Emergency Response Guidebook - North American Emergency Response Guidebook issued in English, Spanish and French to ensure that authorities engaged in responding to accidents involving hazardous materials will have consistent information;
Hazardous Materials Transportation Regulations - substantially harmonized regulations regarding the land transport of hazardous materials in the three countries;
Traffic Control Devices - a three country comparison of traffic control devices was completed. Canada published this information in March 1996. The United States and Mexican documents are in final coordination with publication expected in the Fall of 1998.
TRANSPORTATION CONSULTATIVE GROUP
In order to address issues not specifically assigned to the LTSS by the NAFTA, the three NAFTA parties created a related group, the Transportation Consultative Group (TCG). This group (comprised of five separate working groups) has been working in cooperation with the LTSS to address issues related to cross-border facilitation, rail operations, electronic data interchange, application and exchange of information on advanced technologies and maritime and port policies. It is envisioned that as specific work undertaken by the LTSS is completed in accordance with NAFTA specified timeframes, follow-on standards-related work will be continued within the TCG. In this week’s session, TCG working groups:
Insurance Coverage for Motor Carriers - brought together insurance regulators from the three countries to discuss issues related to insurance coverage for motor carriers engaged in cross-border operations. Insurance regulators indicated their intention to explore the possibility of entering into confidentiality agreements for sharing information on individual insurance companies, establishing a system of mutual cooperation, and exchanging information on licensing and registration requirements. Regulators also agreed to inform their insurance trade associations of their discussions.
Border Facilitation Issues - agreement was reached to pursue on-going information exchange on motor carrier operating requirements.
U.S.-Canada Railroad Operating Practices - reported on the completion in 1998 of the U.S.-Canada bilateral report on railroad operating practices.
Review of Rail Safety Appliance Regulations - set up a trilateral technical working group to review regulations on rail safety appliances in all three countries and recommend necessary changes.
Automated Data Exchange - continued to provide a valuable forum for apprising on driver and other data developments. The group will actively participate in a trilateral data conference in the Fall 1998.
Cooperation on Transportation Technologies - agreed to a five-year plan for increased cooperation in the field of North American transportation technologies (signed by heads of delegation). Specific endeavors in this area include common principles for dedicated short-range communication, and website development in support of North American research facilities and capabilities.
Transportation Technologies Workshop - announced a planned workshop on public/private partnerships for financing transportation technologies.
Maritime and Port Activities - agreed on a mission statement and detailed work plan covering a range of issues relating to maritime and ports policy, operational and safety issues. Specific issues include the need to identify and exchange trade data on waterborne commerce in order to address obstacles to trade in consultation with industry representatives and other working groups of the TCG. The group also agreed to continue its work regarding harmonization of ship safety inspection procedures and exchange of safety data.
Accomplishments of the TCG to date include: development of comprehensive handbooks for both freight and passenger carriers of federal, state and provincial regulatory and operational requirements and developments of a computer database for the exchange of Commercial Driver’s License information.