Questions arise over cross-border carrier’s paperwork

Jill Dunn | April 16, 2012

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has responded to questions about Baja Express, the most recent carrier admitted to the agency’s cross-border pilot program with Mexico, clarifying clerical-type errors found within Baja’s application for the program.

William Quade, FMCSA associate administrator for enforcement and program delivery, responded March 21 to comments raised by the Owner-Operator and Independent Drivers Association and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety about the third Mexican carrier to participate in its program.

OOIDA correctly noted Baja Express is affiliated with Carlos Tirado Valdez, and the carrier had not indicated this relationship on its original application, Quade wrote. Agency representatives learned of this relationship before they conducted the Pre-Authorization Safety Audit required of carriers seeking program participation.

Baja Express updated its application to correct this error, but the FMCSA inadvertently “posted the original, incomplete version of its application” to its website for this project, he stated.

In response to questions from the Advocates, Quade said the carrier did not have information in FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System because it is a new company established to participate in the pilot program.

OOIDA President Jim Johnston’s April 11 letter to Quade questioned if the most recently posted application is genuine because it has the same date as the original application and it is not signed by an individual as required.

The agency also published a notice saying it is accepting comment through May 14 on “Licensing Applications for Motor Carrier Operating Authority,” because it will ask the Office of Management and Budget permission to extend the information collection period. FMCSA did not indicate plans to modify the application forms.

Carriers, brokers and freight forwarders must complete these applications, which have differences based on  varying registration standards and transportation types. These applications include Form OP-1(MX), which Mexican carriers complete when applying to operate beyond the commercial border zone.

Comments on the agency’s request must include the notice’s Federal Docket Management System Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0059. Comments may be posted at regulations.gov or faxed to (202) 493-2251. The Federal Register notice may be read here.