A new impetus for Integrated Border Management – trilateral meeting of Heads of EUBAM, State Fiscal Service of Ukraine and Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova

        Odessa, 02 March – European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) held a trilateral meeting of the Heads of EUBAM, State Fiscal Service of Ukraine and Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova. With the full implementation of integrated border management one of the three pillars of the Mission’s current mandate, the main topic of the meeting was reviewing the state of affairs and discussing, from the customs perspective, the future developments regarding the border management at Moldova-Ukraine Border.

        Referring to the ongoing joint control at the road Jointly Operated Border Crossing Points, both high-level representatives appreciated EUBAM’s support in advising on the design of border control processes, the blueprints for the daily functioning and layout of border crossing points. The support of the Mission’s field-based staff who has been monitoring them, making sure they maximise the benefits for legitimate cross-border travellers and traders was also positively noticed.

        Slawomir Pichor, the Head of EUBAM highlighted the intensive work undertaken by the Mission in the field of IBM, the strategic support offered to the partner services, that culminated with the ratification by the Moldovan and Ukrainian Parliaments of the new agreement on joint control of persons, vehicles, goods and items at joint border crossings points from the Ukrainian-Moldovan state border.

        When it came to the border crossing points where the joint control operations are not foreseen, the parties agreed that more coordination of the traffic flow and control procedures is needed. The Head of EUBAM suggested the implementation of certain measures for having smooth traffic flows and preventing queues. The real time information exchange about unusual situations and emergencies related to traffic flow, the cooperation with border agencies, the agreement on establishing the optimal clearance capacity and the flexible management of the traffic lanes were among the debated proposals.  

        Concluding the meeting, the Head of EUBAM assured both the Head of State Fiscal Service of Ukraine and the Director General of Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova, that EUBAM will continue to contribute to the further improvement of border and customs cross-border and interagency cooperation between the partners. In the same time the Mission will continue to provide its full support for the implementation of the construction of the new facilities for the joint border crossing points in order to ensure harmonization of Moldova – Ukraine cross border processes in line with the IBM standards and EU best practices.

        In his address, the Director General of Moldovan Customs Service Vitalie Vrabie mentioned the effectiveness of the meetings in this format, which allows the parties to agree on the most viable forms of interaction. “Efficient border management, by ensuring simultaneous securitization and more coordination of the traffic flows, is a shared responsibility. That is why it is important that these measures are ensured by all four customs and border authorities of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. And this necessity becomes even more stringent in the context in which we have already ratified the Agreement that allows the establishment of joint control on the entire Moldovan-Ukrainian border segment, “said Vitalie Vrabie.

        Miroslav Prodan, Acting Head of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine recalled that the last time the Heads of Ukraine and Moldova Customs and EUBAM have met in this format was in 2012. “Such trilateral format allows for discussion and making decisions on wide range of questions.  During the last years we proved that jointly we could reach our goals in provision of economic security of two countries and wider region as well as creation of modern facilities for crossing of Moldova-Ukraine border in line with EU standards. Joint control, cooperation in fight with cross border crime and introduction of video control systems at the road border crossing points are examples of this”, said Mr. Prodan. Implementation of joint control projects in Reni, Kuchurhan and Palanca and improvement of border control procedures will be priorities for the State Fiscal Service in 2018. In addition, among potential direction of cooperation between customs agencies of Moldova and Ukraine and EUBAM, Myroslav Prodan noted the cooperation on counteraction of customs frauds.