Over 150 business representatives gathered today, 5 September, at the Annual Reunion with the Customs Service, aimed at increasing awareness of the Customs reforms and enhancing cooperation. The event was organised with the support of EU-funded project ‘Assistance to the Implementation of EU High Level Advisers’ Mission’.

In his opening speech, Director General of the Customs Service Vitalie VRABIE mentioned the openness and availability of the Customs Service in developing a competitive entrepreneurial environment based on fair competition principles. ‘Modernising Customs – Facilitating Trade’ is the guiding principle in the identification and implementation of simplified procedures for the well-intentioned enterprises,’ stated Vitalie VRABIE.

Present at the event, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Infrastructure Octavian CALMÎC, mentioned: ‘Modernization of the Customs Service means, first of all, getting closer to the private sector, a constructive dialogue with the businesses, this being a continuous process.’

In his turn, the Head of Operations Section of the EU Delegation, Aneil SINGH, highlighted the European Union’s support for Republic of Moldova’s AA/DCFTA provisions implementation, stressing that ‘while trade facilitation, society protection and compliance measures are in operation, modern approaches and surveillance tools are still needed to improve efficiency and effectiveness and, importantly, reduce corruption risks.’ The EU Delegation representative also mentioned that the EU will support the modernisation of the customs management data system, the implementation of the New Computerised Transit System and Single Window, bringing direct benefits to stakeholders by creation of paperless environment and reducing clearance time for cargo.

The discussion panels focused on subjects like trade facilitating instruments implemented by the Customs Service, assistance offered to the Customs Service by EU High Level Advisers’ Mission, reforms and simplified procedures implemented by the Customs Service and presentation of draft new Customs Code.

The EU High-Level Adviser on Customs, Rosario De Blasio, presented a holistic approach to customs reform in the area of institutional capacity, integrity, DCFTA implementation, cross-border and inter-agency cooperation. The EU HLA also addressed the existing constraints and challenges and the way forward: “It is essential to continue supporting the planned reforms and capacity development programme, which would increase the overall efficiency, transparency and integrity of the Customs Service, ultimately bringing up the country’s economic security level.”

Business representatives present at the Reunion actively engaged in discussions, sharing their views on the proposed provisions of the new Customs Code, as well as on the means of increasing cooperation between the business environment and Customs Service, reducing bureaucracy burdens and, consequently, facilitating trade.

For more information please contact Iana Pustovaia, Communication & Events Manager, ‘Assistance to the Implementation of EU High Level Advisers’ Mission to the Republic of Moldova’ at iana.pustovaia@bseurope.com.

Background information

The EU High-Level Advisers’ Mission project is funded by the EU. The implementation period is 2016 – 2019. Beneficiary institutions include the Prime Minister’s Office, Parliament, State Chancellery, Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection, National Bank, Supreme Security Council, General Prosecutor’s Office, Customs Service, National Anticorruption Centre, National Food Safety Agency.

The EU High-Level Advisers’ Mission’s project currently consists of 22 EU Member States experts deployed in the Republic of Moldova with the overall objective to support the Government to implement the reform agenda; in particular, to assist in developing the capacities required for the implementation of the Association Agreement (AA), including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), as well as to ensure the necessary follow-up for the post – visa liberalisation stage.