Italian "Sushi smugglers" create “dangerous, unacceptable and intolerable situation” on Swiss border

Swiss Sushi lovers from the town of Ticino traditionally cross the Italian border for their favourite dishes, possibly due to the high prices charged in their own country for pretty much everything.

However, The Local it reports that with the border being closed due to COVID restrictions locals residents order the dish online from the Italian town of Ponte Tresa and have it delivered at the border.

While delivery drivers are not allowed to cross into Switzerland to make the delivery, they wait on the border to hand the orders over.

The ensuing congestion at the border creates “a dangerous, unacceptable and intolerable situation” particularly on weekends, according to Piero Marchesi, mayor of Monteggio, a Swiss municipality located on the border.

In an interview with Ticino Online, Marchesi spoke of "rudeness, chaos of traffic, gatherings and illegal parking” as Swiss customers wait to pick up their orders from Italy. "We ask the cantonal and municipal police to coordinate with the border guards to find a solution. I can't go there to direct traffic”, he said.

The customs of Ponte Cremenaga, Fornasette and Ponte Tresa have become a meeting point for customers picking up their food orders from Italy.

In response to Marchesi’s complaints, the Federal Customs Administration (AFD) confirmed that "the border areas, for various reasons related to safety and traffic aspects, are not suitable to be used for exchange of goods".

Norman Gobbi, president of the canton’s Council of State said that “there are several services that offer sushi in the Ticino area”.

Meanwhile, Ticino officials asked Bern to introduce border restrictions to limit non-essential traffic to and from Italy, a request that has not yet been answered by federal authorities.

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