On 12 October 2023, around 20 representatives of the State Customs Service (SCS) of Ukraine participated in a webinar on approaches, techniques and the overall functioning of risk analysis and targeting systems used by the Customs Services of Estonia and Lithuania. The event was organised and facilitated by 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.
The objective of the training on risk management and targeting was to support the SCS personnel in improving the competencies and skills of those customs officers who work directly at road border crossing points (BCPs). These skills are essential for an efficient forecasting of possible wrongdoings, with the following identification of high-risk goods during thorough customs control procedures. These competences help streamline trade by reducing the time required for the customs clearance of low-risk goods and by mitigating the threats of smuggling.
“The volumes of international trade passing through road BCPs on the border between Ukraine and EU member states soared since the beginning of the unprovoked and unjustified Russian aggression. Efficient identification of high-risk goods by the SCS at the border may not only impact revenue collection but primarily influence the security and safety of our societies”, highlights Arunas Adomenas, EU4IBM-Resilience Team Leader.
Lithuanian and Estonian experts specifically focused on practical methods for identifying and targeting high-risk consignments, as well as approaches to selection of goods for in-depth customs controls using X-ray scanning equipment. They shared their good experience regarding the use of databases for risk profiling, targeting, and the selectivity system (ESP) with the Ukrainian colleagues. Additionally, discussions covered the operations of the National Contact Points, Customs and Border Guards interagency cooperation at both central and local levels, as well as the rules for conducting interviews related to profiling.
“We were particularly happy that the theoretical aspects were complemented by hands-on exercises. For instance, we had a unique opportunity to observe the selection performed by Lithuanian customs personnel in real time”, report several Customs officers who took part in the training. “Our session also included good practical examples of risk assessment, methods of smuggling detection, and recounting of success stories”.
Given the outcomes of the webinar and the participants‘ expressed interest in further sharing best practices and experiences from EU member states, in particular those related to profiling solutions for automated risk assessment of customs declarations, the EU4IBM-Resilience project plans to arrange additional workshops for SCS. The project also agreed to provide expert evaluation of the Risk Management and Targeting training programme at the SCS Training Centre and provide recommendations for possible updates and improvements.
Background information: The project “EU Support to Strengthening Integrated Border Management in Ukraine –Resilience (EU4IBM-Resilience)” is funded by the EU and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). The project is aimed at building the resilience of the Ukrainian border management agencies during wartime, as well supporting further reforms to approximate the border management system of Ukraine to the EU standards and best practices in line with the Integrated Border Management Strategy of Ukraine adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers on 24 July 2019. The project runs from December 2022 until May 2024.
For additional information, please contact Iryna Bila at Iryna.Bila at +38095 279 3852 or [email protected].