Narva border crossing point prepares to shut down car traffic

Passenger car in front of the Narva-1 border checkpoint.
Passenger car in front of the Narva-1 border checkpoint. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

The Narva border crossing, which is closing for traffic soon, is awaiting for information from Russia. Border and customs officials freed from car checks will work at other crossings.

According to the PPA about 4,000 people pass through the Narva border crossing point every day.

"For example, the number of border crossers can skyrocket during school holidays or at the beginning of the month, when residents of Ida-Viru travel to Russia to shop or fill up their cars. But even if car traffic stops and pedestrians will cross the border, the border guards will cope," Marek Liiva, head of the Narva border crossing, said.

"We have developed detailed work plans and roadmaps for how we will continue if the Russian Federation's border crossing in the city of Ivangorod really closes on February 1. We use our own personnel for extra jobs such as border patrol to maintain efficiency. In any case, our officers will keep working hard to guarantee that border control at the Narva crossing is maintained," Liiva said.

There are only about 30 trucks every day that cross the border in Narva. The customs services will be redundant when transportation ceases entirely on February 1. However, this does not mean that Narva's customs controls will be eliminated.

Ants Kutti, the head of customs on external border at the ETCB, said that the work of customs officers will continue.

"We have increased our inspection capacity due to sanctions, and this shift may have even a slightly positive side for customs operations, as operators seek to shift the traffic to rail, a low-cost means of transportation. So we are currently redeploying resources and modifying our practices," Kutti said.

Both customs and border guards are waiting for official information from Russia on when and for how long the Ivangorod border crossing will be closed to car traffic. So far, it has been said that reconstruction work on the Russian side will begin on February 1 next year and will last several years.


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Kristina Kersa

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