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Georgia: Regime of cargo transportation in terms of COVID-19 pandemics as of 17 March 2020

18.03.2020

Precautionary Measures to Minimize Risk of Community Spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Georgia as of 17 March 2020.

Rail Transport
As of today, there are no restrictions on rail freight transportation.
Declared on the territory of Georgia on 21 March 2020 state of emergency does not restrict rail freight transportation.
Passenger transportation via railway has been suspended with the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Last trips were performed on 17 March 2020.

24 March 2020
Since 23 March 2020 according to the Decree №186 of the Government of Georgia of 23 March 2020 all inner railway passenger transportation is suspended. However, for the purposes of ensuring smooth functioning of international freight transportation by railroad, exception is made for railway workers.   


Road Transport
The Government of Georgia has decided to introduce restrictions on entry of foreign citizens into Georgia as part of preventive measures against the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Georgia.  The restrictions come into effect on 18 March 2020 at 00:00 and will last for two weeks.

The restrictions apply to any foreign nationals except:
• Representatives of diplomatic missions accredited to Georgia, representatives of international organizations and their family members;
• Mixed families where one of the spouses or their underage child is a citizen of Georgia
• Humanitarian mission – if such mission becomes necessary (doctors, volunteers)
• Stateless persons – document issued by respective authorities of Georgia
• Individuals holding status-neutral travel document;
• Individuals having a refugee status in Georgia
• The issue of official delegations is decided on a case-by-case basis
• Track drives engaged into international carriage of goods; railroad personal engaged into international railroad traffic, connected to goods transfer/escorting by rail road and aircrafts crew members.  

Transportation of citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Armenia and Russian Federation and their family members from third country towards their home countries in transit through the  territory  of Georgia is conducted under supervision of the respective authorities. Citizens of the above-mentioned countries staying in Georgia can leave the country through the respective border-crossing points. 

Since 24:00 22 March 2020 the Government of Georgia has enacted new regulations aimed at introducing enhancing preventive measures with COVID-19. 

In particular, for border-crossing by passengers only the following border points are open since 10:00 till 18:00:
For Turkey – Sarpi;
For Azerbaijan – Red Bridge;
For Russia – Lars;
For Armenia – Sadakhlo

For transport and transit of goods all border check-points are open for 24/7.
Since 21 March 2020 the state of emergency is declared on the territory of Georgia, however it does not affect the goods transportation and transit.

The Government of Georgia also adopted regulations for freight vehicles that carry out international transportation:
• Drivers of freight vehicles, upon entering the country, are subject to mandatory screening in accordance with international health regulations; 
• If during a screening of the driver of a freight vehicle, a probable case of a virus disease is detected, he must be immediately isolated on the spot;
• Freight vehicle heading from high - risk countries designated by the WHO is eligible to enter Georgian territory if substituted with driver from lower risk group and the following health regulations applied:

1. Freight vehicle disinfection will be conducted under supervision of the authorized customs representative
2. The driver of a freight vehicle, driving the vehicle on the customs border of Georgia, will return to his country (for citizens of foreign countries) or, taking into account the clinical condition, will be quarantined in the appropriate medical facility;
3. Haulage trucks of freight vehicles will be replaced by lower risk item. Initial haulage truck (used for transportation to territory of Georgia) will be sent to the country of origin. Trailers of each freight vehicle will be disinfected under the supervision of authorized customs representative

24 March 2020

Since 23 March 2020 by the Decree of Government of Georgia №180 of 23 March 2020 on the territory of Bolnisi and Marneuli (includes Sadakhlo border check-points) municipalities quarantine measures are being implemented. Entering and exit into and from these municipalities is restricted and is allowed based on case-by-base decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Vehicles engaged into international transit of goods are allowed to enter the municipalities by condition of non-stop movement through their territories.

Since 24 March 2020 according to the Decree №186 of the Government of Georgia of 23 March 2020 all inner passenger transportation by minibuses and buses is suspended.

Maritime Transport
1. Since 02 March 2020, the Maritime Transport Agency of Georgia has implemented different measures in order to avoid the risk of community spread of the CORONAVIRUS Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Georgia.
2. Government of Georgia has also put up health advisories at the sea checkpoints to inform travelers and ship crew on the precautionary measures to take when travelling, as well as to remain vigilant and adopt good hygiene practices.
3. Government of Georgia implemented dedicated web page (available in Georgian and English languages) https://stopcov.gov.ge/.
4. MTA Georgia implemented MARITIME HEALTH DECLARATION together with its Annexes - ATTACHMENT TO MARITIME DECLARATION OF HEALTH FOR CREW AND PASSENGERS.

Border Restrictions
5. As part of coronavirus (COVID-19) preventive measures, the Government of Georgia made a decision to impose restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals. 

The restrictions will become effective from 18 March 2020, 00:00 and will remain in force for two weeks. 
The restrictions will apply to any foreign national except:
• Representatives of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited to Georgia and their family members;
• Mixed families where one of the spouses or their under-age child is a citizen of Georgia;
• Persons arriving in Georgia as part of humanitarian mission – if trip of such mission (doctors, volunteers) to Georgia becomes a
• necessity;
• Individuals who have been granted the status of stateless person by respective authorities of Georgia;
• Individuals holding status-neutral travel documents;
• Individuals having a refugee status in Georgia;
• The issue of official delegations will be decided on a case-to-case basis.

6. With immediate effect, Georgia will cease port calls for all cruise vessels. Further Precautionary Measures

7. All ships calling the Georgian ports shall at least 24 hours before calling the port submit MARITIME HEALTH DECLARATION together with its Annexes - ATTACHMENT TO MARITIME DECLARATION OF HEALTH FOR CREW AND PASSENGERS.

8. If a Ship, her Crew or Passengers entered the countries considered to be High Risk countries (i.e. Peoples Republic of China, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Korea, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark or Austria) within last 21 days they will be subject to Thermal Screening by the authorized officers of Customs Department of the Revenue Service of Georgia.

9. While ship’s Master has the obligation to submit completed forms before entering Georgian ports, he/she is also responsible for observing further health of ship’s crew and passengers while alongside, at anchorage points or in waiting areas and shall communicate any suspicious cases to the Harbour Master and appropriate authorities of subject Port without undue delay.

10. If submitted documents show the existence of COVID-19 case or after screening the existence of COVID-19 is proved on board the ship, all possible contacts will be restricted with the subject vessel according to the recommendations issued by the World Health Organization.

11. Pilots acting in Georgian ports must use personal safety equipment while going on-board of all ships, including: Mask, Single Use Gloves and Safety Glasses.

Civil Aviation
Due to the increasing spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the aviation authorities of Georgia as well as air companies make changes to the scheduled direct flights, including reducing and/or cancelling the existing frequencies. As part of preventive measures against spread of the virus, decisions on restrictive measures have been made by the Government of Georgia as well as other countries. 

First of all, by the decision of the Government of Georgia the restrictions touched China and Iran: direct flights from China were suspended on 28 January 2020 and from Iran – on 23 February 2020.

Following the developments in European countries the flight ban was imposed on Italy from 6 March 2020 and the Czech Republic – from 29 March 2020.
Reduced flights are mainly performed to the following countries: Israel, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Belarus, Poland, Bahrain, France, Armenia, Greece and Kazakhstan.

From 14 March 2020, the Government of Georgia restricts the entry into Georgia from Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as from the Russian Federation using airspace, and on 18 March 2020 (at 00:00) -  from all countries for two weeks. Only Georgian citizens and their accompanying family members are allowed to enter the country.

As for citizens of third countries, restrictions are imposed by the Governments of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia on travel from Georgia to Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia using airspace. This does not apply to the citizens of third countries who are travelling together with the citizens of  the Russian Federation, Azerbaijan and Armenia and are their family members (spouse, child or parent). The mentioned restriction does not apply to transit.

The current information considering the reduced flights is available on the website of LEPL Georgian Civil Aviation Agency http://www.gcaa.ge/geo/news.php?id=6495  which is being regularly updated with the latest information.

Since 21 March 2020 till 21 April 2020 the state of emergency has been declared on the territory of Georgia. As a result all regular direct international flights are suspended. The restriction does not cover the incoming flights without passengers that have flight to Georgia in order to take passengers from Georgia. Freight, state, military and sanitary flights are also exempted from the restrictions as well as emergency and technical landing, aerial work and search and rescue operations. The issues of non-regular (charter) flights will be resolved by case-on-case basis by the Civil Aviation Agency with consent of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

24 March 2020 

23 March 2020 according to the Decree №186 of the Government of Georgia of 23 March 2020 all regular domestic flights are suspended. The issues of non-regular (charter) flights will be resolved by case-on-case basis by the Civil Aviation Agency with consent of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

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Permanent Secretaritat of the IGC TRACECA