Monday, August 16, 2010

Congestion at Bulgarian Border - But No Friday Driving Concessions

Turkish Hauliers Face a Long Wait Over the Weekend
Shipping News Feature

BULGARIA – Long delays were reported over the weekend at the crossing point at Kapukule near the town of Edirne as Turkish freight trucks which left on Friday to pass into Europe early on Monday formed a six kilometre queue. Over 240 wagons were reported as held up whilst crossing the border at Kapitan Andreevo but subsequent reports claimed there were no delays.

The problems have arisen apparently as a result of staff shortages at Bulgarian Customs, earlier this month the Government announced they were merging the inspectorates of the Finance Ministry with the National Revenue Agency and the Department of Customs meaning a reduction of 82 inspectors for all three agencies down to just 34 in the new Inspectorate.

Also this week Prime Minister Boyko Borisov confirmed he will not accede to freight truckers demands to allow heavy goods vehicles (HGV’s) to transit the country on Fridays. The PM cited as his reasons the high death toll in road accidents in the country and also damage to the highway infrastructure by heavy vehicles, especially in the recent heat wave when temperatures have soared to 35 degrees C