Lithuanian customs exempt fertilisers from Kaliningrad’s transit ban

Lithuanian customs intend to exempt certain types of fertilisers transiting from Russia to Kaliningrad. As a result, around 837,500 tons of potassium chloride and 1,58 million tons of mineral and chemical fertilisers could be transported via Lithuania annually.

The reasons behind the intention to allow the transit of Russian-originating fertilisers on their way to Kaliningrad are unknown. However, the decision came into force on 10 July, the same day that a new round of restrictions was imposed on Kaliningrad-bound cargo, which now include cement, alcohol, wood, glass, steel and ferrous metals.

Simultaneously, the Lithuanian Railways (LTG) explained that “goods subject to restrictions which came into effect on Sunday, 10 July, comprise 15 per cent of the total transit cargo traffic transported via Lithuania by rail to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.” Add the cargo volumes banned in mid-July, comprising around 9 per cent of transit traffic, LTG saw around 24 per cent of its Russia-originating rail traffic gone after imposing restrictions.

More restrictions in a few days

Apart from the existing limitations on the transport of certain cargo types, there are more on the way. Specifically, as of 10 August, it will be impossible to transport coal and other solid fossil fuels via Lithuania to Kaliningrad, while more restrictions will come into force on 5 December, when Russian oil transport will be ultimately banned.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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