Transport Canada COVID-19 Hours of Service (HOS) Emergency Declaration

On Wednesday, March 24, Transport Canada issued a COVID-19 Hours of Service emergency declaration. This declaration covers the identical 8 conditions that the U.S. emergency HOS declaration covers, but there are some important differences.

Current Canadian non-emergency HOS rules:

  • 13 hours of drive time within a 14 hour day, under most circumstances.
  • 10 hour required rest
  • Either a 7 day or 14 day cycle restart

Emergency Suspension Details:

The scenarios for HOS suspension are identical to the previous US scenarios and cover:

  1. Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
  2. Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  3. Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores
  4. Immediate precursor raw materials-such as paper, plastic or alcohol-that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items in categories (1), (2) or (3)
  5. Fuel
  6. Equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19
  7. Persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes;
  8. Persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response.

However, the Canadian declaration requires carriers to “notify in writing the provincial hours of service director of the base jurisdiction of its intention to operate under this exemption” and then requires the carrier to provide detailed information regarding the vehicles and drivers who will be operating under the declaration.

For shippers, the declaration “encourages shippers to indicate on the bill of lading that the supplies and equipment being transported are in direct assistance to the emergency relief efforts during the response to COVID-19”.

Jason Craig
Government Affairs Director
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