On 20-21 September 2023, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Seminar brought together representatives the Customs Agencies of the EU member-states in Vilnius. The EU-funded project “EU Support to Strengthening Integrated Border Management in Ukraine – Resilience (EU4IBM-Resilience)” implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, contributed to the discussions on Customs cooperation among the EU and EaP countries.
The event was attended by representatives of the EU institutions, international organisations, EU Member States and delegations from the customs and border services of Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
Representatives of the latter presented their plans for approximation of customs legislation with the EU Customs code, accession to Common Transit Convention and connecting to New Computerised Transit System, needs for renovation of Border Crossing Points and customs control equipment.
Much attention was paid to the implementation of the agreements with the EU between the countries aspiring to EU membership – Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia – and to the challenges faced by these states in future EU accession negotiations. During the seminar, one of the most important topics was discussed – the creation of a unified integrated border management control, digital solutions to facilitate customs and border crossing procedures, as well as EU sanctions and their application.
“In the current context of global challenges, exchange of customs related information can become an important tool for enhancing customs control. This will subsequently contribute to prevention of illegal activities at the borders and improvement of control over implementation of sanctions”, highlighted Arunas Adomenas, EU4IBM-Resilience Team Leader.
During the seminar, the participants visited the “Medininkai” border crossing point on Lithuanian – Belarus border. There, Lithuanian border guards demonstrated an electronic system for regulating queues, as well as other activities in the waiting area.
Additional information: Launched in 2009, the EaP is a strategic and ambitious partnership which aims to strengthen and deepen the political and economic relations between the EU, its Member-States, and the partner countries, as well as support sustainable reform processes in countries of Eastern Partnership.