Feds Provide Details of Vax Mandate Enforcement Beginning January 15

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) met today with Government of Canada officials to discuss enforcement of the border vaccination mandate beginning January 15. Officials are advising the electronic submission of proof of vaccination data be presented through ArriveCAN.

Further guidance on initial enforcement details also include:

  • For an undetermined amount of time, drivers arriving at the border that have not submitted their data via ArriveCAN, may present paper documentation. This includes provincial or pan-Canadian proof of vaccination documents;
  • The use of paper documentation may lead to delays when crossing the border and will only be available for a limited amount of time;
  • The Government of Canada will continue to promote an education-first approach to the mandate unless egregious acts of noncompliance pertaining to health/border measures occur. The definition of these acts will be determined by border and public health officers at the border;

Officials also emphasized that they have worked with CTA on creating solutions to simplify the submission of ArriveCAN, so that only a single submission is required to meet compliance, including the use of a single reusable receipt for crossing the border. This receipt will remain valid for an indefinite period. If a truck driver crosses the border for non-essential purposes, they will be required to resubmit their ArriveCAN information prior to re-entry into Canada for work related purposes.

Members can also use the “Saved Traveller Profile” and submit ArriveCAN up to 72 hrs prior to crossing the border, by using the online web version of the platform. Details on how to use ArriveCAN have been made available by the Government of Canada.

Officials also clarified that both Pan Canadian and provincial documentation are accepted by ArriveCAN, but that Pan Canadian documentation will automatically be on file if the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is required to refer/verify proof of vaccination information, or when deemed necessary by a border officer.

Due to potential technology issues that could arise by using electronic platforms, officials also recommended that paper copies or evidence of full vaccination be kept in-cab, or via your mobile device as an image to ensure redundancy/backup if requested upon arrival at a port of entry.

Border officials will be accepting medical exemptions from COVID vaccination from Canadian drivers if they have obtained authorized documentation from their home province to meet admissibility requirements.

The CBSA continues to work on contingencies to mitigate border delays and resources are appropriately allocated, but stated that ensuring public health will remain the primary objective. The agency is also working with all ports of entry to ensure uniformity and clarity of these new admissibility requirements.

As it stands, and until clarified by the Government of Canada, carriers that dispatch unvaccinated drivers prior to January 15 that do not arrive back in Canada before the mandate comes into effect, could be subject to potential quarantine and/or other public health measures upon re-entry.

The Government of Canada also confirmed that US drivers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated will have their trucks returned to the US once the mandate comes into force. A US driver can also qualify for a medical exemption to the mandate if they are able to present a Centre for Disease Control (CDC) exemption card for entry into Canada.

CTA remains engaged with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and contacts south of the border regarding enforcement of the US vaccination mandate reportedly coming into effect on January 22. Although no details are currently available, the Alliance will distribute this information as soon as possible.

CTA will continue to work with the Government of Canada to ensure the border crossing process remains as seamless as possible moving forward.

Members with drivers that experience issues crossing the border, the potential issuing of fines/penalties or other health measures, or require further information regarding enforcement beginning January 15, should reach out to operations_safety@cantruck.ca for details.

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