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Most of reconstruction of Belarusian-Polish border checkpoint Bruzgi to be done by year end

Society 19.09.2018 | 19:01
The customs officer Irina Chmunevich
The customs officer Irina Chmunevich

GRODNO, 19 September (BelTA) – The bulk of the work involved in reconstructing the Belarusian-Polish border checkpoint Bruzgi will be done by the end of the year, BelTA learned from Andrei Kovalchuk, Head of the Grodno Regional Customs, on 19 September.

Andrei Kovalchuk, Head of the Grodno Regional Customs
Andrei Kovalchuk, Head of the Grodno Regional Customs

The reconstruction of the Belarusian-Polish border checkpoint Bruzgi is part of the international project meant to modernize the M6 transit motorway.

The official said: “Everything has been on schedule so far. Increasing the number of incoming and outgoing traffic lanes is one of the main changes. It will resolve the problem of trucks, cars, buses, and other vehicles being cooped up in two lanes.” The introduction of an automated system for recognizing vehicle registration plates will allow getting rid of paper tickets. The border checkpoint will also be fitted with modern CCTV solutions.

Trucks will be able to cross the border faster. Plans have been made to install modern weighing equipment (two scales per each direction). Once modern technologies and practices are assimilated, drivers will be able to pass customs and border control procedures virtually without leaving the comfort of their vehicles.

“There are plans to use the territory of the border checkpoint more effectively. In particular, the entrance to the passenger bus parking lot will be expanded. It will be easier for buses to maneuver without creating traffic jams,” noted Andrei Kovalchuk. Plans have been made to create more comfortable conditions for drivers and passengers in the border checkpoint itself.

The Bruzgi border checkpoint will once again allow pedestrian traffic after the reconstruction. Up to 900 people used to cross the border there daily. However, allowing pedestrians to walk alongside cars was deemed unsafe. Now pedestrians will get a dedicated walkway. The construction of a dedicated unit to welcome pedestrians has begun. The unit will also process those, who cross the border on bicycles.

Andrei Kovalchuk stressed that the border checkpoint continues working despite the reconstruction project. The border checkpoint remains popular with truckers and car drivers. Some 1 million vehicles have crossed the Belarusian-Polish border via the Bruzgi checkpoint so far this year.

An action was staged at the Bruzgi checkpoint on 19 September to raise the awareness of citizens crossing the border. Customs personnel invited drivers and passengers to fill in a small questionnaire to check their customs law knowledge. Most of them demonstrated solid knowledge. People sometimes stumbled over questions concerning tax-free luggage size regulations. Those, who were crossing the border, were asked how the operation of the customs service could be improved and were offered special leaflets with information of use for travelers.

Public awareness action in progress
Public awareness action in progress

“People feel comfortable when they know, albeit in a non-professional way, the laws, the right way to do things, when they understand what can be done and what cannot. Raising the public's awareness and prevention of possible legislation violations represent an important part of our work. Today's action was meant to improve this knowledge,” noted Andrei Kovalchuk. He stressed that conflict situations sometimes happen during customs clearance procedures if people fail to fully understand the rules.

The questionnaire
The questionnaire

The work to improve infrastructure in border checkpoints will continue. For instance, the reconstruction of the Belarusian-Lithuanian border checkpoint Kamenny Log is supposed to begin in 2019. An increasing number of vehicles and cargoes cross the border in the Grodno Regional Customs' responsibility area. In particular, the Grodno Oblast division of the Belarusian customs service handles over 50% of all the incoming and outgoing trucks or over 9,000 heavy trucks per day.

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