DOT explosives rule affects Canada; Mexico eyed next

| Thursday, February 06, 2003

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued temporary regulations requiring truck and rail operators carrying explosives from Canada to the United States to register with Transport Canada, the Canadian agency responsible for transportation safety.

DOT is also consulting with the Mexican government to develop a similar system of security checks.

Under an interim final rule, Transport Canada will conduct checks to ensure that both the carriers and their customers are legitimate entities. Transport Canada also will do driver security checks. It will then forward lists of approved carriers, shippers and drivers to the Transportation Security Administration.

TSA will make additional checks and forward the lists to the U.S. Customs Service. Customs will allow Canadian explosives carriers to enter the United States only if the carrier, shipper and operator are on the approved list.

DOT said the public would have 30 days to comment on the interim final rule, which is intended only as a temporary measure until the agency completes consultations with Canada and other U.S. government agencies and issues more comprehensive regulations regarding background checks.

The rule was published in the Feb. 6 Federal Register and can be accessed at http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/index.html.

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