Trade facilitation is at the heart of EUBAM’s mission but this has been given added impetus and effort since 2014 when Moldova and Ukraine signed Association Agreements with the EU which also establish a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA). The AA/DCFTA will contribute, over time, to a stronger and more prosperous economy.
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 Chapter 4 on Trade and Trade-Related Matters.
EUBAM is working with Moldova and Ukraine (especially the customs services) to create the legal basis, 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 such as:
• the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention
• the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
• the WCO Trade Facilitation Guidelines
• the European Commission Customs Blueprints
As well as legislation, DCFTA requires a new way of working, with clearance procedures based on risk assessment and building trust. In collaboration with EU DG-TAXUD and others, EUBAM assisted the two customs services to introduce reforms related to Post Clearance Control and Post Clearance Audit, and the Authorised Economic Operator concept and other trade facilitation measures. These systems allow companies and traders to prove their trustworthiness, so that they can benefit from faster, simpler clearance procedures. This is good for business and it is good for Customs as they can deploy their staff more effectively.
Much of this work is accomplished using the Mission’s Trade Facilitation Working Group (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 major achievement for EUBAM was the Moldova’s bold step (in May 2015) to cut the number of support documents required customs clearance (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 Moldova, boosts competitiveness and raises Moldova’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index. This can only help sell Moldova as a 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 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.