No ELD penalties until June 2022, jurisdictions confirm

Jurisdictions that enforce Hours of Service rules have confirmed that Canada’s rollout of mandated electronic logging devices will focus on education and awareness – and not include penalties — until June 12, 2022.

Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra had committed this March to a year-long “progressive enforcement period”, offering relief for federally regulated carriers who faced a June 2021 deadline for the mandate itself.

But provinces and territories are actually responsible for enforcement.

“The CCMTA developed an approach for jurisdictions to consider when adopting an enforcement strategy for the ELD mandate coming into force June 12, 2021,” the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators said in a statement today. “Jurisdictions plan to support the mandate through a period of progressive enforcement without penalties, including elevated education and awareness, until June 12, 2022.”

Alghabra and CCMTA have both cited the impact of Covid-19 when explaining the soft enforcement strategy.

“The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) wanted to see full enforcement of the ELD mandate beginning in June 2021, but as we have been aware for some time, that would have been difficult to achieve for several reasons, not the least of which is the worldwide pandemic which caught the industry, governments and suppliers by surprise in 2020,” said Stephen Laskowski, president of Canada’s largest trucking association. “However, CTA is pleased that the period of progressive enforcement will end in 12 months and full enforcement will commence in June 2022.”

Transport Canada, however, has also yet to certify any ELDs for use in the Canadian market.

Any ELDs used to meet the federal mandate must be certified by a recognized third party, FPInnovations, to ensure the devices meet underlying technical standards. This is a significant difference from U.S. rules, which allow manufacturers to self-certify the equipment they sell.

The lack of certified ELDs has been a concern for the enforcement community, CTA notes.

The third-party certification requirement was introduced to help eliminate the potential for manipulating Hours of Service data.

“All jurisdictions remain committed to the federal Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) mandate,” the CCMTA adds. “Mandatory use of these devices will help ensure federally regulated commercial carriers operating in Canada, including those that cross the border into Canada, will continue to drive within their Hours of Service.”

The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC), which called first for an implementation delay for the regulation, and then an enforcement deferral, told its members today that it was “optimistic” about the news, but expressed concern that individual jurisdictions can still decide when to shift to warnings and notices on carrier profiles.

“At this point, only Quebec and Manitoba have indicated in public, at least in part, what their intentions are. We are hopeful, that with today’s announcement, more provinces and territories will be ready to come forward with their strategies,” the group said.

It’s asking jurisdictions to stick with education and awareness “for a considerable time” and beyond the first six months. It doesn’t want to see warnings issued until the first quarter of 2022.

“Once these devices are certified, the issue of stronger enforcement leading up to June 2022 will be a subject matter of discussion between CTA and CCMTA,” Laskowski said. “CTA expects those conversations to be active throughout the next 12 months as the landscape regarding third party ELDs evolves.”