Moldovan and Ukrainian customs authorities coordinate efforts to counteract railway smuggling

        Odessa, 26-27 June 2014 – The representatives of customs authorities from Moldova and Ukraine were brought together at EUBAM HQ for a workshop on railway freight customs control. After the 2012 resumption of the railway freight traffic across Transnistria, this was the first event focused on the coordination of activities between the customs bodies of the two countries to ensure better control of the movement of goods over the Transnistrian segment of the Moldova-Ukraine border.

        The event was aimed at facilitating cooperation, particularly by increasing the effectiveness of information exchange on railway freight control. The participants, 15 Ukrainian and Moldovan officers from the relevant customs posts discussed procedures and challenges for the railway freight checks.

        During the workshop EUBAM presented EU best practices applied in railway freights control. This included an overview of the technical equipment used for customs checks and ways of addressing the risk of smuggling. Measures for counteracting tobacco products smuggling were also discussed by the partner services.

        At the conclusion of the workshop the two sides agreed to conduct in the fall a joint exercise on rail freight cargo originating from Transnistria. The exercise would be based on risk selectivity and would apply in practice the methodologies discussed at the workshop.

        “This workshop was an excellent opportunity to meet our Ukrainian colleagues in person, learn about their challenges and solutions to overcome them. This is just a first step in our cooperation” – said Andrey Braga, the Head of the Customs Destination Unit of the Customs Service of Moldova. “Principles and methods of customs work are very similar in any country. Coordination of the efforts with Moldovan customs officers and learning about the European experience will help us to enhance counteraction of illegal activities related to railway freight” added Oleg Vishnevskiy, Deputy Head of Rozdilna Customs Post of Ukrainian Customs.

        The rail-freight traffic across Transnistria was resumed on 26 April 2012 following an agreement between Chisinau and Tiraspol and the subsequent signing of a protocol on customs control. The protocol took into account the technical proposals developed by EUBAM aimed at resolving the customs deadlock.