Partnership between EU and its Eastern Neighbours promotes harmonized Customs procedures, business partnerships and renewed impetus for information exchange

11 octubre 2012

Ukraine, 11-12 October 2012

Report

At the invitation of the Director General of Taxation and Customs Union (TAXUD) of the European Union (EU), Heinz Zourek, and the Chairman of the State Customs Service of Ukraine, Ihor Kaletnik, the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, attended the High-Level Seminar on Customs Cooperation at the Eastern Border of the EU, held in Kiev, Ukraine on 11 and 12 October 2012.

During the opening ceremony the First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Valeriy Khoroshkovsky, who once served as head of Ukraine Customs, stressed the need for harmonized Customs procedures based on international and EU best practices in support of business and the state budget, including exchange of information to facilitate the risk management approach and cooperation to strengthen the combating of Customs offences.

Secretary General Mikuriya appreciated the EU for supporting the regional forum for Customs cooperation and Ukraine for its steady progress in Customs reform. He highlighted Ukraine's accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention in 2011 and its subsequent introduction of a new Customs Code this year that had considerably improved the business environment, its establishment of the WCO Regional Training Centre in Dnepropetrovsk in 2010 that was contributing to human resource development and research in the region, and its showcasing of successful border management with its neighboring countries during the Euro 2012 Football Championship, co-hosted with Poland in June.

On these grounds, the Secretary General was hopeful that the High-Level Seminar would produce best practice in such areas as exchange of information, including a pilot project on Globally Networked Customs, and the development of consistent AEO programmes leading to future Mutual Recognition. He stressed that cooperation in these areas would allow Customs to ensure connectivity at borders.

The High-Level Seminar also reviewed progress in Customs reform in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Ukraine. Participants highly appreciated the remarkable progress achieved in recent years in these countries in partnership with EU Member States.