Latest news from around Europe & Russia re; transport & logistics movements

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Border crossing information and regulation changes plus IRU updates

Netherlands; Prime Minister praises the haulage sector

Yesterday, (Monday) the Dutch Prime-Minister Mark Rutte visited two transport companies to see for his own how the business is impacted. These companies report approx. half the business dropping away, with three quarters of the fleet not running. Mr. Rutte complimented the haulage sector for their hard work and perseverance.

Protection for financially affected Polish transport firms

A good message for the transport sector with the opening of the borders to Turkey. When a Polish truck driver can prove that he/she is 14 days on the trip, which equals quarantine time, he/she is allowed to enter Turkey, albeit in convoy.

Polish transport organisations, mainly ZMPD which gathers app. 4,500 hauliers, has started to push on Government to implement new rules to protect affected transport companies. According to ZMPD, the Parliament has approved of a “Anti-crises shield” but is not enough and rapid expansion of financial support is needed. At the moment, there is no precise data as to fall dawn of transportation yet.

Closed regions across Russia

Russian regions have started to close borders (drive-trough only with special permissions), but today new Prime-Minister Mikhail Mishustin criticized these solutions and said that roads must be free.
Big problem for truck drivers is that all cafes are closed due Coronavirus. Drivers have only two possibilities: takeaway food or cook in the cabs.

BELORUSSIA: Transit truckers must leave the country at least next day and they can park only on defined parking areas near fuel stations and cafes. In case of violation, fine is up to €490 or administrative arrest.

Information from the International Road Transport Union (IRU)

With the current outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continuing to evolve, the IRU is closely monitoring the status of border crossings in affected areas around the world thanks to the global IRU member network. An update of the situation on national/international transport of passengers and goods in affected regions of the world are listed below”

Republic of Belarus

In accordance with Decree No.171 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated 25 March 2020, all drivers performing transit of goods through Belarus are obligated to use only approved national roads and park in specified areas to rest, have meals or refuel, according to the list of roads and specified parking areas approved by the Decree.

Transit drivers are obligated to leave the territory of Belarus by the shortest route possible, by no later than the day after entry onto the territory of Belarus, unless it is impossible to comply with the specified period due to vehicle accident/breakdown, unloading or trans-shipment cargo, vehicle replacement, or if it is provided for within the terms of the contract of carriage and indicated in the transport documents.

If it is necessary to carry out any of the above operations, a deviation from the approved list of national road and specified parking areas is allowed. However, operations should be carried out in the shortest possible time. While the vehicle is parked, transit drivers must not leave the parking area.

Croatia

There is a compulsory 14-day quarantine or self-isolation measure in place for travellers arriving from specific countries (list available here; Italian citizens included).

The following are exempt from the implementation of this measure:

  • Healthcare professionals, healthcare researchers and collaborators, experts in care for the elderly, and persons requiring urgent medical treatment;
  • Cross-border workers;
  • Goods carriers and other transport personnel, to the extent necessary;
  • Diplomats, police officers while carrying out their duties, civil defence services and teams, international organisation staff and international military personnel while carrying out their duties;
  • Passengers in transit.

The above mentioned exempt persons will be subject to the instructions and measures adopted by the CIPH.

  1. Commercial road transport

According to the latest exchange (25 and 26 March) with the Croatian authorities, the current situation is the following:

  • There are no limitations to transit at the border crossings when using green lanes, as defined by the European Commission communication (see Annex 1 and the green lanes map). Green lanes are open for both transit (in convoys of 50 trucks) and the unloading of trucks in Croatia;
  • With regards to the paper documents, Croatia is following the European Commission communication on the implementation of green lanes in order to demonstrate their flexibility;
  • Convoys are formed on the Slovenian border crossings with Austria and Italy. For goods in transit, they continue driving in convoy across the Croatian border but still within the country, up until the border of the next destination country.
  • There is no convoy for goods delivered inside Croatia.
    The contact point for the relevant Croatian authority is uprava.infrastruktura@mmpi.hr. Vehicles in transit through Croatia will use the following border crossing points:

– Croatia – Slovenia border: Bregana and Macelj

  • Croatia – Hungary border: Goričan and Duboševica
  • Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina border: Nova Sela, Stara Gradiška and Slavonski Šamac
  • Croatia – Serbia: Bajakovo

Vehicles in transit will be under police escort. Police authorities will determine the route of the convoy, stopping points and fuel points. Drivers of goods vehicles shall adhere to the instructions given by police officers.

Quarantine measures for drivers

Following loading or unloading of goods, resident drivers should adhere to self-isolation measures. However, they can start a new transport activities and interrupt the quarantine period at any time.

Drivers who show symptoms should contact their family doctor straight away and ask for further instructions.

In case the driver cannot spend the self-isolation period at home, the employer should provide him with dedicated premises, subject to approval by the local civil defence authority.

In case the self-isolation period is shorter than 24 hours, the driver shall take the daily rest in the cabin and within the employer’s parking area.

Non-resident drivers are not subject to health monitoring measures in case they leave Croatia immediately after unloading. In case their permanence in Croatia is longer than 24 hours, they should make use of self-isolation premises provided by competent authorities.

Temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of driving and rest times

Croatia has reported a temporary and limited relaxation in the enforcement rules regarding driving and rest times for drivers of vehicles engaged in goods transport. This relaxation is granted pursuant to Article 14(2) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006. It applies to those drivers involved in the domestic and international freight transport of essential items, in particular those related to the distribution of food, animal feed, fuel, the transport of raw materials, medicines and medical equipment, the distribution of equipment to hospitals and other public institutions.

Start date: 18.03.2020
End date: 16.04.2020

Romania

On 4 April, the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs issued Military Ordinance No.7, which details new measures for the road transport of persons and goods that have been put in place and are as follows:

  • Article 11. – The international road transport of persons through regular services, special regular services and occasional services in international traffic has been suspended until the end of the state of emergency. The provision applies to routes between Romania and Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Swiss Confederation, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, the Netherlands and Turkey.
  • Article 12. – Upon entering Romania, drivers of goods vehicles heavier than 2.4 tonnes and who do not have symptoms associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) must complete a declaration using the template from the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communication, where details of the location where drivers can be contacted during the period between the two transports must be given (templates of these forms are available in Romanian here). Drivers are not required to undergo self-isolation at home or quarantine, provided that the employer ensures they use protective materials against coronavirus (COVID-19).

Note: Foreign drivers of goods vehicles heavier than 2.4 tonnes who are transiting Romanian territory are not required to complete the medical statement as provided in Art.14 (see below).

  • Article 13. – The provision of Article 12 applies accordingly to drivers of goods vehicles heavier than 2.4 tonnes, who are travelling for professional reasons either from Romania to another European Union Member State, or from another EU Member State to Romania, to the state of residence of the driver, regardless of whether the trip is made in his/her freight vehicle, by individual means of transport or on his/her own. Upon entry to Romania they must present an employee certificate signed by the employer.
  • Article 14.1 – Drivers of goods vehicles heavier than 2.4 tonnes who are transiting Romanian territory are not required to complete the medical statement upon entry into Romania, provided they meet the following minimum conditions:
  1. a) They only use transit corridors, and border crossing points at the end of these corridors, approved by the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communication and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Any deviation from these is not permitted.
  1. b)  Transit through Romanian territory must be done within the minimum time frame, and must not exceed 48 hours from entry into Romania, including stationary periods for their daily rest.
  2. c)  Parking of the vehicle is done exclusively in allocated parking areas located along the identified transit corridors.

Drivers transiting Romania must fill out this form when entering the country. The form must be handed over at the border of exit.

Note: In this case, the Romanian Inspectorate for Road Transport Control confirmed that professional drivers are also required to have the form provided by ANNEX 3, Template of Certificate for International Transport Workers (EC communication on green lanes) details here.

  • Article 14.2 – In the case of non-compliance with the conditions provided in paragraph 1 (14.1), the driver of the vehicle will be obliged to enter quarantine for 14 days, bearing any expenses incurred for this quarantine.
  • Article 14.3 – Upon entering Romania the driver is required to apply a special sticker from by the State Inspectorate for Control of Road Transport to the vehicle’s windscreen, in order to show the transit corridors (the model of which has been established by the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications).

Romanian authorities have also published an interactive map displaying transit corridors, refuelling stations and rest areas.

The Romanian Ministry of Transport publishes daily information regarding the situation at border crossing points on its website here. The information is updated every evening at 20:00.

Romanian Authorities has introduced a temporary relaxation of the enforcement of driving and rest times for drivers performing domestic/international road transport of goods. This relaxation is granted pursuant to Article 14(2) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006. This exception applies from 18.03.2020 to 16.04.2020. Measures lifted are the following:

    • Art. 6(1): replacement of the maximum daily driving limit of 9 hours with one of 11 hours.
    • Art. 7: replacement of the minimum daily breaks requirements by imposing a break of 45

minutes after 5 and a half hours driving.

    • Art. 8(1): reduction of the daily rest requirements from 11 to 9 hours.
    • Art. 8(6): postponement of a weekly rest period beyond six-24 hour periods.

On 4 April, the National Company for Road Infrastructure Administration (CNAIR) lifted driving restrictions on vehicles heavier than 7.5 tonnes on the Ploiesti-Brasov section of DN1 (E60) national road. The measure applies until 16 April. Driving restrictions on the Bucharest-Ploiesti section of DN1 are still in force.