Ukraine and Poland introduce customs seal for grain transportation

Image: Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine

6 March 2023

Starting from today, Monday 6 March, official customs seals must be applied to each railroad car transporting grain from Ukraine via Poland. These seals will be checked, but not removed, at the border crossings, ensuring shorter waiting times and less congestion. 

This was the outcome of a meeting held in Warsaw on 3 March, involving the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland. In February, veterinary border controls between the two countries significantly increased, causing notable delays and queues at border crossings. The new agreement, according to the parties involved, is expected to alleviate these problems. However, grain destined to the Polish market will still be checked at the border crossings.

On the other hand, transportation of Ukrainian grain via the Izov-Hrubieszow rail border crossing between Poland and Ukraine has been prohibited since 27 February until further notice. However, the official causes for this decision were not disclosed. The ban at this border crossing does not only include grain, but also seeds, seed oil, fruit, plants, and fodder.

The new agreement between Poland and Ukraine

According to the new arrangement, “the carrier will be obliged to put seals on each railroad car”. These seals will be checked at the Polish-Ukrainian borders by the Polish National Revenue Administration (KAS). However, the seals will only be removed by KAS officials once the cargo reaches the Polish ports of Gdansk, Gdynia, or Swinoujscie. If the Ukrainian grain has to transit to Poland to reach other EU Member States, the seals will be removed once the cargo arrives at the destination country. This means that veterinary border controls will not be carried out by Polish authorities, provided that the official seals are applied.

Once the cargo reaches the location designated for the removal of the seals, a record will be available through the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS). NCTS is a system of electronic declaration which replaces the paper-based procedure with an exchange of electronic messages. If there are any discrepancies between the declared and actual unloading location, Ukraine will suspend the responsible forwarders from further transportation operations. As the Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food highlighted, the new regime is implemented starting today, Monday 6 March.

RailFreight Summit Poland

Do you want to discuss rail freight between Poland and Ukraine with experts in the field? This topic is high on the agenda at the RailFreight Summit Poland, which is taking place on 19 & 20 April in Warsaw. The BAP will be one of the speakers engaged in the discussion. You can find the programme here, and register here.

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