The permits for road haulage between Russia and Poland expired in 1 February, as a result of which trucks are no longer operating between the two countries, the RBK publication reports.

According to the report, the parties have thus far managed to agree only that all Russian trucks that are currently in Poland will be able to return to Russia until 15 February based on their 2015 permits.

The two countries agree the number of entry permits for large trucks annually. The procedure for agreeing the number of permits is established by international treaties. There are two types of permits for transport companies: bilateral permits and permits to/from third countries (trilateral permits). Bilateral permits are required to import Polish goods into Russia and Russian goods into Poland. For Russian carriers, they also act as transit permits for transportation from Western European countries through the territory of Poland. Polish carriers need trilateral agreements to import goods from Western Europe into Russia.

Truckers transport almost nothing from Poland to Russia and back, and the market is not comparable with the volume of traffic through Poland from Western Europe. Therefore, Russian companies need many bilateral permits, Vladimir Tyan, the general director of Sovtransavto, a major tricking company, explained to RBK. Polish carriers, on the other hand, need many trilateral permits for traffic between Western Europe and Russia, he said.

According to him, in recent years, part of the goods has been imported into Russia based on bilateral permits that were formally re-issued in Poland. However, Polish carriers are being fined for this since the beginning of 2016.

According to Yevgeny Moskvichev, the head of the Association of International Road Carriers, which is mandated to coordinate quotas of permits for transportation of goods, 70% of the volume of traffic between Russia and Western Europe is handled by Polish carriers and only 30% by Russian carriers.

This is not the first the two sides are failing to agree on permit quotas. For example, Russian and Polish truckers suspended work from 16 January to 2 February 2011 due to failure to extend permits.