Q&A for companies COVID-19 measures Poland

On March 20, Poland announced the introduction of the State of Epidemic until further notice. This is the next step in the government's efforts against the COVID-19 spread in Poland. You can find here Q&A's for companies regarding these measures. As of March 27, the 14 days quarantaine will also be mandatory for people living in near-border areas and who are working in neighboring countries. Update March 30: the EC published guidelines to ensure the free movement of critical workers. And the Dutch authorities (NVWA) advices for transport of live animals via Germany to Poland to make use of the Swiecko border crossing.

import

Q: Can goods still be imported / exported to / from Poland?

A: yes, according to the website of the Polish government, the restrictions do not apply to goods https://www.gov.pl/web/koronawirus/zamykamy-granice-przed-koronawirusem

In addition, the European Commission published on March 16 guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/20200316_covid-19-guidelines-for-border-management.pdf

which include:

  • Member States should designate priority lanes for freight transport (e.g. via ‘green lanes').
  • No additional certifications should be imposed on goods legally circulating within the EU single market.

Implementation of this guideline is the responsibility of the Polish government.

Due to the spread of coronavirus, the Ministry of Development in Poland- in cooperation with the Chief Sanitary Inspector - has prepared recommendations for entrepreneurs in the transport and logistics industry. You can find these recommendations here https://www.gov.pl/web/rozwoj/zalecenia-dla-branzy-transportowej-i-logistycznej-w-zwiazku-z-rozprzestrzenianiem-sie-koronawirusa

Q: The borders have been closed for persons. Can I / my driver still enter Poland and what rules apply for quarantine

A:

Information on the travel ban, quarantine and exceptions can be found on the information website of the Polish government:

- in English https://www.gov.pl/web/coronavirus/travel

- in Polish https://www.gov.pl/web/koronawirus/zamykamy-granice-przed-koronawirusem

According to this information (March 16), the ban on entering Poland does not apply to:

  • foreigners driving a vehicle intended for transporting goods.

The compulsory quarantine does not apply to:

  • professional freight and passenger transport drivers performing their duties.

From March 27, people living in near border areas in Poland and work in neighboring countries also have to go into an obligatory 14 day quarantaine when they return to Poland. Before, they were exempt.

In addition, the German authorities announced increased measures at the internal borders of Germany as of March 25  https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/pressemitteilungen/EN/2020/03/pm-seasonal-worker.html   In case you have questions on this matter we refer to the German authorities.

Update March 30:

The European Commission published practical guidance to ensure the free movement of critical workers, in particular those in critical occupations to fight the coronavirus pandemic, so that they can reach their workplace. This includes but is not limited to those working in the health care and food sectors, and other essential services like childcare, elderly care, and critical staff for utilities.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_545 

Implementation of this guideline is the responsibility of the Polish government.

Update March 21:

  • Exemption from compulsory quarantine after crossing the state border also applies to a driver who is not a citizen of a European Union Member State, employed by an entrepreneur based in the territory of the Republic of Poland, who has a driver's certificate.
  • Exemption from compulsory quarantine after crossing the state border also applies to professional drivers in international road transport (including international combined transport) returning from abroad by other means of transport than the vehicle used for road transport:

- for the purpose of resting in the Republic of Poland or after resting abroad, as referred to in Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the harmonization of certain social provisions relating to road transport and amending Regulations Council (EEC) No. 3821/85 and (EC) 2135/98, as well as repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No. 3820/85 WE (Official Journal of the EU L 102 of 11.04.2006, p. 1, as amended 2)),

- after a break in providing work in the circumstances specified in art. 31 section 1 of the Act of 16 April 2004 on working time of drivers (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1412).

Full text can be found here: https://www.gov.pl/web/infrastruktura/zasady-zwolnienia-z-obowiazku-kwarantanny-kierowcow-zawodowych

Q: Where can the border be crossed?

A: Poland introduced internal border control (border control with the EU Member States). The Polish border with Germany, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia can only be crossed at designated places. Checks will also be carried out at seaports and airports. Information can be found on the website of the Polish government:

in Polish  https://www.gov.pl/web/mswia/uwaga-polska-wprowadza-ograniczenia-przy-przekraczaniu-granicy 

Additional border crossings have been introduced on March 18 by the amendment to the ordinance of the minister of internal affairs and administration on the temporary reintroduction of border control of persons crossing the state border constituting the internal border https://www.gov.pl/web/mswia/uwaga-polska-wprowadza-ograniczenia-przy-przekraczaniu-granicy

INTERNAL BORDER CROSSINGS Poland & neighboring EU countries

The internal borders open for cargo transport through road crossings:

    on the border with Germany

  • Zgorzelec,
  • Jędrzychowice,
  • Olszyna,
  • Świecko,
  • Slubice,
  • Kostrzyn nad Odra
  • Krajnik Dolny,
  • Kołbaskowo,


   on the border with Lithuania:

  • Budzisko
  • Ogrodniki (restricted to max 7,5 tons)
     

on the border with Slovakia:

  • Barwinek,
  • Chyżne.


on the border with the Czech Republic

  • Cieszyn Chotěbuz,
  • Gorzyczki,
  • Nowe Chałupki,
  • Kudowa Słone,
  • Trzebina,
  • Jakuszyce;
  • Gołkowice
  • Lubawka
  • Głuchołazy–Mikulovice


Additionally, rail crossing are also open for cargo transport, as well as several crossings dedicated to passenger transport and/or pedestrian transport only.      

Links to the regulations (in Polish):

http://www.dziennikustaw.gov.pl/DU/2020/434

http://www.dziennikustaw.gov.pl/DU/2020/439

http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20200000468/O/D20200468.pdf

EXTERNAL BORDER CROSSINGS Poland with neighboring non EU countries

On the external border with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, road border traffic is significantly reduced.

  • The Polish-Russian border can only be crossed in Bezledy (freight - axle vehicles up to 8t performing international transport) and Grzechotki,
  • The border with Belarus - in Kuźnica, Bobrowniki, Kukuryki and Terespol, and
  • The border with Ukraine - in Dorohusk, Hrebenne and Korczowa.
     

Additionally, rail crossing are also open for cargo transport.

Links to the regulations (in Polish):

http://www.dziennikustaw.gov.pl/DU/2020/435

http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20200000469/O/D20200469.pdf

Q: What is the situation with the export of live animals into Poland?

Update March 30: the Dutch Food & Safety authority (NVWA) advices for transport of live animals via Germany to Poland to make use of the Swiecko border crossing.

It is adviced to always check the latest information at the website of the NVWA:

https://www.nvwa.nl/documenten/export/veterinair/ks-documenten/werkvoorschriften-dierziekten/handelsbeperkende-maatregelen-i.v.m.-corona-voor-dieren-dierlijke-producten

Q: What is the waiting time at the border?

A: Up-to-date information on the waiting time at the Polish borders can be found here https://granica.gov.pl/ . Information about waiting time at the internal EU borders can be found under ‘Granica wewnętrzna’ (Polish only).

Telephone numbers of specific border crossings can also be found on this website.

In case you need to cross the Polish-Ukrainian border, the situation at different border crossings of Ukraine can be checked at http://kordon.sfs.gov.ua/en/home/countries/pl/i

Q: Is transit through Poland possible for goods?

A: Yes. The exemption from compulsory quarantine also applies to drivers with cargo transiting through Poland. Source: Road Transport Inspectorate https://gitd.gov.pl/dla-mediow/aktualnosci/artykul/news/zasady-zwolnienia-z-obowiazku-kwarantanny-kierowcow/

See also the guidelines of the European Commission

Q: Will trucks with fresh products (for example flowers, meat, vegetables) be prioritized at the border controls?

A: No, at the moment there are no special measures to prioritize transport of fresh products. The European Commission published a guideline on March 16 for border measures to protect health and keep goods and essential services available (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_468)

Q: Are there veterinarian controls at the border?

A:

There is no veterinary border control at the internal border – trucks can use any open border crossing https://www.wetgiw.gov.pl/main/komunikaty/Kontrole-graniczne-na-granicy-wewnetrznej-w-UE/idn:1269

For goods entering the EU (external border) through Poland standard procedures apply: use open border crossing with veterinary border control https://www.wetgiw.gov.pl/inspekcja-weterynaryjna/graniczne-inspektoraty-weterynarii

Q: What sanitary documents are needed at the border?

At the border medical services or firefighters will measure body temperature of all persons. However, persons entering Poland exempt from compulsory quarantine no longer have to fill out a location card during border checks. This applies to drivers operating a road vehicle in road transport.

In other cases, persons crossing the border should complete location cards. The data collected in this way will serve, among others sanitary services to contact persons undergoing quarantine.

https://www.gov.pl/web/infrastruktura/zmiany-w-procedurze-wypelniania-kart-lokalizacyjnych-przez-kierowcow

Update March 21: Information for Freight and combined transport drivers returning to Poland via other means than the vehicle used to perform duties for the purpose of weekly rest or after rest abroad who are also exempt for quarantine:

Drivers returning from abroad by other means of transport than the vehicle used for road transport should present to a Border Guard officer:

  •  national or Community driving license with an entry - code 95, which confirms the obtaining of a driver's professional qualification certificate,
  • driver's certificate, in the case of a driver who is not a citizen of a European Union Member State, employed by an entrepreneur based in the territory of the Republic of Poland.

Drivers who are citizens of the Republic of Poland should additionally substantiate the fact of employment with a Polish entrepreneur by presenting proof (e.g. certificate, employment contract) of employment issued by the employer, in paper or electronically. In a situation preventing the presentation of the above evidence, the fact of employment in the initial period can be exceptionally confirmed by a written statement from the driver.

 
All professional drivers who are foreigners returning from abroad by other means of transport than the vehicle used for road transport must demonstrate the right to work in the territory of the Republic of Poland within the meaning of the regulation of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration on temporary suspension or limitation of border traffic at certain border crossings. At the same time, the driver's certificate is sufficient proof of legal employment by an entrepreneur established in the territory of the Republic of Poland.

https://www.gov.pl/web/infrastruktura/zasady-zwolnienia-z-obowiazku-kwarantanny-kierowcow-zawodowych

When you do have to fill in a location card, please find the info under here:

- At the internal border, officers will receive location cards from travelers and verify the information they contain with identity documents.

Location card for the traveler: https://www.gov.pl/attachment/31dcfc6f-d517-4cdb-9ceb-9426818f8d97

Borders Guard recommend to arrive at the border with the Passenger Location Card already filled-in.

- Also people crossing the border with external borders (Russia, Ukraine and Belarus) will not have to fill in location cards Source: https://www.gov.pl/web/koronawirus/do-pobrania

Further information on Corona & doing international business