Q&A for companies COVID-19 measures Poland (updated 19.05.2020)

On March 20, Poland announced the introduction of the State of Epidemic which is causing restrictions for the public life but also on the borders. This is the next step in the government's efforts against the COVID-19 spread in Poland. You can find here Q&A's for companies regarding these measures. Update May 12: extension of limitations on border crossings by foreigners until June 12. Quarantine policy is extended till further notice. Update May 19: additional Q&A with information for NL citizens on the possibility to enter Poland for work purposes without a 14 day quarantine.

Q: Can goods still be imported / exported to / from Poland?

A: yes, according to the website of the Polish government, the restrictions do not apply to goods https://www.gov.pl/web/koronawirus/zamykamy-granice-przed-koronawirusem

In addition, the European Commission published on March 16 guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/policies/european-agenda-migration/20200316_covid-19-guidelines-for-border-management.pdf

which include:

  • Member States should designate priority lanes for freight transport (e.g. via ‘green lanes').
  • No additional certifications should be imposed on goods legally circulating within the EU single market.

Implementation of this guideline is the responsibility of the Polish government.

Due to the spread of coronavirus, the Ministry of Development in Poland- in cooperation with the Chief Sanitary Inspector - has prepared recommendations for entrepreneurs in the transport and logistics industry. You can find these recommendations here https://www.gov.pl/web/rozwoj/zalecenia-dla-branzy-transportowej-i-logistycznej-w-zwiazku-z-rozprzestrzenianiem-sie-koronawirusa

Q: The borders have been closed for persons. Can a driver or cross border worker still enter Poland and what rules apply for quarantine?

A: On May 13, Poland announced that the limitations on crossing the border by foreigners remain in place until June 12. The 14-day quarantine policy has been extended until further notice.

Information on the travel ban, quarantine and exceptions can be found on the information website of the Polish government:

According to this information the ban on entering Poland does not apply to:

  • foreigners driving a vehicle intended for transporting goods.
  • there is a limited possibility for NL citizens who want to enter Poland for the purpose of work, see seperate Q&A under here.

The compulsory quarantine does not apply to:

  • professional freight and passenger transport drivers performing their duties.
  • cross border workers and students with neighbouring EU countries (Germany, Czechia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Denmark (by sea)).
  • there is a limited possibility for NL citizens who want to enter Poland for work, see seperate Q&A under here.

In addition, the German authorities announced increased measures at the internal borders of Germany as of March 25  https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/pressemitteilungen/EN/2020/03/pm-seasonal-worker.html. In case you have questions on this matter we refer to the German authorities.

Exemption of compulsory quarantine

  • Exemption from compulsory quarantine after crossing the state border also applies to a driver who is not a citizen of a European Union Member State, employed by an entrepreneur based in the territory of the Republic of Poland, who has a driver's certificate.
  • Exemption from compulsory quarantine after crossing the state border also applies to professional drivers in international road transport (including international combined transport) returning from abroad by other means of transport than the vehicle used for road transport:

- for the purpose of resting in the Republic of Poland or after resting abroad, as referred to in Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on the harmonization of certain social provisions relating to road transport and amending Regulations Council (EEC) No. 3821/85 and (EC) 2135/98, as well as repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No. 3820/85 WE (Official Journal of the EU L 102 of 11.04.2006, p. 1, as amended 2)),

- after a break in providing work in the circumstances specified in art. 31 section 1 of the Act of 16 April 2004 on working time of drivers (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1412).

Full text can be found here: https://www.gov.pl/web/infrastruktura/zasady-zwolnienia-z-obowiazku-kwarantanny-kierowcow-zawodowych

EC guidelines free movement of workers

The European Commission published practical guidance to ensure the free movement of critical workers, in particular those in critical occupations to fight the coronavirus pandemic, so that they can reach their workplace. This includes but is not limited to those working in the health care and food sectors, and other essential services like childcare, elderly care, and critical staff for utilities.

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_545

Implementation of this guideline is the responsibility of the Polish government.

Q: Can a citizen of the Netherlands enter Poland for work purpose?

The government of Poland extended the restrictions on foreigners entering the country till June 12.

For possibilities to enter Poland for work purpose you can find information via the following link (in Polish only): https://www.strazgraniczna.pl/pl/aktualnosci/8447,Koronawirus-przekraczanie-granicy.html

For information on the quarantine policy you can find information via the following link (in Polish only): https://strazgraniczna.pl/pl/aktualnosci/8448,Koronawirus-zasady-kwarantanny.html

It is stated that there is no compulsory quarantine after crossing the border of the Republic of Poland constituting an internal border for professional, business or economic purposes in Poland or an EU and EEA state and for receiving education of the Republic of Poland or a neighboring country, including for guardians of pupils and children.

Before crossing the border, each traveler will be registered and also examined.

The border guard of Poland provided the following additional information on the documentation that is needed to enter Poland for work purpose:

1. A citizen of the Netherlands will be able to enter Poland if (s)he presents a contract between a Dutch and Polish company which shows that the Dutch company is to perform some service work for a Polish company, a document confirming the employment of a Dutch person in a Dutch company and a document confirming that this company sends him to the company to perform contract work.

2. If a Dutch citizen conducts business activity in Poland or performs a function on the management board of a legal person, he may enter Poland by documenting this fact by presenting, for example, an extract from the National Court Register in which he is indicated as a member of the management board or articles of association.

Please note that the documents should be provided in Polish. It is the decision of the Polish authorities to determine whether the conditions are met to enter the country for work purpose.

Q: Where can the border be crossed?

A: Poland introduced internal border control (border control with the EU Member States). The Polish border with Germany, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia can only be crossed at designated places. Checks will also be carried out at seaports and airports. Please note that a separate border crossing is open for live animals (see Q&A under here). Information can be found on the website of the Polish government:

in Polish https://www.gov.pl/web/mswia/uwaga-polska-wprowadza-ograniczenia-przy-przekraczaniu-granicy

Update March 18: Additional border crossings open

Additional border crossings have been introduced by the amendment to the ordinance of the minister of internal affairs and administration on the temporary reintroduction of border control of persons crossing the state border constituting the internal border https://www.gov.pl/web/mswia/uwaga-polska-wprowadza-ograniczenia-przy-przekraczaniu-granicy

INTERNAL BORDER CROSSINGS Poland & neighbouring EU countries

The internal borders open for cargo transport through road crossings:

 on the border with Germany

  • Zgorzelec
  • Jędrzychowice
  • Olszyna
  • Świecko
  • Słubice
  • Kostrzyn nad Odra
  • Krajnik Dolny
  • Kołbaskowo

on the border with Lithuania:

  • Budzisko
  • Ogrodniki (restricted to max 7,5 tons)

on the border with Slovakia:

  • Barwinek
  • Chyżne

on the border with the Czech Republic:

  • Cieszyn Chotěbuz
  • Gorzyczki
  • Nowe Chałupki
  • Kudowa Słone
  • Trzebina
  • Jakuszyce
  • Gołkowice
  • Lubawka
  • Głuchołazy–Mikulovice

Additionally, rail crossing are also open for cargo transport, as well as several crossings dedicated to passenger transport and/or pedestrian transport only.      

Links to the regulations (in Polish):

http://www.dziennikustaw.gov.pl/DU/2020/434

http://www.dziennikustaw.gov.pl/DU/2020/439

http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20200000468/O/D20200468.pdf

EXTERNAL BORDER CROSSINGS Poland with neighbouring non EU countries

On the external border with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, road border traffic is significantly reduced.

The Polish-Russian border can only be crossed in Bezledy (freight - axle vehicles up to 8t performing international transport) and Grzechotki,

The border with Belarus - in Kuźnica, Bobrowniki, Kukuryki and Terespol, and

The border with Ukraine - in Dorohusk, Hrebenne-Rawa Ruska and Korczowa.

At the border crossing in Dorohusk (Dorohusk-Jagodzin) and in Korczowa (Korczowa-Krakowiec) only passenger cars and freight traffic will be possible. Pedestrians and buses will be excluded. https://granica.gov.pl/

Additionally, rail crossing are also open for cargo transport.

Links to the regulations (in Polish):

http://www.dziennikustaw.gov.pl/DU/2020/435

http://prawo.sejm.gov.pl/isap.nsf/download.xsp/WDU20200000469/O/D20200469.pdf

Q: What is the waiting time at the border?

A: Up-to-date information on the waiting time at the Polish borders can be found here https://granica.gov.pl/. Information about waiting time at the internal EU borders can be found under ‘Granica wewnętrzna’ (Polish only)

Telephone numbers of specific border crossings can also be found on this website.

In case you need to cross the Polish-Ukrainian border, the situation at different border crossings of Ukraine can be checked at http://kordon.sfs.gov.ua/en/home/countries/pl/i.

Q: What is the situation with the export of live animals into Poland?

Update March 30: the Dutch Food & Safety authority (NVWA) advices for transport of live animals via Germany to Poland to make use of the Swiecko border crossing.

It is adviced to always check the latest information at the website of the NVWA:

https://www.nvwa.nl/documenten/export/veterinair/ks-documenten/werkvoorschriften-dierziekten/handelsbeperkende-maatregelen-i.v.m.-corona-voor-dieren-dierlijke-producten

Q: Are there veterinarian controls at the border?

A:

There is no veterinary border control at the internal border – trucks can use any open border crossing https://www.wetgiw.gov.pl/main/komunikaty/Kontrole-graniczne-na-granicy-wewnetrznej-w-UE/idn:1269

For goods entering the EU (external border) through Poland standard procedures apply: use open border crossing with veterinary border control https://www.wetgiw.gov.pl/inspekcja-weterynaryjna/graniczne-inspektoraty-weterynarii

Q: Is transit through Poland possible for goods?

A: The exemption from compulsory quarantine also applies to drivers with cargo transiting through Poland. Source: Road Transport Inspectorate https://gitd.gov.pl/dla-mediow/aktualnosci/artykul/news/zasady-zwolnienia-z-obowiazku-kwarantanny-kierowcow/

See also the guidelines of the European Commission

Q: Will trucks with fresh products (for example flowers, meat, vegetables) or live animals be prioritized at the border controls?

A: No, at the moment there are no special measures to prioritize transport of fresh products or live animals. The European Commission published a guideline on March 16 for border measures to protect health and keep goods and essential services available (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_468) which include:

  • Member States should designate priority lanes for freight transport (e.g. via ‘green lanes').
  • No additional certifications should be imposed on goods legally circulating within the EU single market.

Implementation of this guideline is the responsibility of the Polish government.

Q: What sanitary documents are needed at the border?

A:

At the border medical services or firefighters will measure body temperature of all persons. From April 1, persons crossing the Polish border do not have to fill out a location card anymore. This includes drivers operating a road vehicle in road transport.

Persons however who fall under the mandatory 14-day quarantine will have their data entered by Border Guard officers directly into the database during the inspection. During the border check, each traveler is obliged to provide the Border Guard officer with the address at which he will quarantine. It can be a place of collective quarantine if, for example, the traveler is not able to serve it in the place of residence. This information is entered directly into the database and automatically forwarded to the appropriate services that will verify that the quarantine obligation is being fulfilled.

https://www.gov.pl/web/infrastruktura/zmiany-w-procedurze-wypelniania-kart-lokalizacyjnych-przez-kierowcow

Information for Freight and combined transport drivers returning to Poland via other means than the vehicle used to perform duties for the purpose of weekly rest or after rest abroad who are also exempt for quarantine:

Drivers returning from abroad by other means of transport than the vehicle used for road transport should present to a Border Guard officer:

  •  national or Community driving license with an entry - code 95, which confirms the obtaining of a driver's professional qualification certificate,
  • driver's certificate, in the case of a driver who is not a citizen of a European Union Member State, employed by an entrepreneur based in the territory of the Republic of Poland.

Drivers who are citizens of the Republic of Poland should additionally substantiate the fact of employment with a Polish entrepreneur by presenting proof (e.g. certificate, employment contract) of employment issued by the employer, in paper or electronically. In a situation preventing the presentation of the above evidence, the fact of employment in the initial period can be exceptionally confirmed by a written statement from the driver.

All professional drivers who are foreigners returning from abroad by other means of transport than the vehicle used for road transport must demonstrate the right to work in the territory of the Republic of Poland within the meaning of the regulation of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration on temporary suspension or limitation of border traffic at certain border crossings. At the same time, the driver's certificate is sufficient proof of legal employment by an entrepreneur established in the territory of the Republic of Poland.

https://www.gov.pl/web/infrastruktura/zasady-zwolnienia-z-obowiazku-kwarantanny-kierowcow-zawodowych

Information in Dutch on doing international business & Corona

Informatie over het Corona virus en Internationaal zaken doen kunt u vinden via: 

https://www.agroberichtenbuitenland.nl/actueel/nieuws/2020/03/10/coronavirus-en-zakendoen 

Veelgestelde vragen over het coronavirus in Polen (RVO.nl):

https://www.rvo.nl/onderwerpen/internationaal-ondernemen/landenoverzicht/polen/veelgestelde-vragen-over-het-coronavirus-polen

FAQ for enterpreneurs in the Netherlands, information provided by Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK | Government.nl | Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO https://business.gov.nl/the-coronavirus-faq-for-entrepreneurs/