January 14, 2019 – The provisional start to the new CPTPP agreement has garnered much attention in Canada in the past week as a trade mission for Canadian beef producers to Japan may yield some long term gains. Currently, Japan severely limits the importation of beef products from Canada but this will change with the new agreements in place. With the continued uncertainty regarding the US-China trade situation, this is welcome news for proponents of continued global trade expansion.
January 6, 2019 – The Yantian Express, a Hapag-Lloyd container ship with a size of about 7,200 TEU is currently adrift and its crew evacuated about 1,500 kms from Halifax, NS Canada. There is an uncontrolled fire on board the vessel as it was en route from Colombo, Sri Lanka. Canaan Transport has already advised all known customers with cargo aboard this vessel. Our advice is to immediately contact cargo insurers as it is likely that if the ship is lost, then General Average will be declared for all cargo.
January 4, 2019 – As announced in the national press, longshoremen at the Port of Montreal have voted overwhelmingly in favour of giving union leadership a strike mandate. This should not come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the situation – and it does not mean that there will be a strike – or at least not in the immediate future. The negotiation process between the Maritime Employers’ Association (MEA) and the Longshoremen’s Union, CUPE Local 375 started on September 18, 2018. The MEA and Longshoremen’s Union are presently in mediation and dates have been scheduled in January.
On November 5, 2018, CIFFA, of which Canaan Transport is a member, wrote to the President, Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) in support of the MEA’s request to have Port of Montreal operations declared an ‘essential service.’ CIFFA has learned from the MEA that hearing dates have been scheduled in February 2019 from the 4th to the 15th. Until the decision of the CIRB, which will be after the hearings are completed, the parties do not have the right to strike or lock out. So – take a breath.
There have been ongoing congestion, severe challenges with service and wait times and the not-so-secret possibility of a strike at the port. 2017 was a banner year at the Port of Montreal and the first three quarters of 2018 continued in that upward trajectory, with total TEUs at the port up to 1,395,165 versus 1,276,695 in the same period in 2017. Business is way up, terminals are hiring like crazy and the current labour contract, negotiated in 2013, expired in December.
It remains the case that the Port of Montreal and the MEA are optimistic for a negotiated settlement: “A spokesman for the employers association said negotiations are going well and its members are surprised by the union’s statements,” while it also remains the case that the union is using everything in its arsenal, including the strike mandate, to fight for the best deal for its members. The mandate to strike was expected, and is usually a normal course of action in the event that negotiations reach the point of impasse. Negotiations are continuing, and there is no reason to suggest that the right to strike will be exercised at this time.
The recent vote and the strike mandate are real and everyone must take these developments into consideration as they plan routings and make carrier selections. Members should explore all options available and plan prudently, watching the situation carefully over the next few weeks.
December 24, 2018 – With the US Government shut down, we are advising all customers with cargo to and from the USA to be prepared for potential delays with US Customs Border and Protection and also airport and seaport delays. Depending on the length of such a shutdown, cargo may be forced to sit and wait until furloughed workers are back on the job.
December 31, 2018 – On the eve of the new year, the US government shut down is now having an impact on cargo operations throughout the United States. We are now hearing of reports of 5-10 day delays for customs clearance at some ports and airports. In addition, cargo screening and TSA related activities are also being affected. Canaan Transport will continue to update the situation as required.
December 18, 2018 – In less than a month, many food businesses will require a licence when the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) come into force. You can apply for a Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) licence in My CFIA now. In order to apply for an SFC licence, businesses will need to attest that they have preventive controls in place. Those who submit SFC licence applications by email or fax will be asked to apply using the My CFIA portal. If you already have a CFIA account number, you will automatically be charged on January 15. Businesses who wish to pay by credit card will need to sign back in to My CFIA on January 15 to pay for their licence. Your licence will be issued digitally on or after January 15 (once payment is received and necessary verifications have been completed).
Keep in mind: if your business currently has a registration or licence with the CFIA and it is expiring before January 15, continue your normal process to renew your registration or licence, as needed. That registration or licence will remain valid under the SFCR until it expires, even if your date of expiry of the renewed registration or licence occurs after January 15, provided there is a statement on it indicating that it is also a licence under the Safe Food for Canadians Act. Once expired, you will be required to apply for an SFC licence under SFCR.
Find out what to consider before applying for an SFC licence and make sure you understand which food category to select.
To find out if your business will require an SFC licence or need to meet other SFCR requirements on January 15, 2019, visit the Timelines landing page to access the interactive tools and sector-specific timelines for various food commodities.
New and updated guidance documents
To help businesses prepare for the new regulations, the CFIA will continue to publish new and updated guidance documents on a regular basis. The CFIA has an advanced search tool called the Guidance Finder, which lets users find information about SFCR requirements by specifying activity type, food commodity, method of production and document type.
For more information about the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, visit inspection.gc.ca/safefood.
December 10, 2018 – Freight shipping on the river Rhine in Germany has returned to normal after heavy rain in the past week raised water levels, the German government said on Monday. Water levels on the Rhine had been low for around six months after a hot dry summer and a dry autumn, forcing vessels to sail only partly loaded and increasing the cost of commodity deliveries.
December 3, 2018 – U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have agreed to halt new trade tariffs for 90 days to allow for talks, the U.S. says. At a post-G20 summit meeting in Buenos Aires, Mr. Trump agreed not to boost tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% on January 1. China will buy a "very substantial" amount of agricultural, industrial and energy products, the U.S. says. Meanwhile, Beijing says the two sides agreed to open up their markets. sIt was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since a trade war erupted earlier this year. In other news, Canada, Mexico and the US have now officially signed their new CUSMA trade agreement.
November 26, 2018 – Conservative senators say they wanted to push Canada Post back-to-work legislation through on Sunday but are pointing the finger at independent senators for delaying the third and final reading until Monday. After nearly eight hours of proceedings in a rare weekend sitting on Saturday, the Senate agreed to hold the third and final reading of the bill on Monday afternoon.
Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have held rotating walkouts for more than a month, causing backlogs of unsorted mail and packages at postal depots. The controversial back-to-work bill, if passed, would go into effect at noon ET on the day following royal assent.
In 2011 the then-Conservative government passed back-to-work legislation demanding an end to a Canada Post lockout and rotating strikes by postal workers.
But that legislation was overturned by the courts in 2015, after a ruling that by removing workers’ right to strike, the bill violated their right to freedom of association and expression.
The current Liberal government on the other hand believes they have crafted the bill in a way that does not violate charter rights, because it does not impose immediate outcomes affecting postal contracts.
Housakos said the current legislation could possibly be overturned but he reiterated that his primary concern is ensuring mail is being delivered.
"More important than that is making sure that the trucks are rolling, the mail is being delivered and the Canadian economy and Canadian public is being served."
CUPW has already vowed to fight the legislation in court, which Housakos said they have a right to do.
Meanwhile negotiators from both sides remained at the bargaining table Sunday in a last-ditch effort to bring an unforced end to rotating walkouts, but with little sign that a deal would be reached before the Senate returns for the final reading. Source: CBC News
November 19, 2018 – The ongoing strike by Canada Post’s union continues despite an exchange of offers by both parties. Canaan Transport has already mitigated the effects of this strike to a significant portion of our customers where possible. The next phase of our temporary contingency plans will revolve around ensuring that business continuity is fulfilled during the holiday season.