On 14 April 2023, ten canine teams of the State Customs Service of Ukraine successfully completed a two-week specialized training that was provided by the "EU Support in Strengthening Integrated Border Management in Ukraine – Resilience”, the European Union-funded project.
The canine teams represent various regional customs offices of Ukraine. Each canine team includes an inspector and a service dog trained to detect narcotics and psychotropic substances, small arms and ammunition, tobacco, etc. The specialized training goes in line with recommendations on improvement of security controls at the border crossing points, as well as on trade facilitation measures, particularly relevant in the context of the EU Solidarity Lanes initiative.
Upon the completion of the two-week exercise, the participants test their new knowledge and skills for effective and faster detection of prohibited items and substances. The theoretical part includes a computerized exam on customs legislation, combating smuggling and violations of customs rules. It also checks the knowledge on the use of service dogs, search and detection of items, English language skills. The practical part includes search exercises in various situations: in trucks, passenger cars, luggage, on a person and in their clothes, indoor search, as well as testing dogs' obedience skills.
The trained canine teams immediately return to their duty stations, to apply the newly improved skills combatting illicit traffic, smuggling, and other unlawful activities. In total, over 80 teams are planned to undergo advanced two-week training this year, while additional 25 newcomer teams will benefit from the basic training and will start working for the first time.
Background information: The project “EU Support to Strengthening Integrated Border Management in Ukraine – Resilience (EU4IBM-Resilience)” is funded by the European Union, and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development. The project aims at building the resilience of the Ukrainian border management agencies during wartime, as well as at supporting further reforms to approximate the border management system of Ukraine to the EU standards in line with the Integrated Border Management Strategy of Ukraine. The project runs from December 2022 until May 2024.