FMCSA Lifts Restrictions on Leasing and Interchange of Mexico-Domiciled Motor Carriers

Mexico-domiciled motor carriers may now apply for and receive long-haul operating authority, as the land transportation provisions of NAFTA for property carriers have now been implemented. Therefore, the previous leasing restrictions are no longer valid and the restrictions have been lifted.

The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA) contained a section, 219(d), that restricted Mexico-domiciled motor carriers from leasing commercial motor vehicles to U.S. carriers to transport property into the United States until the international obligations on cross-border trade in service under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were met. Given FMCSA’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of the U.S.-Mexico Cross Border Long-Haul Trucking Pilot Program, the obligations are fulfilled and the restriction is no longer applicable.

From October 14, 2011, through October 10, 2014, FMCSA conducted a pilot program to determine the ability of Mexican motor carriers to operate safely in the United States. FMCSA delivered the requisite report to Congress in January 2015. On January 15, 2015, (80 FR 2179) FMCSA announced that it would begin accepting and processing applications for long-haul operating authority from Mexico-domiciled property carriers under 49 U.S.C. 13902.