A new information point opens for companies involved in international trade
The Information Point for External Trade is part of the Joint Call Center of the Customs Service, which was recently reformed and renewed in compliance with the highest standards of the European Union. If previously there were only two employees responding to enquires during working hours, now its five operators can provide assistance around the clock, on issues related to foreign trade and customs clearance, to domestic companies, private citizens, as well as, to persons from abroad.
Moldova’s commitment fulfilled due to USAID support
„There were many calls. Unfortunately, we were not able to offer the necessary information to everyone. One single specialist used to receive around 300 calls a week. Now, we are expecting the number of incoming calls to double or triple - accordingly the businesses will receive twice or three times more answers,” stated Sergiu Burduja, director-general of the Customs Service.
Sergiu Burduja, director-general of the Customs Service
Establishing such an enquiry point has been part of Moldova’s undertakings at the time of the ratification of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation with the World Trade Organization and the Association Agreement with EU (including the DCFTA).
The opening of the new information point wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the United States Agency for International Development, which has offered funding for the purchase of up-to-date equipment and software, and for the modernization of the Call Center’s operational capacities.
“One of the changes that we hope to make, is a change in expectations. We can buy computers, buy software, deliver training, develop technical manuals. We can do all those things and we’ve done theme. But if you ask me what are we trying to accomplish – it’s a small but real change in expectations. When business has problems related to customs issues or an ordinary person has a question about a rule, a law, a form or how something works, they can contact the Customs Service and receive a quick and accurate, and complete response. We hope that this will be a useful service for the business community but most of all we hope that it will help to shape that small but real change in expectations” said Douglas Muir, Chief of Party of the USAID Structural Reforms Program in Moldova.
Douglas Muir, Chief of Party of the USAID Structural Reforms Program in Moldova
Specialized information from the first source
The Information Point for External Trade is a national information tool for businesses engaged in international trade, for authorities, as well as for other stakeholders that will be able to access first-hand reliable information with respect to customs legislation; customs regimes and destinations; declaration, classification and origin of goods; permits, and the rules for border crossing concerning goods and transportation units.
The Joint Call Center of the Customs Service +373 2278 8888 incorporates two specialized lines – an informative one and a second on anti-corruption issues.
The project has been implemented by the USAID Moldova Structural Reform Program, which performs a four-year mandate totaling a budget of more than 11 million US dollars.