Andrii Bogdanovych Reminded the Rules of the Goods' Transportation

October 2, 2016

In comments for Radio "Holos Stolyci" the chairman of the NGO "Foundation.101" Andrii Bogdanovych has reminded the rules of the transportation of goods across the contact line and spoke about the new mobile application called "Skarga.101" which lets citizens quickly send the message about any abuses at the entry-exit control points on the contact line.

What regulations for crossing the contact line in Donetsk region exist? What are the limitations?

Our NGO conducts the monitoring of entry-exit control points in Donetsk region. According to the rules of crossing the control points, which are regulated by the Temporary order of control over the movement of people, vehicles and cargo, there are some restrictions on goods and products that can be transported through the contact line. For example, if we talk about products, they can be transported solely for personal use, but not for commercial purposes. There are certain restrictions on their cost and weight. For example, it is possible to transport goods to the total value of 10 thousand UAH or 50 kg per person. Speaking of food for own consumption it should be not more than the equivalent of 5000 UAH or 50 kg per person.

So, if you are carrying goods or products and follow mentioned rules, you can easily cross the contact line with these products. Of course, some people try to transport goods for sale. I am talking about smuggling. These people are trying to smuggle goods for sale for their own enrichment. Such transportation of goods and food is prohibited. You will not be able to transport more than it is allowed through the control point, therefore those who are engaged in smuggling, transport it in other ways.

In your opinion, the restrictions that you have mentioned are necessary?

Of course, there is a sense in setting restrictions. We must understand that we have a military conflict in that region. People who live in the occupied territories are limited in the choice of goods and food. They cross the contact line in order to buy goods on the controlled territory. Then they are coming back with food for their own consumption. Such limits are set in order to avoid the speculation. In this way authorities are trying to prevent the situations when a person goes to a controlled territory, buys all the goods in the nearest village and then returns to the occupied territory and sells it for a higher price.

Alright, it is more or less clear regarding products. What about household goods? There were situations when internally displaced people who reside in Kyiv returned to the occupied territory to get their own belongings and then they were not allowed to leave, because they were transporting too much staff. What to do in this case?

What I said earlier about 50 kg and the total cost of 5 or 10 thousand UAH relates to food and goods for daily use. In addition, Temporary order, which governs the crossing of the contact line, includes limit for other things. For example, you can transport only one TV, two mobile phones, two laptop computers, etc.. When you open Temporary order, you can find more details. The list of restrictions is quite long. It is necessary to check this document or to visit our organization's website to see infographics, which shows in detail what and how much can be transported through the entry-exit control point. For example, appliances and things from an apartment can be transported from the occupied territory to the controlled one, but these things should have the signs of use, so border guards can see that it's not for sale. There are no special restrictions on such things. Border guards do not have the right to take away the excessive appliance. For example, if you are traveling with two TVs instead of one, they can't take away one of them. What they should do is not to let you go through the entry-exit control point.

Tell us more, what exactly your NGO takes care of. You said that you are engaged in solving border issues and crossing the conditional border.

Our NGO has been observing the work of the control points on the contact line for over a year. Our observers work at the control points, monitor how the check of documents and people's goods is conducted. We monitor the observance of human rights and whether the work of inspectors at the control points corresponds to what is prescribed in the Temporary order of control over the movement of people, vehicles and goods. If you see any flaws in the work or human rights violations we will notify the relevant authorities and provide recommendations on how it can be changed to improve the situation at the control points and make the process of check at the control points better for people.

We also have created an application for mobile phones through which you can complain about the problem that arose at the control point. The application is called "Skarga.101". You can download it from our website. You can complain to the two types of violations through this app. The first one is violations of sanitary norms (e.g. dirty toilets or lack of drinking water at the control points). The second one is inappropriate treatment by the inspectors (border guard officers or Fiscal Service). We process each complaint and inform authority to make them fix the problems at the entry-exit control points.

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