The risk of drug smuggling across the Moldova-Ukraine border is present along all segments of the border. The 147 kg heroin seizure in the Odesa port on 17 March 2015 and the seizure of 500 kg of heroin from Turkey at Illichivsk port from on 5 June 2015 confirms that Ukraine is a channel for largescale heroin trafficking from Afghanistan to Western Europe. Moldova continues to be used as a transit corridor for trafficking cannabis rezine (hashish) from Morocco to Russia. Cannabis is also cultivated in Moldova and Ukraine, especially in the southern regions. The potential of cannabis as a cash crop may appeal to large sections of the rural population, particularly given the low risk of detection. This, in turn, gives rise to many opportunities for criminals to source raw products.
EUBAM Task Force Drugs seeks to engage Mission’s partner services with other drug enforcement authorities in the region and to engender an intelligence-led approach in fighting drug smuggling. This has resulted in improvements in profiling and exchange of information as well as investigations which contribute to the sustainability of partner’s operational ability to uphold such action in the future.
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.