The countdown has begun. The use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) will be mandatory by June 12, 2021, for heavy-duty vehicles belonging to extra-provincial companies in Canada. Ten months after the announcement made by Minister Marc Garneau, you may be wondering where things stand with Transport Canada. What are the next key steps before the regulation officially comes into effect?

One of the particularities of the regulation involves the certification of devices. Unlike the American rule currently in place, devices will have to be certified by a third party accredited by the Minister of Transport. In early March, Transport Canada published on its website the process for bodies wishing to be recognized for ELD testing and certification.

Timeline for Certification Bodies

Certification bodies wishing to become accredited may do so by following Transport Canada instructions. Once their request is submitted, bodies should receive an accreditation response within one month. The list of selected bodies will be published on the Transport Canada website. ELD suppliers can then select a body and have their devices certified.

Timeline for ELD Suppliers

The process lead time for the certification of electronic logging devices has not yet been released. As an ELD supplier, and based on the information received from organizations that provide this type of certification, we believe the testing period could extend over 4 to 6 weeks.

Every ELD will be tested in accordance with a detailed process developed by Transport Canada and the National Research Council. Once an ELD is certified, it is assigned a unique certification number. A list of certified devices will be available and updated on the Transport Canada website. The list can be used by motor carriers to identify certified ELDs and by roadside inspection authorities for verification purposes.

Timeline for Carriers

Following publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II, in June 2019, a two-year implementation period was initially granted to enable ELD suppliers to have their ELD certified and for motor carriers to roll them out across their fleets.

Carriers will be able to select their ELD suppliers based on their needs. Investing in ELDs represents an opportunity to go beyond compliance – it is the chance to leverage a fleet management solution to improve operations, automate processes, and streamline work for all personnel.

According to Transport Canada, the period of some twelve months granted to carriers to acquire and install the technology in their truck fleets should suffice. It should give them enough time to train drivers and office personnel to use the tool.

What Is the Role of ELD Suppliers?

In a news release, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) confirmed it is working with ELD suppliers to foster a smooth transition for motor carriers. To reassure their customer base, suppliers should demonstrate their commitment to providing devices that will be certified by an accredited body when the time comes and that complies with the Canadian regulation – something ISAAC has already committed to doing. It is important for carriers to select not only an ELD supplier, but also a partner with the resources to provide the necessary support during the transition and for years to come.

According to the CTA, carriers should not wait until the last minute to adopt the technology. By working with a supplier that is committed to the Canadian process, they can install the equipment and update the software once it is certified. This tactic will make it possible to train personnel on using the technology and give them optimal time to adapt. Also, by adopting ELDs rapidly, carriers can observe the impact that they have on their operations and supply chain. Preparation is the recipe for success.

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