What new transport visa-free with the EU offers Ukraine

Monday, 24 June 2024 —

On 20 June, Ukraine and the EU extended the freight liberalisation agreement for one more year with the possibility of prolongation.

This agreement, known as "transport visa-free," allows bilateral and transit freight transport between Ukraine and EU states without the need for special permits.

However, unlike the previous year, this time the "transport visa-free" agreement includes updates.

Read more about the amendments in the agreements in the article by Serhii Derkach, Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine – Updated transport visa-free: What Ukraine and the EU agreed upon.


According to Serhii Derkach, all drivers must have documents confirming the possession of a license during transport.

Derkach explains that foreign hauliers have a paper license, while Ukrainian hauliers do not, as the entire process is digitised in Ukraine.

"So, we agreed that Ukrainian drivers must have an extract about the license in English with a QR code. This document can be obtained by any haulier in a few seconds in their personal account. Its authenticity can be verified by scanning the code," writes Derkach.

Another amendment affects both Ukrainian and foreign hauliers: they must have cargo documents even if the transport is empty.

According to the European Commission, this rule will help prevent cabotage, which is the transport within a single EU country.

Another update is the requirement to mark trucks performing transport according to the Agreement on the Liberalisation of Freight Transport.

Each haulier can independently download the appropriate sticker and place it on the windshield.

A new regulation involves sanctions for hauliers who systematically violate the transport rules under the Agreement.

"It should be noted that this is not about banning transportation to the EU or Ukraine, but exclusively about prohibiting to perform transport under the Agreement," clarifies Derkach.

The order of such a ban for a certain period must be developed by Ukraine and each EU country by the end of this year.

Additionally, the "transport visa-free" can be temporarily suspended for up to three months in case of a "threat to the bilateral transport market."

The relevant "threat" must be approved by a majority of EU member states.

"The key point is that in such a case, the Agreement is suspended for all hauliers. If a Ukrainian haulier cannot deliver goods to a specific EU region, then hauliers from that region cannot enter Ukraine," explains the author.

Derkach believes these details minimise the threat of this provision, as each country will need to carefully weigh all risks before initiating such a decision.

He also mentions the creation of a special working group to assess the effectiveness of the "transport visa-free." The group will be alternately chaired by representatives from Ukraine and the EU. It will convene upon their request.

The primary task of this group, according to Derkach, is to analyse data on the implementation of the Agreement and provide recommendations to the Joint Committee of the Agreement.

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