Essential Freight Transportation Exemption
Exemption to allow relief from the requirements established under the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations
Tracking Number – ASF-E-2020-01
Pursuant to section 16 of the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, after consulting with the affected provinces and being of the opinion that the exemption is in the public interest and is not likely to affect motor carrier safety, I hereby exempt extra-provincial truck undertakings and their drivers, who are employed or otherwise engaged in the transport of essential supplies and equipment in direct assistance to the emergency relief efforts during the response to COVID-19, in all provinces and territories throughout Canada, from the provisions set out in sections 12 to 29 and 37 to 54 of the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations, subject to the conditions set out below.
The purpose of this exemption is to support efforts by extra-provincial truck undertakings and their drivers to transport essential supplies and equipment, in direct assistance to emergency relief efforts during the response to COVID-19.
This exemption applies to extra-provincial truck undertakings and their drivers, who are employed or otherwise engaged in the transport of essential supplies and equipment, in direct assistance to the emergency relief efforts during the response to COVID-19.
This exemption is subject to the following conditions:
- Prior to commencement of operations under this exemption, the extra-provincial truck undertaking shall:
- notify in writing the provincial hours of service director of the base jurisdiction of its intention to operate under this exemption;
- provide to the provincial hours of service director of the base jurisdiction documentation that will contain the following information:
- the commercial vehicles that are to be operated;
- the licence plate numbers of those vehicles and the province of issuance;
- the names of drivers who will operate the commercial vehicles; and,
- the drivers' driving licence numbers and province of issuance.
- While operating under this exemption, the extra-provincial truck undertaking shall:
- keep the provincial hours of service director of the base jurisdiction informed of any changes to the list referred in paragraph 1(b) so that the director may accurately and quickly identify the commercial vehicles or the drivers. These changes are to be reported by means of weekly reports;
- ensure that their drivers maintain a daily log or electronic recording device to record their hours of driving, on-duty and off-duty time;
- hold a valid safety fitness certificate that has not been assigned a Conditional or Unsatisfactory Safety Rating by the base jurisdiction pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Transport Act and the Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Certificate Regulations;
- not request, require or allow a commercial vehicle to be used if either the commercial vehicle or driver are subject to an out-of-service declaration;
- require that a copy of the exemption be placed in the commercial vehicles that are operated in accordance with this exemption;
- encourage shippers to indicate on the bill of lading that the supplies and equipment being transported are in direct assistance to the emergency relief efforts during the response to COVID-19;
- keep at their principal place of business or other location deemed acceptable by the provincial hours of service director of the base jurisdiction of the motor carrier, a copy of the exemption as well as daily logs and other supporting documents that demonstrate compliance with the conditions of this exemption and shall at the request of an inspector or provincial hours of service director, immediately make available for inspection such documentation;
- monitor drivers and other employees for compliance with the conditions of this exemption and where non-compliance is observed, ensure immediate remedial actions are taken to effectively eliminate the non-compliance and document these monitoring efforts and results;
- not request, require or allow a driver to drive if their faculties are impaired by fatigue to the point where it is unsafe for the driver to drive;
- ensure that in cases where a driver informs the extra-provincial truck undertaking that he or she needs immediate rest, the driver must be permitted to take at least 8-consecutive hours of off-duty time before having to report again to the home terminal; and
- ensure that a driver operating under the terms of this exemption takes a minimum of 24-consecutive hours of off-duty in every 14 day period.
- While operating under this exemption, the driver of an extra-provincial truck undertaking operating a commercial vehicle shall:
- indicate in the "Remarks" section of each daily log, if the exemption is being used on that day;
- carry a copy of the exemption in the commercial vehicle and make the documents available for inspection by an inspector, immediately upon request;
- not drive if their faculties are impaired by fatigue to the point where it is unsafe to drive;
- take a minimum of 10-consecutive hours of off duty time after the delivery of essential cargo;
- request 10-consecutive hours of off-duty time from the extra-provincial truck undertaking, where the driver feels the need for immediate rest; and
- understand that he /she may be the subject of a declaration of out-of-service if the driver operates a commercial vehicle while his / her ability or alertness is so impaired or so likely to become impaired through fatigue as to make it unsafe for him / her to begin or continue to operate the commercial vehicle. In addition, the driver shall also understand that this exemption will no longer be applicable if he/she is the subject of an out of office declaration.
For the purposes of this exemption the expression “direct assistance to the emergency relief efforts during the response to COVID-19” means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) related to the emergency relief efforts during the response to COVID-19 outbreaks including transportation to meet immediate needs for:
- medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
- supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants;
- food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores;
- immediate precursor raw materials-such as paper, plastic or alcohol-that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items in categories (1), (2) or (3);
- equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19;
- persons designated by Federal, Provincial/Territorial or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and,
- persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response.
Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, or transportation of mixed loads that include essential supplies, equipment and persons, along with supplies, equipment and persons that are not being transported in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks.
This exemption comes into effect upon the date that it is signed and remains valid until the earliest of the following:
- April 30, 2020 at 23.59 EST;
- the date on which the exemption is cancelled in writing by the Minister where he is of the opinion that it is no longer in the public interest, or that it is likely to affect motor carrier safety.
(on behalf of the Minister of Transport)