With Canada-U.S. border restrictions being extended once again until July 21, 2020, CTA has been contacted by a number of members seeking further clarification on the conditions of admissibility for trucking company employees, such as company owners, operations or sales staff, who may have to travel across the border for company related business.
CTA has reached out to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for further clarification on how admissibility decisions are being made for those who work in the trucking industry. The primary reference point for the agency are various Orders in Council (OiC) that have been issued from the Government of Canada since the original border restrictions were put in place in March.
CBSA indicated that the OiC issued on March 22 provides more specific guidance to the agency, which includes the following allowances for trade and transportation workers:
- Asymptomatic persons in the trade and transportation sector who are important for the movement of goods and people, including truck drivers and crew on any plane, train or marine vessel, and that cross the border while performing their duties or for the purpose of performing their duties;
- Asymptomatic persons who have to cross the border regularly to go to work, including in the health care sector or critical infrastructure workers for the purpose of performing their duties; and
- Asymptomatic persons who have to cross the border to provide or receive essential services, including emergency responders and personnel providing essential services to Canadians related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
CBSA has stated that each of these allowances require a certain amount of judgement to be used; therefore, CBSA is encouraging company employees to carry any documentation that may be helpful to a border services officer who may seek clarity for the purpose of their trip (although the agency stressed this type of documentation was not a requirement for border crossing purposes).
CTA will continue to update members regarding any additional changes to border functions and any potential impact to the trucking industry as more information becomes available.