Russia Bans Inbound Road Cargo Transportation From Most Of Europe

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Reloading to take place at Belarus and Russian borders for final deliveries

Russia has banned cargo transportation by road for companies from countries that placed similar restrictions on Russia. The decree was signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and published on the country’s official internet portal for legal information on Saturday (October 1).

According to the document, companies from all EU countries, Norway, Ukraine, and the UK will no longer be able to transport goods through Russia by road. The document states that the ban is in response to restrictions imposed by these countries for Russian truckers as part of the sanctions on Moscow earlier this year.

The decree comes into force from next Monday, October 10 and will be valid until December 31, 2022. The document states that the ban applies to both bilateral and transit goods transportation, as well as cargo transportation to or from the territory of a third state.

“Goods delivery by road from ‘unfriendly countries’ to final recipients on the territory of Russia will still be carried out. For this purpose, goods from foreign trucks will be reloaded (or a semi-trailer will be hooked up) to Russian and Belarusian vehicles at the customs terminal complexes in the border crossings at Pskov, Kaliningrad, Leningrad, Murmansk, Republic of Karelia and St. Petersburg.” Russia’s Ministry of Transport has stated.

These border crossings specifically create issues at checkpoints with Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Finland, Norway, as well as for Northern European haulage operators from Denmark, Germany, and Sweden, in addition to countries bordering these such as the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

Despite sanctions, thousands of trucks from Europe cross into Russia every day, although queues have reached back for tens of kilometers and waiting times have been reaching anywhere from 3-10 days. This new regulation will further increase difficulties as well as creating logistical issues with increased time in matching up European vehicles with Russian trucks and the on-going transfer of containers between them.

It will create further problems for European exporters servicing the Russian market who will now face a choice between losing the Russian market or absorbing additional freight costs in doing so and making their products less competitive. EU exports to Russia have declined but still reached €‎4.5 billion in value in June this year. These new rules will have a further negative impact upon these exports, leaving EU manufacturers with little choice but to exit the market or re-establish their business and technological knowhow to Russia to continue their operations.

Cargo Exemptions

The decree exempts some goods, including various types of food, manufactured goods and certain non-food items. For instance, the ban will not apply to meat, fish, milk, some types of vegetables and confectionery, cocoa, certain cereal products, alcohol, tobacco, fertilizers, pharmaceutical products, contraceptives, paper, and cardboard. In addition, live animals and plants, watches, musical instruments, nuclear reactors, and video and sound recording equipment are not subject to the ban. Cargo delivery to or from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad will also be exempt from restrictions.

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