The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is calling on the Government of Canada to issue a moratorium on all administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) until the development of a volumetrics-based system, or similar compliance mechanism, is completed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
CTA says the move would address continuing concerns over the lack of fairness in the current regime, particularly pertaining to fleets that have a proven track record of being highly compliant such as those participating in Trusted Trader programs like Partners in Protection (PIP).
In its recent correspondence to the Agency, CTA reiterated its stance that monetary penalties to correct deliberate instances of non-compliance remains an important deterrent, but must also be fundamentally transparent and fair with agreed-upon compliance thresholds or the use of volumetrics, which accounts for the number of shipments a carrier transports.
The Alliance also acknowledged the continuing efforts of CBSA to work with our sector by implementing an outreach-first approach, including better understanding business constraints, increasing educational efforts, and working towards improving compliance as a first measure with fleets. Although this approach has continued to improve compliance, punitive or unfair penalties can still occur on fleets with exceedingly high compliance rates, due to the current regulatory parameters of the AMPs regime.
Issuing monetary penalties for unintended or unforeseeable instances, such as clerical errors or honest mistakes that can occur in any busy workplace, remains a major irritant, especially in a complex, highly regulated environment. These types of instances are becoming much more difficult to manage as fleets deal with staff turnover, vacation coverage, and other business constraints which are only increasing under the current economic landscape.
CTA also highlighted that many of these companies are also recognized as Trusted Traders by the CBSA and are lauded as valued trade chain partners. These fleets have made substantial investments to ensure their operations and customs processes are as secure and compliant as possible, but most feel this designation lacks any meaningful recognition or benefits befitting this investment and status.
“The CTA is grateful for the tremendous amount of outreach the CBSA has done with our sector, but we strongly feel the Government of Canada should focus its enforcement efforts on the noncompliant actors in our sector – whether in the customs realm or other regulatory areas – and not on the highly compliant carriers that continue to work in partnership to maintain the health, safety and security of our border,” says Lak Shoan, Director of Policy and Industry Awareness Programs with CTA.
CTA members also strongly believe this system should include greater accountability for all trade chain partners involved in the cross-border customs process, such as customs brokers, shippers, and other actors that play a vital role in goods movement across the Canada-U.S. border.
The Alliance looks forward to working with the CBSA and carrier members on this issue moving forward, with CTA providing updates to members as more information becomes available.
Members can send their feedback and regarding AMPs to the attention of email@example.com.
To learn more about carrier compliance issues, please contact CBSA’s Technical Commercial Client Unit at: firstname.lastname@example.org.