Boltrushko: the introduction of the Moldovan-Ukrainian control at the border with Pridnestrovie can lead to a food blockade against the republic


Individual entrepreneurs of the PMR may be affected by the actions of Moldova and Ukraine

The introduction by Moldova and Ukraine of the joint customs control at the Pridnestovian-Ukrainian border bears a number of risks to the economy of Pridnestrovie and even threatens the food security of the republic. Losses of the PMR may amount to tens of millions of dollars. Deputy Minister of Economic Development Dmitry Boltrushko told about it in the interview to the Novosti Pridnestrovya News Agency.

According to him, a major problem is the differences between the customs and migration legislation of Moldova and Pridnestrovie. In particular, the Deputy Minister noted that, in accordance with the RM’s legislation, products subjected to phytosanitary, veterinary controls can be imported only through certain checkpoints in the list of which “Pervomaisk-Kuchurgan checkpoint is not included in principle”. It should be reminded that Moldova and Ukraine intend to introduce the joint control in Kuchurhan in 2016. In the opinion of Dmitry Boltrushko, if the joint control will be also established at other checkpoints at the Pridnestrovian-Ukrainian border, it can lead to a food blockade against Pridnestrovie.

“Therefore, there is a risk of the blockade against transportation of goods subjected to phyto-, vet- controls, and these are food products after all. It comes to the food blockade, food security of Pridnestrovie,” - stressed Dmitry Boltrushko.

Individual entrepreneurs of the PMR may be affected by the decision of Moldova and Ukraine. According to the Ministry of Economic Development forecast, all importers, including the physical persons working under patent, will have to register in the RM - otherwise they will denied the opportunity to carry out foreign trade activities and import the goods into the territory of the PMR.

“This is compulsion of our economic agents to register in Moldova, and the mechanism of registration,  temporary, permanent has not been tested, it may not work,” - noticed Dmitry Boltrushko, adding that to be registered you need to have a Moldovan passport.

The Deputy Minister noted that if the Moldovan legislation will apply at these checkpoints (both in Kuchurhan and at the checkpoints that Moldova and Ukraine are planning to organize later), the citizens of the PMR will lose the opportunity to import goods intended for commercial activity without forming a legal entity or acquisition of a patent. Whereas it is quite possible under the customs legislation of the PMR, it is only necessary to pay the appropriate import duties.

“All these actions are aimed solely at blocking our economy. This is an extremely destructive measure on the part of both Ukraine and Moldova. Ukraine is a guarantor of the negotiation process in general, and it is not clear how it wants to justify or maintain this status”, - Dmitry Boltrushko commented the situation.

According to the Deputy Minister of Economy, the statements by Moldovan and Ukrainian politicians that this solution is intended to simplify the conducting of foreign trade activities of Pridnestrovian economic agents is no more than “soaping eyes”. “That is in fact a discriminatory measure aimed at taking Pridnestrovie into a physically perceptible blockade,” - he added.

Deputy Minister also voiced concerns that with the introduction of the joint control the rights of Pridnestrovians will be limited in part of duty free importation of goods for personal use into the republic.

“Pridnestrovie and Moldova have different standards in terms of controlling the import of goods for personal use, our legislation is more liberal, theirs is much more severe, for example, the goods the total value of which does not exceed $ 1,000 can be imported here, their legislation allows to import the goods with a total value of up to 300 euros, and only a certain number of items of goods,” - said Dmitry Boltrushko.

According to him, it is still not entirely clear under what conditions the import of goods for personal use will be formalized, the value of which exceeds 300 euros. Perhaps Moldovan customs officers do not have yet themselves any instructions on these and other issues, including taxes. “At the moment we do not fully understand what regime of customs clearance will be applied at these joint checkpoints. I think that even the Moldovan and Ukrainian sides do not know what they will do there,” - stated Dmitry Boltrushko.

At the same time, the ministry forecasts a negative scenario under which Moldova will try to put customs duties and taxes on imports in Pridnetrovie. As a similar example Dmitry Boltrushko mentioned the situation with the excise duties imposed unilaterally in 2014 by the Republic of Moldova on goods imported into Pridnestrovie.

“With regard to levying duties, it depends on the Moldovan side. All imports through Moldova are currently not subjected to any fees and charges here, it is free, but we do not know what our colleagues will do next, to whom we often cannot get through to regarding simpler issues. A shining example – 2014, the introduction of excise duty, - said the Deputy Minister. – They had been levied it for three - four months, and only on May 9 the excise tax was repealed. But our economic agents have transferred into the budget of Moldova for this period a very substantial amount of money, which no one has returned to us”.

 According to the Economic Development Ministry preliminary analysis, even if it will not come to the levying of certain payments to the budget of Moldova, Pridnetrovie’s economic losses will still be calculated in tens of millions of dollars. And, in the view of Dmitry Boltrushko, in addition to the economic consequences the unilateral actions of the RM and Ukraine will have negative consequences for the citizens of the republic not engaged in entrepreneurial activity. In particular, imposing by Moldova border and migration control at the Ukrainian-Pridnestrovian border can affect the rights of citizens of the PMR to freedom of movement.

The Deputy Minister said that there are already a number of precedents, when the Moldovan authorities put all sorts of hurdles, deported Pridnestrovians returning to the republic via Kishinev airport. Moldova also applied the restrictive measures to some official delegations planning to visit Pridnestrovie, Russian media representatives heading towards the republic.

“The ordinary citizens of the PMR passing through Kishinev Airport are under constant pressure, in the spirit of the statements that “your passport is some notebook” and so on. I have repeatedly been subjected myself to such measures of psychological impact, when people are actually compelled to obtain permanent residence permit in Moldova voluntarily and forcibly,” - summarized Dmitry Boltrushko, stressing that such actions of the Moldovan authorities do not comply with international law.