Government Connection

European Commission Clarifies "Green Lanes" for Moving Essential Goods

The European Commission released guidance that clarifies how companies of essential goods such as food & medical supplies gets quickly to its destination without any delays during this Coronavirus pandemic. Here's a summary from the official letter (which can be found here):

  • The  Guidelines  for  border  management  measures  to  protect  health  and  ensure the availaibility of goods and essential services1adopted by the European Commission on 16 March 2020, stress the principle that all EU internal borders should stay open to freight and  that  the  supply  chains  for  essential  products  must  be  guaranteed.  The  free  flow  of goods,  especially  in  times  of  emergency  and  in  the  interest  of  all,  requires  that  Member States  respect  and  fully  implement  the  Guidelines  at  all  border-crossings  at  internal borders.  This  document  is  designed  to  help  Member  States  implement  the  Guidelines  as regards the green lanes. It is intended to engender a cooperative process across the EU to  ensure  all  freight,  including  but  not  limited  to  essential  goods  such  as  food  and medical supplies, gets quickly to its destination without any delays.
  • In order to preserve the  EU-wide operation  of  supply  chains  and  ensure  the  functioning of  the  Single  Market  for  goods,  wherever  internal  border  controls  exist  or  have  been introduced  Member  States  are  requested  to  designate  immediately  all  the  relevant internal  border-crossing  points  of  the  trans-European  transport  network  (TEN-T)  and additional ones to the extent deemed necessary, as “green lane” border crossings –for land (road and rail), sea and air transport.
  • Going through these “green lane” border crossings, including any checks and health screening  of  transport  workers,  should  not  exceed  15  minutes  on  internal  land  borders.  The “green lane” border crossings should be open to all freight vehicles carrying anytype of goods.
  • Member  States  should  act  immediately  to  temporarily  suspend  all  types  of  road  access restrictions in place in their territory (week-end bans, night bans, sectoral bans, etc.) for road freight transport and for the necessary free movement of transport workers,'Transport  workers,  irrespective  of  their  nationality  and  place  of  residence,  should  be allowed to cross internal borders. Restrictions such as travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine  of  transport  workers,  should  be  waived, without  prejudice  for  competent authorities  to  take  proportionate  and  specifically  adapted  measures  to  minimise  the  risk of contagion.


March 25, 2020


European Commission
Green Lanes

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