The Russian border service yesterday began to turn back all Finnish lorries carrying timber because they exceed the 42-tonne maximum weight declared by the Russian road agency. This was revealed by the STT news agency with a link to the website of the regional head of the Timber Truck Transport Entrepreneurs, Mika Sivonen.
A Finnish articulated lorry, which consists of a lorry cab and a trailer, weighs about 60 tonnes. Now almost all Finnish lorries have to reduce their load to meet Russian weight requirements before they can cross the Russian border. According to Sivonen, the Russian limits came into force last year, but at the last minute Russia gave Finnish transporters special permission for 55-tonne lorries, and the Republic of Karelia gave permission for 64-tonne loads. Both these special licenses were cancelled yesterday. Finnish transporters were left with about 300 unused special licenses for transporting timber and about 100 for other heavy goods.
On August 1, Finland stopped giving Russian long-distance truckers permission to cross the border as their lorries do not meet European requirements on length and weight. Only Russian lorries with an overall weight below 38 tonnes are let through.