Between 29 June and 1 July, EUBAM partnered with the Department of Specialized Training and Canine Service of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine to conduct a practical workshop for 100 newly recruited Customs Officers who will work in Odessa’s new ‘Open Customs Area’.
During the course of three individual one-day events, separate groups of new recruits received practical skills and knowledge from the Department of Specialized Training instructors on interviewing tactics, customs classifications, judicial practice, risk management tools and the Basel and International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Conventions. They were also introduced to intellectual property rights and Single Window concepts. Utilising its extensive on-the-ground experience, experts from EUBAM’s Field Offices in Odessa Port and Kuchurhan supplemented the training with case studies and European best practices.
Colin Gazeley, Head of EUBAM’s Border Management Department, noted that the courses “demonstrated excellent co-operation between Ukraine’s Customs administration and EUBAM, and provided the new recruits with exposure to EU best practice, practical insights and introduced the Mission’s activities”.
Artur Pugach, inspector of the new ‘Open Customs Area’ said, “Building of a new customs system demands from public servants excellent theoretical and practical knowledge. The eight hour training session with participation of EUBAM’s experts was very useful for the ‘Open Customs Area’ team. The knowledge gained in smuggling in Sea Ports, false seals and methods of falsification of brand name goods will help Odessa’s Customs administration to better protect the customs border of Ukraine and to perform our duties.”
The training was conducted in support of reforms to Odessa’s Customs administration, which will see a new ‘Open Customs Area’ launched in August 2016. 132 newly recruited Customs Officers, hired specifically to provide a high quality service, will create conditions in the port of Odessa which will help to facilitate trade and safeguard the border enabling Customs clearance procedures to be completed around the clock. It is hoped that the Odessa ‘Open Customs Areas’ will serve as a model for similar initiatives in other regions of Ukraine.