Dirty truck? Canada may turn you away

Driving a dirty, mud-caked rig? You may want to wash it down, that is if you plan to cross the border into Canada.

The Canadian Boarder Services Agency is barring entry to trucks that it deems too dirty in accordance with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s regulations prohibiting the importation of soil into the country.

Several drivers and truck operators based in Maine last week told the Maine Sun Journal they have been turned back at either the Clair or Edmundston, New Brunswick, ports of entry.

“The importation of soil into Canada is generally prohibited because regulated quarantine plant pests can travel in soil,” Elena Koutsavakis, media relations with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said. “These invasive pests are often not easily visible to the naked eye and can hitch a ride in the soil under people’s vehicles.”

“Vehicles found to be contaminated with soil may be refused entry under the authority of the [Canadian] Plant Protection Act,” Koutsavakis said.

“All vehicles should be clean and free of soil and soil-related matter [such as] muck, earthworm castings, leaf litter prior to arriving in Canada,” Koutsavakis said. “Soil is a high-risk pathway for regulated quarantine pests [such as] potato cyst nematodes that can cause serious harm to Canada’s natural resources.”

 It makes no difference what part of the U.S. the vehicle is coming from, Koutsavakis said. “All vehicles should be clean and free of soil and soil-related matter prior to arriving in Canada.”

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