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Poland suspends crossing of Ukrainian trucks without international cargo transportation permits

by Kateryna Hodunova July 1, 2024 4:21 PM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes only: Trucks stand in a queue to cross the border in Medyka as Polish farmers start a strike and block truck transport in Medyka, a border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, on Nov. 23, 2023. (Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Poland has suspended the crossing of Ukrainian trucks, which do not have permits for international cargo transportation, Ukraine's State Customs Service reported on July 1.

Restrictions on transportation to and from Poland came into effect overnight on July 1. The crossing checkpoints are operating as usual, according to the State Customs Service.

Deputy Infrastructure Minister Serhii Derkach said that no permits are required for bilateral transportation, as the visa-free transport regime is still in effect between Ukraine and the European Union.

Ukraine and the EU extended on June 20 the visa-free transport regime for another year with the possibility of automatic prolongation until the end of 2025, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced.

According to the updated deal, freight transportation in both directions does not require special permits, but the document includes some mutual obligations regarding licenses for transportation and truck labeling, Shmyhal added.

"The agreement on the liberalization of freight transportation between Ukraine and the EU came into force on the day of signing, on June 20. A transitional period is in effect until July 10, which allows carriers to adapt to the new rules," Derkach wrote on Facebook.

The deputy minister added that the Polish Infrastructure Ministry is aware of the changes.

Ukraine has also notified the European Commission of the suspension of truck traffic. The Commission has already intervened in the situation and is also trying to resolve the problem, according to Derkach.

"This is currently a matter of internal communication on the Polish side. We have addressed the Polish Infrastructure Ministry. Our colleagues assure us that they are trying to solve the problem with the customs service," Derkach said.

The EU signed an agreement in June 2022 that allows Ukraine into the bloc's Convention on Common Transit Procedure for a "visa-free" road freight transportation shortly after the war-torn country had been granted an EU candidacy status.

The agreement allows Ukrainian goods to be exported to Europe much faster, as there is no need to hold up at customs and draw up additional documents. Exporters can issue transit declarations in Ukraine and travel to the EU without any obstacles.

Ukraine has exported 48% more goods to the EU since the agreement was signed, Shmyhal said. The visa-free regime has also boosted Ukrainian imports, which grew by 44%, he added.

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