Customs authorities fight cigarette smuggling

Smuggling of cigarettes through the central sector of Moldovan – Ukrainian border was the most serious risks to border security on the Ukrainian-Moldovan border in 2013. To tackle this risk, representatives from customs and law enforcement agencies of Moldova and Ukraine got together at EUBAM headquarters for a Task Force Tobacco meeting.

EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, Basarabeasca, Ukraine, 1 January 2007 © European Communities, 1995-2008
EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine, Basarabeasca, Ukraine, 1 January 2007 © European Communities, 1995-2008

The aim of the meeting was to plan cooperative measures in fighting and preventing the illegal activity in the area of tobacco product smuggling. The participants discussed proposals concerning operational aspects of counteracting cigarettes smuggling in the region. EUBAM used the opportunity to present to the Moldovan and Ukrainian partners the EU multi-level approach.

The Mission prepared the ground for further cooperation of Moldovan and Ukrainian colleagues with their international partners. This time the Ukrainian and Moldovan customs officers were joined by their EU colleagues from European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and HM Revenue and Customs (UK).

The Task Force Tobacco was established in 2010 and since then it has coordinated the joint efforts of Ukrainian and Moldovan customs agencies in combating the smuggling of tobacco products from Moldova and Ukraine into the European Union.