Mexico City, January 15, 2015 – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a notice in the Federal Register announcing it is now accepting applications from Mexican Carriers for authority to conduct long-haul, cross-border trucking services in the United States, increasing economic and export opportunities between the two countries, and marking a significant milestone in the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The policy change is expected to result in the permanent termination of more than $2 billion in annual retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods and follows a three-year pilot program that tested and validated the safety of Mexican trucking companies to operate long-haul in the U.S.
“Opening the door to a safe cross-border trucking system with Mexico is a major step forward in strengthening our relationship with the nation’s third largest trading partner, and in meeting our obligations under NAFTA,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Data from the three-year pilot program, and additional analysis on almost 1,000 other Mexican long-haul trucking companies proved that Mexican carriers demonstrate a level of safety at least as high as their American and Canadian counterparts.”
Fifteen trucking companies from Mexico enrolled in the pilot that concluded in October, crossing the border more than 28,000 times, traveling more than 1.5 million miles in-country, and undergoing more than 5,500 safety inspections by American officials.
Today’s announcement ends more than two decades of uncertainty, and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman welcomed the news. “I am pleased that the Department of Transportation has published its analysis of its very rigorous long-haul, cross-border trucking pilot program. Formally concluding this process will help us continue our work to expand trade and investment opportunities between our countries,” said Ambassador Froman.
Companies from Mexico that apply for long-haul operating authority will be required to pass a Pre-Authorization Safety Audit to confirm they have adequate safety management programs in place, including systems for monitoring hours-of-service and to conduct drug testing. Additionally, all drivers must possess a valid U.S. Commercial Driver’s License or a Mexican Licencia Federal de Conductor, and must meet the agency’s English language proficiency requirements.
Like Canadian companies that are granted U.S. operating authority, carriers and drivers from Mexico are required to comply with all laws and regulations, including regular border and random roadside inspections. American trucking companies have been able to apply and operate long-haul in Mexico through NAFTA since 2007. Currently, five U.S. companies use this authority to transport international goods into Mexico.
Federal Register Notice: