Date: May 21, 2013

It appears there continues to be confusion over the application and effect of the California Air Resources Board TRU regulations.  The regulations became effective Dec. 10, 2004, and employ a phased in approach to reduction of diesel particulate matter from transport refrigeration units.  The phase in feature requires that a refrigeration unit meets the Low Emission Performance Standard 7 years from its model year.  Actual enforcement of the regulations did not begin until Jan. 1, 2010, when refrigeration units manufactured prior to 2003 were required to meet the Low Emission Performance Standard. 

On Jan. 1 of each year, refrigeration units one year newer are required to meet the standard.  For example, in 2013 refrigeration units manufactured in 2006 must meet the emissions standard and in 2014 units built in 2007 must meet the standard.   We now have 3+ years of CARB enforcement experience behind us and have not experienced any significant equipment shortages, despite predictions that motor carriers would avoid California due to the expense of retrofitting older reefer units or purchasing new units.

However, it should be noted that in an effort to insure compliance, on Jan. 1, 2013, ARB added a provision that calls for due diligence on the part of all those responsible for arranging refrigerated transportation to, from and through California.  Due diligence in this instance means that shippers, receivers, carriers and transportation brokers exercise care in hiring and supplying equipment that meets the refrigeration unit performance standards outlined above.  Shippers arranging transportation can demonstrate the necessary level of care by asking carriers or brokers to insure they will supply equipment that meets the CARB standard and by incorporating language in their bills of lading that requires carriers to certify that the TRU equipment on the load meets California regulations (for more ARB compliance information click here).  If you have not already modified your bill of lading to include this language, we urge you to do so as soon as possible.

We are closely monitoring the supply of refrigerated equipment and are in frequent contact with the ARB.  We will advise you immediately of any changes to enforcement or regulations that may impact equipment availability. 


Please contact Ken Gilliland at 949.885.2267 or if you have any questions or comments.


WG Staff Contact

Ken Gilliland
Director, International Trade & Transportation

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