Travelling to Russia with cargo?

20 April 2021

Transport in Russia is one of the most important branches of the economy. According to official data, more than 67 percent of the entire transport market of the Federation is generated by road transport. Unfortunately, the Russian market is characterised by numerous barriers. Although the situation in the business sphere has improved over the years, drivers still have to cope with serious difficulties during frequent controls and inspections.

Border crossing Russia

For years, European lorries, especially those from Poland, have been targeted by the Russian control authorities. There are many reasons for this – political conditions, lack of a permanent agreement on the exchange of transport permits, sanctions and embargo, unstable situation at the borders.  

Meanwhile, relations between our countries have deteriorated even further, for which, unfortunately, both sides are to blame. Now, Russians act to the disadvantage of EU entrepreneurs – control services obstruct transport carried out by Polish trucks, make numerous and detailed inspections and impose fines, often without serious justification.

The survey of the ZMPD, conducted among 180 transport companies, showed that nearly 60 percent of Polish carriers have problems with controls at the Russian border and during roadside checks. The most common accusation from the Russian side is the use of improper permits by Poles and errors in other documents. The results of such checks usually end unfavourably for Poles.

Control of trucks in Russia

Additional controls of trucks and cargoes on the border with Russian Federation cause many problems for Poles. They are extremely time-consuming and their cost must be borne by entrepreneurs. The company incurs additional losses due to stoppages and delays, and besides, the reputation of the carrier suffers as well.

It is no different in the case of roadside checks. If, during an inspection, an officer notices that the place of loading is EU, a detailed inspection of all documentation follows. Usually, a waybill is enough, but in this case Russians check all papers in detail.

If the driver shows a foreign invoice, he has two choices: either to take the vehicle to a lorry park and provide a third-country permit (if he does not have one, of course) or to pay a bribe. In the first case, the whole thing costs €2,000, in the second case about €600.

What can you get a fine for?

In the case of foreigners, fines are mainly for mistakes in documentation during cabotage. Russians are particularly sensitive to this type of transport, because cabotage in Russia is reserved mainly for local entrepreneurs and any foreign company is unwelcome there. Discouraging service to the Russian market is one reason for “clinginess” during inspections. In a given case, it is worth remembering to include item no. 24 in the CMR and information about an additional unloading place if part of the cargo is unloaded in one place and the rest in another.

In addition, Russians pay special attention to the absence of a permit or bill. For transports that do not require permits or require CEMT, a bill is issued by customs officers. You can receive a heavy fine for not having a special permit for transporting cargo from third countries. 

It is also worth remembering the customs authorities’ endorsements on documents. It is difficult to say whether these are intentional or not, but mistakes by customs officers are relatively common, and this is later a reason for issuing a fine.

Other than violations of traffic regulations, foreign professional drivers face fines for exceeding permissible axle loads or driving during seasonal restrictions and truck bans.

Amount of fines in Russia

Offense Fine, euro
Offense connected with cabotage 1600 – 2200
No derogation, mistake in derogations 1300 – 2000
Transporting cargo from other countries with a mistake in derogation 1900 – 2700
Mistake in customs documents 300 – 400
Overrun of vehicle’s weight or overrun of pressure on one axis (depends on percentage of overrun) For drivers: from 13 to 130.

For transport manager: from 130 to 600.

For a natural person: from 1300 to 6600.

Breaking of rules connected with time of work of drivers, manipulations with tachographs For drivers: 25 euro, for self-employed – 250.

For carriers: 550.


Stopping a truck in Russia – what to do?

When a truck is stopped, the traffic inspector writes down a protocol of an administrative offence and a ruling on the procedure, and then – a protocol of vehicle stop. It is absolutely necessary to remember that a copy of the latter document must be given to the driver. If the inspectors do not issue it, the driver must apply for it himself.

Stopping and putting the truck to a car park is done in several ways: it can be done by the driver himself or by a tow truck. The first option is the most cost-effective – the driver will pay only for the escort, without incurring additional costs.

After the vehicle has been parked, it is necessary to comply with the order and “eliminate” the reason for the stop. At this point it is necessary, first of all, to:

  1. Provide the missing permit, reload or cancel the transport, depending on what was the reason for the stop.
  2. Then – obtain a record of the end of the detention and a special letter from the inspection management body, if the situation requires it.
  3. Finally, you have to pay for parking, a tow truck, additional services if any, and of course a fine.
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