KYIV/WARSAW (Reuters) - Ukraine's border guard on Thursday warned of possible delays at the country's border with Poland due to protest action by Polish hauliers that is set to block traffic on several crossing points.
"According to available information, a long-term action is planned, which may begin on Nov. 3. Polish carriers intend to block the movement of freight transport heading towards the Yagodyn-Dorokhusk, Krakivets-Korchova, and Rava-Ruska-Krebenne checkpoints," the border guard said on Telegram messaging app.
A co-organizer of the protest told Reuters that the blockade was the result of Ukrainian haulage companies flooding the Polish market and hurting local companies. It was set to start on Nov. 6 around noon, deputy head of the Committee to Protect Transporters and Transport Employers Jacek Sokol told Reuters.
"This is a situation very similar to the situation of farmers, where grain was allowed to enter uncontrolled. Ukrainian transport companies are also entering without restrictions and carrying out transport operations they have no right to perform," Sokol said.
According to Sokol, prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Feb. 2022, Ukrainian transport companies were granted around 160,000-180,000 permits per year for specific shipments requiring entrance or transit through Poland, but not for shipments within Poland.
"Now these companies are doing whatever they want. There is a complete, uncontrolled influx, just like with grain," he added.
According to the Ukrainian Infrastructure Ministry, an average of 40,000-50,000 lorries cross border with Poland per month via eight existing crossings, twice as many as before the war. Most of the goods are carried by Ukrainian transport fleet.
The protest comes amid an economic slowdown in Europe and liberalizing of the regulations for Ukrainian transport companies in 2022 by the European Union to ease the transport of goods to and out of the country invaded by Russia.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Marek Strzelecki, and Karol Badohal; Editing by Alison Williams and Christina Fincher)