Improvement for New Silk Road: sanitary control to be implemented at Siemianówka railway border crossing in Poland

2022/04/08 at 12:05 PM

Sanitary control will be carried out at the Siemianówka/Svisloch railway border crossing on the border with Belarus. The inability to perform such kind of inspection at the checkpoint has so far been a serious obstacle for logistics operators organising container transport on the New Silk Road from China to Europe.

An ordinance of Poland’s Minister of Health was published in the Journal of Laws, amending the regulation on the list of border crossings competent for conducting border sanitary control. Siemianówka on the border with Belarus and Świdnik near Lublin, where the airport is located, have been added to the list of border crossings where such control takes place. The regulation will enter into force on 13 April. It is the external border of the European Union. In Chryzanów, next to Siemianówka, there is an intermodal terminal where containers and other types of freight are reloaded between trains with gauges of 1435 and 1520 millimetres. Belarusians are planning to build a similar facility on the other side of the border. The terminal is to be put into operation in 2025.

Intermodal terminal in Chryzanów, source: Andrex Logistics

This border crossing has great potential for the development of rail transport between the European Union and China and East Asia, as it is an alternative to the congested crossing in Małaszewicze. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the importance of Siemianówka for logistic operators operating on the New Silk Road increased more, as the launch of trains from China to the European Union via Ukraine, which in previous years was more and more eagerly selected as one of the routes of the New Silk Road, was suspended, and, moreover, maritime transport from Russian ports to European countries was significantly reduced.

Faster development

Unfortunately, the lack of phytosanitary control was a serious brake on the development of container transhipment at Siemianówka. For this reason, loads, which are related to food, could not be transported through that terminal. Despite this, logistics operators have managed to run trains from China to the EU in recent months, excluding those that transport loads requiring sanitary inspection. This possibility is, among others, used by Bahnoperator and Captrain.

The change in the regulation of the Minister of Health is a long-awaited message for the logistics industry, in particular for Andrex Logistics, the terminal operator in Chryzanów, as well as freight forwarders and rail carriers using this dry port that will be able to develop its container transhipment potential. This is important from a business point of view because due to EU sanctions on Russia, we should expect a decrease in handling bulk goods on the Polish-Belarusian border in the future, and trade between the EU and China may ensure the development of that terminal.

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