U.S. to Open Border to Mexican Carriers

The Department of Transportation announced Friday, January 9th that the United States will start accepting applications from Mexican carriers to provide long-haul cargo delivery across the border. The announcement came after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration submitted its final report to Congress on the three-year border pilot program set up to test the agency’s cross-border safety regime. The agency found that Mexican carriers can operate safely.

All Mexican carriers who apply for operating authority with the DOT will be required to:

  • Pass a pre-authorization safety audit to ensure they properly manage hours-of-service compliance and adhere to U.S. drug testing laws
  • Have a U.S. CDL or a Mexican Licencia Federal de Conductor
  • Meet English-language proficiency requirements
  • Once a carrier is approved to operate across the border, its trucks must clear a North American Standard Level I inspection every 90 days for four years

The decision to accept Mexican applications is a major development in the 20-year dispute over U.S. efforts to comply with terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The DOT says the policy, which is backed by the Obama administration, will end roughly $2 billion in tariffs imposed on U.S. goods by Mexico as a retaliatory measure for the U.S. not meeting its NAFTA obligations. However, the decision is not without controversy. Critics, including the Teamsters and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, cite issues such as safety, security, and American jobs.

Odyssey will continue to update you on further developments. If you have any questions or concerns on how this will impact you please call an Odyssey representative at 1-855-412-0200.