Truck Blockade on Bulgarian-Turkish Border Lifted
The blockade on the Turkish-Bulgarian border has been lifted on the Turkish side, but the long line of tractor trailers remains.
Turkish trucks have begun to leave gradually the cross border checkpoint, says Petko Angelov, Deputy Chairman of the Bulgarian Association of Road Transport Unions, BASAT.
Since Tuesday, Turkish trucks have been blocking the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint in sign of contempt over the checks that have been conducted by Bulgarian border authorities.
Angelov said there are no obstructions for crossing the border on the part of Bulgaria.
BASAT representatives insist that Turkish demands to stop the checks of their trucks and drivers are "insane."
Turkey closed their side of the border on Tuesday as their Customs agents insisted for Bulgaria to lift checks on Turkish trucks crossing from Bulgaria into Turkey.
In response, Bulgaria asked Turkey to comply strictly with international agreements on road transport of goods.
The request came after a recent increase in the number of Bulgarian trucks detained at checkpoints on the Bulgarian-Turkish border by Turkish authorities.
A lack of "appropriate" permit, required for a given freight is the reason for the detentions according to Turkish customs authorities. Bulgarian carriers are required to pay a fee of EUR 3000 in order to be granted permission by Turkey's customs to enter the country.
Turkey introduced the new fees for carriers on September 1st.
Bulgaria's official position is that the introduction of the fees in September is a breach of a transport agreement between Bulgaria and Turkey and Bulgarian carriers should not be made to pay them at the border.
"This is insane – Bulgarian drivers to be fined on the Turkish side all while the Turkish ones protest against checks on the part of Bulgarian border authorities," says Petko Angelov.
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