23 March 2018

Today, the Chief of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mission in Ukraine, Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss, and the acting Head of the State Fiscal Service (SFS) of Ukraine, Mr. Myroslav Prodan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between IOM and the SFS.

The document sets the framework for the expansion of cooperation between the IOM and SFS into an even broader range of issues of common interest, such as customs modernization in Ukraine, simplification of border crossing formalities, harmonization of border crossing procedures and their adaptation to the EU best practices, improvement of inter-agency cooperation on border management, enhancement of risk management and capacity to counter illicit movement of goods, irregular border crossings and corruption.

“The Memorandum of Understanding also creates opportunities for cooperation between the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine and IOM on enhancement of human resources management and training of personnel, improvement of the customs infrastructure at the border crossing points, and installment of the modern equipment,” said the acting Head of the SFS, Mr. Myroslav Prodan.

“We aim at supporting Ukraine in facilitating secure, transparent and more efficient border procedures for the benefit of cross-border trade and movement of persons in the region,” said IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission, Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss. “IOM stands ready to continue supporting the SFS in improving border crossing procedures and is looking forward to jointly achieving new milestones contributing to national and international efforts to promote Integrated Border Management in Ukraine,” he added.

The International Organization for Migration and the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine have been cooperating fruitfully since 2013 through a number of EU-funded projects, benefitting customs authorities of Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, as well as travellers, business actors and cargo operators. In particular, the recently launched EU-funded IOM-implemented project “Enhancing Integrated Border Management along the Ukraine-Moldova Border” is aimed at renovating and equipping – from furniture and servers to weighing and inspection equipment − two border crossing points: Kuchurhan-Pervomaisc and Reni-Giurgiulesti. Thus, over three million people a year will be able to cross Ukraine-Moldova border more easily and faster, while the improved technical means provided by the project will allow the border authorities to maintain the border areas well secured from threats such as illicit movement of goods and smuggling.

With the increasing mobility of persons and goods, states need  to ensure the right balance between open, but at the same time secured and controlled borders. In order to respond to this challenge, the European Commission has developed the concept of “Integrated Border Management” which is not only a key element of the European border management strategy, but also a guiding approach of IOM’s Immigration and Border Management programming. Integrated Border Management requires that all competent authorities work together in an effective and efficient manner within each country, but also across its borders, with relevant agencies of neighbouring states.