Business from Ukraine calls on Polish companies to dialogue to unblock the Polish-Ukrainian border
The full-scale war in Ukraine has significantly impacted supply chains. The closure of Ukrainian airspace, blockage of Ukrainian maritime and river ports, and significant damage to the railway network and infrastructure have made truck transport through western border checkpoints (particularly with Poland) practically the sole means for international goods transportation.
At the same time, on November 6, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine informed that Polish carriers have initiated strikes at the Polish-Ukrainian border checkpoints.
Undoubtedly, the Ukrainian business community understands the right of Polish workers to engage in collective discussions and express their own positions. However, considering the complex geopolitical circumstances and the mutual needs of our countries, the Ukrainian business community believes that resolving the conflict through strikes could lead to negative consequences for both sides, as well as for the EU and the world in general. Thus, strikes by Polish carriers at the border will only disrupt crucial supply chains that are already under strain due to the ongoing war, not only within the country but also on an international level. The consequences will include delivery delays, breaches of contractual obligations with partners, product spoilage with limited shelf life, and, as a result, direct financial and reputational losses.
For instance, on the example of one exporting company, a one-week cargo delay prevented the timely loading of over a dozen orders worth 500,000 euros from European suppliers. Therefore, it is excessively unclear who gain benefits from such strikes.
Therefore, the Ukrainian business community – the European Business Association, the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Association of International Road Carriers of Ukraine, the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and the Union of Ukrainian Entrepreneurs –, calls on both sides, including representatives of Polish carriers and the authorities of Ukraine and Poland, to adhere to the Treaty between the Republic of Poland and Ukraine on good neighbourliness, friendly relations and cooperation from December 30, 1992 ( “committed in the new political conditions to develop relations in the spirit of friendship, cooperation, mutual respect, mutual understanding, trust, and good neighbourliness based on international law, including the principles of sovereign equality, non-use of force or threat of force, territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in internal affairs, self-determination of peoples, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and conscientious fulfilment of international legal obligations“) and resolve all contentious issues through open and constructive dialogue.
It is important to emphasize that cooperation and dialogue are crucial to maintaining stability and growth in both countries. Through joint efforts, a solution can be found that considers the interests of carriers and ensures stability and prosperity for both sides.
Equally important is that such misunderstandings between our countries can serve the interests of common adversaries seeking to sow division and discord among European states. This underscores the need for a prompt and constructive resolution to the issue. To stimulate the reduction of border queues and inspection times (and, as a result, reducing business costs due to downtime and avoiding penalties for the untimely fulfilment of international contracts), we propose focusing on several aspects of work. Firstly, ensure that customs and border authorities of both states comply with the capacity memorandums of Ukrainian-Polish border checkpoints. Secondly, focus on the development of existing and construction of new joint border checkpoints on the Ukrainian-Polish border using available intergovernmental tools and mechanisms of multilateral diplomacy. Thirdly, promote the alignment of customs procedures at Ukrainian-Polish control points and develop relevant recommendations for changes in customs legislation and practices of customs authorities in both countries. Fourthly, sign the Agreement on the Common Border between Ukraine and the Republic of Poland.
We sincerely hope the situation will be resolved as soon as possible before the losses on both sides reach even greater levels.