MINSK, 11 December (BelTA) – Permits are distributed among Belarusian trucking companies taking into account their individual effectiveness. The Belarusian side previously suggested getting rid of permits completely to Poland. Belarusian First Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Aleksei Lyakhnovich made the statements on 11 December in response to complaints of Belarusian truckers about the shortage of permits, BelTA has learned.
The official said: “Any resources of the state should be used as effectively as possible. The same approach applies to handing out the permits we get from other countries to Belarusian truckers. We wanted to get the maximum returns on a limited resource.”
In his words, a new instruction has been used to distribute permits for transportation to Poland for the first time. The document had been discussed with Belarusian trucking companies for a long time and representatives of the private sector had had an opportunity to speak up. Not only members of the Belarusian association of international road carriers BAMAP had taken part in the discussion. “As a result, we’ve adopted a formula that takes into account interests of every trucking company as much as possible,” the first deputy transport and communications minister said. The formula takes into account earnings of the trucking companies.
Belarus and Poland give equal amounts of trucking permits to each other. However, while Poland uses less than 50% of the quota, Belarus has a shortage of the permits. The Belarusian Transport and Communications Ministry has held several rounds of negotiations with the Polish side. Dismantling the system of trucking permits completely was suggested. “Unfortunately, the Polish side admits they do not need so many permits. Moreover, Poland criticized Belarus for ineffectively using the available permits,” Aleksei Lyakhnovich explained.
Apart from that, Poland is intent on reducing the number of permits issued to Belarus by 15,000. “We’ve told Poland we are going to distribute the permits more effectively this year and they didn’t reduce our quota. Although quotas of our neighbors were reduced,” the official pointed out.
Taking into account the complicated situation and believing that the number of permits available in 2019 will not be raised, the Transport and Communications Ministry requested Poland to provide some of the next year’s permits in advance so that they could be used this year. As many as 10,000 trucking permits were provided as a result. Belarus will have 189,000 permits left in 2020, however, the number will not be sufficient.
Asked what the truckers, who have been unable to obtain permits for trips to Poland, should do, Aleksei Lyakhnovich pointed out they can explore business opportunities in other markets. No permits are required for some of them. Belarus intends to sign a permit-free trucking agreement with Ukraine by the end of the year. Such an agreement has been signed with Moldova before. “As a matter of principle, the Republic of Belarus is in favor of permit-free transportation with all countries,” the official said.
No additional permits will be issued to Belarusian truckers in Q1 2020. “We will review the use of permits using data from H1 2020. If we see there is no shortage or if negotiations with Poland in April-May are a success and we will get additional permits, then we may scrap the new instruction on distributing the permits in Q3 2020. Permits would be issued on roughly the same terms that obtained in 2018,” Aleksei Lyakhnovich concluded.