Prospects for further cooperation and implementation of border management projects were discussed on 5th October 2017 during the meeting between the Acting Head of the State Fiscal Service (SFS), Myroslav Prodan, and the Chief of Mission at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ukraine, Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss.
Myroslav Prodan highly appreciates the level of cooperation between the SFS and IOM in the field of border management. He highlighted the project, "Support to the Creation of an Electronic System of Pre-arrival Information Exchange between the Customs Authorities of Belarus and Ukraine (PRINEX)", as a successful example of cooperation between IOM and the SFS.
"From the end of 2015, this project facilitated the enhancement of the system exchanging preliminary information about goods and vehicles crossing the Ukrainian-Belarusian border. This resulted in a significant acceleration of customs procedures and a reduction of border crossing wait times, as well as promoting trade and economic relations to strengthen the economy of Ukraine and the Republic of Belarus," noted the Acting Head of the SFS.
He also stressed that, relying on this positive experience, an appropriate exchange of information between the SFS and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine was recently launched. The border crossing point Novi Yarylovychi – Nova Huta at the Ukrainian-Belarusian border was selected to the pilot project.
“Today we successfully tested this pilot project and intend to extend this practice throughout the state border of Ukraine," stated Myroslav Prodan.
He communicated his readiness for more comprehensive cooperation with IOM, including the possibility to implement a number of infrastructure projects at the border with Belarus and Moldova.
Myroslav Prodan expressed the wish that all activities planned under these projects should be timely implemented, and assured that the SFS is making every effort to equip the customs infrastructure with the appropriate technical means for customs control.
The Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine, Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss, highlighted the utmost importance the continued cooperation between IOM and the SFS and the successful results of the projects PRINEX and IVCO, introducing automated intelligent video-control system at the road border crossing point “Novaya Huta – Novi Yarylovychi” at the Belarus-Ukraine frontier. Dr. Weiss also reiterated the willingness to intensify cooperation between IOM and the SFS, as well as readiness to provide expertise and skills transfers.
“The cooperation in the framework of these two projects can be considered as best practice for international customs cooperation. We welcome the extension of this partnership to other border checkpoints. Ukraine is one of the most important countries for IOM in Europe; we are grateful for the dedication and the professionalism of the SFS officials who have been able to complete a range of international projects in areas such as combating human trafficking and integrated border management," noted Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss.
Dr. Weiss concluded by briefing the SFS on the “Support to migration and asylum management in Ukraine –IMMIS – project”, launched in December 2016, funded by the European Union, and implemented by IOM. This is one of the largest migration and border management EU-funded projects ever implemented by a unique agency. The project is aimed at enhancing the IT systems for managing migration related information.
During the meeting, the heads of the SFS and IOM discussed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and preliminarily agreed on the objectives and content of the document.