The European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM)

What is the project about?

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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. The Mission provides dedicated training courses on key customs and border-control issues such as risk analysis and anti-smuggling techniques, organises study visits to EU member States in order to observe EU best practice and engage in information exchange, and at all stages tries to encourage improved inter-agency cooperation and harmonization within each State, and on the cross-border level between the counterpart services of Moldova and Ukraine.

What have we accomplished so far

Aiming at improving border crossing procedures for legitimate travellers and trade after several years of preparatory work done by the EUBAM-led permanent working group, in 2012 Moldovan and Ukrainian border and customs agencies started the implementation of the pilot project ‘Jointly Operated Border Crossing Point (BCP) Rossoshany-Briceni’. Under the project, entry and exit border control are conducted on the territory of Ukraine (at Rossoshany BCP) and all control procedures are unified, simplified and optimised. The work of the pilot project has resulted in decreasing the person and vehicle registration time by 15-20%. It is planned that ‘JOBCP Rossoshany-Briceni’ model will be replicated at other BCPs along the Moldovan-Ukrainian border.

EUBAM’s efforts led to signing the Agreement on joint patrolling between governments of Moldova and Ukraine at the end of 2011 and starting regular joint border patrols of Moldovan and Ukrainian border officers with frequent participation of EUBAM experts in July 2012.

EUBAM conducts regular special joint border-control operations (JBCOs). Two JBCOs “Euro 2012” and ‘PODOLIA’” were conducted in 2012. EUBAM support was critical in the creation of the Pre-Arrival Information Exchange System (PAIES), which since April 2008 has given the customs services of Moldova and Ukraine a way by which they can share, quickly access, and coordinate information on imports and exports, thereby helping to tackle customs fraud and other illicit activities.

EUBAM participates in two standing working groups with the host countries’ border services: one focuses on illegal migration and trafficking in human beings, and the other on weapons smuggling, contraband and customs fraud. It also provides neutral, technical advice on implementation of the Joint Declaration (signed by the presidents of MD and UA in Dec 2005), which introduced a new customs regime whereby companies based in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova can gain access to EU trade preferences for their exports provided they register with the customs authorities in Moldova. The pan-European Integrated Border Management (IBM) strategy is central part of the EU’s security policy, and in Moldova and Ukraine EUBAM is also supporting its partners in the implementation of IBM action plans. Meanwhile, a Common Border Security Assessment Report allows EUBAM and its partners to identify emerging trends and assess risks along the Moldova-Ukraine border; and technical expertise is made available to partners in both countries involved in demarcating the common border. The Mission is also assisting its partners with the implementation of visa liberalization action plans.

Who Finances it?

The Mission’s budget for the period 2011-13 is EUR 22.5 million. In addition to the EC funding under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument, 19 EU Member States are also providing direct contributions by funding secondments of border professionals from their national services to the Mission.

How are We Carrying out Our Mission?

UNDP has been the Implementing Partner for EUBAM since its inception in 2005.  Our role has been to provide administrative support to the mission in human resource, procurement and finance management, so that the Mission fulfills its mandate.

The EUBAM team  
  • Works with the authorities in Moldova and Ukraine to harmonise their border management standards and procedures with those prevalent in EU Member States.
  • Helps enhance the professional capacities of the Moldovan and Ukrainian customs and bor­der guard services at the operational level. 
  • Improves cooperation between the border guard and customs services and with other law enforcement agencies, and to facilitate cross-border and international cooperation.
  • Promotes confidence building and contribute to the peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. 
  • Engages with civil society and support the partner services’ anti-corruption and good governance efforts.

One of the Mission’s top priorities is to support initiatives aimed at combatting corruption. To this extent EUBAM is involved in a wide range of outreach activities, in particular engaging civil society and the youth of Moldova and Ukraine. The Mission communicates with border communities through road shows and school presentations on a regular basis, and disseminates public information material on border-control issues and customs procedures. The Mission also hosts anti-corruption and summer schools for university students – at which EU values are also promoted – and has to date signed partnership agreements with with eleven universities in Odessa, Lviv and Donetsk, Ukraine, and Chisinau, capital of Moldova.

Delivery in previous fiscal years

Year Amount per year, USD
2005   1 293 000
2006 11 949 000
2007 14 970 000
2008 12 274 000
2009   9 900 000
2010 11 277 000
2011 11 679 000
2012 11 229 000
Total amount 84 571 000
Project Overview
Project start date:
Estimated end date:
Geographic coverage:
The Moldovan-Ukrainian state border is 1,222 km long, consisting of 955 km of “green” (land) border and 267 km of “blue” (river) border. EUBAM covers the entire length through six field offices (3 on the Moldovan side, 3 on the Ukrainian side), a Liaison office in Chisinau and HQ in Odessa.
Focus Area:
Democratic governance
Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Project officer:
Udo Burkholder
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova, State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Border Guard Service of the Republic of Moldova, State Customs Service of Ukraine, Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova
Related documents
Project Document
Project Report

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