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May 01, 2007 

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Announces Demonstration Project on NAFTA Trucking Provisions

By Ken Siegel

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today issued a notice in the Federal Register describing the Demonstration Project on NAFTA Trucking Provisions ("Pilot Project").

The FMCSA and the Mexican Seretaria de Comunicationes y Transportes (SCT) have previously reached an agreement which will enable 100 motor carriers of property (excluding hazardous materials) to operate in the host country for a one-year period. The participating carriers will be granted provisional operating authority which will expire one year after the initial provisional authority is granted. The results of the Pilot Project will be continuously monitored by both countries and reviewed once the Pilot Project has been terminated. Today's notice also indicates that FMCSA will not issue the provisional authority to any Mexican carriers until SCT is ready to issue reciprocal authority to U.S. carriers to operate in Mexico. Some of the highlights of the Pilot Project include:

  • Participating Mexican carriers will be required to undergo a Pre-Authorization Safety Audit by FMCSA.
  • All Mexican based vehicles must have a current CVSA inspection decal.
  • All Mexican drivers must have a commercial drivers license, be able to communicate in English, and will be subject to U.S. immigration and cabotage rules.
  • The service of participating Mexican carriers will be limited to international traffic.
  • All vehicles must be certified to meet NHTSA manufacturing standards.
  • All participating Mexican-based companies, vehicles, and drivers will be subject to FMCSA safety rules.
  • The Mexican-based carrier will be required to have insurance from a U.S. based insurance carrier.
One of the questions that remains unanswered is whether the Pilot Project lifts the statutory ban on the leasing of Mexican commercial motor vehicles to U.S.-based motor carriers.

FMCSA has requested comments with respect to the Pilot Project. The comments must be filed with FMCSA prior to June 1, 2007.




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