Customs cooperation with Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine
The relationship with Ukraine, Republic of Moldova and Georgia is guided by the new Association Agreements, including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs). The EU signed the Association Agreements with Georgia and Moldova on 27 June 2014 and a number of provisions, including the DCFTA sections are provisionally applied as of 1 September 2014. The political and economic provisions of the Agreement with Ukraine were signed on 21 March 2014 and 27 June 2014 respectively but although some provisions entered into force on 1 November 2014, the provisional application of DCFTA has been postponed to 31 December 2015. The Association Agreements further establish Customs Sub-Committees, which will provide a platform for enhancing dialogue on customs matters. These committees will be responsible for monitoring the convergence of legislation and procedures according to the DCFTA commitments.
The Association Agendas include the jointly agreed priorities for the period 2014-2016 with a view to preparing for the implementation of the Association Agreements.
Strategic Frameworks for customs cooperation
The customs cooperation with Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia is based on the Strategic Frameworks, endorsed with Republic of Moldova in October 2011, Ukraine in May 2012 and signed with Georgia in March 2015.
The Strategic Frameworks are based on three interrelated priorities, namely:
- Safe and fluid trade lanes, in particular by achieving maximum trade facilitation for reliable business with customs acting as a link in the supply chain;
- Risk management and fight against fraud, in particular to eliminate illegitimate trade by developing strong risk management and exchanging advance customs information; and
- Investment in customs modernization, in particular by achieving close convergence of customs legislation and procedures in line with the DCFTA reforms.
Working Groups have been set up with the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine under the EU Customs 2020 Programme in order to see to the implementation of the specific objectives and activities of the Strategic Frameworks.
The medium-term priorities for Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine will be accession to the Regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin, the Convention on a common transit and implementation of the Authorised Economic Operator schemes.