Certification of ELDs in Canada
In last week’s post we discussed the pros and cons of ELDs and the differences between the ELD mandate in Canada and the USA. If you missed it, you can Check It Out Here. This week, we will dive into the Canadian ELD certification process.
What is the ELD certification process?
Unlike the USA, Canada is requiring all ELD manufacturers to certify their devices with third party certification companies. Thankfully, Transport Canada announced in March that while the compliance date will be effective June 12th, 2021, they will do a “soft rollout” of enforcement until June 12th, 2022. This is good news for the industry since as of 12:00pm on June 19th, there are still no certified ELDs available according to Transport Canada’s website:
Currently there are two bodies in Canada registered to certify ELDs. These include FPInnovations (certified in October 2020) and, recently added, CSA Group. According to their website, FPInnovations is a private, not-for-profit research and development company with a focus on creating solutions to accelerate the growth of the Canadian forest sector. To understand why FPInnovations applied to become a third-party ELD certification body, Check Out This Article. CSA Group conducts testing and inspections of new products before they go to market; as well as, providing certification services. As more accredited certification bodies are added, you will be able to find them Here.
If a carrier is currently using an ELD that is compliant with FMCSA regulations and correctly records driving hours, the device may not meet the required guidelines set out by Transport Canada.
What are the technical requirements for ELDs in Canada? You can check the ELD Technical Standard guide Here.
Why is Canada requiring third party certification of ELDs?
Canada is requiring third party certification of ELDs to ensure there are no opportunities to tamper with the equipment and to eliminate any purposefully designed ways to avoid compliance in the technology. According to Transport Canada, ELD vendors had the opportunity to be part of the third-party certification process since the mandate was announced in 2019; however, the first accredited certification body was not announced until October, 2020.
In the USA, ELD manufacturers must download testing procedures from the FMCSA and submit paperwork to certify that they followed the testing procedures. Once the paperwork is filed, there is no follow up to verify if the tests were carried out properly or at all.
Third party ELD certification bodies will ensure that all ELDs are following the exact same standards and testing procedures. According to Mike Millian, President of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, there are expected to be between 15-30 certified ELD devices in Canada compared to 600+ in the USA. (Quote Source: TruckNews.com)
Are there any certified ELDs available in Canada?
Apparently, participating in Canada’s ELD certification process has generated a low response from ELD manufacturers. Supporting this assumption is the fact that, to date, there are still no certified ELDs in Canada even though FPInnovations has been an accredited ELD certification body since October 2020.
So, did Canada jump the proverbial gun by going live with the ELD mandate on June 12th, 2021? Perhaps, but no one is directly saying that. Evidence that the mandate may have gone live too soon is the progressive enforcement period between June 12th, 2021, and June 12th, 2022. During this time, no tickets will be issued to carriers who are not compliant with the regulations. This time will be a “learning period”.
Possibly the major reason for the progressive enforcement period is the fact there are still no certified ELDs in Canada. Without available certified ELDs, carriers do not have the ability to comply.
It has been recommended that carriers start researching ELDs for when certified options become available. For those who already have ELDs installed, they are encouraged to ask their manufacturer if they intend to modify their devices to comply with Canadian regulations; if they have already submitted their devices to FPInnovations or CSA Group for certification; and, if they have already submitted their device for testing, have they signed a contract with the certified ELD testing body? After extensive searching, we were unable to find a list of ELDs that are currently in the testing phases. (If you know of such a list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org). This begs the question; how does one get prepared for ELD ticketing enforcement in June 2022 if they cannot find a list of devices in the testing phase?
Further, will the first certified ELD to market have an unfair advantage? Without a list of devices in testing and ETAs for when they would be available should they pass, carriers may rush to market to purchase the first available certified ELD. The principal of supply and demand suggests that with only one certified ELD option and high need for carriers to comply with regulations, they could be forced to pay inflated prices for early entry ELDs – especially if the first certified ELD becomes available close to the end of the progressive enforcement period.