Modernisation of railway border crossing in the Podlaskie voivodeship (Siemianówka)

Project completed

Poland has one of the longest Schengen external borders of the EU, measuring nearly 1200 kilometres. An efficient, functional eastern Schengen border is not only important for Poland and the EU, but also for Switzerland’s security. That is why, as part of the enlargement contribution, Switzerland is investing in modern infrastructure that facilitates well functioning customs clearance at strategically important border crossings on the Polish-Belarusian border. In this case, the upgrade of the infrastructure of railway border crossing in Siemianowka allows Poland to comply with EU standards in the field of border management and security.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Poland
Enhanced security and safety
Border protection
01.08.2011 - 31.12.2014
CHF  4’992’638

Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.

Background

The actual border infrastructure in Siemianówka does not allow to the border guards and the custom services to fulfil their duties properly. The extremely poor conditions, in which the around 60 employees of both entities are working are below all standards of the European Union and do not respect the national legislation on Occupational Health and Safety. Although the crossing point is very big, with many tracks and 5 platforms of 1 km length each, the basic facilities for receiving trucks, charging and removing goods, etc. do not exist or need to be renovated. The main transport companies reduced their activities in Siemianówka, mainly due to the degradation of the installations.

Objectives

The project aims at contributing to the EU border protection. It will consistently increase the security, improve the functioning of the border crossing point for freight traffic and shorten the train sets’ clearance time. The border guards and the Custom services will be in the position to properly carry out their duties in line with the national and the EU standards. The project will allow Poland to comply with the EU/Schengen requirements concerning border security and border management. As well, the project will promote the economic potential and induce business activities in the region.

Target groups

Border guards corps and customs service active at the railway border crossing in Siemianówka; Inhabitants of the region and of the Schengen area.

Activities

The project finances the construction of a new train border crossing in Siemianówka, adjusting it to the national and EU-norms and regulations ant at the same time improving the working conditions for the officers and civil workers of border guards and customs officers. Concretely new enclosed structures include a building of the border guard facilities, custom chamber facilities, access facilities and road infrastructure and phytosanitary service building.

Results

Achieved results:  

  • Efficiency of border clearance has improved and traffic on the reconstructed railway border crossing has been increased: an average train clearance time in Siemianówka decreased from 2.5 hrs to 2hrs with a increased number of wagons passing the border from 31'815 to 33’327
  • Working conditions of border services officers were improved through construction of modern buildings and provision of equipment
  • The project triggered economic and social development in the region
  • 4 buildings for border control constructed
  • 2 videoendoscopes and 1 smuggling detector used for control
  • 2 study visits, one in Switzerland and one in Poland with participation of a Swiss Customs experts realized


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Project partners Contract partner
Foreign state institution
  • National State Institute North


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’992’638 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    4’366’597
Project phases

Phase 1 01.08.2011 - 31.12.2014   (Completed)