A Mexican trucking company, Grupo Behr de Baja California, has cleared its pre-authorization audit for providing long-distance service into the U.S. as part of the pending cross-border pilot program.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration posted the audit results in yesterday's Federal Register and is looking for public comment on its findings. Comments are due by Sept. 22.

The pre-authorization audit and public comment process are part of the regulatory system the agency is putting together to comply with the March agreement between the U.S. and Mexico.

Under the agreement, cross-border trucking will resume in a limited way for three years, and Mexico will lift the tariffs it imposed on U.S. goods in retaliation for Congress pulling the plug on an earlier cross-border program.

Grupo Behr, a small general freight carrier based in Tijuana, cleared a review of its safety management system and of the specific trucks and drivers that will cross the border. The company has nine trucks and four drivers, according to its website. The audit cleared five trucks and three drivers to cross the border.

Under the agency's regulatory system, once the pilot program is up and running, Grupo Behr will be eligible for provisional operating authority to begin cross-border operations. Provisional authority will last for 18 months. After then, if the carrier has no pending enforcement or safety improvement actions and has cleared a compliance review, it is eligible for permanent authority in the pilot program.

It is not clear when the pilot program will get under way. The safety agency expects to complete work on its program by the end of the month, but the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has sued to halt the program and several congressmen introduced legislation to limit it.