Thursday, January 24, 2008

Strike of Polish customs complicates situation on Belarus-Poland border

A strike of Polish customs officers has complicated the situation on the Belarusian-Polish border, BelTA was told in the press centre of the state border committee of Belarus.

“Polish customs officers called a strike and stopped operations at the border checkpoints “Domachevo” and “Warsaw Bridge”, the committee says.

The number of customs officers has been reduced at the border checkpoints “Peschatka” and “Kozlovichi” and the movement of transport vehicles has been very slow either side. In the morning January 25 the queue on the border in “Kozlovichi” was 150 vehicles.

The state border committee advises Belarusian citizens against crossing the Belarusian-Polish border by car and recommends using railway transport instead. The situation at the railway border checkpoints is stable so far.

Polish Customs leaves skeleton teams at border checkpoints

After going on strike the Polish Customs left only one officer per border checkpoint at the Belarusian-Polish border, the press service of the State Border Committee of Belarus told BelTA.

“The situation with people and vehicles having to cross the border is rather complicated, as every border checkpoint has only one customs officer on the Polish side,” said the source.

According to the source, the Polish Customs caters only to tourist coaches, diplomatic transport and perishable cargoes. There are queues up to 15 km long on the Polish side of the border.

Thanks to a timely awareness campaign there are no long queues on the Belarusian side of the border. The Belarusian border service recommends postponing all trips to Poland to all citizens until the situation is clear. BelTA has been told, when forced to get back to the home country fast, some Belarusian citizens had to leave behind goods they had bought in Poland in order to cross the border without customs examination.