Motor Freight Traffic Between Russia and Poland Suspended

Motor freight traffic between Russia and Poland was suspened on February 1 after the two countries failed to reach agreement on permits for 2016, according to the Russian news outlet RBC.

The issue arises from the expiration of an agreement Sunday that allowed Polish trucking firms to haul goods to and from Russia after negotiations to extend the agreement failed. Russia provides permission to transport cargo – both transshipment or bilateral – based on the geographical location of a freighter instead of the place of loading, and Poland’s permission was not renewed as a result of the negotiations’ failure.

According to the ministry the new regulations are aimed at tighter control of Russian permits issued for motor transportation of goods from other countries, but Polish officials insist the regulations imply a higher level of state control over freight traffic.

Polish carriers currently handle around 70 percent of the shipments moving from the EU to Russia. Russia is trying to protect its own shipping interests, which handle around 30 percent of that market, according to a spokesperson of the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction

The ministry points out that Poland hasn’t offered any solution to the problem other than demanding that the federal law be changed. In 2014 a law was passed in Russia introducing stricter registration rules for international freight traffic

The ban on motor freight traffic between Poland and Russia effective from today will not affect the range and prices of goods in large Russian shops, Executive Director of the National Retail Chain Stores Association Valentin Voskresensky told TASS on Monday.

If an agreement is not reached, the majority of transshipment cargo that Polish carriers once handled will have to be diverted to Baltic and Nordic ports, increasing transit times and costs.
RCL Agencies will monitor the situation and provide further updates once available.