Further Clarification on Driver Isolation Protocols
CTA has been working with CBSA to further clarify misinformation regarding self-isolation protocols for cross-border truck drivers. As an essential service, truck drivers are currently exempt from the 14-day self-isolation protocols while they work and are required to self-monitor their health status while they are performing their duties.
In addition, CBSA has indicated that if cross-border truck drivers are not working, they are required to self-isolate, practice social distancing, and stay at home as much as possible like the rest of the general public, to ensure the further spread of COVID-19 does not occur. A truck driver’s work schedule will not be impacted by these protocols.
If a driver develops signs or symptoms of COVID-19 such as; cough, shortness of breath, or fever etc., they must immediately self-isolate themselves and contact a local public health authority and follow their instructions as soon as possible.
Personal Meals and Cross-Border Truck Drivers
CTA has heard some concerns regarding increased questioning at some U.S. ports of entry regarding truck driver meals that are being brought across the border, and whether there have been any changes or limitations put in place with the new border restrictions due to COVID-19.
CBP staff at various ports of entry have confirmed to CTA that there are no additional restrictions or changes regarding personal meals being brought into the U.S. at this time. Officers will frequently question drivers in all modes of transport regarding commodities they may be bringing into the U.S. to ensure that health and sanitary related procedures/regulations are followed to protect against pests and other threats.
The attached document has been provided by CBP officials at the Port Huron crossing, outlining a list of permissible/prohibited items and agricultural products. The document will continue to be updated as required by officials.
In general, these rules and regulations should apply at all ports of entry, but members are encouraged to reach out to other ports of entry if further questions arise.
DTOPS and Transponder Renewals with CBP
CTA has been in contact with CBP officials regarding annual purchases of border-crossing transponders or decals for commercial trucks crossing the border into the U.S. CBP officials have indicated that there are no current critical impacts to the Decal and Transponder Online Procurement System (DTOPS) program as a result of COVID-19.
The DTOPS fulfillment team is still completing orders and providing 100% support to the DTOPS program in real-time. Currently, orders are being fulfilled and usually shipped the same day they are received, even with a much smaller team handling the fulfillment operations than normal.
CBP has stated that unless the crisis takes a turn for the worse, and CBP employees are completely unable to access their building, officials will be able to maintain their current timeliness, even with reduced fulfilling operations.
Regarding transponder renewals, CBP has indicated that these can be completed 100% online without any manual involvement from DTOPS, in most cases. Even if the COVID-19 crisis continues into the Fall, there is nothing from a program perspective that would prevent customers from making renewals online before the end of the year.
Guidelines for Highway Carriers Transporting PPE Products
Some questions have been raised regarding how will CBP will manage PPE Products under the new FEMA restrictions, and what guidance/best practices CBP could provide carriers moving affected products.
Port officials at CBP have indicated that the following best practices should be implemented by carriers relating to the new FEMA rules:
- Ensure all information is current and valid in AES which includes the description of PPE and contact information. This is will ensure that if CBP needs to alert carrier, they can do so.
- Carriers should be prepared to stop prior to departing the United States if they are hauling PPE
- If companies/carriers know they are hauling commercial shipments of PPE that would fall under the new FEMA guidance but have not been informed to stop, they may contact the Port of Entry prior to departure or stop prior to exiting the country
- Some shipments would not have to be input into AES due to the destination of shipment/value. In these cases, the carriers should reach out to the Port of Entry to determine if they would be required to report to the port prior to exportation
Members with additional questions are encouraged to reach out to their local port officials for further guidance if necessary.
Minister Garneau & Family Showing Support for The Industry
Minister Garneau continues to show his strong public support for the trucking industry throughout the COVID-19 crisis. From assisting the industry through the reshaping of the border, amendments to regulations related to trucking, essential service definition and identification documentation for the trucking industry, Minister Garneau has been lending his guidance, leadership and support for the Canadian trucking industry.
Most recently, the minister has championing the role of Canadians drivers through supportive tweets under the hashtag #thankatrucker. It appears the support for our industry runs deep in the Garneau family when his brother Philippe tweeted out short video with the message, “Canada wouldn’t be the same without our brave truck drivers. We salute you.”
“The Canadian Trucking Alliance and its provincial association members would like to thank Minister Garneau for his ongoing commitment to our sector. These days, like all cabinet ministers, Minister Garneau is being asked to address a multitude of important issues, not all of which reside in our sector. Yet, even with all his other commitments, he has always given his attention to our sector and that is appreciated by the members of the Alliance,” said CTA President Stephen Laskowski.
Link to Worksafe NB Safety Topics Covid-19