Poland’s Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk has sent a letter to Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for Reconstruction and Minister of Community, Territorial, and Infrastructure Development Oleksandr Kubrakov in connection with the protests by Polish truckers, who are blocking truck traffic at Ukrainian-Polish border crossings.
In the letter, Adamczyk called for the cancelation of the requirement that empty Polish trucks returning home be registered in the electronic queue system (e-queue), the CFTS portal reports. He also asked the EU authorities to assess the impact of the EU-Ukraine agreement on the liberalization of road transport (the Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine on the Carriage of Freight by Road) on the EU transport system.
According to Adamczyk, one of the reasons for the Polish truckers' protest is Ukraine's introduction of the electronic queuing system. According to him, this led to a significant increase in waiting time at the border for EU-registered vehicles returning empty from Ukraine. According to the protesters, this leads to unequal treatment of Ukrainian and Polish carriers.
Adamczyk urged his Ukrainian counterparts to take measures to meet the demands of the Polish truckers, for which the Ukrainian side is responsible. The main idea is to cancel the mandatory registration in electronic queues for empty Polish trucks returning to the EU from Ukraine at no fewer than two border crossings (the Zosin-Ustyluh and Nyzhankovychi-Malhowice border crossings). The Polish infrastructure minister expressed the hope that the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers would consider this request.
The Polish government website reports that Adamczyk also asked EU Transport Commissioner Adina Valean and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to support his request that the Ukrainian government cancel the requirement for empty Polish trucks returning home to register in the electronic queuing system.
He noted that another key demand of Polish truckers is the reintroduction of permits for Ukrainian trucking companies, which were in effect until July 2022, when the EU-Ukraine agreement on the liberalization of road transport was signed.
On this issue, the Polish Minister of Infrastructure also suggested to Valean to set up a committee to analyze the impact of this agreement on the EU trucking market. According to him, this committee may include representatives of the parties to the agreement, i.e. the European Union and Ukraine, while the member states of the European Union (including Poland) should take part in the committee only as observers. Adamczyk informed the European transport commissioner about the alleged problems with Ukrainian trucking companies' compliance with the terms of the agreement and their alleged violations of the rules uncovered by the Polish Road Transport Inspectorate.
A meeting of the EU Transport Council will take place in Brussels on 4 December. The Polish government will propose that the consequences of the agreement on the liberalization of road transport between Ukraine and the EU should be one of the main topics of the meeting. According to the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure, the EU authorities need to assess the impact of the implementation of this agreement and make the necessary changes to maintain the stability of the transport market in individual member states of the European Union.
Mustafa Nayem, the head of Ukraine’s State Agency for Reconstruction and Development of Infrastructure, said recently that the striking Polish truckers' demand for the reintroduction of trucking permits for Ukrainian carriers has no chance of success. According to him, this is because all member states of the European Union have ratified the Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union on the Carriage of Freight by Road, which was signed between the European Union and Ukraine, not between Ukraine and individual member states.
Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Development Community, Territories, and Infrastructure Serhii Derkach said in this regard that the EU-Ukraine agreement on liberalization of road transport should continue to be implemented and be extended "at least until our victory is achieved."
Meanwhile, the Polish truckers’ protest is spreading. As the CFTS portal reported, Polish truckers are currently blocking four border crossings: Yahodyn - Dorohusk, Krakovets - Korczowa, Rava-Ruska - Hrebenne, and Shehyni - Medyka.