Research

REFORM OF DECENTRALIZATION IN THE FIELD OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE STATE BORDER

INTRODUCTION

The process of decentralization is today considered one of the most successful reforms implemented by the Ukrainian authorities after the 2013-2014 Prosecution Revolution. According to the Ministry of Regional Development[1] At the beginning of the 2018 year, 692 United Territorial Communities (OTG) were created in Ukraine, of which 51 December 24 was the first in 2017 OTG, and 27 OTGs are waiting for the election of the Central Election Commission. In general, 3247 local councils have already been united in Ukraine - almost one third of the total number of village, town and city councils that functioned prior to the commencement of the process. In the united communities there are already about 6 million inhabitants. Average number of inhabitants of OTG - 8760 persons.

In Ukraine there are already 15 districts, completely "covered" by united communities. In 111 areas, the OTGs include most of the territories. 199 districts, which is almost half of the total, have at least one OTG. The five leading regions in the formation of united communities are as follows: Zhytomyr, Khmelnytsky, Chernihiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Volyn. Monitoring data has traditionally shown an increase in local budgets' own revenues, now this figure has reached 173 billion USD. But at the same time, the remainder of local budgets increases, which total about 80 billion UAH, of which 14,6 billion USD - on deposit accounts.

This progress shows that in the near future, Ukraine will move to a new model of functioning - a decentralized system of public administration based on the principle of "bottom-up", which will guarantee the optimal distribution of both authority and responsibility between the center and the regions.

Against this backdrop, decentralization in the security sector has its own peculiarities. In the study "Security Aspects of Political Decentralization in Ukraine: Vision, Realities and Possible Implications"[2] experts from the Center for the Study of Army, Conversion and Disarmament indicate that, in the context of the decentralization reform, Ukraine pledges to ensure the integrity and synergy of efforts - an individual citizen, civil society and the state apparatus. It is the awareness of each citizen that responsibility for ensuring the safety of their villages / towns, cities, regions, and hence the countries, is the best tool for the creation of a comprehensive system of national security and defense. Instead of a top-down model of security and defense based on the state vertical, decentralization is considered to be a more comprehensive approach that involves widespread involvement of civil society within the newly created territorial communities to assist law enforcement in the field, the creation of voluntary fire brigades, the elimination of consequences of natural disasters, increase of efficiency of the centralized system of territorial defense, etc. Such, the network strategy of the units on the ground will accept the vacuum of law enforcement and rescue structures in the process of decentralization and the formation of new regional configurations in the process of creating territorial communities. As a result, an effective system of "national resilience" will be formed, which will ensure the ability of the nation to adapt and progressively develop under constant negative "hybrid" external influences and the proper defense of the national interests of the state.

Creation of local community organizations that would help state institutions in patriotic education of the population, law enforcement, overcoming the consequences of emergencies, civil defense issues, border guarding, and the construction of territorial defense objectively reinforce the common matrix of security throughout the country. Such a matrix, created not centrally, but a network principle, forms an extremely stable system that can not be destroyed simply by destroying the main control center. The more active elements in such a system, the harder it is to destabilize and disable it.

At the same time, it is important to study the individual elements of a common security matrix that is formed within the framework of decentralization.

From the point of view of the decentralization reform, the structures ensuring the security of the state border occupy a special place among other components of the security sector. According to the Law "On the State Border of Ukraine", the protection of the state border of Ukraine is an integral part of the national system of ensuring national security and consists in the coordinated activity of military formations and law-enforcement bodies of the state, the organization and procedure of which are determined by law. This activity is carried out within the limits of the powers granted to them by means of the use of a complex of political, organizational, legal, diplomatic, economic, military, border, immigration, intelligence, counterintelligence, operative-search, environmental, sanitary-quarantine, environmental, technical and other measures[3].

On this basis, the protection of the state border should be as central as possible and not allow any division of the border into decentralized areas for which, say, local authorities or united territorial communities will be responsible. In this regard, the application of new approaches to creating a security system by establishing a security matrix based on the concept of "national sustainability" in relation to the State Border Guard Service should take place in accordance with the principles adapted to the border specificity. These principles should be different from other components of the security sector (for example, the National Police or the State Emergency Service).

In this research, the CACARC experts, with the support of the Geneva Center for Democratic Control of Armed Forces, have investigated approaches to the implementation of the decentralization reform in the area of ​​the protection of the state border of Ukraine, including taking into account the provision of the customs security of the state and against the background of implementation of measures for ensuring national security and defense, repression and containment of armed aggression of the Russian Federation in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts[4].

 

PART 1. LEGAL FEATURES OF FUNCTIONING OF BASIS IN DECENTRALIZATION CONDITIONS

In accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine", the State Tax Administration is tasked with ensuring the inviolability of the state border and the protection of the sovereign rights of Ukraine in its exclusive (maritime) economic zone[5]. According to the Law of Ukraine "On the State Border", the protection of the state border of Ukraine is an integral part of the national system of protection of the state border and is carried out by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine on land, sea,
rivers, lakes and other reservoirs, as well as the Armed Forces of Ukraine
in air and underwater space in accordance with the provided to them
powers of action to ensure the inviolability of the state border of Ukraine[6].

In the border lane and the controlled border area
in the order determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine,
a border regime is established that regulates in accordance with
this Law and other legislation of Ukraine, the rules of entry,
stay, residence, movement of citizens of Ukraine and others
persons, carrying out work, recording and holding at quays, berths
and in the points of departure of self-propelled and non-self-propelled vessels, them
swimming and moving in inland waters of Ukraine.[7]

In accordance with Article 33 of the Law "On the State Border", state bodies, public organizations, officials are obliged to provide all possible assistance to the bodies of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine in the protection of the state border of Ukraine. The protection of the state border of Ukraine is carried out with the active participation of Ukrainian citizens. State bodies and non-governmental organizations contribute to the bodies of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine to involve Ukrainian citizens on a voluntary basis to protect the state border of Ukraine.[8]

The Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine "On Approval of the Procedure for Coordination of the Activities of the Executive Bodies and Local Self-Government Bodies on the Compliance of the State Border Regimes" establishes that the Administration of the State Border Service and its structural divisions, within the limits of the powers established by the legislation, coordinate the activities of central and local executive authorities respectively and local self-government bodies on issues involving volunteer Ukrainian citizens to participate
in the protection of the state border. At the same time, the Administration of the State Border Guard Service decides on the creation and provision of activities of voluntary organizations to assist the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine in the protection of the state border, establishes the form of the certificate and the procedure for its issuance to the members of the said formations.[9]

By the Decree of the President of Ukraine "On Chief Aid to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine and the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine" in order to continue the established traditions of patronizing the military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine in order to promote defense capability and mobilization readiness of the state, solving of social and domestic problems, satisfaction of cultural and spiritual needs of servicemen, increase of prestige of military service Supporting the proposals of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the Main Directorate of the National Guard of Ukraine, the Administration of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, local authorities and local self-government bodies on the further development of patronage over the military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine, the State the Border Guard Service of Ukraine and to approve the List of military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine, Der Border Guard Service of Ukraine, on which the patronage is carried out.[10]

In the Strategy of Development of the State Border Guard Service[11] it is determined that the strengthening of the security system of the state border is planned through:

- development and introduction of new technologies for the protection of the state border;

- definition of an effective functional structure of the state border guard units taking into account the real and predicted situation at the state border;

- improvement of mechanisms for monitoring compliance with the border regime, coordinating the activities of state bodies on compliance with regimes at the state border and at checkpoints for entry into and exit from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine;

- Organization and conducting of interdepartmental and international border operations taking into account European standards;

- Increasing the efficiency of existing and creating new public formations for the protection of public order and the state border;

- involvement of public organizations in the protection of the state border.

In concrete terms, involvement of public organizations in the protection of the state border is envisaged in accordance with the Law of Ukraine "On Citizen Participation in the Protection of Public Order and the State Border".

In particular, citizens of Ukraine in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine have the right to create public associations in the manner established by this Law for participation in the protection of public order and the state border, assistance to local self-government bodies, law enforcement agencies, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine and executive authorities, as well officials in preventing and stopping administrative offenses and crimes, protecting the life and health of citizens, the interests of society and the state from unlawful encroachments, as well as so y
the rescue of people and property during a natural disaster and other extraordinary circumstances. [12]

Public organizations for the protection of public order and
the state border can be created on the basis of the public
amateurs as consolidated units of public formations,
Specialized units (groups) to assist the National Police and
State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Association of Public
formations, etc.[13]

Public organizations for the protection of public order and
the state border are created and operate in conjunction with
law enforcement agencies, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, executive bodies and local self-government bodies, adhering to the principles of humanism, legality, publicity, voluntariness, observance of human and civil rights and freedoms, rights and legitimate interests of legal entities, equality of members of these groups. Coordination of the activities of public groups for the protection of public order and the state border is carried out, respectively by local state administrations and local self-government bodies. Everyday (operational) activity of such formations is organized, directed and controlled by the relevant bodies of the National Police, units of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.[14]

Article 9 of the Law "On Citizen Participation in the Protection of Public Order and the State Border" stipulates that the main tasks of public entities for the protection of the state border are as follows:[15]

- Assistance to units of the State Border Guard Service
Ukraine in detecting and apprehending those who have violated or
trying to break the state border or conduct another
illegal activity at the border;

- assistance to the servicemen of the State Border Guard Service
Ukraine in the protection of the state border, exclusive (maritime)
economic zone of Ukraine, as well as control over
observance of the regime of the state border, the border regime and the regime at the points of entry through the state border, carrying along with them the passage of citizens to places of rest and work;

- Assistance to the units of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine in identifying the conditions and reasons that may lead to criminal activity at the border and taking measures to eliminate them;

- Participation in observing places of work and rest nearby
border and border engineering facilities;

- participation in events of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine with
prevention of violations or attempts to break the state border and
the regime at checkpoints across the state border, illegal
moving across the state border of goods, objects, materials
and other property.

The law stipulates that public formations for the protection of the state border have the right to participate in ensuring the protection of public order and the state border together with police officers, servicemen of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, and in rural areas - independently by executing specific instructions of the head of the relevant body of the National Police or the State Department
the Border Guard Service of Ukraine.[16]

Article 11 of the Law defines the forms and methods of work of public entities on the protection of the state border, namely:[17]

- in common with the police, patrol borderguards and
posting on streets, squares, railway stations, in
airports, sea and river ports, in places of compact
residence of citizens, location of enterprises, institutions,
organizations, educational establishments, as well as in places of possible occurrence
violators of the border within the area controlled by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the borderline;

- conducting along with border guards an overview of the routes
possible movement of violators of the state border, places of their shelter,
vehicles adjacent to the state border of the area with
To determine the causes and conditions of stay of unknown persons.

The law clearly defines the requirements for members of public organizations for the protection of public order and the state border. In particular, members of public organizations for the protection of the state border may be Ukrainian citizens who have reached the age of 18, have expressed a desire to participate in strengthening
law and order in the protection of the state border and capable of their own
business, moral qualities and state of health perform on
voluntarily assumed obligations. Members of public organizations for the protection of public order and the state border may participate in the maintenance of law and order and the protection of the state border at the place of registration of these associations and only after passing the appropriate legal and special training in the bodies of the National Police, units of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine and obtaining in the body local
self-government certificate of a member of public formation and an arm band, the samples of which are approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The training of the members of these public groups is carried out in accordance with the procedure established by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in agreement with the specially authorized central executive authority on matters of state border guarding of Ukraine.[18]

Members of public formations for the protection of the state have the following duties and rights:[19]

- take an active part in the protection of public order and
the state border, the cessation and prevention of administrative offenses and crimes;

- during the performance of public security duties
order and state border to have a personal certificate of a member of a public formation and an arm band;

- to deliver to the bodies of the National Police, in the subdivision
State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Public Staff
the formation of a public order or a public office
protection of order, premises of the executive body of the settlement, rural
for the sake of persons who committed an administrative offense for the purpose
its termination, if other measures of influence are exhausted;

- to provide, within the limits of their rights, the assistance of the people
deputies of Ukraine, representatives of bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government in their legal activity, if in
this is countered by them or threatened by the perpetrators.

In addition, members of community groups participating in
guarding the state border, must know:[20]

- terrain, precise passage of borders, numbers and place
placement of border signs at the pledges section;

- state border regime and border regime, current legislation on these issues;

- Samples of documents for the right of entry and residence of citizens of Ukraine and other persons in the areas controlled by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine in the border zone.

The article 15 of the Law of Ukraine "On Citizen Participation in the Protection of Public Order and the State Border" defines the responsibilities of executive authorities and local governments on the activities of public entities for the protection of public order and the state border, which creates the appropriate framework for the functioning of an integrated system of state border guarding in a decentralized environment:[21]

- Bodies of executive power and bodies of local self-government,
officials of these bodies, heads of enterprises, institutions,
organizations within their competence, as well as citizens contribute
public formation in the protection of public order and
the state border.

- Local state administrations and local authorities
self-government, enterprises, institutions and organizations in
The established procedure considers the proposals of public formations
on improving the state of public order and public security
the border and take appropriate measures within their competence.

- Local state administrations and local authorities
self-government in conjunction with the National Police
units of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine organize
activities of public organizations for the protection of public order and
the state border by involving their members in conducting
patrolling and other joint activities, briefing and
prompt provision of relevant information, apart from secret,
engaging their members in legal education and getting acquainted with
forms and methods of combating offenses.

An important issue is the coordination of activities of community formations on the protection of the state border at the local level. Article 16 of the Law "On Citizen Participation in the Protection of Public Order and the State Border"[22] it is stated that local state administrations and bodies of local self-government within the limits of their competence jointly with bodies
National Police and units of the State Border Guard Service
Ukraine coordinates and controls the activities
public formations, hear reports and reports of the leaders of the mentioned formations. In order to realize the goals and objectives of these public formations, local state administrations and local self-government bodies
have the right to introduce positions at the expense of local budget funds
the instructor on work with these formations, the head of the detachment of the people's wives of the enterprise, institutions and organizations. The management of the activities of public formations is carried out by headquarters, coordination boards and boards that are formed on an electoral basis.

As for the provision of public formations for the protection of the state border, local self-government bodies and local state administrations have the right to decide on the issues of ensuring
the activities of public formations, provide them with office space, necessary equipment and communication facilities. The service premises are provided by public formations within a month after their registration. Public formations for the protection of the state border may use the property of enterprises, institutions, organizations and other owners, including vehicles, inventory and means of communication on a contractual basis.[23]

The control over the activity of public organizations for the protection of public order and the state border is carried out by executive authorities and local self-government bodies in accordance with the procedure established by law. Bodies conducting the registration of these public groups, monitor the observance of the requirements of the provisions (statute). Representatives of these bodies have the right to observe the conduct of public events, to demand the necessary documents, to receive explanations.[24]

In accordance with the "Instruction on work with public formations on the protection of the state border", approved by the order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine No. 948 15.09.2014 of the year, the principles of the activities of bodies and authorized officials of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine regarding the organization, direction and control of the daily activities of public formations, the procedure for preparation and the involvement of their members in carrying out tasks for the protection of the state border.[25] According to the instruction, the headquarters of the relevant body for the protection of the state border, together with other structural units of the management body of the state border guard, among other things:[26]

- develops approaches and procedures for involving public entities in the protection of the state border and, if necessary, elaborate recommendations on their application;

- Provides proposals to local state administrations and local self-government bodies to establish, organize and carry out activities of public formations;

- coordinates the activities of the units of the state border guard to involve members of public organizations in the protection of the state border, interacts with associations of public formations;

- controls the organization of the use of members of public organizations during the protection of the state border of special means;

- directs the activity of the units of the state border guard for the involvement of public formations in conducting explanatory and preventive work with the local population;

- prepares information materials on changes in the legislation of Ukraine on the state border for bringing to the attention of members of public formations.

PART 2. CURRENT STATUS OF THE STATE BORDER PROTECTION SYSTEM IN DECENTRALIZATION CONDITIONS

The decentralization reform in the field of functioning of the system of guarding the state border is not a linear process aimed at the formation of separate sections of the border or border regions, divided between local authorities with a primary focus on the involvement of public entities in the protection of the state border. First of all, we are talking about the use of positive aspects of decentralization (first of all, the economic power of the regions and the involvement of local people and local NGOs in creating an integrated border guard system based on the principles of "national stability").

Therefore, the "decentralization" of the state border guard system does not actually take place. There are no steps to weaken the centralized system. At the same time, the decentralization reform at the regional level is already bringing about positive results in terms of enhancing the participation of civil society in border guarding. According to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine[27], nowadays, according to the Law of Ukraine "On Citizen Participation in the Protection of Public Order and the State Border", in the border areas, 247 public formations for the protection of the state border have been established and operate, which number more than 3 thousand members.

Location and number of community groups by regions:

Kharkiv - 17 / 173, Sumy - 31 / 346, Chernigov - 15 / 151, Kiev - 2 / 44, Zhytomyr - 6 / 88, Volyn - 22 / 244, Rivne - 15 / 174, Lviv - 28 / 416, Transcarpathian - 2 / 46, Chernivtsi - 2 / 114, Vinnytsya - 8 / 200, Odessa - 86 / 766, Zaporozhye - 4 / 84, Kherson - 9 / 169.

During 2017 year, more than 15,8 thousand border dresses were exhibited together with members of public formations and received from them about 600 information about possible illegal activity at the border.

In general, with the assistance and participation of non-indigent borderguards in the reporting period, the 471 detained the offender legislation on border issues:

for an attempt to illegally cross the state border - 128 persons, including 23 illegal migrants;

for violating the rules of the border regime - 312 persons;

for violation of the rules of the use of objects of wildlife - 31 person;

goods were found for a total of about 110 thousand UAH.

3 items removed weapons

The greatest activity of the inhabitants of the frontier during the 2017 year was noted in the Volyn, Lviv, Odesa and Kherson regions.

In addition, as a result of joint work of the specialists of the Administration of the State Border Guard Service and the National Police of Ukraine, amendments and additions to the Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine" On Citizen Participation in the Protection of Public Order and the State Border "were worked out - the draft law was registered in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine 27.10.2017 for No. 7245.

The proposed changes include:

- the possibility of formation of public formations consisting of 5 persons in settlements located within controlled border areas, which will enable to create such formations in sparsely populated areas of the border area;

- simplification of the procedure for approval of statutory documents of public formations;

- expansion of the circle of officials authorized to issue instructions to members of public formations;

- empowering the territorial bodies of the National Police and the State Border Guard Service to monitor the compliance of the public formations with the requirements of their statutory documents and submit applications to the court for the compulsory cessation of the activities of public formation in case of violation of the requirements of legislation or non-compliance during the year of the assigned tasks;

- Extending the authority to encourage the most active members of community groups to participate in ensuring the protection of public order and the state border.

At the same time, the process of decentralization of the border areas can create a number of challenges for the development of an effective system of state border guarding. Throughout the period of existence of independent Ukraine, the border areas demonstrated a low level of economic development. They also have a much lower official employment rate. Against the background of prosperous neighborhoods, this creates powerful factors leading to intensive border traffic. At the same time, often, along with fully legal business activities, the transboundary movement is characterized by a large number of illegal "schemes" and facilities. The most borderline is Transcarpathia, Chernivtsi, Lugansk, Odessa, Sumy and Volyn regions. Here in the 50-kilometer area is about 50% of administrative districts. The Russian aggression has considerably strengthened the border factor in the Luhansk region: now, in its controlled Ukraine, only the 3 of the 12 administrative districts is not adjacent to the border or line of separation with the territories occupied by Russia. Similarly, the occupation of Crimea changed the situation in the Kherson region.

The most difficult in terms of security situation is the special regime for crossing the border between Ukraine, Byelorussia, Moldova and Russia, which has a visa-free regime. On the Moldovan border in the Transnistrian region, the situation is aggravated by the unrecognized status of this region, as well as by a significant number of citizens of Transnistria who have Ukrainian citizenship. On the border with EU countries for the permanent inhabitants of the 30-50 km wide bands, the so-called small border traffic regime operates along the border. In Zakarpattya and in Bukovina, a large part of the inhabitants have a Hungarian or Romanian passport.

Against this backdrop, the sharp difference in earnings in the border areas of Ukraine and neighboring countries (the largest difference with EU countries, but with Belarus and Russia there is an imbalance in incomes compared with Ukrainian border areas) creates favorable conditions for the development of smuggling and other illegal business. Ukraine is one of the leaders in supplying smuggled tobacco products to EU markets. Significant volumes of smuggling from Ukraine alcohol and products from it to the Republic of Belarus, Russia and other countries, while alcohol is smuggled to us from neighboring Moldova, often through Transnistria. Smuggling of petroleum products, as well as weapons, ammunition, and drugs is profitable.

Decentralization and the reform of local self-government envisage strengthening the responsibility for the success of the development of separate communities of their own elective authorities. It should stimulate the development of territories, help to overcome the backwardness there. However, in the case of areas where a significant proportion of residents live with illegal income from the border, and the percentage of officially employed is very low, this process can be more difficult than in other regions of the country.

In these conditions, it is important to ensure the customs security of the state against the backdrop of decentralization reform.

 

 

PART 3. SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF REALIZATION OF CUSTOMS POLICY IN CONDITIONS OF DEFENSE REFORM

Customs safety is one of the components of ensuring the national interests of Ukraine and failure to take into account this factor within the framework of decentralization reform can have potential negative consequences not only for national security of the country, but also for the progressive development of communities.

In the Ukrainian legislation, the state customs policy is defined as a system of principles and directions of the state's activity in the sphere of protection of customs interests and ensuring of Ukraine's customs security, regulation of foreign trade, protection of the domestic market, development of the Ukrainian economy and its integration into the world economy. State Customs Policy is an integral part of the state economic policy (Article 5 in the wording of Law 405-VII of 04.07.2013)[28].

Customs interests of Ukraine are the national interests of Ukraine, the provision and implementation of which is achieved through the implementation of the state customs business. In turn, customs security is a state of protection of the customs interests of Ukraine (Article 6 in the wording of Law 405-VII of 04.07.2013)[29].

The state customs business is carried out in compliance with internationally accepted forms of declaration of goods, methods for determining the customs value of goods, systems for classifying and coding goods and customs statistics, and other generally accepted norms and standards in the world. The bases of the state customs business, in particular, the legal status of the bodies of incomes and fees, the customs territory and the customs border of Ukraine, the procedures for customs control and customs clearance of goods moving through the customs border of Ukraine, customs regimes and conditions of their application, prohibitions and / or restrictions on imports in Ukraine, the transit of certain types of goods through the territory of Ukraine through the territory of Ukraine, the conditions and procedure for collecting customs payments, customs privileges, are determined by this Code and other laws of Ukraine.

The direct management of the implementation of the state customs business relies on the central executive body, which ensures the formation and implementation of state tax and customs policy. (Part 7 Part 3, as amended by Act 405-VII of 04.07.2013)[30].

The central body of executive power is the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine. At the same time, DFS of Ukraine, among other things[31]:

- carries out control over observance by the subjects of foreign economic activity and citizens of the procedure established by the legislation for the movement of goods, vehicles through the customs border of Ukraine;

- ensures the application of customs regimes, the implementation of customs control and customs clearance of goods placed in the appropriate customs regimes;

- controls the compliance by foreign economic activity entities with legislation on state control over international transfers of military and dual-use goods within the powers provided for by law;

- carries out, in cases provided for by law, proceedings in cases of violation of customs rules and in cases of administrative offenses;

- Carries out collection of funds in case of non-fulfillment of the financial guarantee of obligations to pay customs payments;

- prevents and counteracts smuggling and violation of customs rules in the customs territory of Ukraine;

- Detects criminal and other offenses in the area of ​​taxation, customs and budget spheres, as well as establishes the location of taxpayers, surveys their founders, officials;

- carries out operative-search activity, pre-trial investigation in accordance with the law, and also takes measures for the reimbursement of losses inflicted by the state;

- Searches for persons who are hiding from the investigation and the court for criminal offenses in the field of taxation, customs and budget spheres;

- takes measures for the detection, analysis and verification of financial transactions that may be related to the legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime or terrorist financing;

- carries out control and permitting procedures for the movement of goods (cargoes) in the area of ​​anti-terrorist operation;

- Identifies the causes and conditions that led to the commission of criminal and other offenses in the field of taxation, customs and budgetary spheres, taking measures to eliminate them;

supervises the compliance by the executive committees of village and town councils with the procedure for the adoption and accounting of taxes and fees from taxpayers, the timeliness and completeness of the transfer of these amounts to the budget;

- carries out international cooperation, ensures fulfillment of obligations undertaken under international treaties of Ukraine on matters within its competence, including by providing mutual administrative assistance in preventing, detecting and investigating violations of legislation on the basis of international agreements;

- performs state export control during the customs control and customs clearance of goods;

- ensures the fulfillment of the Association Agreement between Ukraine, on the one hand, and the European Union, the European Atomic Energy Community and its member States, on the other hand, on issues falling within the competence of the DFS.

Based on the regulatory framework of the DFS of Ukraine, as well as the actual nature of its customs units, customs policy and practice are not directly the subject of decentralization reform. In the course of the decentralization reform, it is not intended to transfer (even partially) the powers of the DFS customs divisions to united territorial communities (OTG). Similarly, OTGs will not have a direct impact on the implementation of customs policies and practices.

At the same time, there are some aspects that are tangent to the implementation of customs policies that affect community livelihoods and the decentralization process itself.

On the one hand, for the border regions of Ukraine, the illegal movement of goods through the customs border, ie smuggling, remains a significant problem. A catalyst for smuggling from Ukraine to neighboring countries was a sharp devaluation of the hryvnia against the background of Russian aggression, which has made a number of Ukrainian goods, especially food, much cheaper than analogues in the neighboring countries. However, the most profitable smuggling is the illegal transfer of such goods across the customs border of Ukraine, the final price of which depends primarily on excise duties or legal trade which is restricted or prohibited. Ukraine is one of the leaders in supplying smuggled tobacco products to EU markets. At the same time, this product comes from Belarus and the Transnistria conflict zone on the territory of Ukraine. Significant volumes of smuggling from Ukraine alcohol and products from it to the Republic of Belarus, Russia and other countries, while alcohol is smuggled to us from Moldova, mainly through Transnistria. Smuggling of petroleum products, as well as weapons, ammunition, and drugs is profitable[32]. A factor that stimulates smuggling business is also a significant difference in incomes in Ukraine and neighboring countries.

Decentralization can become an instrument that will help to overcome smuggling as a mass phenomenon, which has become one of the main ways of survival of border residents. Sustainable economic development of the regions, improvement of the socio-economic situation both throughout the country and in the border areas will make the mass smuggling of general goods economically unprofitable. The development of the local economy will objectively create new jobs that will become an alternative to illegal smuggling. At the same time, realization of measures in the framework of the formation of a new "matrix of security" on the principle of national stability and the voluntary involvement of local residents in the protection of the state border of Ukraine can significantly improve the efficiency of border and customs control.

In addition, international projects to support the activities of Ukrainian customs structures can effectively combat smuggling in a context of decentralization. A successful example of such cooperation is the work of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine with the EU Border Assistance Mission to Ukraine and Moldova (EUBAM)[33]. In particular, during the 2018 year, the following areas of cooperation are planned between the DFS of Ukraine and EUBAM: expansion of the use of joint control on the Ukrainian-Moldovan border, cooperation on counteracting customs offenses and smuggling, and also the organization of joint control at all checkpoints. In addition, DFS of Ukraine and EUBAM in 2018 year will continue joint operational actions and special operations with the participation of international organizations (OLAF, SELEC, EUROPOL, FRONTEX), customs administrations of EU member states, Ukraine, Republic of Moldova. Particular attention will be paid to strengthening communication with law enforcement agencies of European countries and the exchange of intelligence about possible illegal and suspicious shipments, in particular, tobacco products and equipment for their production. Under the auspices of EUBAM, together with the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova and the Royal Tax and Customs Service of Great Britain, a special operation "ORBIS" was conducted in April 2017 aimed at identifying and stopping channels for the illegal movement of tobacco products. According to its results, 37 has been warned about cases of illegal movement of tobacco products in the amount of 494 440 pcs. Through the customs border of Ukraine. Cigarettes for the amount of 465 thousand UAH and removed 41 kg of tobacco costing more than 31 thousand UAH. Also, EUBAM organized and conducted a special operation under the code name "Navigator" (from 01.04.2017 to 30.04.2017) aimed at detecting and counteracting the illegal movement of weapons, ammunition, explosives, precursors of explosives, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials in Ukraine and Republic of Moldova. In the course of Navigator operation in Vinnitsa, Volyn, Zakarpattia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Odessa, and Chernivtsi DFS customs administrations took measures aimed at exposing channels of illegal movement of weapons, ammunition, explosives, precursors, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials . Yes, 36 was installed in such cases.

In addition, EUBAM and DFS have jointly developed a Strategy to counteract the illicit production and circulation of tobacco products for a period up to 2021 year, which was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in August 2017 year[34]. Among the main provisions of this Strategy is the improvement of legislation in the area of ​​combating the illicit circulation of tobacco products, the introduction of criminal liability for the illegal movement of tobacco products across the border of Ukraine, ensuring effective control over the movement of tobacco products, raw materials and production materials through the customs territory of Ukraine, strengthening cooperation with overseas and international institutions, associations of citizens, etc.

It should be noted that the implementation of effective customs policy, due to non-standard steps of the Government of Ukraine, directly affects the significant improvement of the economic situation in the regions and indirectly - to strengthen the above-mentioned "matrix of security". In particular, with 1 September 2015 year to January 1, 2017 year continued the so-called "road experiment" in Volyn, Lviv, Odessa, Chernivtsi regions and the city of Kiev[35]. The budgets of these oblasts received 50% of the proceeds from customs payments collected over the plan for the development of highways of state importance. As a result, 2017 billion UAH were sent to corresponding regional budgets and the budget of the capital in 2,8 year, which aimed at reconstruction and ongoing repair of highways. The list of objects financed from these revenues was approved by the oblast and Kyiv city state administrations in advance with the approval of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ukravtodor, the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Taking into account the positive results of the experiment, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to extend it to 2017 throughout the territory of Ukraine. To do this, in December 2016, the relevant changes were introduced into the Budget Code. Due to overloading by the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine with indications for ensuring customs revenues to the budget for 2017 year, within the framework of a customs experiment on the development of road infrastructure, 12 billion 312 million UAH should be sent. In particular, according to the results of last year among the leaders on the transfer of funds for the reconstruction of roads - Odesskaya Customs DFS, which sent 2 billion 350 million UAH, Kiev - 1 billion 884 million UAH, Lviv - 1 billion 115 million UAH ., Kyiv city - 1 billion 39 million UAH. and Donetsk customs - 1 billion 28 million UAH[36].

Another such step of the government in the field of customs regulation was the decision on the procedure for the inclusion of excise taxes on fuel to local budgets in 2018 year. 28 in February of this year The government passed a resolution[37], which approved the Procedure for enrollment in the 2018 of a portion of the excise tax on fuel produced in Ukraine and imported into the customs territory of Ukraine to the general fund of local self-government budgets. The procedure determines the principle of distribution of part of the excise tax and the mechanism for its enrollment. The document also approved the shares for the inclusion of excise taxes in the budgets of local self-government in the first half of the 2018 year in the context of all rural, urban and urban budgets. In the second half of the year 2018, the share of fuel excise duty will be determined taking into account the amount of sales of fuel for the first half of the year 2018 year[38].

Regarding the direct influence of the public on the activities of customs services in order to increase their efficiency, protect the customs interests of Ukraine and the customs security of the state, recently intensified direct communication of regional public organizations with customs authorities. In particular, an example of such communication is the meeting in December 2017 of a number of representatives of a number of NGOs in Lviv with Head of Lviv Customs DFS Vitaliy Cherkunov on corruption at the customs and alleged activities of organized criminal groups involved in smuggling[39]. The meeting was attended by representatives of the NGO "Slaves to Paradise not allowed", "Auto Euro Force", "Let's build Ukraine together", "Priority of law". During the meeting, activists said that organized criminal groups with the participation of customs officers, border guards and SBU employees are likely to work at a number of customs posts. In his turn, V.Cherkunov said that he takes into consideration the facts reported to representatives of public organizations regarding the lack of transparency or criminal activity of a number of customs officials, heads of change, as well as chief inspectors for the purpose of conducting the relevant investigation.

The activities of local NGOs to expose corruption and criminal schemes at customs can become a leading area in the formation of a new model for the functioning of the customs service in a context of decentralization. Corruption, smuggling, mafia groups, criminal organized groups are objectively threatening the security of communities that are just beginning their path to becoming. Moreover, in light of the abovementioned initiatives by the Government to transfer part of customs payments to local budgets, communities will try to prevent