A Mexican carrier was found to violate U.S. leasing laws pertaining to Mexican carriers, said William Quade of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Enforcement and Compliance division.
The violation was found during the pre-authorization safety audit process for carriers who would be a part of the U.S.-Mexican cross-border trucking pilot program, he said.
Quade discussed the finding Feb. 8 during questioning by the Cross-border Subcommittee of FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee. The subcommittee is meeting this week in Alexandria, Va.
The violations were found with the third carrier to apply for authority under the cross-border program, Grupo Behr of Apodaca, Nuevo León. Behr was found to have been in violation of leasing statutes in Section 219 of the 1999 Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act.
Mexican carriers have been able to “lease to a commercial zone carrier because they could get commercial zone authority,” said Quade. Section 219 was intended to end the ability for a Mexican carrier to lease trucks and drivers to a U.S.carrier for operations beyond the authority the Mexican carrier could get clearance for on its own.
The agency issued a notice to Grupo for violating Section 219, he added, but the agency did not pursue civil penalties. “Our preliminary decision is to monitor the situation for six months to consider whether we should allow them into the program.”
Since the first Mexican truck crossing began the pilot program with Mexico in October, only nine crossings have been made under the program, said Quade. Inspections were conducted during eight of those nine crossings and no violations were found.
Only two carriers, Transportes Olympic of Monterrey and Moises Alvarez Perez, doing business as Distribuidora Marina El Pescador, of Tijuana, accounted for thecrossings. They remain the only carriers to have undergone pre-authorization safety audits (PASAs) under the program that were cleared for participation. Five additional carriers that have undergone PASAs are pending full results as well as acceptance into the program.