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Pre-payment of Clean Trucks Fee to End Nov. 15

Change to eliminate extra processing costs

October 18, 2009

Effective November 15, only importers and exporters using older, more polluting trucks to move cargo in and out of the Port will have to pre-pay fees under the Port of Long Beach's Clean Trucks Program. Currently, all cargo owners claim and pre-pay the fees, although those using clean trucks or rail are later reimbursed.

Last month, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the change in response to industry requests. While the pre-payment process does not involve additional direct fees, cargo owners say the requirement has resulted in extra costs and onerous administrative burdens.

Shortly after the decision by the Port of Long Beach to change the pre-payment requirements, neighboring Port of Los Angeles followed suit with the elimination of pre-payment fees under its own program. The two ports share environmental goals, but manage their truck programs separately.

The Port of Long Beach’s new rule, developed in cooperation with the PortCheck fee-collecting organization and Port of Long Beach Marine Terminal Operators, was to take effect on November 1, 2009. In order to better coordinate efforts with the Port of Los Angeles and avoid confusion among truckers, the vast majority of whom serve both ports, the new effective date has been postponed by two weeks to November 15.
Under the new rules, pre-payment will be required only from cargo owners who use older, more polluting trucks. Trucks that meet strict 2007 EPA emission guidelines or run on cleaner alternative fuels like Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) are exempt from the fee.

For a chart showing which trucks must pay fees and which are exempt click here. Cargo moved by train is also exempt from the Clean Truck Fee.

The new rules will have no impact on the pollution reduction goals of the Clean Trucks Program, which is far ahead of schedule. One year since the launch of the program, 85 percent of all containers moved through the Port of Long Beach are being carried by clean trucks or on-dock trains.

On January 1, 2010, all 1993 and older trucks will be banned, and 1994-2003 trucks will need to be retrofitted or replaced. Beginning January 2010, nearly all trucks moving goods at the Port of Long Beach will be clean trucks. The program aims to reduce air pollution from diesel trucks by 80 percent by 2012.

Fees collected from dirty trucks are used to help finance new, less polluting trucks.

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