CTA needs help to make changes to CBSA’s AMPS penalty system

TORONTO, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) together with the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) are working to put Advanced Commercial Information requirements (ACI) in place.

The second phase of ACI compliance was introduced in 2015, and included the introduction of the Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPS) regime. Under AMPS, penalties are issued to carriers who do not meet CBSA’s ACI reporting requirements. However, for the last few months CTA and CBSA have been examining ways to better administer the enforcement of AMPS.

Last year the CBSA introduced several AMPS mitigation policies, including the temporary capping of penalty amounts. These mitigation policies were put in place to recognize the transition process fleets were undergoing while adapting to these new processes. This year, the CBSA removed almost all forms of mitigation and began to fully enforce all aspects of the AMPS penalty system, including the return to a graduated AMPS penalty system.

CTA expressed concern at the time; and based on continued reports from carriers, the concerns remain valid. The CTA says it has heard multiple reports from carriers, including those with very high ACI compliance rates, who have received thousands of dollars in AMPS penalties since January 1, 2017. CTA has maintained that CBSA needs to develop a system based on volumetrics, where carriers’ frequency of crossing the border and high compliance rates must be a factor in the issuance of penalties.

At the end of March, the CTA Board will be examining alternative policy options for CBSA to consider, including the possibility of turning trucks around for major AMPS violations, which can lead to $2,000 fines or more. This approach of turning trucks around is often adopted by US Customs Border Protection when there are issues with a truck’s paperwork.

To help the CTA Board understand the issues at hand, CTA is asking carriers to take part in an AMPS penalty survey. This survey will add context to the issues with AMPS penalties, and will capture your fleet size, exposure to the border, ACI compliance rate and the number of AMPS penalties you have received in 2017.