Border assistance to Moldova and Ukraine

border guards checking data
EUBAM supports customs- and border officials in Moldova and Ukraine. Photo: Konstantin Grozdev

The EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM) – fully funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP - contributes to the delivery of good quality border and customs services to the citizens and companies of Moldova, Ukraine and the European Union. Together with border guard and customs services of Moldova and Ukraine, the Mission facilitates people-to-people contacts, legitimate trade and security.

EUBAM supported record seizure of drugs

  • Odessa sea port is a major gateway, providing access to the Ukrainian, Moldovan and Russian markets, and to EU member states. On 30 July 2010, the Ukrainian border services seized nearly 1,200 kg of cocaine there. 1,200 bricks, worth around EUR 140 million, were stashed in metal furnaces on a ship from Venezuela. EUBAM provided support before, during and after the seizure.

Launched at request of Moldova and Ukraine

EUBAM was launched in 2005 following a request made jointly to the European Commission by the presidents of the Republic Moldova and Ukraine. A range of illicit cross-border activity, including trafficking of human beings, smuggling and other illegal trade, was occurring along the 1,222 km-long Moldova/Ukraine border. The situation was further challenged by the secessionist region of Transnistria in Moldova (which lies adjacent to 454km of the same border), over which the government of Moldova has no control. As a result both countries were losing substantial amounts in revenue to organized crime.

EUBAM's role technical and advisory

EUBAM does not have executive powers, its role is purely technical and advisory to enhance the border-management capacities of our partners. EUBAM provides on-the-job training, technical assistance and advice to the Moldovan and Ukrainian border guard and customs services, reinforcing their capacity to tackle customs fraud, detect cases of smuggling and trafficking in human beings, and carry out effective border and customs controls and border surveillance.

EUBAM organizes study visits to EU member States to observe EU best-practice and engage in information exchange. The mission also encourages improved inter-agency cooperation and harmonization within each State, and on the cross-border level between the counterpart services of Moldova and Ukraine.

More than 5,200 staff members from partner services have improved their skills with the support of EUBAM’s training on EU standards and best practice.

service dogCustoms service dog. Photo: EUBAM

Sharing EU best practices

By offering comprehensive support to partners on EU best-practice from both its headquarters in Odessa and from six field offices on either side of the Moldova/Ukraine common border, EUBAM believes that border and customs procedures and standards in Moldova and Ukraine will ultimately mirror those present in the European Union.

With EUBAM assistance, the key border agencies of Moldova and Ukraine, as well as EU agencies such as FRONTEX, EUROPOL and OLAF, participate in regular Joint Border Control Operations (JBCOs). These have led to numerous detections of smuggling activities, irregular migration and customs fraud.

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