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06 May. 2024

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Fines up to 5000 euros for passengers of the Chop-Prague train: the main reasons

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Fines up to 5000 euros for passengers of the Chop-Prague train: the main reasons

In late March, a direct train from Prague to Chop was launched. Slovak customs officers are particularly scrupulous about checking for prohibited items and products, which causes long train delays. Find out more about fines for passengers of the train Prague to Chop

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RegioJet has launched a service between Prague and Chop. Demand for this route is very high, but passengers constantly complain about train delays due to long delays at the border. Slovak customs officers at the Černá nad Tisou border crossing conduct very thorough and strict inspections, and even the smallest violation can result in a fine. Authorized persons draw up protocols and thus cause delays in the train. 

When entering the Schengen area, customs officers are particularly strict about the rules for importing goods. The most common reasons for violations are imports of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, dairy and meat products from Ukraine. There are more and more people wishing to bring prohibited goods abroad, so inspections can last several hours. The train is standing at the border, and its “parent” connection, Kosice-Prague, cannot wait for the Chop cars.

Clearance of two trains in a short period of time

The customs railroad crossing has a limited capacity, which is why in most cases there are train delays. According to the schedule, the local train of the Slovak carrier Mukachevo-Kosice has to pass in front of the Chop-Prague train. In case of delays or problems with customs inspections, the Czech train has to wait for the Slovak customs to complete the inspection and clear the train. 

Paperwork takes a long time, so such situations with delays occur almost every week. However, this trip is still in great demand among passengers, as inspections on bus lines can take up to 12 hours.




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Fines of up to 125 thousand kroons are possible

The train from Chop is a kind of “tail” of the regular service from Kosice to Prague, which runs 3 times a week. If the train from Chop does not arrive on time, its “mother” train departs without it, and its cars are attached to the next train 1008 to the Czech Republic. As a result, passengers have to wait 6 additional hours at the train station in Kosice.

Due to such inconveniences, RegioJet will demand compensation for the delay from the passengers responsible. Together with the Slovakian ZSSK, they have developed a joint procedure and prepared posters with warnings about the transportation of prohibited goods.

The offenders will be forced to pay a fine of up to EUR 5,000 (CZK 125,000). If a train is delayed through no fault of its own, a fine of 1000 CZK (4800 euros for 120 minutes) will be imposed for each minute of downtime. However, no fine has ever been issued, and passengers currently receive only SMS warnings.


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An additional car for the Chop line

The carrier RegioJet plans to add a fourth car to the Chop-Prague train. However, this is the maximum number, as Slovak customs officers will not be able to process more than 160 passengers. After connecting to Kosice, the train will have 15 cars, which is the operational maximum.

European-standard tracks are laid from Chop to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, their width is 1435 mm. The carrier is also considering extending the non-stop service to Mukachevo, but the European standard gauge tracks there are not fully electrified.


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Daria Rogova, Head of Insurance at Visit Ukraine


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