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Restrictions Preventing Mexican Motor Carriers from Leasing Commercial Vehicles to U.S. Carriers Lifted

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is formally lifting all restrictions preventing Mexico-domiciled motor carriers from leasing commercial motor vehicles to U.S. carriers to transport property into the U.S. in light of the agency’s acceptance of applications for long-haul operating authority from Mexico-domiciled motor carriers following the conclusion of the U.S.-Mexico cross-border long-haul trucking pilot program.

Section 219(d) of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 prohibited the leasing by a Mexico-domiciled motor carrier of its equipment to a U.S. motor carrier for operation beyond the commercial zones on the U.S.-Mexico border until the international obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement chapter on cross-border trade in services were met. From Oct. 14, 2011, through October 10, 2014, FMCSA conducted a pilot program to determine the ability of Mexican motor carriers to operate safely in the U.S. The agency delivered its report to Congress in January 2015 and subsequently announced that it would begin accepting and processing applications for long-haul operating authority from Mexico-domiciled property carriers.

Because Mexico-domiciled motor carriers may now apply for and receive long-haul operating authority, the land transportation provisions of NAFTA for property carriers have been implemented. Therefore, FMCSA has announced that the previous leasing restrictions are not applicable, consistent with section 219(d) of MCSIA.

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