EUBAM assists partner services in promoting legitimate travel and trade across the border while ensuring border security and helping cut crime.
Integrated Border Management, or IBM, may sound like another piece of technical jargon, but is actually the concept the EU has embraced for coherent and coordinated border management systems. It is designed to ensure that Governments maintain secure borders with as little inconvenience to travelers and cross-border trade as possible. It emphasizes co-ordination within and between border services, as well as international co-operation. In this video, Razvan Budeanu, Head of EUBAM’s Field Operations, explains IBM and how EUBAM is supporting both Ukraine and Moldova in its implementation.
The IBM concept has been at the heart of the Mission’s work since its establishment in 2005. EUBAM has worked with policy makers to develop legislation, strategies and procedures to ensure the concept is enshrined in both Moldova and Ukraine. National Integrated Border Management Strategies are currently being implemented in both countries, and EUBAM is supporting this through the 58 border and customs experts working at Border Crossing Points. Colonel Vladyslav Vasylkivskyy, Head of the Border Control Department of the South Regional Directorate of Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service explains how the Mission has supported Ukraine.
As Colonel Vasylkivskyy noted, joint patrolling of the Ukraine-Moldova border was introduced in 2011 with the support of EUBAM. This currently takes place on 752 out of the 1,222 km-long border by Moldova’s Border Police and Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service. Joint patrolling has improved the operational co-operation and co-ordination between the two services, allowing them to respond quicker and more coherently to cross-border threats. It is also more cost-efficient. Jarmo Kemppinen of EUBAM’s Field Office in Kuchurhan explains how joint patrolling works in this photo slideshow.
Not all of EUBAM’s support for IBM implementation is provided at the border however. In 2006, Ukraine and Moldova agreed to the pre-arrival exchange of information of goods being transported between the two countries. This system, known as PAIES, was launched in April 2008 with EUBAM support and enables the customs services in both countries to perform fast clearance of low risk goods when they arrive. This in turn allows for better organization of cargo flow and less queues at border crossing points. The system has proven to be so effective that in May 2014 the European Commission used PAIES as the basis for pilot information exchanges between Ukraine and the neighbouring EU countries of Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. The system was also been replicated on the Ukraine-Belarus border in 2013. In the below article, EUBAM expert Sofia Olsson explains how PAIES works and its benefits.
Who we are?
The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) was launched in 2005. It promotes border control and customs norms and practices that meet EU standards and serve the needs of its two partner countries. It is an advisory, technical body with the Headquarters 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 acts as the Mission’s governing body. The mandate of the Mission has already been extended five times (in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2017), with the current mandate expiring on 30 November 2020.
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 six field offices – three on the Moldovan side of the joint border and three on the Ukrainian side.
EUBAM Office in Moldova has a liaison function which is focused on projecting and representing the activities of EUBAM amongst other donors and beneficiaries to ensure better coordination and an improved consultative process. It enables the identification of strategic partner needs that are relevant to current and future planning, and have provides EUBAM with an understanding of the broader issues and obstacles that may affect the achievement of objectives.
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.