Odesa, 17 April 2015
The first meeting of the Trade Facilitation Working Group established by EUBAM was able to identify key needs for assisting Moldova and Ukraine to fulfil the customs obligations of their AA/DCFTAs with the EU and to put plans in hand for addressing them.
The Working Group met on 15-16 April at EUBAM’s HQ in Odesa. The creation of the Working Group is part of the Mission’s wider efforts to support the customs services of Moldova and Ukraine to implement the customs elements of their obligations under the Association Agreement and related Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA) they have signed with the EU. The meeting brought together experts from the customs services of both states, the European Commission (DG TAXUD), the Customs Department of the Czech Republic, and the BRITE Project (Business Regulatory, Investment, and Trade Environment).
AA/DCFTA commitments require Moldova and Ukraine to harmonise their customs procedures with those of the European Union. The Trade Facilitation Working Group will focus not only on the guidelines for harmonising customs practices, but more importantly on overcoming procedural and operational challenges so that they can be successfully implemented.
The Working Group was able to identify near-term needs for making progress on fulfilling the obligations relating to the introduction of; the Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) concept; a customs debt guarantee system/deferred payment scheme; the New Computerised Transit System, and post-clearance control and audit. The implementation of these measures will help simplify the customs regimes of both states, cutting down the costs for businesses. Concrete plans were put in hand to provide assistance; this will include support with infrastructure, legislation and training.
Opening the meeting, Andrew Tesoriere, Deputy Head of EUBAM, said: “The Association Agreement and its related Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area are national priorities for Moldova and Ukraine, and equally are priorities for the European Union in terms of trade and cooperation in the wider European space”.
Dariusz Wencel, from the EU’s Directorate-General TAXUD, emphasised that “European experts have knowledge and experience and they are willing to share it and to cooperate with Moldova and Ukraine.”