Transport Canada has published the long-awaited amendments to the Marine Transportation Security Regulations in the Canada Gazette Part II, Vol. 148, No. 14 - July 2, 2014. These amendments will bring greater clarity and consistency for marine operators and include recent changes made to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers.
The inaugual meeting of the Commodity Supply Chain Table (CSCT) estalbished by Transport Canada held its first meeting last week. The CSCT is expected to provide a forum to address logistical issues and identify ways to improve rail transportation with better information on anticipated volumes.
Following the lead of Transport Canada, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board issued orders at the end of last week to the Canadian Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railways that they must produce a plan to resolve the backlog of grain car orders on the U.S. rail network by today. In addition, both railways must provide the Board with weekly status updates beginning June 27. The reports are to include:
A new whistleblower service has been launched for the container drayage community in the Lower Mainland to provide a way truck drivers to voice concerns about such things as trucking company compliance with Joint Action Plan remuneration rates, truck licensing or driver harassment. The service is a collaborative effort by Port Metro Vancouver and the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Those wishing to file a report can do so online, via a 24/7 telephone service, by fax or by mail. The 1 877 713-5109 toll-free telephone service, called Drayage Confidence Line, is administered by an independent, third-party organization that will forward drivers’ concerns to the appropriate agency for follow-up. Concerns involving driver remuneration will be investigated by the Container Dispute Resolution Program and, where necessary, disciplinary measures will be taken.
CBSA has issued a reminder that effective July 9, 2014 the requirement to submit an Estimated Date and Time of Loading (EDTL) for ACI Marine will become mandatory. The EDTL is mandatory if the cargo is containerized and the foreign port of loading is non US. Bulk and break-bulk cargo will continue to be exempt from the EDTL requirement.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has seized 197 kg of suspected marijuana and 14 kg of suspected heroin from a tractor trailer at Edmonton Commercial Operations at the Edmonton International Airport and an additional 95 kg of suspected marijuana and 6 kg of suspected hashish as part of the same investigation. The tractor trailer contained goods from an overseas shipment requiring custom clearance in Edmonton. As a result of the CBSA seizure, two men were arrested and have been criminally charged by the RCMP.
The federal government has committed $3 million towards a Common Data Interface (CDI) project that will help coordinate reservations and reduce trucker wait times across Port Metro Vancouver's four container terminals.
The CDI project includes:
The project, which costs approximately $6 million, will receive $3 million over two years under Transport Canada’s Clean Transportation Initiative on Port-Related Trucking, with the port contributing the other half.
A big sigh of relief for Canadian ports as the new US Water Resources Reform and Development Act signed into law on Tuesday excluded a proposed 0.125 per cent tax on cargo arriving in Canada and Mexico destined for the US. In lieu of any tax, the new Act does offer $25 million to ports that contribute to the National Harbor Maintenance Tax, such as Seattle and Tacoma.
The new Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act (Bill C-30) received Royal Assent on May 29th. The Act includes the volume requirements for the movement grain by rail through to August 3, 2014 and established the authority to set further volume requirements as needed beyond that point. The legislation also allows shippers to be compensated for the railways' failure to meet service level obligations under the Canada Transportation Act.
CN is averaging 5,500 carloads per week - a full 50 per cent more than its eight-year historical average and aims to increase this average to close to 6,000 cars per week during the summer following implementation of a fleet integration plan and deployment of its surplus US hopper cars.
Following a delay in the publication of the amended Pacific Pilotage Tariff Regulations, the Pacific Pilotage Authority has advised that they Treasury Board has approved the new Pacific Pilotage Tariff Regulations May 16, 2014 effective May 16, 2014.
Transport Canada released two Ship Safety Bulletins this week. Ship Safety Bulletin 02/2014 outlines a new joint process established by Transport Canada's Marine Safety and Transportation of Dangerous Goods Directors to review applications for exemptions from the requirements stipulated under both the Cargo, Fumigation, Tackle Regulations and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. This single-window approach is expected to save time, without compromising the safe marine transportation of packaged dangerous goods.
Ship Safety Bulletin 03/2014 is a reminder that transitional provisions related to the issuance of Security Certificates of Proficiency ends on June 20, 2014. After June 30th, 2014, all seafarers will need to complete a security training course to obtain a Ship Personnel with Designated Security Duties or a Ship Personnel without Designated Security Duties certificate of proficiency.
Bell Helicopter based in Mirabel, Quebec has been awarded the $172 million contract for the procurement and delivery of 15 light-lift helicopters under the Canadian Guard's Fleet Renewal Plan. The first of the 15 helicopters is expected to be delivered in May 2015.
Effective July 9, 2014 CBSA will tighten its ACROSS system to require the Estimated Date and Time of Loading (EDTL) filed to be provided for ACI Marine when the cargo is containerized and the Foreign Port of Laoding is non-US. Bulk and break-buil cargo will continue to be exempt fro the EDTL requirement.
The International Maritime Organization has issued a Consolidated Guidance Document for Port Reception Facility Providers and Users. The document is intended to encourage the establishment of more adequate reception facilities in ports worldwide. Download the IMO Port Reception Facility Guide.
Government's Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act (Bill C-30) passed third reading in the House of Commons and has been referred to the Senate. Through Bill C-30, the Government of Canada is taking immediate, concrete action to get grain moving faster through legislation and regulations designed to:
Based on the feedback heard at Parliamentary committee, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food passed an amendment to Bill C-30 which would also create the authority for the Canadian Transportation Agency to order a railway to compensate shippers for expenses incurred as a result of a railway's failure to fulfill its service obligations.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service (APHIS) has announced proposed changes to the fees it charges for agricultural quarantine inspections (AQI) at US ports of entry. Included in the proposal is an increase for commercial inspections of marine cargo vessels from $496 to $825, a $2 fee per passenger to recover costs associated with inspection cruise vessels and passenger baggage, and a new $375 fee to recover costs for monitoring the application of or providing treatments to imported cargo to minimize pest risks.
The attached fee proposal is the first adjustment to APHIS user fees in nearly a decade and is intended to better align with the costs of the services provided. The proposal is subject to a 60-day comment period.
The provincial government has released its latest proposal on land-based spills.
Three major policies are being proposed to ensure both government and industry can respond to heavy oil and other hazardous material spills on land in a timely and effective manner, including:
The public will have until June 26, 2014, to review the paper and submit feedback. The paper can be found at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/codes/spr_eep/response.htm