EUBAM met with European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defence

On 18 May 2023, the Head of EUBAM, Slawomir Pichor, met with the European Parliament Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) led by Chair Nathalie Loiseau that was visiting the Republic of Moldova.

The Head of Mission briefed the SEDE about the impact of war on border security and trade. Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports and destruction of railway connections in the Odesa region disrupted the usual trade routes for Ukrainian grain and other agricultural goods, threatening global food security. Thus, since the beginning of the war, it was a top priority for EUBAM to facilitate smooth border crossings of people and goods, improve security and raise processing capacities in the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes initiative. In addition, the Head of EUBAM gave an overview of the Mission’s support in combating cross-border crime.

The delegation also visited Hirbovat’s internal customs control post at the administrative line. Moldovan Customs and Migration Authorities and our experts gave an overview of the trade aspects and types of control performed there.

Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova visited the Briceni-Rossoshany joint border crossing point

On 16 May 2023, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Oleg Serebrian visited the Briceni city and Briceni-Rossoshany joint border crossing point in the northern part of Moldova. The Deputy Prime Minister and the delegation got acquainted with the border point’s activity and met with our experts. EUBAM is at the border between the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine to promote EU border management standards and procedures for a quicker crossing of people and goods.

EUBAM raised awareness of the positive aspects of the European Union

Both in April and May, the Mission contributed to activities that helped raise awareness of the European Union and its positive aspects.
Throughout April, as part of the long-standing cooperation with the Odesa National Mechnikov University, EUBAM delivered three lectures within a unique course aimed at increasing awareness of functioning of the EU agencies and modern border management, including the context of the EU-UA Solidarity Lanes initiative. The students of the International Relations Faculty learned about the EUBAM activities and its mandate, Schengen acquis, Integrated Border Management Concept, and the role of Border Guard/Border Police and Customs in ensuring the border security and facilitating border crossing for legitimate trade and travelers.

On May 13, EUBAM participated in an event dedicated to Europe Day and Europe in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. In addition to various projects related to the European Union, embassies, civil society and others were also represented on site. For the experts of the Mission, it was an opportunity to talk with the locals about EUBAM and the European Union in general.

EUBAM-led Arms Working Group discussed currents trends

On 20 April, EUBAM, Europol, Frontex, Eurojust and representatives of law enforcement agencies from Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova convened the sixth operational meeting of the Arms Working Group in an online format.

During the meeting, the participants discussed activities implemented by the group over the past year, namely enhancing cooperation, operational capacity building, and joint operations. International experts presented to Ukrainian and Moldovan law enforcers a comprehensive assessment of current threats related to illicit trade in weapons, ammunition, and explosives observed on the borders of Ukrainian with EU countries.

In their turn, law enforcement experts from and presented recent cases and trends in illegal arms detection at the border crossing points, in the border area and territories. Finally, the participants discussed the possibility of carrying out practical exercises in 2023.

EUBAM and the Moldovan Customs Service discuss the operational situation regarding cargo traffic at border checkpoints   

The current operational situation regarding the management of the cargo traffic at the border checkpoints with Ukraine and Romania and merging the efforts of the Mission with its partners was the main topic of the meeting between the Head of EUBAM, Slawomir Pichor and the Director of the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova Igor Talmazan and his team. 

The discussion focused on effective mitigation measures as the recent developments in Ukraine grain exports may affect the road cargo traffic volume at the borders. 

The sides also talked about the need for border infrastructure development in the context of the high impact of the war in Ukraine on border management. The Head of EUBAM reiterated the Mission’s support for expanding the infrastructure at the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, in the perspective of applying joint control at other border checkpoints.

Last but not least, the sides explored needs and opportunities for future capacity building events in border management and practical application of the European Union customs legislation, where EUBAM can contribute. 


EUBAM and its Partners searching ways to improve cargo traffic flow across borders

This week EUBAM fostered a high-level trilateral meeting of the MD-RO-UA Regional Customs Coordination Group on Streamlining Cargo Traffic Flow and EU-UA Solidarity Lanes that focused on streamlining cargo flow through the corridor Reni-Giurgiulesti-Galati, one of the essential land-based corridors for Ukraine’s agricultural but also other products to the EU. The meeting was held at the Galati border crossing point in Romania.

The southern border-crossing points through the Republic of Moldova (Giurgiulesti-Reni) and further on to Romania (Giurgiulesti-Galati) have become vital lifelines for road cargo. Still, their infrastructure was not designed for such an increase in volume. As the pressure alleviation is vital for the functioning of that corridor, the neighbouring country’s customs authorities came together already the second time, having conveyed before in December, to discuss how to better manage cargo traffic in the case of emergency caused by the Russian strikes that damage critical infrastructure facilities in Ukraine thus disrupting the work of border crossing points at the Moldova-Ukraine border and having an impact on the movement across Moldova-Romania border.

The President of the Romanian Customs Authority, Mr Bogdan-Lari Mihei, together with the Head of EUBAM Slawomir Pichor, co-chaired the meeting where participants analyzed the fallback procedures used in emergency situations in the three countries, debated on improving the operational mechanism and identifying solutions to make shorter the time of reaction at the borders in case disturbances.

The representatives of the Romanian Customs Authority, Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova, and State Customs Service of Ukraine appreciated EUBAM’s consistent support against the challenges in border management. “We greatly appreciate the partnership with EUBAM, and this regional customs coordination group is very important for the relations among the customs authorities of Romania, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, especially in today’s regional context where streamlining the traffic flow at the joint borders is key.”, Bogdan-Lari Mihei, President of the Romanian Customs Authority, stated.

In the spirit of good cooperation, EUBAM and the customs authorities of Romania, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine, reiterated openness to active cooperation through coordination of joint actions and intensified efforts to ensure border protection. It was also decided to establish a trilateral working group to identify solutions to reduce the burden at the borders and to better manage traffic flow, in particular for agricultural products.


Presenting 2022 Annual Report

Everything that happened since 24 February has inevitably left its mark on our reporting period. Today, our Ukrainian partners make tremendous efforts to ensure border and economic security at this critical time. Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports and destruction of railway connections in the Odesa region disrupted the usual trade routes for Ukrainian grain and other agricultural goods, threatening global food security. Thus, since the beginning of the war, it was a top priority for EUBAM to support Ukrainian trade and contribute to implementing the European Commission’s Action plan for EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes.
To cope better with the changed security situation and increased risks at the Moldova-Ukraine border, EUBAM organized numerous training events for officers serving in law enforcement agencies in both countries, covering topical threats to border security.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also left its mark on the Mission’s activities related to the Transnistrian region. Now, with the two key mediators at war, 5+2 negotiations are on pause, and the overall political atmosphere remains tense.
The report covers EUBAM’s principal ongoing activities and the achieved results in supporting confidence building measures across the Nistru River, implementing the Integrated Border Management concept and combating cross-border crime.

The Head of EUBAM: “We will support Ukrainian border agencies as much as we can”

“Today, our Ukrainian partners make tremendous efforts to ensure the border and economic security at this critical time. We will continue supporting you as much as we can,” says Slawomir Pichor, Head of the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, after meetings in Kyiv and Odesa.

In Kyiv, the Head of EUBAM met with Maryna Mykhailenko, the Director of Department General for the EU and NATO from the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Head of Mission reaffirmed continuous solidarity with the people of Ukraine and respect for those who courageously have faced Russia’s unjustified military aggression for almost one year. He informed Madam Director about the EUBAM’s actions in response to the current security situation and the programming of the Mission’s future operations. Madam Director appreciated the EUBAM’s active role in supporting refugees fleeing from war and the border control agencies in managing the emergency as well as the good running of export of Ukrainian agricultural products through the EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes. She gave an overview of Ukraine’s agenda and priorities as an EU candidate country.

The meeting with Vadym Melnyk, Director of the Economic Security Bureau of Ukraine, focused on excise tax frauds in the face of the continued war and, more specifically, the illicit tobacco trade. Ultimately, the participants identified specific areas for further cooperation to tackle offences affecting economic security.

In the agenda in Kyiv were also meetings with the EU Ambassador to Ukraine, Matti Maasikas, and a.i. Deputy Chief of the IOM Mission in Ukraine, Steven Rogers, who were briefed about EUBAM’s work on the ground and developments in the mission area.

In Odesa, the Head of EUBAM met with the First Deputy Head of the Odesa Regional Military Administration, Borys Voloshenkov and the Head of the Southern Regional Directorate of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Major General Serhi Mul. The Ukrainian partners talked about reinforced border enforcement measures and briefed the operational results of the activities to ensure border protection. The parties also discussed the EUBAM’s support in response to the current threats in border management and security to withstand the challenges caused by the unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine.


EUBAM contributes to the health and safety of Moldovan consumers

On the 27th of January European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) facilitated the signing of the Cooperation Action Plan between the Moldovan Customs Service and the State Inspectorate for the Surveillance of Non-Food Products and Consumer Protection. It will enhance partnerships and ensure the safety of products entering the market of the Republic of Moldova.

To ensure that unsafe or non-compliant products are not placed on the market, EUBAM brought together the customs and consumer protection authorities and facilitated several consultations to establish cooperation mechanisms in safety and compliance control. The Cooperation Action Plan was born and signed as a joint initiative to help follow best European practices and protect the Moldovan people.

During the event, the Acting Director of the Customs Service, Nicolae Vutcariov, mentioned that “market surveillance plays an important role in protecting consumers from using counterfeit products and goods, which may inflict harm to the health and safety of the users, therefore, the customs authority, with the support and assistance of the development partners and in cooperation with the State Inspectorate for the Surveillance of Non-Food Products and Consumer Protection, shall continue the awareness raising and information campaigns designated for importers in relation to their responsibility towards consumers and to protecting their legitimate rights and interests. Only with joint efforts we will manage to obtain results in this important area for the whole society.”

“We hope for effective cooperation and collaboration with the customs service because we want a market with safe products for all consumers in the Republic of Moldova. Based on notifications from the customs service, we will ensure the presence of inspectors at the place of customs clearance to be able to identify dangerous and counterfeit products and prohibit them from entering our country,” highlighted Sergiu Dărănuță, Head of the State Inspectorate for the Supervision of Non-Food Products and Consumer Protection.

“Products imported and placed on the Moldovan market must be checked to be safe and compliant before being released for free circulation. This Action Plan ensures that the citizens of Moldova as consumers will feel safer, and it will bring the country one step closer to the EU standards with regards to health and safety of consumers,” emphasized Slawomir Pichor, the Head of EUBAM, the importance of the plan.

The Moldovan Customs Service and the State Inspectorate for the Surveillance of Non-Food Products and Consumer Protection also signed the Order that will establish cooperation procedures and ensure smooth implementation of the Cooperation Action Plan.



Head of EUBAM holds working meeting with the Head of the Odesa Regional Military Administration

On 19 December, Head of European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) Slawomir Pichor was on a working visit to Odesa to discuss economic and border security of the region. During the visit, the Head of Mission held a working meeting with the Head of the Odesa Regional Military Administration Maksym Marchenko along with representatives of regional border guard and customs services’ management.

The Head of EUBAM briefed the participants on the Mission’s activities and latest trends at the Moldova-Ukraine border. The parties discussed energy situation in the region and its influence on the transit capacity of the Moldova-Ukraine border. The sides also discussed the optimization of cargo flows from Ukraine to the EU, as well as the ways to ensure the steady export of grain from Ukraine and import of vital goods from European states. At the same time, representatives of Odesa region’s border and customs authorities commended the good cooperation with the Mission, highlighting the training events for more than one hundred Ukrainian Customs Officers in last five months.

Maksym Marchenko emphasized the importance of EUBAM’s work in the Odesa region during the war. “The Ukraine-Moldova border had been formed over decades and it is not just a strip of land that separates two states, it is a complex mechanism and our joint task is to maintain its safe and comfortable functionality, especially now during the period of martial law,” said the Head of the Regional Military Administration.

In his turn, Slawomir Pichor stressed the Mission’s support for the development of border infrastructure in the Odesa region that will strengthen the transport potential of Ukraine. In particular, the Head of EUBAM advocated for the launch of full-fledged joint control at Basarabeasca-Serpneve-1 railway BCP. Slawomir Pichor stated, “EUBAM continues support and is ready to cooperate even more to provide assistance to Ukraine in effective border management, while maintaining a high level of security”.

EUBAM, Moldovan, Romanian and Ukrainian customs working together to handle emergency and alleviate the pressure on the border in Reni-Giurgiulesti-Galati area  

Under the auspices of European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM), trilateral meeting in Giurgiulesti, brings together Moldovan, Romanian and Ukrainian customs authorities to enhance the response to arising emergency and to improve cargo flow in Reni-Giurgiulesti-Galati area.

One of the essential routes from Ukraine to the EU runs through the Republic of Moldova (Giurgiulesti-Reni) and further on to Romania (Giurgiulesti-Galati). With the onset of Russian war of aggression and blockade of maritime transportation corridors, these roads in the South are of a vital importance for Ukrainian economy, both in terms of export of agricultural goods and import of so much needed fuel and humanitarian aid. Now, with the intensification of indiscriminate Russian missile strikes at Ukrainian critical infrastructure, the borders between these three countries are even more overloaded and to get from Ukraine to Romania through the Republic of Moldova for one truck, it can take more than a week.

That’s why, on 8 December 2022, in Giurgiulesti (the Republic of Moldova), EUBAM convened a working meeting with management of the regional customs authorities from the Republic of Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine. The participants examined current situation at the borders between the three countries in Reni-Giurgiulesti-Galati triangle, looking for practical solutions to alleviate the pressure on the overloaded border infrastructure.

During the meeting, the parties discussed possible ways to optimize contingency procedures to better manage the cargo traffic in case of emergency power outages. The sides noted the importance of delivering new generators, fuel, and uninterruptible power supply systems for Border Crossing Points in Reni-Giurgiulesti-Galati area. At the same time representatives of the three customs agencies explored possibilities to enhance organization of cargo traffic. For instance, the sides indicated the possibility of re-directing trucks to less congested BCPs and revitalizing the work of additional BCPs in vicinity of Giurgiulesti-Reni.

While discussing the current situation at strategic level, the participants highlighted a need for the swift opening of the Basarabeasca-Berezino rail connection that will allow the daily transportation of more than ten thousand tons of cargo, thus significantly reducing the congestion at the Moldova-Ukraine road BCPs. Parties also underlined the importance of broader use of NCTS for streamlining the cargo flow and increasing awareness of Ukrainian business to use it more actively. In the end, the sides agreed to coordinate joint actions and continue cooperation in handling emergency situations caused by indiscriminate Russian missile strikes.

Moldovan customs officers trained on their X-ray image interpretation

This week 11 Moldovan customs officers trained their skills in interpreting x-ray images. The EUBAM and Celbet organized the event to enhance the skills to properly arrange X-ray scanning processes, recognizing when a scan shows forbidden goods transported by different means.

The week-long training consisted of a practical part at the Training Center of the Customs Service on interpreting x-ray images. At the Leuseni border crossing point, the participants learned more about the organization of the scanning process and the benefits of implementing non-intrusive inspections during customs clearance.

This kind of training will strengthen the capabilities of the Customs Service to prevent and counter the flow of illegal goods at the border and to carry out checks using non-intrusive equipment. As this was the “Train the Trainers” format, the 11 officers can return to their duty stations and pass on the knowledge to their colleagues.

EUBAM facilitates fact-finding visit of DG Trade officials to border crossing points at Giurgiulesti

The Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission (DG Trade) officials visited the Moldova-Ukraine and Moldova-Romania border crossing points in Giurgiulesti area to receive the first-hand experience on the implementation of EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes initiative.

On 18 November, EUBAM together with the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova organized a fact-finding visit to the South of the Republic of Moldova for officials from DG Trade and EU Delegations from Eastern Partnership and Western Balkan countries. The EU officials visited two Moldovan border crossing points Giurgiulesti-Reni and Giurgiulesti-Galati, where they were able to see with their own eyes the efforts of the Moldovan Customs and Border agencies that are aimed at supporting EU-launched Solidarity Lanes Initiative. At the same time a visit was paid to International Free Port Giurgiulesti, so that the participants could accustom themselves with the peculiarities of the Port’s terminals work and witness the forwarding and transport operations through the Danube route.

During the visit, the Head of EUBAM Slawomir Pichor presented the Mission’s support for implementing the EU-led Solidarity Lanes Initiative. In the same vein, the Head of Mission informed EU representatives on the current situation in the area, emphasizing the need for assistance in upgrading border infrastructure. The Head of EUBAM also advocated for investment in IT solutions to further facilitate the movement of Ukrainian agricultural export, such as “e-Booking TRUCK” system that enables customers carrying out international road transport operations to reserve the date and the time of the Customs control services in advance. From his side, Deputy Head of the Customs House South, Andrei Botnari briefed the visitors on efforts of Moldovan Customs Service to reduce unprecedented queues at Moldovan borders with Ukraine and Romania and ease the strain on the transport bottlenecks.

Within the framework of the visit, DG Trade and EU Delegations’ officials were able to see the situation on the ground, in particular traffic bottlenecks that hinder the movement of cargo. In this regard, EU representatives were able to gather valuable information, map out main challenges and assess needs in cooperation with Moldovan authorities, which overall, will be beneficial for the functionality of the Solidarity Lanes and export of Ukrainian agricultural products throughout the alternative transport corridors.

EUBAM-led Task Force Tobacco discusses actions to tackle illicit tobacco trade 

On the 9th of November, EUBAM held the annual Task Force Tobacco meeting in Chisinau, the Republic of Moldova. Representatives from law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, SELEC, Europol and OLAF, as well as the private sector, examined the implications of Russia’s war of aggression on the illicit cigarette trade in Europe.

The meeting concentrated on three topical issues – new trends in illicit cigarette trade, changes in smuggling routes and investigation of illegal manufacturing. During the meeting, the business sector presented its overview on the European illicit cigarette markets; the representatives of the EU agencies talked about the results and most effective methods of combating illicit cigarette manufacturing; and Ukrainian and Moldovan officials shared insights on the recently dismantled illegal cigarette manufacturing sites in their countries.

All parties concluded that the war had changed the economic landscape and influenced the patterns of the illicit tobacco trade. The sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus and the blockade of some transport corridors have significantly decreased the smuggling of cigarettes to the EU but resulted in the increase of illicit cigarette manufacturing there. Therefore, the participants emphasized the need to strengthen surveillance over raw materials for cigarette production and listed specific risk indicators to detect illicit trafficking at the earliest opportunity to better cope with that phenomenon.

The European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) launched Task Force Tobacco in 2010. It offers a platform for law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Poland, and Romania, as well as EU agencies and the private sector, to combat illicit tobacco trade.


EUBAM organized eight training events concentrating on fighting against smuggling

EUBAM organized eight training events in September-October for the Moldovan and Ukrainian partners from Border and Customs agencies to improve vessel search techniques and better combat firearms, cigarettes, and drug trafficking. Altogether 136 officers took part.

Maritime and river transport is the most effective and economical way of transporting large cargo from one place to another. Because of their size, ships are also a great hiding place for contraband. Giurgulesti International Port has 5-6 vessels coming in from around the world every week. Two EUBAM experts from Poland and Finland shared their knowledge to better prepare for the vessel search: the most efficient search techniques and practical risk analysis because improving those techniques are essential for the safety and security of the Republic of Moldova. But as the experts emphasized, you must use a lot of imagination to discover the hiding places because “smugglers have a lot of time to think about them at sea”.

The fight against drug trafficking is continuous all-around Europe, and The Republic of Moldova is no exception. Criminals are using the country to transit to the EU, but unfortunately, domestic demand for drugs is growing. To better combat drug trafficking, EUBAM organized four training events in September to introduce the latest practices from the experts of Germany and Poland. Altogether around half a hundred officers of Moldovan Border Police in Ungheni, Chisinau, Stefan Voda and Edinet learned about the recent case studies, different drugs and their effects, risk profiling, and most common smuggling routes.

Firearms trafficking fuels other types of serious crimes, and criminals use creative ways to hide them when crossing the border. EUBAM dedicated last week at the Ungheni Border Security Center of Excellence to combating weapons, ammunition and explosives smuggling training for future trainers. Participants from Moldovan Border Police and Ukrainian Border Guards learned about the trends in trafficking and how to remain safe while handling them, the importance of international information exchange etc.
Now colleagues from the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine are ready to take the knowledge to their organizations and train others. Trainers from the Polish Border Guard and the Moldovan General Police Inspectorate ensured that the future trainers were armed with all necessary skills to cascade the learned knowledge to their colleagues.

Also 50 Moldovan Customs officials participated in 4 theoretical-practical training activities to combat cigarette smuggling. The aim of the training was to improve the skills in selecting vehicles for controls, detecting potential smugglers, and learning about the construction of vehicles. EUBAM organised the training in customs posts in Palanca, Criva, and Cahul, as well as on the premises of the Training Center of the Customs Service.

International Trade Facilitation Forum highlights the importance of Moldova as a key bridge for EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes

On 29th September 2022, the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) and the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova, organized the “International Trade Facilitation Forum – Response to the Blockade of Transport Corridors from Ukraine”. The event took place in a hybrid format in Chisinau with the participation of high-level representatives from the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, the European Commission, the EU Delegation to Moldova,  EU High Level Advisors’ Mission to Moldova, the EU Advisory Mission to Ukraine, Customs Eastern and South-Eastern Land Border Expert Team, and the Customs Authorities of neighbouring EU Member States.

The one-day Forum in Chisinau was opened by Jānis Mažeiks, EU Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, who emphasized the devastating global impact that Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine is having: “Russia is deliberately destroying Ukraine’s agricultural and transport infrastructure and equipment, causing fuel shortages, and creating worldwide food supply chain problems. Russia has in fact endangered food security for millions of people across the world. To address these unprecedented challenges, the EU, together with its EU member states, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova set up the EU Solidarity lanes. These joint achievements are a testimony of our solidarity. They also reflect our unicity, our determination to act jointly in support of Ukraine, of its people, but also for the people around the world in needs of these agricultural products”.

The Deputy Head of State Customs Service of Ukraine, Vladyslav Suvorov, thanked all present for the round of applause for all the Ukrainians who, both on the economic and actual frontlines, stand up to the Russian war of aggression. Turning to the forum’s participants, Mr. Suvorov stated, “The war changed the lives of Ukrainian citizens and institutions, and its consequences went way beyond the geographical borders of Ukraine. Because of the Ukrainian sea ports’ blockade, International Automobile Border Crossing Points came under pressure they had never experienced before. However, thanks to the good and close cooperation we established together with Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Hungarian, and Moldovan Customs, and border authorities, we were able to pass this test. Due to this very cooperation, we were able to handle the migration crisis at the very beginning of the war, at the same time enabling timely delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid into Ukraine. In this regard, I would like to thank the European Commission for the establishment of the Solidarity Lanes initiative, and on the part of the State Customs Service of Ukraine, we put our every effort to enable swift clearance and admission of cargo traffic.”

The Director of the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Talmazan, emphasized the importance of cooperation: „Today’s event once again demonstrates the fruitful cooperation with customs administrations and other authorities from neighbouring states to identify the optimal solutions for facilitating trade, streamlining cross-border traffic, as well as supporting the strategic partnership between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union.” Mr Talmazan stressed that only by unifying our efforts, being anchored in implementing the above-mentioned measures and actions, we would succeed in further unblocking the transport corridors in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s road and railway transport corridors remain vital, even though the UN-backed agreements partially reopened Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi seaports for agricultural export, noted the Head of EUBAM, Slawomir Pichor. “EUBAM keeps working together with our partner services for the simplification of customs and border formalities and supporting Solidarity Lanes stronger than ever. The Mission continues to play the role of a catalyst and bring together services to identify bottlenecks and subsequently find solutions to streamline the cargo clearance. We will also continue our support to Moldovan and Ukrainian partners, especially through training, advice and advocacy for the joint control, as an effective way to speed up cargo movement across borders.”, Head of EUBAM concluded.

EUBAM continues to facilitate Solidarity Lanes ensuring uninterrupted agricultural export of Ukraine

In May, against the backdrop of the unjustified Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, EUBAM joined the European Commission’s Solidarity Lanes initiative that aims at establishing and supporting alternative logistics routes between the EU and Ukraine. On the one hand, these routes guarantee the uninterrupted export of Ukrainian agricultural goods through the EU ports to the world market; on the other, they enable the unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid, food, fuel, etc., to all people who urgently need it in Ukraine.

On the Southern flank of the Solidarity lanes, the Republic of Moldova is now a transport hub between grain-rich Ukrainian South and the Romanian ports. To make the passage of Ukrainian cargo through the Republic of Moldova swifter and easier, EUBAM carried out the “Solidarity Lanes” exercise to identify challenges and enhance management of the increased border traffic.

In that connection, on 6 September, EUBAM team participated in the meeting between the Heads of Ukrainian Chernivtsi Customs and Moldovan Customs House “Nord”. In the same vein, on 7 September, at Ukrainian Mohyliv-Podilskyi Border Crossing Point (BCP), EUBAM experts facilitated the meeting between the heads of Vinnytsia Customs House and Moldovan Customs House “Nord”. During those meetings, the Mission’s experts shared EUBAM’s insights and proposed practical solutions to optimise the logistics and tackle overloading at the border. For instance, the Mission’s experts highlighted that passport control formalities should be prioritized for lorry drivers and suggested to better manage traffic before the BCP.  EUBAM team also supported an initiative to mandate two additional BCPs for clearance of agricultural goods in the Northern sector of the Moldova-Ukraine border.

Commenting on EUBAM’s role in Solidarity Lanes and the Mission’s perspective on it, the Head of EUBAM, Slawomir Pichor noted, “Although the UN-backed agreements partially reopened three seaports at the shores of the Odesa region for agricultural export, Ukraine’s major land and railway transport corridors remain of vital significance. Especially now, when the new crops are to be harvested and the winter is coming together with increased need in humanitarian assistance, we need to support Solidarity Lanes stronger than ever.”

6th Competition of Canine Teams “Together In The Fight Against Cigarettes And Tobacco Smuggling” – Photo Overview

On 24-25 August EUBAM attended the 6th Competition of Canine Teams under the slogan “Together In The Fight Against Cigarettes And Tobacco Smuggling” organized by the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova. 14 canine teams of customs authorities from the Republic of Moldova Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Germany and Georgia participated in the different trials, showing their agility and good sense of smell.


EUBAM exercise ‘Solidarity Lanes’ supports the swift cargo flow of the Ukrainian goods

The ongoing EUBAM exercise is reviewing the clearance of cargo trucks exporting Ukrainian agricultural goods at the border crossing points along the Moldova-Ukrainian border for a smoother cargo flow.

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and its blockade of Ukrainian ports disrupted the supply chains and trade routes. In July, agreements were reached for ensuring safe shipping grain, food products and fertilisers from the Ukrainian seaports. To also secure alternative routes for transport, earlier in May the European Commission set out an action plan to establish ‘Solidarity Lanes’ to transport agricultural goods through road and rail along the Moldova-Ukrainian border.

“By evaluating the capacity of the busiest points, we can, together with our partners, identify challenges and better manage the increased border traffic both in the short and long term. It is essential to optimise the logistic chains and avoid, as much as possible, overloading the border crossings,” explains Slawomir Pichor, the Head of the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine.

During the 10-day exercise, EUBAM experts, in cooperation with the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova, the State Customs Service of Ukraine, the Moldovan National Agency for Food Safety, as well as other agencies, monitor both entry and exit from Ukraine/Moldova, the clearance of trucks with Ukraine’s agricultural goods transiting through Moldovan customs territory.

“We advise on actions to be taken and share the experiences of the EU member states’ solutions to similar situations,” Pichor stresses. The results of the exercise will be available for the respective agencies in September.

Established in 2005, EUBAM promotes border control, customs and trade norms and practices that meet European Union standards and serves the needs of its two partner countries, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.