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Suffolk removes permit requirement

Suffolk has discontinued its requirement for a special permit for sealed cargo trucks driving through the city.

The city instituted the fee in January to help raise money for road maintenance. The permit, attached to a $300 per year fee, was required for sealed, containerized freight — the type that comes in on cargo ships, primarily to the Port of Virginia.

Opponents argued the new regulation was confusing and created a burden for companies, especially given the economy and the competition the ports are facing.

“Our primary concern was the confusion it was appearing to create in the trucking community,” said Joe Harris, a spokesman for the Port of Virginia.

“Truckers weren’t sure if they were supposed to have a state permit or a Suffolk permit or both, or how it works. We’re just happy that confusion seems to be taken care of now.”

Harris said the removal of the fee also allows the Hampton Roads area to continue to be considered a good environment for trade.

“We just think it goes to that — an easy place to do business,” Harris said.

The city will now recognize the state permit for overweight sealed containerized cargo that is issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.