Suspension of freight traffic on the border with Belarus – what does it mean for forwarding companies?
On Thursday (June 1, 2023), the regulation of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration entered into force regarding the suspension of cargo traffic on the border with Belarus by the Republic of Poland. It covers all commercial vehicles and trucks registered in Russia and Belarus. The regulation signed by the Minister of the Interior and Administration, Mariusz Kamiński, regarding the suspension of freight traffic on the border with Belarus, appeared in the Journal of Laws on Monday, May 29, 2023. Its validity is to last until further notice and will cover the blockade of border traffic for trucks, tractor units, semi-trailers and all vehicle combinations registered in the Russian Federation or Belarus. The day before the regulation entered into force, the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration also decided to impose sanctions on 365 representatives of the Belarusian regime, 20 entities and 16 entrepreneurs with ties to Russian capital. This is a response to the Belarusian Supreme Court's decision to uphold the sentence of an activist of the Polish minority to eight years in a high-security penal colony. Exchange of sanctions between Poland and Belarus It is known that the current situation across the eastern border has a negative impact on the entire transport industry. Sparks have been sparking on the line between Poland and Belarus for almost half a year, and the matter is only getting worse. Already in February, the exchange of sanctions between these countries began, as a result of which the Polish Ministry of the Interior and Administration closed the border crossing in Bobrowniki, and Lukashenko's regime forbade drivers from our country to use the Lithuanian-Belarusian and Latvian-Belarusian border crossings. This, in turn, contributed to the reduction of traffic at the crossing in Kukuryki. Thus, Belarusian carriers, as well as non-EU transport companies, wanting to leave Belarus had to move through Latvia and Lithuania. Although the closure of the border in Bobrowniki turned out to be a big blow for the Republic of Belarus, this event was also not pleasant for Polish companies operating in the transport industry. How will the regulation affect the situation of shipping companies? Transport restrictions related to the crossing in Kukuryki were also aimed at blocking the passage of trucks registered in Belarus or the Russian Federation. Nevertheless, a certain gap was noticeable there, which many Belarusian carriers began to boldly use. Namely, we are talking about the transport of semi-trailers registered in Belarus and Russia, using tractors with, for example, Polish registration. The regulation published on the first day of June will permanently block any cargo traffic between these countries, thanks to which all inaccuracies resulting from previous sanctions will be eliminated. Shipping companies will now have to somehow adapt to the current geopolitical situation. For the majority of such companies, it will be necessary to find new carriers with TIR permits who will decide to carry out individual orders in Asian directions. For Russia and Belarus, the new regulation of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration means that all types of transported cargo will be subject to sanctions, which is a clear signal to stop their military operations in Ukraine.