On July 30th, the Saudi Land Transport Regulatory Authority made a decision to prohibit trucks manufactured before 2004 from entering or transiting through Saudi territory.
According to the local newspaper Al-Watan, the Jordanian authorities implemented the Saudi decision and prevented hundreds of Syrian trucks and refrigerators loaded with vegetables, fruits, and various goods from entering their territory. As a result, all affected trucks are currently stranded at the Naseeb border crossing. This has raised concerns among shipping companies and refrigerator drivers, who fear running out of fuel and the cooling systems failing, leading to damage to the perishable cargo.
A source from the Federation of Chambers of Agriculture clarified that the stoppage is not total, but the movement of trucks and refrigerators has significantly slowed down, resulting in dozens of them accumulating at Naseeb. The new requirements for the entry of Syrian trucks and refrigerators into Saudi territory are primarily focused on the technical specifications of the refrigerators, particularly the year of manufacture, which most Syrian refrigerators and trucks do not meet.
One of the suggested solutions being discussed is to allow Gulf refrigerators to enter the empty Naseeeb crossing and transfer the cargo from Syrian trucks to Gulf ones. However, this process takes several hours and may lead to damage to the perishable goods due to the high temperatures during the transfer.
In response to the situation, communication and coordination with the Jordanian side have intensified to find alternative solutions and reduce the number of trucks and refrigerators heading towards the Naseeb crossing. As a precautionary measure, sorting and packaging shop owners are storing their goods in local storage units or opting to ship goods to local markets.
A week ago, Osama Qaziz, a member of the Committee of Traders and Exporters of Vegetables and Fruits in Damascus, reported that domestic prices of vegetables and fruits have risen due to approximately 85% of the production being exported to the Gulf region, with around 10 to 15 trucks leaving daily for this purpose.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.