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Meeting of the NAFTA Land Transportation Standards Subcommittee- Part 01

  6/14/2012
Summary:Meeting of the NAFTA Land Transportation Standards Subcommittee

Montreal, June 8-12, 1998

JOINT STATEMENT OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

The Land Transportation Standards Subcommittee (LTSS) was created by the North American Free Trade Agreement to address developments of more compatible standards related to truck, bus & rail operations and the transport of hazardous materials among the United States, Mexico and Canada. While the NAFTA agreement established a timeframe for the LTSS to complete its work by the year 2000, and some of the work has already been completed, the work of the Subcommittee in some areas may extend beyond the specified timeframe.

In the current session the LTSS progressed its work in the following areas:

Exchange of Motor Carrier Safety Data - The three countries resolved to begin a program to exchange carrier safety data necessary for the effective and timely implementation of the compatibility of motor carrier supervision for international operations throughout North America. The three countries committed to implementing such an exchange on a priority basis with the objective of achieving reciprocity of safety fitness regimes. A trilateral motor carrier safety data conference is to be hosted by Canada in the Fall 1998.


Inspection Standards Training - Mexico reported that it has completed training of its federal law enforcement officials in Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) inspection standards and intends to begin inspecting vehicles and issuing decals in the Fall of 1998. A joint US - Mexico inspection exercise is planned in the late 1998 to highlight border activities being undertaken to demonstrate the safety of motor carrier vehicles engaged in cross-border operations.


Emissions Testing - In the area of in-use commercial vehicle emissions testing programs, it was agreed that parties would exchange information on developments in their respective countries.


Vehicle Weights and Dimensions - Consensus was reached on a direction to be pursued to address regulatory barriers and discrepancies which currently affect international trucking operations. Resolution was endorsed which establishes a context and framework for on-going discussions on regulatory compatibility. It was also agreed to examine the feasibility of establishing vehicle stability and control performance criteria as a basis for pursuing compatibility in vehicle weights and dimensions. A technical task force was established for this purpose.


Hazardous Materials Transportation Regulations - The three countries agreed to develop a North American model rule and standards document relating to the transport of hazardous materials.


Emergency Response Guidebook - It was also agreed to amend the North American emergency response guidebook as a result of changes to national and international regulations and publish the revised document (entitled ERG 2000) in late 1999.


Tank Truck Inspection Course Planned - Canada is to provide a course in Mexico on the inspection of tank trucks and portable tanks in the transport of hazardous materials (December 1998).


To date major accomplishments of the LTSS include the following:

Commercial Driver’s Licenses - agreement on a common age for operating a vehicle in international commerce (21 years);


Drivers’ Logbooks and Hours-of-Service - agreement to develop a common format and contents for a North American logbook for recording drivers’ hours-of-service, and agreement on safety performance information each country will require from motor carriers;


Driver Medical Standards - recognition of several binational agreements as the basis for achieving reciprocity of driver medical standards;


Language Requirements - agreement on a common language requirement i.e., the driver is responsible for being able to communicate in the language of the jurisdiction in which the operation is being conducted;


Rail Safety - completion of a comprehensive analysis of regulations affecting rail safety in the three countries. Through this work it has been determined that regulatory differences will not significantly affect the safety of rail operations in cross-border service;


Vehicle Weights and Dimensions - completion of a side-by-side comparison of the three countries’ national, state, and provincial requirements with respect to truck sizes and weights, identification of vehicle configurations most commonly used in cross-border service; a report issued in the Fall 1997 outlined issues related to the compatibility of vehicle and dimensions and possible approaches to pursue more compatible vehicle size and weight limits;






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