Both Moldova and Ukraine signed Association Agreements with the EU in 2014. This marked a new stage in the development of the EU’s bilateral relations with these two countries, aiming at political association and economic integration, and leaving the way open for further progressive developments.
In terms of the Association Agreements, EUBAM is part of the EU’s combined effort to help Moldova and Ukraine meet the mandatory requirements of Title III of the Assosciation Agreement (Justice, Freedom and Security). The Mission’s assistance is on the requirements which relate to border management issues. This includes having the necessary legislative framework and the institutional capacity to combat cross border crimes such as smuggling and to cooperate with the EU on migration, asylum and border management.
In particular, EUBAM assists to align legislation; ensures skills transfer for border professionals; helps the institutions build the processes, infrastructure and contacts for intra-service, inter-agency and international cooperation. These are all fundamental to achieving Integrated Border Management (IBM) and combatting cross border crimes, dealing with migration and asylum, etc.
In terms of the DCFTA, EUBAM is part of the EU’s combined effort to assist the two countries to fulfil the trade and business-related mandatory requirements (acquis) set out in Title IV of the Assosciation Agreement (Trade and Trade-Related Matters).
Specifically, EUBAM is assisting Moldova and Ukraine (especially the customs services) to create the legal framework, institutional infrastructure and administrative capacity to deliver change ensuring high levels of integrity. This allows for the implementation of legal instruments which form part of the DCFTA acquis.
Much of this work is accomplished using the Mission’s Trade Facilitation Working Group (TFWG) set up in 2015 as a platform for communications for cooperation between the relevant national government agencies, national business and key international development partners such as USAID, AmCham, the European Business Association, and the Odesa Business Forum.
A good example of our trade facilitation work was Moldova’s bold step (in May 2015) to cut the number of mandatory supporting documents required for customs clearance of import and export consignments (from around 11 to three). This took place following the Mission’s advice and assistance. This kind of measure cuts business costs, improves the international trade environment in the country concerned, boosts competitiveness and raises the country’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index. This can only help sell an individual country as a more attractive place to do business.
Who we are?
The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) was launched in 2005. It promotes border control, customs and trade norms and practices that meet EU standards and serve the needs of its two partner countries. It is an advisory, technical body based in Odesa (Ukraine). A Memorandum of Understanding signed by the European Commission and the Governments of Moldova and Ukraine in late 2005 is the legal basis for EUBAM, while an Advisory Board – which meets twice a year – acts as the Mission’s governing body. The mandate of the Mission has already been extended four times (in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2015), with the current mandate expiring on 30 November 2017.
What we do?
The Mission works with Moldova and Ukraine to harmonise border control, and customs and trade standards and procedures with those in EU Member States. It helps to improve cross-border cooperation between the border guard and customs agencies and other law enforcement bodies and to facilitate international coordinated cooperation. EUBAM assists Moldova and Ukraine to fulfil the obligations of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), which both countries signed as part of their Association Agreements with the EU. It also contributes to the peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict through confidence building measures and as a monitoring presence at the Transnistrian segment of the Moldova-Ukraine border.
Where we work?
The Moldova-Ukraine state border is 1,222 km long, consisting of 955 km of “green” (land) border and 267 km of “blue” (river) border.
The Mission is headquartered in Odesa (Ukraine). It has an EUBAM Office in Moldova and five field offices – two on the Moldovan side of the joint border and three on the Ukrainian side.
There are 67 permanent official border crossing points along the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, including international, inter-state and local ones. The central segment of this border length 453 km is under Tiraspol control, including 25 official crossing points to Ukraine.
The “internal boundary” between the two banks of the Dniester river is not monitored by Moldovan border guards, but there are some customs check-points supported by police at road crossing points.