sweetgrass, Montana);
- Kingsgate; BC (Eastport, Idaho);
- Osoyoos, BC (Oroville, Washington); and,
- PAC Highway (Blaine, Washington)
There are some detailed compliance requirements for carriers to participate in the in-transit movements, including items related to: travel documents, entry filing, container/trailer security, food and animal shipments. Carriers should review the details from both CBP and CBSA on how trucking companies and drivers can participate in the program by clicking here for CBP and here for CBSA: CBSA BC Response_public
US and Canadian commercial vehicle safety officials also continue to work on establishing protocols and procedures for Canadian domestic-only carriers with respect to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements to participate. Until these protocols and procedures are established Canadian domestic-only carriers are not eligible to travel in the United States. As this information becomes available it will be shared.
Additionally, carriers participating in the in-transit program should contact their insurance providers if they have not already done so to indicate their operational plans for transiting the US.
COMMUNIQUE EMERGENCY PROTOCOLS IN RESPONSE TO FLOOD SITUATION IN BRITISH COLOMBIA, CANADA
Due to extreme weather conditions in British Columbia, Canada that have caused flooding, landslides, road closures, and other supply chain disruptions Canadian domestic truck carriers may need to transit through the U.S. to reach destinations in Canada.
Carriers that regularly travel between Canada and the United States (U.S.), should follow the standard procedures in order to facilitate and reduce delays in border crossings. CBSA guidance on the in-transit movement of Canadian goods through U.S. territory can be found here Departmental Memorandum D3-4-2, Highway Pre-Arrival and Reporting Requirements, paragraphs 59-66.
For more information on USCBP electronic manifesting and bonds, please see the following links: https://www.cbp.gov/document/technical-documentation/ace-bond-guide-electronic-truck-manifest https://www.cbp.gov/document/guides/truck-manifest-create-manifest and https://www.cbp.gov/document/guides/truck-manifest-create-manifest-french
The following guidelines for this special interim measure have been developed in consultation with various Industry Stakeholders, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. CBP) and Other Government Departments within Canada and the United States to facilitate the movement of goods impacted by the current flooding situation in B.C. while also respecting the relevant laws and regulations that govern our joint CA-US border and national interests.
UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION INTERIM SPECIAL MEASURES
The following requirements are available to Canadian domestic truck carriers that do not have electronic manifesting capabilities or ability to file as a bonded carrier.
- The area of operations will be initially limited to the following ports.
- Emerson, MB (204) 373-2841 (Pembina, North Dakota 701-825-5800 );
- North Portal, SK (306) 927-6285 (Portal Station, North Dakota 701-926-7500);
- Coutts, AB (403) 344-3766 (Sweetgrass, Montana 406-335-9610);
- Kingsgate, BC (250)424-5391 (Eastport, Idaho 208-267-3966);
- Osoyoos, BC (250)495-7092 (Oroville, Washington 509-476-2955); and,
- PAC Highway BC 1-800-461-9999 (Blaine, Washington 360-332-5771)
- For in-transit delays, such as a breakdown during transit, the carriers shall contact the nearest CBP port of entry
- Expected duration of the following work around measures will be for the duration of the infrastructure delays or up to thirty days and re-evaluated once commercial traffic normalizes or operationally resumes.
- All protocols and policies apply to any port of entry outside of the affected area, i.e., Seattle Field Office.
- Carriers and importers failure to follow stipulated workaround procedures may be subject to enforcement and compliance actions that may delay clearance. Note that CBP will exercise maximum flexibility to ensure that legitimate transactions are facilitated but need cooperation from the industry sector to ensure facilitation.
Travel Documents Requirements:
- Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document is required for all drivers and passengers/co-drivers.
- Drivers and all vehicle occupants must be in possession of all documents, including approved Form I-194 waivers of inadmissibility, when applying for admission.
- Those drivers and vehicle occupants who have a criminal history and do not have an approved waiver of inadmissibility will not be permitted to enter the United States.
- Bond requirements for carriers within the containment area will be waived for non-traditional small time trucking companies.
- User fee requirements will be adhered to, and fees will be collected.
- CBP Officers will input the manifest information in ACE manually based on the submission of documents provided.
- Containers must be properly sealed either prior to arrival or at the border. CBP personnel shall record and/or verify seal numbers at both entry and exit ports of entry. Carriers will not unload or load any additional cargo or break the seal on the container/trailer while in the US.
- Upon arrival to the US border CBP primary booth, identification and any documents including bills of lading, packing lists, invoices, foreign government certificates, etc. as well as trailer license number will be provided to the CBP Officer and/or agriculture specialist.
- Upon re-entering Canada, carriers transiting under this procedure will present themselves to CBSA personnel for verification of seals and collection of seal numbers as well as Canadian re-entry requirements.
- Prohibited items currently legal in Canada, but not in the U.S. will not be authorized for movement under these procedures.
- Restricted merchandise, such as medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, agriculture commodities, and live animals, may require further review by CBP personnel at the port of entry. This may include additional documentation as mandated by the appropriate regulatory agency (USDA, FDA etc).
Canadian Food Inspection Agency(CFIA) Special Measures
Companies must contact their local CFIA office before organizing any shipment transiting through the USA.
- Carriers must either follow Departmental Memorandum D3-4-2 or the Emergency Protocol described above for food. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) does not require certification documentation for the movement of food, including meat, eggs and raw milk. The goods do not have to be declared to the CFIA’s National Import Service Centre. The food must meet all conditions in the Safe Food for Canadian Regulations as if it was moved between provinces.
-An animal welfare agreement between USDA and CFIA that will allow for the emergency transit of live animals through the USA has been signed on November 18, 2021. This temporary measure allows for: 1) Emergency movement of animals outside of the flooded area through the USA in case it becomes necessary to evacuate and that all other Canadian roads are blocked or impaired, and 2) Travel of live animals from Alberta to slaughterhouses in BC due to a lack of capacity to slaughter those animals elsewhere.
-Per the agreement, procedures will need to be put in place by CFIA and industry, including:
- Animals must be inspected before loading and must be transported with an endorsed CFIA emergency transit Health Certificate with truck seal number(s) recorded on the certificate. No USDA import transit permit will be required.
- Every conveyance opening through which an animal could be moved in or out, must have a CFIA seal applied to it before the truck leaves Canada.
- When the truck arrives at the U.S. Port of Entry, USDA Port Personnel will verify the shipment has an endorsed Health Certificates, that the truck is properly sealed, and that the seals on the truck match what is documented on the endorsed health certificate.
- Transporters must ensure they have a contingency transportation plan in case the truck hauling the transiting animals cannot complete the trip for any reason.
- The CBSA will keep records of shipment re-entry so that CFIA and USDA can compare records to ensure all emergency transit shipments proceeded as intended.
- Transporters may be required to follow a specified route through the United States.
- This special agreement will end once Canadian roads are re-opened for traffic.
- Companies must contact CFIA before organizing any shipment transiting through the USA.
- CFIA is finalizing guidance documents for CFIA staff and industry, but the measured will be implemented as soon as possible.
COVID 19 HEALTH MEASURES
- There is no change to existing guidance and communications regarding pandemic related matters.
- Commercial drivers, as persons employed in the trade and transportation sector and crossing the border in this capacity, are considered under the existing provisions for truckers.
- Pre-arrival testing, quarantine requirements and post arrival testing are not required for persons in the trade or transportation sector who is important for the movement of goods or people, including a truck driver or crew member on any aircraft, shipping vessel or train, who enters Canada for the purpose of performing their duties as a member of that sector
These temporary interim measures are subject to change and/or may be updated as the situation evolves. We will communicate further guidance and/or updates as applicable.
Should you have any concerns, please connect with the BCCC Secretariat.
Photo credit: BC Ministry of Transportation (www.flickr.com/photos/tranbc/with/51681484137/)