Notice; request for public comment.
FMCSA announces the initiation of a project to demonstrate the ability of Mexico-based motor carriers to operate safely in the United States beyond the commercial zones along the U.S.-Mexico border. The project is part of FMCSA's implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) cross-border trucking provisions. The demonstration project will allow up to 100 Mexico-domiciled motor carriers to operate throughout the United States for one year. Up to 100 U.S.-domiciled motor carriers will be granted reciprocal rights to operate in Mexico for the same period. Participating Mexican carriers and drivers will be required to comply with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including those concerned with motor carrier safety, customs, immigration, vehicle registration and taxation, and fuel taxation. The safety of the participating carriers will be tracked closely by FMCSA and its State partners, a joint U.S.-Mexico monitoring group, and an evaluation panel independent of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The resulting data will be considered carefully before further decisions are made concerning the implementation of the NAFTA trucking provisions.