EUBAM this week met with representatives of the ‘EU Project Group on information exchange between the EU and Eastern Partnership countries’ (Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine), during a study visit they were undertaking to Chisinau and Odessa from 4-7 March 2013 in order to learn more about the Pre-Arrival Information Exchange System (PAIES) that has been established between the customs services of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, with the assistance of EUBAM.
The Project Group, which is investigating the possibility of using PAIES as a pilot project, was set up in 2011 after the high-level seminar on customs cooperation at the Eastern border of the EU.
This week, Ukrainian customs officials explained how PAIES is used between Moldova and Ukraine – with for example exchange of export declarations data in advance, as well as confirmation messages being shared electronically. PAIES has led to substantial improvements in customs controls, risk analysis and faster procedures at the border.
During the study visit both Moldovan and Ukrainian customs services went into more detail on how PAIES works on different levels of their administrations. The participants visited the Moldovan customs training centre in Chisinau and EUBAM headquarters in Odessa. Through concrete examples it was shown how PAIES is used for risk analysis, facilitation of customs controls and how it improves trade facilitation. The participants were also taken to the border crossing point at Tudora-Starokozache, where they got to see first-hand how PAIES works during daily procedures at a customs post.
The Project Group was particularly interested in the concrete benefits of PAIES in terms of trade facilitation, risk analysis and combating customs fraud, how the exchanged information is used and how data is protected. They also wanted to learn more about problems and challenges with the implementation of PAIES and possible complaints from businesses and travellers.