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Trade Regs Impact Distributors Crossing Borders- 9/19/2012
As global trade increases, streamlining and international reciprocity in regulatory requirements become more important for industrial distributors. GAWDA’s Government Affairs & Human Resources Legal Consultant Richard P. Schweitzer, Esq., reports that there are two new initiatives intended to ease the process of crossing borders with regulated products. His article appears in Welding & Gases Today, the leading magazine for the gases and welding equipment industry.
In 2001, the United States and Canadian Governments created the United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) to promote bilateral commerce by increasing regulatory cooperation between the two countries. The parties issued a Joint Action Plan in December 2011 with a two-year deadline for specific working group projects; one of these working groups involves dangerous goods means of containment, such as compressed gas cylinders and tank trucks.
In addition, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reached a tentative agreement with industry on how to treat residue in commercial containers returning to the United States from any foreign country, including residue in cylinders and tank trucks. CBP generally requires importers to declare the value of the contents of any such containers and to pay duty and user fees if applicable. But for most companies, this imposes unnecessary costs and administrative burdens. CBP plans to publish a proposal in the Federal Register setting out its test approach to this issue.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has established a docket for public comments on these initiatives. Already the American Trucking Associations and other commenters have indicated that differences between United States and Canadian requirements in the transportation of dangerous goods have produced confusion.
To learn more about regulations impacting international trade, read “U.S. Considers Trade Rules For Cylinders, Tanks, Trucks” at Welding & Gases Today Online.