The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) is this week hosting representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Belarusian Customs Committee for a fact-finding mission to the Moldova-Ukraine border in order to examine the Pre-Arrival Information Exchange System (PAIES) in practice.
PAIES is the information-exchange system developed by EUBAM that helps to identify various kinds of customs fraud, improve trade facilitation, and enhance transparency with regard to the movement of goods through Transnistria.
The IOM recently began implementation of a EUR 3.7 million EU-funded project – PRINEX – that will lead to the creation of an electronic pre-arrival information exchange system for the Ukrainian and Belarusian customs authorities that will be installed at border-crossing points on the Belarus-Ukraine border. The two-and-a-half-year project is part of the EU’s Eastern Partnership’s Integrated Border Management Flagship Initiative (EaP IBM).
The PRINEX system will ultimately improve capacity to combat crime and cross-border smuggling, reduce customs fraud, increase the effectiveness of customs-clearance procedures, shorten waiting times at the border, and improve overall service delivery.
It is against this background that PRINEX and officials from the Belarusian Customs Committee and the IOM are undertaking the assessment this week. EUBAM will introduce the visitors to its partners, the customs authorities in both Moldova and Ukraine, and brief them on some of the most important lessons learnt from the Mission’s experience of implementing PAIES since it became operational on the Moldova-Ukraine border in 2008.