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 Headhunters 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.
The Mission has an Office in Chisinau and six field offices – three on the Moldovan side of the joint border and three on the Ukrainian side. EUBAM activities promote economic development and enhance regional security. The Mission contributes to cross border cooperation and confidence building, helping to improve efficiency, transparency and security along the Moldova-Ukraine border.
The Mission’s aims are to:
• ensure the full implementation of Integrated Border Management (IBM) practices at the Moldova-Ukraine border
• assist Moldovan and Ukrainian authorities to combat cross-border crime more effectively
• contribute to the peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict through confidence building measures and a monitoring presence at the Transnistrian segment of the Moldova-Ukraine border
The terms of cooperation between the Mission and its Moldovan and Ukrainian partner services is outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding, signed on 7 October 2005. The MoU stipulates the mandate, coordination mechanisms and status of the Mission, assistance, legal responsibilities, and duration of the Mission. Although EUBAM’s support/advisory role confers on it certain privileges, it does not have executive powers.
Funded by the European Union within the context of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, and with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) acting as implementing partner, EUBAM is an advisory, technical body mandated to enhance the border-management capacities of its partners – the border guard and customs authorities and other law enforcement agencies of Moldova and Ukraine. By offering comprehensive support from its HQ and Field Offices, EUBAM promotes legitimate travel and trade and supports the alignment of border and customs procedures and standards with those prevalent in the European Union.
The mandate of the Mission was prolonged four times in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2015. The new Phase (Phase 11) will see a strong focus for EUBAM in assisting with the implementation of the EU-Moldova and EU-Ukraine DCFTA, and on confidence building between Chisinau and Tiraspol.
The EUBAM Mandate allows the Mission to:
• be present and observe customs clearance and border guard checks
• as part of its advisory role, to examine border control documents and records (including computerised data)
• provide assistance in preventing smuggling of persons and goods
• request the re-examination and re-assessment of any consignment of goods already processed
• make unannounced visits to any locations on the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, including border units, customs posts, offices of transit, inland police stations, revenue accounting offices and along transit routes
• move freely within the territories of Moldova and Ukraine
• cross the Moldovan-Ukrainian state border with only strictly necessary control and without any delay
• use all roads and bridges without payment of taxes and dues
• have access to appropriate telecommunications equipment
• import and export goods which are for official use of the Mission
EUBAM in numbers
The Mission’s mandate has been extended five times