Poland allows transit of Ukrainian grain

Poland on April 21 allowed the transit of Ukrainian grain and other food through its borders, partially lifting a near week-long ban imposed in response to protests from farmers.

Poland and other European Union countries bordering Ukraine imposed temporary bans on Ukrainian grain exports after farmers protested a slump in prices related to the influx.

Ukraine has transported such exports across EU borders since Russia's invasion disrupted its usual Black Sea shipping route.

Polish authorities said on April 21 the transit of dozens of food items, including sugar, meat, fruits and vegetables, is now permitted, but Ukrainian exporters still cannot sell the listed products on the country's market.

"We assume that the check-ins will be quite smooth, so far there is no signs that queues will form," Bartosz Zbaraszczuk, head of the Polish customs agency told RMF24 radio.

The transit was allowed at 2 a.m. when the government regulation lifting the ban on transports entered into force.

Poland on April 15 banned entry of dozens of food items from the war-torn country and Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria followed suit with similar moves.

But Warsaw and Kiev announced a deal on Arpil 18 to allow the transit through Poland, under strict checks and controls, involving placing electronic seals on the transports.

Additionally, Polish customs officers will, for a week, escort the vehicles carrying exports.

"We will let such a transport out of our sight only when it enters the port to be loaded, for example grain onto a ship, or leaves the Polish border," Zbaraszczuk said.

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