Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bilateral Commission Increases Road Haulage Permits and Discusses Intermodal Freight

Increased Cargo Levels Mean Adjustments for Belarus and Italy
Shipping News Feature

BELARUS – ITALY – Last week, representatives from the Belarusian and Italian Commission on International Road Transport (passengers and cargo), met in Rome where an agreement was reached to increase bilateral quotas on road haulage in 2013 and 2014. The parties also discussed the subject of intermodal transport and the prospect of increased use of bilateral communication, and increasing the flow of freight between Europe and Asia.

The mixed commission, in their first meeting since 2009, agreed to increase the quotas on permits by a massive 820% from the existing allowance of 900 to 7,400. Most of the additional permits will be reserved for Euro-4 and Euro-5 vehicles, the fleet of which has increased substantially in Belarus and now accounts for more than half of all vehicles involved in international transport operations.

During the meeting, the sides also exchanged statistical information on trade and economic cooperation between Belarus and Italy and reviewed the ever increasing upswing and importance of trade between the pair making the volume of transport services rendered by Belarusian and Italian operators of much greater importance. Discussions included ensuring the Commission increased communication to allow for this enhanced business and how further intermodality could be established between the two countries.

The joint Commission was established between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of Italy on the international transport of passengers and freight in June 2003. Its task is to develop positions on regular passenger transport, establishing contingent permits for passenger and freight transportation, preparation of samples of their forms, the problems and issues that arise during the implementation of the agreement, as well as measures to facilitate and encourage the development of road transport between the pair.

Belarusian hauliers have been taking an ever larger share of European road freight of late. Leader of the Belarusian delegation at the recent meeting was Deputy Transport and Communications Minister of Belarus Mr Alexander Shishko, who announced last October that the country had recently obtained an increase of 32,000 international road freight permits for travel throughout Europe bringing the total available to the county’s road haulage operators to in excess of 580,000 permits.

Photo: 2nd Generation prototype multi trailer on show at the Belarusian Association of International Road Carriers (BAIC) exhibition last year. The 47 metre overall vehicle grosses out at almost 100 tonnes with each trailer powered independently and therefore autonomous and capable of remote positioning as a single unit. Cameras watch the rear units but the vehicle is currently not allowed on European roads, including in its country of development.