OTTAWA, Ont. — Another day, another dollar due at the border. That’s the way it seems these days at the Canada/US border and the Canadian Trucking Trucking Alliance is now taking aim at a proposed 14% increase to the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Fee.
The CTA referred to the US APHIS fee increase as “ludicruous.” Under the proposal, commercial truck user fees will go from US$5.25 to $6 per trip and the commercial truck transponders will rise in cost from US$105 per year to $120.
The changes were initially slated to kick in Oct. 1, but have been delayed until Nov. 1. The US is justifying the fee increases by saying they’re necessary to offset lost revenue due to declining border traffic. It would mark the first fee hike since 2005, the US points out.
“Introducing APHIS fees in the first place on all trucks entering the United States whether they are carrying agricultural products or not was nothing but a cash grab,” countered CTA chief David Bradley. “This increase and the rationale for the increase are both ludicrous.”
“To acknowledge that trade is down, you would think that the folks at APHIS might have also acknowledged that this is a reflection of the recession and the impact of the thickening of the border for legitimate trade,” added Bradley. “Instead they increase their fees; incredible.”
Bradley is urging the rest of the trade community to join CTA in opposing the fee increases.