Major study on Odessa and Illichivs’k ports outlines key steps to boost trade

        Kiev, 29 January 2014 – Today the European Union Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) in collaboration with the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine presented to the public the ‘Odessa and Illichivs’k Port Study’. The study reviews border control and customs clearance procedures in both ports and provides a comprehensive action plan for improvement of border management and reduction of potential for corruption in these ports. Such efforts could lead to sharp decrease of operating costs for businesses, increase of their revenues and competitiveness, further facilitate trade across borders and ultimately prompt economic growth and investment in the region.

        The study concludes that although progress has been made in specific areas of customs control for the last 5 years, major reforms need to be further carried out, particularly in simplification and modernisation of clearance control procedures and in diminishing the scope for corruption.

        The launch of the study was hosted by the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine. At the opening of the event, the Head of EU Delegation Ambassador Jan Tombinski noted that the “Two seaports are the gateways for regional trade and fast growing exports of Ukrainian goods to its largest markets in the European Union. While customs, borders service and other authorities at the ports are preparing for 1st January 2016, the study proposes concrete measures on how to simplify procedures in order to ease the flow of goods and reduce costs for businesses. Its findings also address steps which could lead to increase of revenues and higher competitiveness of the two ports, namely by eliminating incentives for corruption, increasing inter-agency cooperation and adapting border control and clearance procedures to the EU’s standards and best practices. I look forward to the joint efforts of State’s Fiscal and Border Guard Services, businesses, ports’ management, and EU Border Assistance Mission to implement the comprehensive recommendations of this study”.

        “Ukrainian Customs stands for clear, transparent and fast border control procedures of cargo”, stated the Deputy Chairman of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine Mr Anatoly Makarenko.

        The study proposes 29 key recommendations based on EU and international best practice covering 6 strategic areas of reform in the fields of regulatory and institutional framework, human resource development and corruption, operational procedures, information exchange, and infrastructure.

        “The study not only makes recommendations for procedural change but, what is especially important, identifies the methods to achieve them”, said the Head of EUBAM, Mr Francesco Bastagli “If properly implemented, the impact of these measures will go beyond the two port operations to ensure ever more efficient, transparent and client-oriented custom services and trade activities throughout Ukraine”.

        The study was undertaken by EUBAM since May 2014 at the request of the State Fiscal Service.

        Improving the operational efficiency of these ports is of national economic importance. The ports play a key role in export and import of Ukrainian goods and there is greater potential for expansion. Additionally, a significant flow of two-way trade passes through these ports to Ukraine’s neighbouring regions, notably Moldova, Belarus, the Russian Federation; and Kazakhstan. Globally, Ukraine’s international trade partners have a keen interest to see the Odessa region ports’ capacity and efficiency increased.