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US regulators delay cross-border chemical residue rule

WASHINGTON -- US Customs and Border Protection will not immediately begin enforcement this month of a new rule requiring exporters and carriers to stipulate on electronic manifests nearly the exact amount of residual chemicals inside portable tank containers.

According to industry reports, CBP has agreed to a 60-day delay of enforcement of the rule, which was slated to kick-in in Sept. 16. The new compliance date will take effect in November.

Trade groups, including the Canadian Trucking Alliance, argued that the additional time was needed to help businesses prepare for the rule and for CBP to iron out any wrinkles.

As todaystrucking.com reported earlier this year, CBP decided to cancel a previous allowance that held that a steel container filled with a chemical could be entered as "empty" when imported back into the U.S., notwithstanding the residue of chemicals remaining in the containers.

Arguing that exempting such residues as 'petroleum slops' is inconsistent with how it treats other commodities and these materials risk the "safety and security" of officers, CBP will require trace amounts of residue to be reported in advanced e-manifests. 

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