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FMCSA Generally Met Requirements for Cross-Border Carriers’ Long-Haul Operations, but Compliance Reviews Were Not Timely

Directed by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Statement of Administrative Action
Project ID: 
What We Looked At
Moving international cargo across the United States-Mexico border, including via long-haul trucks, is essential to our economy. Pursuant to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Implementation Act, in August 2021, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) submitted a report to Congress on all existing grants of operating authority to, and pending applications for operating authority from, all Mexico-domiciled and Mexican-owned or -controlled motor property carriers with authority to operate beyond the United States-Mexico border commercial zones. The USMCA Statement of Administrative Action directed our office to review the Department’s actions to determine whether each motor carrier with any operating authority covered by FMCSA’s reporting requirement complies with applicable Federal motor carrier safety laws and regulations. Our objectives were to determine whether FMCSA (1) met requirements in authorizing Mexico-domiciled and Mexican-owned or -controlled motor carriers to conduct long-haul trucking operations beyond border commercial zones and (2) monitored those carriers to ensure they are operating safely.
What We Found
FMCSA generally followed Federal regulations and its standard operating procedures and processes when provisionally authorizing and monitoring cross-border carriers’ long-haul operations in the United States. The Agency also has an adequate tracking system to determine when carriers are due for a review to ensure they are complying with these regulations. However, FMCSA did not always conduct timely compliance reviews of carriers operating under provisional authority, which hinders FMCSA’s ability to fully assess and mitigate carrier safety risks, resulting in increased risk that unsafe carriers may be operating on the Nation’s roadways.
Our Recommendations
FMCSA concurred with our three recommendations to improve its adherence to requirements in authorizing and monitoring Mexico-domiciled and Mexican-owned or -controlled motor carriers. We consider these recommendations resolved but open pending completion of planned actions.




No. 1 to FMCSA

Revise FMCSA’s policy to define and allow for justifications for delaying compliance reviews beyond 18 months, and if delayed, determine how long a carrier should be permitted to continue to operate under provisional authority without a compliance review and require documentation of a decision to delay a carrier’s review.

No. 2 to FMCSA

Determine whether a revision to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations is necessary to implement the compliance review policy revisions.

Closed on 09.06.2023
No. 3 to FMCSA

Develop and implement a recovery plan to complete compliance reviews for those carriers operating for more than 18 months under provisional authority and to establish a compliance review scheduling system for future provisional carriers.