Green Lanes at Border Crossings to Keep Cargo Moving
To ensure that essential goods are shipped across Europe, the European Commission asked Member States to create green lanes or internal border crossing points. These green lanes on the trans-European transport network will be used by cargo vehicles transporting goods across borders.
Why Green Lanes?
Land cargo makes for some 75 percent of all cargo shipped across borders. However, cargo shipping has been seriously affected by restrictions imposed by Member States, including restrictions on truck drivers and bans at border crossings. Many vehicle drivers face wait times of over 48 hours, including trucks shipping medical supplies.
How It Works
For vehicles that are shipping cargo to institutions, retailers, or warehouses for distribution, it must not take more than fifteen minutes to cross borders. This includes measures such as temperature taking, health screening, and other checks.
The goal is to ensure that all countries have a coordinated, collective, and efficient approach to shipping during the coronavirus outbreak. EU Member States are asked to streamline their procedures at border crossings in order to ensure effective supply chain management. Drivers carrying cargo will only be subject to minimal checks such as presenting their driving license and identification.
In some cases, they may be also asked to show a letter from their employer. Staff at border crossings will also accept documents that are submitted online. The Commission also asked Member States to lift restrictions, including sectoral, night, and weekend bans as to ensure that cargo keeps moving.
Private vehicles should also be allowed to cross borders so that transport and health officials safely reach designated destinations. The same applies to citizens who wish to be repatriated.
The European Commission also asked Member States not to impose restrictions on drivers showing no symptoms, including mandatory quarantines that have been imposed in some countries. Drivers transporting cargo should not be asked to show a doctor’s certificate at border crossings. At the same time, safety measures should be implemented to protect the health of transport staff at railway stations, ports, airports, and other crossings.
These include operational and hygiene measures. Safety measures include disinfection of truck cabins, wearing protective equipment when necessary, and producing digital documents. Employers are asked to supply soaps and disinfecting and sanitizing gels to enable drivers to maintain good hand hygiene. Disinfectants should be used whenever documents are exchanged. Drivers are encouraged to avoid interactions and practice distancing unless necessary, including during rest periods and breaks.
Certificate for International Transport Workers
During emergencies, transport workers should carry a certificate for international transport workers. The certificate must include the residence, birthdate, and name of transport workers, specifying whether they are road administration crew, vessel crew member, ship’s captain, carriage inspector, or train crew. Certificates must also be presented by train drivers, aircraft crew, bus drivers, and heavy goods vehicles drivers. They must display the signature and name of the organization, company, or office as well as the place and date of submission.