News: Cross-border
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Cross-Border Truck Inspection Fees Could Skyrocket

TORONTO — You know that fee you pay every year to get an agricultural quarantine inspection (AQI) at the border? Well, it might just triple.

“At a time when Canada and the United States are supposed to be working to implement the Beyond the Border Action Plan, APHIS comes along with a proposal that is beyond reason,” says David Bradley, president and CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) says the current US $105 fee charged to trucks crossing the border do not generate enough money to cover the cost of the service. APHIS used an independent accounting firm to review the AQI fee structure and found that commercial trucks with a transponder should pay closer to US $320 per year – an increase of 205 percent.

In addition to current APHIS fee of $105, truckers also pay a Consolidate Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) fee of $100, totalling $205 in per truck per year. The proposed increase to APHIS fees from $105 to $320 would bring the total bill from $205 to $420 per year per truck.

Trucks without a transponder will be charged eight dollars per crossing rather than the current US $5.25 fee, which is an increase of 52 percent.

The AQI fee has been flat since 2002, though the APHIS tried to increase fees in 2009 and backed down after trucking associations objected.

The proposed increase is needed to cover the cost of hundreds of new hires to conduct inspections as well as Sunday, holiday and after-hour inspections, according to APHIS.

“The United States, like Canada, has every right to protect its agricultural sector from the importation of foreign pests and diseases, and inspections are a necessary part of that,” says David Bradley, president and CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. “But setting astronomical fee increases without consideration of the impact on other industries – or without seeking ways to more effectively and efficiently deploy its resources through risk assessment as opposed to inspecting every truck whether it is hauling agricultural products or not – is completely untoward.”

Bradley says APHIS should be using a more targeted, risk assessment approach to consultation based on the “trusted trader” principles employed in other border security programs.

“How efficient and effective is it to be inspecting and charging APHIS fees to trucks that are, for example, importing auto parts into the United States on plastic pallets?” he asks. 

The proposed fee increase will be available for a 60 day comment period.

 
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katie

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UMMMM.....$5.25 to cross without a transponder???? what did I miss...it's $10.75 without a transponder anywhere I cross....

Anonymous

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It sounds to me like the USA propaganda machine is back at work, paranoia has set I. Yet again. Really has new bugs developed over the past century .... I'm surprised they have not tagged them as terrorist to justify the hiring of more staff...geezus will they ever calm down?

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