In 8 months, USAID ERA advances with the modernization of Ukraine’s border crossing points  

BCP Renovation and Reconstruction
18 April 2024

 Between 2023-2026, USAID, through the Economic Resilience Activity (ERA), is dedicating $115 million, through memorandums of understanding  with the Ministry for Restoration , State Agency for Restoration and Development of Infrastructure of Ukraine, Ukrainian Railways and State Customs Service, to support upgrading of border crossing points (BCPs) to improve grain trade and export volumes, and other critical infrastructure. 

“Ministry for Communities, Territories, and Infrastructure Development is working to increase export routes and develop transport links between Ukraine and the European Union. In cooperation with USAID ERA, work is already underway on the border crossing points, which includes the necessary modernization of both the checkpoints and the related infrastructure. Stable and regular exports contribute to the economic recovery of Ukraine, and thus the defense capability of our country,” commented Oleksandr Kubrakov, Vice Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine, Minister of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine.

“USAID ERA is working on upgrading 42 border crossing points on Ukraine’s western borders, which include railway and road BCPs, and we have already visited 20 roads and 7 railway BCPs as part of these efforts. These priority BCPs are crucial for Ukrainian exports and require improvement to create new export routes. We started with the rapid upgrade of the highest priority BCPs, i.e., we commenced with what could be replaced quickly, ordering products or services from Ukrainian manufacturers and contractors and facilitating exports already. At the same time, we signed a contract with Miyamoto International Ukraine, which is working on the design for the reconstruction of old cargo terminals and the construction of new cargo terminals at several BCPs. After 8 months of work, I’m proud to say that we have good results to show.”– Cameron Berkuti, ERA Border Crossing Point (BCP) Director.

USAID ERA contractor Artmetal Ukraine has completed the installation of a total of 33 modular structures or prefabricated buildings (prefabs) at four high-priority road BCPs. In the Volyn region, bordering Poland, 10 prefabs (4 sanitary modules and 6 offices) were installed. Ten (2 restrooms, 4 administrative buildings, and 4 offices), and 11 (7 offices, 3 passport control facilities, and 1 canopy for weighing scales) were installed at two BCPs in the Zakarpattia region on the border with Slovakia and Hungary, respectively. In the Chernivtsi region, two prefabs were installed for use as restrooms. Each module is fully insulated, furnished, equipped with HVAC systems, and connected to utilities – electricity, water, and network – providing good working conditions to the State Customs and Border Guard Services of Ukraine, and comfortable restroom facilities for travelers. 

“A total of 29 state border crossing points are under the responsibility of the Agency for Restoration. Their modernization is an important task, as it will allow us to speed up the movement of cargo, as well as make the movement of drivers and passengers more comfortable. We are grateful to USAID and the American people for their sustained and comprehensive support of Ukraine and the Agency for Restoration in particular,” said Mustafa Nayyem, Head of the Agency for Restoration. 

Simultaneously, USAID ERA contractors have begun repairing damaged pavements, stormwater slotted drains, and canopy cover over the checkpoints, painting the rail barriers and metal fence, replacement of traffic lane lines, markings, and traffic signs, replacing lighting systems to improve safety and security at these four priority BCPs.  

These BCPs, as well as several others, also received various small-scale installations, such as water-filled road barricades, recycling trash bins, and one-ton commodity scales.  

At six priority BCPs, 12 mobile dynamic vehicle scales have been installed, which can be easily moved to the places where they are most needed at the BCPs, minimizing the need to redirect trucks to stationary weighing stations. They are vital and versatile equipment that can be used for various vehicles and cargoes, providing flexibility in handling different weighing requirements. 

By the end of May 2024, USAID ERA will complete the improvement of lighting systems at 17 road and rail BCPs. The work involves installing a total of 875 lamps, 310 of which have been installed at six BCPs so far in 2024. In December 2023, 479 LED lamps were installed at two BCPs, significantly boosting illumination at nighttime and enhancing security. 

To meet UZ’s needs, USAID ERA delivered a total of 103 ICT equipment and other supporting materials, which include multifunctional devices (MFD), printers, laptops, computers, notebooks, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), as well as installed four 50-KW diesel generators at four rail BCPs located in the Volyn, Lviv, Zakarpattia, and Chernivtsi regions. This will ensure the continuity of daily operations during power outages and speed up the processing of shipping documents, including when transporting grain cargo abroad.    

At the BCP in the Chernivtsi region, the installation of the three sets of three bogie exchange lifts each has been completed, which has the capacity to lift wagons weighing over 100 tons. These jacks are an effective way to replace bogies with wide gauge wheelsets (1,535 mm) with European gauge wheelsets (1,420 mm) and vice versa, which contributes to the accuracy of technological processes related to the rearrangement of cars and, accordingly, to the efficiency of cargo transportation by rail between Ukraine and the European Union. 

“The logistics and export of grain and other essential agro-commodities from Ukraine under the current conditions are a challenge for the state, agribusinesses, and farmers. USAID’s ERA stands with Ukraine’s government and people, providing vital support that helps advance Ukraine’s economy because robust, dynamic, and inclusive economic recovery is critical to Ukraine’s future. At ERA, we believe supporting critical infrastructure such as border crossing points is vital to these economic recovery efforts.” – says Timothy Madigan, ERA Chief of Party.

Background: USAID’s Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) is one of USAID’s core partners implementing the $350 million Agriculture Resilience Initiative – Ukraine (AGRI-Ukraine) that was established in 2022 to bolster Ukrainian agricultural exports and alleviate the global food security crisis exacerbated by the war. Under AGRI-Ukraine, ERA partners with public and private companies to complement and leverage urgently needed grain transportation and transshipment investments. 

ERA also directly supports the Government of Ukraine, including the Ministry for Restoration (MoR), the State Agency for Restoration and Development of Infrastructure of Ukraine (SARDI), the State Customs Service, and Ukrainian Railways, to upgrade 42 of Ukraine’s border crossing points (BCPs). Modern and more efficient border infrastructure and customs procedures will reduce export costs and increase export capacity, enabling Ukraine to scale trade and advance its path to EU integration.