Slovak police, labor inspectors and officials of the country’s Ministry of Transport carry out checks on Ukrainian trucks blocked at the border. This was stated in a statement by the Slovak ministry on November 15.
The queue is made up mainly of Ukrainian vehicles, many of which are believed to “not meet legislative requirements or have incomplete documents”, the ministry said.
The authorities check the documents, the condition of the vehicles, whether the trucks are not overloaded, “whether the drivers observe the mandatory breaks” and “whether the drivers observe the ban on the use of alcohol”.
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The situation on the border with Poland
Huge queues of Ukrainian trucks formed on the Slovak-Ukrainian border after Polish truck drivers began blocking three border crossings between Poland and Ukraine on November 6 in protest against the liberalization of Ukrainian truck transport rules.
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Polish drivers claim that their business is being harmed as Ukrainian trucks pass without permits (according to the extended agreement with the EU).
Photo: Getty Images
41 hours waiting between Slovakia and Ukraine
After the start of the protest at the Polish border, the trucks were diverted to the Slovakian border crossing Višne Nemetske, causing an 18-kilometer queue on November 11.
The State Customs Service of Ukraine reported on its website that as of the morning of November 16, trucks had to wait an average of 41 hours to enter Ukraine from Slovakia.
Volunteers from the local branch of the non-governmental organization Malteser International are providing water, hot drinks, snacks and a place to keep warm for the truck drivers and the officers carrying out the checks, the Slovak Ministry of Transport said.
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EU rules for Ukrainian trucks
The increased checks come after the Union of Road Transporters of Slovakia (UNAS) also threatened to block the border crossing completely if the European Commission does not decide to reissue permits for the Ukrainian trucks, Slovak media Pravda reported on November 13.
UNAS President Stanislav Skala said the issue should be discussed at the next Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels in early December and that UNAS had asked Slovakia’s transport minister to propose changes to the rules.
According to EU rules, Ukrainian trucks do not need permits until June 30, 2024.after the bloc and Ukraine signed an agreement to liberalize transport rules in June 2022.
If the permits are not restored, then UNAS is “ready to immediately support Polish carriers at the border and will block the crossing of the border for Ukrainian carriers from the Slovak side,” Skala said, quoted by the Kyiv Independent.
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