New Mexico law on cross-border loads takes effect Friday

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Thursday, June 30, 2011

A rule change slated to take effect Friday, July 1, in New Mexico is intended to boost commercial activity via Mexico.

Currently, New Mexico law limits special permitting for overweight vehicles to non-reducible loads. The new law provides special permits to operate overweight trucks for certain reducible loads within six miles of a port-of-entry facility on the state’s border with Mexico. Trucks weighing up to 96,000 pounds are affected.

According to a state analysis, reducible loads are defined as any load that can be altered by reducing the quantity of materials, such as construction tile or other building products.
A summary of the law notes that because commercial vehicles in Mexico operate under different weight limits than trucks operating in New Mexico and Texas, some commercial reducible loads must be partially offloaded before crossing through border ports of entry. The offloaded product must then be reloaded onto a second truck in Mexico before shipment across the border.

Rep. Mary Helen Garcia, D-Dona Ana, pointed out that the process adds significant costs for both Mexican producers and U.S. buyers.

The new law is intended to eliminate the offloading/reloading process and allow affected loads to be delivered directly to warehouses, processing facilities and logistics yards near the border.

Gov. Martinez said the companies importing those products will see reduced costs that will passed onto consumers.

“Thanks to a disparity in weight requirements on commercial vehicles between the United States and Mexico, some companies sustain extra costs that result in higher costs for American customers,” Martinez said in a statement after signing the new law. “This legislation will eliminate those unnecessary costs.”

Garcia noted that the change will create a “niche market” with unique benefit for the state. She pointed out that overweight limits at nearby Texas ports in El Paso cannot be similarly increased because of federal weight restrictions on the bridges crossing the Rio Grande.

The increased activity is expected to enhance the Santa Teresa POE as a truck logistics hub, adding traffic to the four major logistics facilities located there.

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