The government is preparing to ban the entry into the Russian Federation of road carriers from countries that, for their part, have banned the entry of Russian trucks. The decree signed by the President of the Russian Federation makes it possible to ban the entry of European trucks according to the Belarusian scheme - with re-transfer or reloading at the border - planned from October 1. The market considers this measure justified from the point of view of maintaining the positions of Russian carriers, but untimely and fraught with an increase in the cost of logistics.
On September 29, the President of the Russian Federation signed decree, giving the government the authority to impose a ban on the entry into the territory of the Russian Federation of vehicles of foreign carriers from unfriendly countries. The government will set a deadline, a list of recipients, types of prohibited shipments and exceptions to the ban. Also, this decree declares invalid the permits issued to foreign carriers for the import of goods.
The decree was one of the documents required to restrict the entry of trucks from the EU into the territory of the Russian Federation according to the Belarusian scenario - with reloading or re-transferring in specially designated places on the border. The ban is due to take effect October 1. The Ministry of Transport with the relevant departments was preparing two documents - a draft decree and a draft government decree directly introducing such restrictions. “The presidential decree allows the authorities to unilaterally impose a ban on such transportation, otherwise the ban would violate international agreements and the right of carriers to legally carry out activities,” explains Pavel Ickert, managing partner of the law firm Ickert and Partners.
The EU, within the framework of the fifth package of sanctions, in early April closed access to its territory to Russian and Belarusian road carriers (see. "Kommersant" dated April 6). In response, on April 16, Belarus adopted a mirror ban, but not a complete one, but with the organization of the re-coupling of semi-trailers or reloading cargo at border customs terminals (see "Kommersant" dated April 15). The introduction of such a measure in the Russian Federation was hotly discussed by relevant departments and market participants.
The ban was advocated by industry associations, indicating that without it, European carriers gain a competitive advantage and force Russian companies out of the market (see "Kommersant" dated June 21).
Against were the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, fearing the destructive impact of the ban on the supply of products. However, over time, the contradictions were removed, the introduction of the ban is planned from October 1, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has formed a list of goods that cannot be transported with reloading or repacking, including, in particular, products of the pharmaceutical and medical industries. The ministry declined to provide more detailed comments, redirecting Kommersant to the Ministry of Transport, where they did not comment.
Kommersant's interlocutors assess the introduction of the Belarusian scheme in different ways. According to the logic of things, says the founder of VIG Trans, Igor Rebelsky, this will lead to a reduction in the cost of transportation, all carriers will be on an equal footing. “I mean that now there will be no preferences for Western carriers,” he explains. “In general, Belarusian practice has shown that working with the TLC, the transfer format is absolutely normal and there is nothing wrong with that.” There is nothing unique in the reloading delivery scheme itself, says Grigory Grigoriev, CEO of Novelco, for example, in the Chinese direction, road carriers have been working this way since the beginning of the pandemic - Russian trucks cannot drive deep into China, reloading is carried out at border terminals. “I support the decision to impose restrictions on carriers from the EU as a whole, it is fair in relation to all market participants. But the time for making this decision - at the end of the year - was chosen, in my opinion, incorrectly. This is due to the fact that a third of the total annual volume of cargo transportation falls on the fourth quarter. And although it is difficult to predict transportation volumes in the current conditions, I believe that such significant changes in supply chains during this period can lead to a serious risk of losses from downtime.”
Let's see which carriers of which countries will be banned, says the general director of the KBT customs broker Yulia Shlenskaya. “There are fears that it will include all the Balts, as well as Georgian cars,” she says. “This will significantly narrow the already small circle of surviving carriers, create favorable conditions for the emergence and consolidation of monopolies, for example, large Belarusian carriers.” Eventually the shipping bill will increase, as it did after Feb. 24, she believes.
Obviously, with these restrictions, the cost of logistics will increase, agrees Evgeny Dyatlov, head of the procurement department for international transportation at FM Logistic in Russia.
“We are already seeing how European carriers reacted to the decree of the President of the Russian Federation and decided to increase the tariff by about 10% for delivery to the border of the EAEU from October this year,” he says. Grigory Grigoriev adds that in the conditions of partial mobilization, road carriers have already faced a shortage of personnel, which will also affect the volume of supply in the freight market.
BMJ Logistics Executive Director Aleksey Yakushev notes that when the EU banned Russian and Belarusian carriers from crossing borders in April, European logistics operators began to prepare for retaliatory measures, actively curtailing activities in the Russian Federation. “So the entry into force of this ban will most likely affect small and medium-sized companies in the transport sector in the EU that continue to deliver goods to Russia,” he says. “Domestic carriers will only benefit from this. Companies importing from Europe are likely to incur additional costs.” In the case of repacking of trailers, the risks will increase in the form of loss or damage to cargo - a more reliable option would be repacking, says Mr. Yakushev.