One of the many repercussions of the Covid-19 Pandemic that may have gone unreported or unnoticed is the increase in secondary inspections at the borders! Has anyone out there noticed this? Do any of your wonder why there is an increase in drug smuggling busts? Here is your explanation and reason why – Covid-19! Due to the reduced number of personal vehicles allowed to cross the borders both southbound and northbound due to the border restrictions because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the borders are still closed except for essential services. Commercial trucks carrying essential goods across the borders are still crossing daily, these too are reduced in the amount of commercial traffic. After many discussions with both CBSA and CBP Officers, the border patrol officers have lots more time on their hands so the need to get the trucks across the border quickly has been hugely reduced. Having so much more time on their hands, the border patrol officers are stopping an exceptionally large amount more trucks at the border points prior to crossing. Normally prior to Covid-19 only 2-3% of commercial trucks every get stopped at the borders, now that there is decreased traffic at the borders, that number has gone up to 60-70%! So, beware and be ready to be stopped!
What are they stopping for? Here are key things to look for and do before you load and go! Always conduct your 18-point inspections! Make sure that you check all floors, ceilings, roofs, bumpers, tractors, trailers, tires, doors, locking mechanisms etc. Make sure you know what is getting loaded into your truck! Always verify all your documentation including the commercial invoice, eManifest both ACE and ACI, BOL, POD, make sure that all documents match up completely and accurately, all quantities, descriptions, weights, locations must all match 100%! Even if you get offered millions of dollars do NOT accept any transport of any goods that you do not know the contents of, or you have a bad feeling about – trust your gut! Always be present and watch the loading and unloading of your loads, insist on being present during both! If you are told that you are not allowed on the loading docks “due to covid-19”, tell the shipper/receiver that you have to be and that you are equipped with a mask and gloves and you will stand your required distance of 6’ (2.5m). Be observant! If you cannot stand inside the loading dock area, stand outside of your truck so that you can monitor and watch anyone coming near your truck. If you are told to wait inside your cab/tractor, insist on NO! You will do your best to stand outside and monitor your loading so that you are as aware of what is going on as you can be. If you feel that you have been mislead about the contents make sure that you let the border guard know before you are pulled over for secondary inspection! Once you get pulled over remember that you are guilty until proven innocent at the borders, it is not the same as with police where you are innocent until proven guilty! It is the exact opposite!
So be careful out there! Follow all the proper protocol for pre inspections prior to loading and know what is in your load! Say NO to anyone offering you a lot of money to carry products that you are unsure about! Do not carry alcohol across the borders! You are NOT allowed any! You are a commercial truck driver and the ruling is no alcohol! If you smoke, you are only allowed enough for personal consumption! Cannabis is an absolute NO! You cannot under any circumstances have smoked, taken pills or oil of any cannabis or CBD products while driving, you cannot under any circumstances carry any cannabis products across any borders! If you are offered a lot of money to carry drugs, please say NO! The chances of your getting caught are HUGE!
Stay Safe and Healthy Out There! For more information about this article, the new MSC, suspicious activities reporting, border crossings or safety & compliance programs such as CTPAT, FAST, PIP, AEO, CSA please contact Cross Border Services at www.crossborderservices.ca email@example.com.