European support: the new border crossing point in Palanca will be launched into operation by the end of 2018

Palanca State Border Crossing Point, jointly administrated by the authorities of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, is being built from the ground up with the support provided by the European Union. The facility shall be launched into operation by the end of 2018. The checking of travelers, vehicles, and goods will be performed just once in this point – on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, by both countries’ Customs and Border Police officers. The authorities estimate that the waiting time will be reduced to half, while the flows of passengers and goods will increase. At the same time, offences will be easier detected due to the joint control at the border.

The new facility will cover a territory of 2.6 hectares and will include a modern administrative building with over 30 offices for the employees of the Border Police and Customs Service from the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, and specially equipped premises for checking the vehicles and lorries etc.

Built in compliance with international standards, the border crossing point will be adjusted to the needs of all travelers, including persons with disabilities, asylum seekers, entrepreneurs, etc. People crossing the border on foot and by bicycle will enjoy better conditions as well, benefiting from a pedestrian checking point. All the premises will be endowed with modern equipment for performing border control.

“Moldovan Government is committed to ensure a better life to our citizens; however, this is not an abstract notion but something starting from very concrete things. We want modern and efficient services for people, and that means shortening the time in queues or waiting for procedures to be fulfilled by authorities. I was glad to hear from the experts that after the launching of this border crossing point, the waiting time at customs will be reduced by 20 percent,” said Pavel Filip, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova.

It is estimated that the flows of passengers and goods will significantly increase after the launch into operation of the new border crossing point. Hence, if until now about 600 thousand persons were crossing the border annually through Palanca crossing point, this number will double thanks to the new constructions. At the same time, the number of vehicles crossing the border through Palanca will twofold.

Currently, Palanca Border Crossing Point operates in an old building and the infrastructure does not cope with the big number of travelers and vehicles crossing the border.

The European Union Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova, Peter Michalko, mentioned: "EU assistance to the construction of this joint border crossing point will improve the implementation of the integrated border management principles, in line with best practice of the EU and will facilitate trade, which will contribute to the economic stabilization and sustainable development of the region. At the same time, citizens will benefit from improved border crossing conditions, according to European standards.”

Dafina Gercheva, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Moldova, said: “The main objective of the project is to support the efforts of Moldova and Ukraine to deliver on the ambitious Agenda 2030 and achieve the SDGs by increasing the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of border control procedures. This in turn will bring multiple development benefits to local communities, broader societies, businesses and all other stakeholders. The introduction of one-stop-shop and the improvement of the border-crossing procedures will ultimately accelerate traffic flow, reduce corruption risk and improve combating cross-border crime. The new border crossing point will also facilitate economic activities and trade, which will contribute to poverty reduction, economic growth and enhanced resilience and sustainability.”

The budget for building the State Border Crossing Point Palanca, operated jointly on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, accounts for 5.56 million Euro, of which 4.5 million Euro provided by the European Union and 1.06 million Euro – by the Government of the Republic of Moldova. The project is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

A temporary border crossing point operates for the time being, ensuring border control until the launch into operation of the new border crossing point.

Palanca Border Crossing Point is located at the southern-eastern border of the Republic of Moldova, at a distance of 150 km from Chisinau.

The opening of joint border crossing points falls within the scope of the Association Agreement signed by the Republic of Moldova and European Union.