CARB: Brokers, forwarders, shippers on hook for reefer reg

By Charlie Morasch, contributing writer

The New Year brought required emissions upgrades for 2006 reefer and generator set engines in California – an annual tradition many produce haulers are all too familiar with.

What many brokers, freight forwarders and other players in the industry may not know is they too are on the hook to be compliant with California’s Transportation Refrigeration Unit regulation.

CARB’s TRU Regulation requires emissions upgrades for reefers eight years after their model year of production. Dec. 31, 2013, was the deadline for 2006 model year reefers to be upgraded.

According to an informational email sent Jan. 14 by the California Air Resources Board, brokers, freight forwarders, shippers and receivers also are bound by the emissions requirements for reefers. Another new requirement of the rule will mean drivers with refrigerated loads must carry documentation with them while they’re on the road.

“Any business entity that hires motor carriers to transport perishable goods on California highways and railways must require the carriers they hire or contract with to only dispatch TRUs or TRU generator sets that comply with the RU’s in-use performance standards,” the email reads.

CARB suggested several strategies to help those who hire motor carriers to ensure compliance with the reefer rule. The strategies include notifying refrigerated carriers they work with to register their reefers with CARB’s ARBER system and to dispatch only compliant TRUs to California. ARBER is the online equipment registration program.

“Notify them that you will not hire a carrier that can’t show you that they are compliant with ARB’s in-use performance standards,” the email said.

Businesses hiring refrigerated carriers can require the companies to show them a current ARBER certification page for each TRU they operate. The ARBER system has a “100 percent Compliant Carrier List” that highlights companies that are listed as being fully compliant with the Reefer Rule.

CARB said loads coming to or from California should be advertised as requiring CARB-compliant TRUs, and freight contracts and bills of lading should include similar language highlighted in bold print.

Another new requirement of the rule will mean drivers with refrigerated loads must carry documentation with them while they’re on the road. The business hiring the reefer must provide contact information to the motor carrier for their driver. The contact info must include the hiring entity, shipper and receiver.

Motor carriers must also give the driver contact information for the shipper, receiver and business entity that hired the motor carrier.

Drivers hauling reefer loads in California should be able to provide their driver’s license, vehicle registration, bill of lading or freight bill with the origin and destination of the load, and contact information for the carrier, shipper, receiver and business entity that hired the carrier, the email said.

All parties involved in the freight transaction are subject to citations and fines by CARB, an advisory posted to the air quality agency’s website says. Enforcement will occur at weigh stations, ports, border crossings, and other locations. The TRU rule can be enforced by CARB’s uniformed enforcement staff and the Los Angeles Police Department. LL