A complex data exchange system for the mutual recognition of authorised economic operators between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union will be developed for the Customs Service with the support of the European Union High Level Advisers’ Mission. A working meeting to mark the start of the assignment was held between the management of the Customs Service and the Delegation of the European Union today, 26 April.

The Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union is a priority and commitment within the EU – RM AA/DCFTA art 197 (j): “The parties shall establish, where relevant and appropriate, mutual recognition of trade partnership programmes and customs controls, including equivalent trade facilitation measures”. This is expected to fasten border clearances, therefore reducing delays at border and facilitating trade, at the same time, strengthening security, including prevention and fight against smuggling and other customs offences. The new data exchange system between customs authorities of EU MS and the Republic of Moldova will bring the country to the final stage before signing the Agreement – the previous stages having included mostly legal approximation of the national legislation.

In the opening of the meeting, Director of the Customs Service Sergiu Burduja stated: ‘The project we are launching today together with our European partners aims to prepare the Republic of Moldova for the signing of the Agreement on Mutual Recognition of AEO between the Republic of Moldova and the EU. This information system will ensure the real-time transmission of up-to-date information on the evolution of AEO programs in order to increase the security of the supply chain and facilitate trade. We appreciate the substantial assistance of the European Union in developing and modernizing the Customs Service, which contributes to facilitating international trade and securing the border.

In his turn, the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova Peter Michalko mentioned: ‘The European Union continues to provide tangible support for the development of the business sector in the country. The Authorised Economic Operators Mutual Recognition Agreement will be an important step towards further economic integration between the EU and the Republic of Moldova, increase of exports of moldovan products to the EU market and of vital interest to businesses. The data exchange system under the Mutual Recognition Agreement, which is one of the main conditions for the conclusion of the Agreement, will be developed with EU support. It will be the first connection system between the European Union Member States’ and the Republic of Moldova customs authorities.’

Before reaching the point of developing the data exchange system, the Customs Service implemented a series of actions, including the assessment of the national customs legislation and its approximation to the European Union one. This has also been realised with the support of the European Union within its High Level Advisers’ Mission.

The mechanism for the exchange of safety and security data of AEOs between the Republic of Moldova and the EU Members States will allow certain benefits to the mutually recognised economic operators, first of all priority treatment at crossing the border – a special lane intended for the holders of this authorisation, and reduced number of controls – the AEO status being recognised by both the EU and Moldova customs administrations indicates that a trader’s role in the international supply chain is secure.