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.