Over the past years, trade tunover of Ukraine with both Moldova and Italy has a steady upward trend. Thus, only from the beginning of this year, the trade turnover with Moldova has upped by 78% as compared to the corresponding period of last year, while with Italy - by 30%. The demonstrated performance requires simplification and acceleration of customs procedures, as well as the intensifying efforts to counteract customs offenses and smuggling.
Head of the State Fiscal Service (SFS) of Ukraine Myroslav Prodan stated during a trilateral meeting in Rome with Director-General of the Customs and Monopoly Agency of Italy Mr. Giovanni Kessler and Director General of the Customs Service of Moldova Mr. Vitali Vrabie.
"Our services must effectively meet new challenges, in particular through modern management, highly skilled personnel, widespread use of IT and the cutting edge technical means of customs control. That is why today's tripartite meeting is very important, as we are able to determine the perspective directions of cooperation for our administrations", said Myroslav Prodan.
According to him, for Ukraine, Moldova and Italy alike among the promising directions in the customs sphere is activation of interaction in law enforcement activities. This concerns, first of all, the establishment of information exchange in the process of movement of excise goods, the exchange of operational information to prevent possible violations of customs laws when moving by air transport, the exchange of information on floating facilities that have recently been actively imported into Ukraine and used in the territorial waters of Italy by citizens of Ukraine, as well as the preparation of canine teams.
Among the areas of collaboration is cooperation aimed to improve the overall training of customs officials and also in the area of customs expertise.
In particular, the SFS head noted that cooperation between Ukraine and Moldova in the customs sphere could be an example of successful cooperation with Italy. The operation of joint border crossing points, the exchange of preliminary information on goods and vehicles, and law enforcement cooperation with the support of the EUBAM Mission - all of those allows for effective work to counteract offenses at the customs. Thus, in May, preparations for the operational phase of the Janus Special Operations, organized jointly with the EUBAM and OLAF Missions, were launched to combat the smuggling and movement of excise goods such as tobacco products without taxes and duties between Europe, Ukraine and Moldova.
In addition, the Ukrainian delegation visited the Center of Analysis and Intelligence of the Customs and Monopoly Agency of Italy, where the team became acquainted with the work of the AIDA information system. It analyzes on-line information contained in customs declarations, based on database and risk profiles, which is constantly updated. Also, the results of customs control with the use of scanning systems are taken into account. Representatives of the SFS together with their Moldovan counterpartshad a chance to see the use of scanners in Civitavecchia seaport in the context of the use of the AIDA information system.
The Italian side also familiarized the delegations with their experience in counteracting fraud involving understated customs value. Italy used to be the country with the lowest customs value in the EU. However, the launch of AIDA, the analysis of market trends, the use of a fiscal toolt in determining the customs value have yeilded the result - now this figure in Italy is higher than the average for the EU. Mr. Giovanni Kessler also emphasized on the importance of working with other law enforcement agencies, inter alia the Financial Guard, the police, organized crime investigation groups (GICO).