Espreso. Global

Exports drop by 40 % due to blockade on Ukrainian-Polish border - Chairman of Customs Policy Committee 

5 December, 2023 Tuesday
13:22

As a result of the protesters' blocking of the border with Ukraine, exports through these checkpoints decreased by 40%, and the state budget of Ukraine lost UAH 9.3 billion due to a shortfall in customs payments

This was stated by Danylo Hetmantsev, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Taxation and Customs Policy, on the United News telethon.

"Undoubtedly, this is a powerful blow to our economy and our exports... We have a 40% decrease in exports through the relevant land checkpoints. We have a statement from carriers about losses of EUR 400 million in the first two weeks of this blockade alone... As for the budget, based on the results of November, we can determine that the budget lost UAH 9.3 billion from the shortfall in customs payments. This is a huge amount of money that the army has not received and which we desperately need today," Hetmantsev said.

According to him, the customs service is currently underperforming its plan by 19%. This is despite the fact that in October there was an overfulfillment.

"The governments of these countries (where carriers block the border - Ed.) should not wait until the situation becomes critical. They should realize that this situation is hurting them. By weakening Ukraine, they are strengthening our common enemy and making it hit their own economies harder. Given that the blockade is being carried out by marginal political forces that do not represent the majority in these countries, I am convinced that against this background, we should not play politics, but rather implement the European law that allows free movement of vehicles across the EU," the head of the parliamentary committee emphasized.

Strikes on the border between Poland and Ukraine

Strikes have erupted on the Poland-Ukraine border due to increased competition following the opening of international transportation between Ukraine and EU nations. To address this, the Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development initiated talks with Poland and the European Commission.

Responding to the potential border blockage, the State Border Guard Service provided comments, and Ukraine formally communicated its concerns to Poland regarding the planned strike by Polish carriers at the Ukrainian-Polish border.

On November 6, Polish carriers initiated a strike at the border. The Ministry of Infrastructure noted that no official demands had been submitted by the Polish carriers to Kyiv.

By the evening of November 7, Polish carriers had fully halted the movement of cargo vehicles at two border checkpoints with Ukraine.

Subsequently, it was revealed that trucks are facing up to a 90-hour wait to enter Ukraine.

On November 9, a meeting of government officials and carriers blocking the border with Ukraine took place in Poland, but it concluded without any resolution. Simultaneously, the lines of trucks are growing longer. Consequently, Ukraine has suggested to the Polish authorities the initiation of lanes for empty trucks and is currently awaiting their response.

On November 15, trilateral talks with Poland and the European Commission on unblocking the crossing points took place, but they did not yield any results. Instead, the European Commission may initiate measures against Poland if the authorities do not resolve the issue of carriers blocking checkpoints on the border with Ukraine.

Polish carriers have promised to tighten the blockade on the border with Ukraine. In addition, customs officers have begun to record an increase in truck queues in the Slovak direction.

Ukraine and Poland are preparing claims for damages caused by the blockade of border crossing points due to the rally of Polish carriers. In addition, it has been reported that Polish carriers are not allowing humanitarian aid and dangerous goods to pass through.

According to Volodymyr Balin, vice president of the Association of International Road Carriers, Polish carriers are violating the terms of the strike, which could help to get it called off. At the same time, the Ukrainian economy has already suffered losses of more than €400 million.

Meanwhile, the Polish government has called on Ukraine to cancel the e-queue registration for empty trucks. Poland’s Minister of Agriculture also met with the protesters and offered them a compromise solution.

On December 4, the EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE) will discuss the situation with the blockade on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

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