A photo overview of EUBAM’s work, conducted in February 2017 jointly with Moldovan and Ukrainian partners.
At the beginning of February, EUBAM and its four partner services analysed the cross-border trends as part of the 2016 Annual Common Border Security Assessment Report (CBSAR). According to the joint analysis, passenger and vehicle flow increased by 3% and 14% respectively in comparison with 2015, whilst the number of refusals of border crossing decreased by 7%. Smuggling cases in general increased by 7%, whilst the value of smuggled goods decreased by 2.2 times. EUBAM’s Field Offices work closely with Moldova’s Border Police and Ukraine’s State Fiscal Service to improve the effectiveness of green border surveillance and patrolling to counteract smuggling.
EUBAM met with Moldova’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 23 February. Co-operation between the Chamber and Moldova’s Customs Service was highlighted, and challenges for the Chamber’s members in complying with DCFTA obligations on sanitary, phytosanitary and veterinary measures were discussed. Approximately 60 Transnistrian economic operators are members of Moldova’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, thus enjoying the services it provides, including access to international trade fairs, national and international representation of their interests, issuance of ATA carnets, and non-preferential certificates of origin.
EUBAM advised Ukraine’s State Fiscal Service on the application of the DCFTA Origin Protocol and its relationship with the new EU Customs legislation. This especially concerned the Union Customs Code and its Delegated and Implementing Acts with regard to the exporter to be stated in the Customs declaration and in the EUR.1 certificate. EUR.1 certificates enables importers to use lower or zero rates of duties foreseen in preferential trade arrangements between the EU and specific third country/countries, or EU preferential trade arrangements with third countries.
Moldova’s Border Police released data in February showing a 6% year-on-year increase in entries/exits to/from the country. 4,924,862 people in 2016 compared to 4,650,515 in 2015 took advance of the visa liberalisation regime. 26-35 year olds constituted the largest group of travellers, totalling 28% .A 53% increase in the use of biometric passports was also noted. EUBAM has supported both Moldova and Ukraine in fulfilling and sustaining compliance with the Visa Liberalisation benchmarks.
On 1 February Ukraine’s State Fiscal Service and EUBAM agreed an action plan for joint activities on Post Clearance Audit. A Working Group on approximation of Post Clearance Audit legislation and processes to EU standards will be convened during 2017. Post Clearance Audit are measures by which the Customs satisfy themselves as to the accuracy and authenticity of declarations through the examination of the relevant books, records, business systems and commercial data held by persons concerned. It is a critical control methodology for Customs as it enables them to apply a multi-layered risk-based control approach by moving from a strictly transaction-based control environment to a stronger audit-based administration.
EUBAM and Moldova’s Customs Service met on 22 February to fine-tune the operations of its mobile units. The mobile units play an important role in conducting anti-smuggling operations and acting as a rapid response mechanism. Inter-agency co-operation and joint operations and planning were discussed. EUBAM’s Field Offices have been active in advising the mobile units deployed in the field.