Heavy haulers are subject to a variety of rules and regulations that require special permits and a flurry of paperwork. However, drivers that will be crossing borders from one country to another can expect the amount of paperwork to transition into a full-fledged snowstorm. A single missed step will result in extra costs and major delays.
To cross a border, special documents will be required. In most instances, a bill of lading will suffice, but it will depend on the shipment. A bill of lading should provide a description of the load that includes the weight, type of commodity and piece count when applicable. A commercial invoice will also be needed that indicates the value of the cargo and it must be in the denomination of the destination country.
Before heavy haulers can move shipments from the U.S. to Canada, they must apply for a U.S. Dept of Transportation (DOT) MC number. It has to be renewed each year if the carrier is to be classified as active within the Federal Motor Safety Administration. Flatbed companies must have a Standard Carrier Alpha Code and drivers in the U.S. are required to comply with the Automated Commercial Environment electronic manifest program.
A customs broker will make crossing borders much easier. They’ll be responsible for declaring the goods being shipped and for paying tariffs and taxes. They can also be instrumental in arranging sales, handling other costs, and obtaining custom clearances.
A self-propelled vehicle of any type requires additional documentation and many pieces of equipment that will be transported by heavy haulers will fit that description. That can include cargo encompassing classic cars and agricultural harvesters to excavators and mining equipment.
If the items are crossing from the U.S. into Canada, an EPA form will be required in addition to the other documents. It will need to show the year and make of the engine to ensure it complies with emissions regulations. If the cargo is going from the U.S. to Canada, it will have to undergo an investigation that traces the ownership to verify that the title is free and clear.
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