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HOW CAN YOU SEND HUMANITARIAN AID FROM ABROAD AS A CITIZEN?

 

  

It is very important to denote WHO sends the goods (DONOR) and who is the RECIPIENT. We recommend that, unless goods are sent to a recipient specified in advance, the sender denote the recipient is RED CROSS OF SERBIA.

 

These shipments can be exported with obligatory submission of the inventory off goods, namely the specifications of goods (which must state what kind of goods is in the cargo and its approximate quantity)

 

It is necessary to submit  a verified statement of a donor (personal statement can be verified in a nearby Diplomatic and Consular Office, in Red Cross, in some of religious communities, in some of associations of our citizens in that country or by a lawyer)

 

One should not forget that goods sent as humanitarian aid are most typically subject to necessary inspection by some of the relevant inspection services (sanitary, phytosanitary, veterinary) or it requires special approval from relevant Ministry or Medicines and Medical Devices Agency.

 

Unfortunately, inspection services are not available at all border crossing points, so waiting for approval of the aid can be caused by that fact and not by inefficiency of customs service. For that reason, one should pay special attention to where and in what intervals the mentioned inspection services are on duty in order to avoid additional waiting. Following links provide information on that subject

 

http://www.carina.rs/cyr/Stranice/Vest.aspx?ListItemID=794

 

 

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HOW CAN YOU SEND HUMANITARIAN AID FROM ABROAD AS AN ORGANIZATION?

 

 

It is recommended that the sender submit export customs declaration in the country of dispatch or in any of EU member countries which is in the direction of dispatch for the purpose faster completion of customs procedure.

 

1. Shipments that humanitarian organizations registered in some of EUI member countries send to recipients in Serbia

 

  • it is necessary to submit customs declaration for export: :

 

Humanitarian organizations with headquarters in some of EU member countries can submit the declaration for export in the home country or in any other of EU member countries.

 

2. Shipments sent by other legal persons (associations of citizens, companies, organizations, churches, clubs, etc.) from the EU to recipients in Serbia

  • it is necessary to submit customs declaration for export:

    :

  Declaration for export can be submitted in home country or in any other EU member country. If a legal person sends humanitarian shipment on his own behalf, an invoice or the statement that it is a gratis shipment of humanitarian aid with inventory of goods must be submitted with the declaration for export.

 

3. Shipments sent by diplomacy representative offices to recipients in Serbia  

 

  • it is necessary to submit customs declaration for export:

 

The declaration for export can be submitted in any of member states and it is necessary to submit along with the declaration the inventory of goods or the confirmation that it is a shipment of humanitarian aid which can be signed or verified by Diplomatic and Consular Office of the Republic of Serbia in the country from which the aid is sent.

 

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NECESSARY INSPECTION OF HUMANITARIAN AID

 

   

It is recommended that the sender submit export customs declaration in the country of dispatch or in any of EU member countries which is in the direction of dispatch for the purpose faster completion of customs procedure.

1. Shipments that humanitarian organizations registered in some of EUI member countries send to recipients in Serbia

  • it is necessary to submit customs declaration for export:

Humanitarian organizations with headquarters in some of EU member countries can submit the declaration for export in the home country or in any other of EU member countries.

2. Shipments sent by other legal persons (associations of citizens, companies, organizations, churches, clubs, etc.) from the EU to recipients in Serbia

  • it is necessary to submit customs declaration for export:

Declaration for export can be submitted in home country or in any other EU member country. If a legal person sends humanitarian shipment on his own behalf, an invoice or the statement that it is a gratis shipment of humanitarian aid with inventory of goods must be submitted with the declaration for export.

3. Shipments sent by diplomacy representative offices to recipients in Serbia

  • it is necessary to submit customs declaration for export:

The declaration for export can be submitted in any of member states and it is necessary to submit along with the declaration the inventory of goods or the confirmation that it is a shipment of humanitarian aid which can be signed or verified by Diplomatic and Consular Office of the Republic of Serbia in the country from which the aid is sent.

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NECESSARY INSPECTION OF HUMANITARIAN AID

Goods sent as humanitarian aid are most typically subject to necessary inspection by some of the relevant inspection services (sanitary, phytosanitary, veterinary) or it requires special approval from relevant Ministry or Medicines and Medical Devices Agency).

Unfortunately, inspection services are not available at all border crossing points, so waiting for approval of the aid can be caused by that fact and not by inefficiency of customs service. For that reason, one should pay special attention to where and in what intervals the mentioned inspection services are on duty in order to avoid additional waiting. Following links provide information on that subject

 

http://www.carina.rs/cyr/Stranice/Vest.aspx?ListItemID=794

 

Contacts of stated inspection services:

 

SANITARY INSPECTION - 011/ 3115 779 (working hours 07:30 AM-10:00 PM)

PHITOSANITARY INSPECTION– 011/ 3117 779

VETERINARY INSPECTION- 011/ 3117-272 (working hours 08:30 AM-4:30 PM)

MEDICINES AND MEDICAL DEVICES AGENCY - 011/ 3951 125

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING IMPORT OF FOOD:

 

Food and animal feed are subject to inspection pursuant to Food Safety Law (“The Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia”, No 41/2009). Following aforementioned Law, food is divided by origin and jurisdictions of inspections are divided too in accordance with that division.

 

· food of animal origin  - veterinary border inspection

· food of plant origin – phytosanitary safety inspection for safety of food and animal feed of plant and mixed origin;

· mixed food which contains ingredients of plant and animal origin – veterinary border inspection and phytosanitary inspection for safety of food and animal feed of plant and mixed origin;

· food of neither plant nor animal origin (mineral substances, salt) – sanitary inspection;

 

1) Food of animal origin pursuant to the Order on specifying border crossing points for import and transit of shipments and accompanying subjects which are subject to veterinary sanitary inspection (“The Official Gazette of the RS”, No 14/2011 – hereinafter the Order) can be imported only across the following border-crossing points

 

• when transported by means of railroad transport: Vršac, Dimitrovgrad, Subotica, Šid, Preševo (Ristovac) and Prijepolje;

• when transported by means of road transport: Vatin, Gradina, Horgoš, Batrovci, Sremska Rača, Mali Zvornik (Novi most), Preševo and Gostun;

• when transported by means of river transport: Veliko Gradište and Bezdan;

• when transported by means of air transport: Belgrade

Concerning information provided by Veterinary Administration, the following border crossing points are open 24 hours a day: 

 

• Batrovci

• Horgoš

• Preševo

 

2) Control of food of plant origin and partially food of mixed origin is enforced in the hinterland of the Republic of Serbia and accordingly it can be imported across any of border crossing points (e.g. biscuits, chocolate, juice, etc.)

 

Exception from this rule is a situation in which food is subject to inspection by phytosanitary border inspection, in accordance with the Plant Health Law (“The Official Gazette of the RS”, No 41/2009). For example, fresh fruit and vegetables, flour, rice, etc. In that case, food of plant origin can be imported only across border crossing points which are stated in the Order on specifying border crossing points over which shipments containing plants, plant products and prescribed objects can be imported, transported and exported (“The Official Gazette of the RS, No 107/2009) because food control must be enforced in accordance with the Plant Health Law too. This food, which is subject to control by two inspections, can be imported only across following border crossing points:

 

• by means of railroad transport: Vršac, Dimitrovgrad, Subotica, Ristovac, Šid, Kikinda, Prijepolje and Brasina;

 

• by means of road transport: Vatin, Gradina, Horgoš, Preševo, Mali Zvornik – Novi most, Sremska Rača, Kotroman, Batrovci, Bogojevo and Gostun;

 

• by means of river transport: Veliko Gradište and Bezdan;

 

• by means of air transport: Belgrade;

 

• Post parcels of plants and plant products can be imported, transported and exported only across following border crossing points: Belgrade, Niš and Novi Sad

Concerning information provided by Administration for Plant Protection, the following border crossing points are open 24 hours a day: 

 

• Batrovci

• Horgoš

• Preševo

 

3) For mixed food which contains ingredients of plant and animal origin if it is subject to control by veterinary border inspection, the procedure stated in the article 1) is applied, but if it is subject to control of phytosanitary inspection for safety of food and animal feed of plant and mixed origin, the procedure stated in the article 2) is applied.

 

4) Inspection of food which is of neither plant nor animal origin (e.g. drinking water in original packaging, salt for human consumption, dietary products, baby food – substitution for mother’s milk, etc.), which is conducted by sanitary inspection, is enforced in the hinterland of the Republic of Serbia and accordingly can be imported across any of border crossing points.

 

IMPORT OF MEDICINES:

 

Certain medicines and medical devices can lose their properties if transported in inadequate way. Despite all possible facilities in customs procedure, sensitive goods must be inspected so it should not happen that they cause problems instead of helping vulnerable citizens. Potential donors of medicines and medical devices should pay additional attention to the Instruction prepared for donors by the Ministry of Health - http://www.carina.rs/cyr/Zakoni/Uputstvo%20donatorima%20lekova%20i%20medicinskih%20sredstava.pdf 

 

Approval by Medicine and Medical Devices Agency is necessary for import of medicines (contact telephone 011/ 3951 125).

 

LIST OF GOODS WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO PHYTOSANITARY INSPECTION:

 

http://www.carina.rs/cyr/Zakoni/Fito%20bezbednost%20hrane%2017%2003%202014.pdf

 

LIST OF GOODS WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO VETERINARY-SANITATY INSPECTION:

 

http://www.carina.rs/cyr/Zakoni/Veterinarski%20spisak%2017%2003%202014.pdf

 

LIST OF GOODS WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO SANITARY INSPECTION:

 

http://www.carina.rs/cyr/Zakoni/Zdravstveno%20sanitarna%20inspekcija%2001%2001%202014.pdf

 

NOTE:

CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS THAT DONORS AVOID SENDING MEDICINES AND USED FOOTWEAR DUE TO LONG PROCEDURE OF OBTAINING APPROVAL BY RELEVANT INSTITUTIONS

 

 

LIST OF DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR OFFICES OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA ABROAD

 

 

Customs Administration of the Republic of Serbia appeals to people and organizations all over Europe to take into consideration what kind of goods they send to Serbia and in what way they do it. Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia recommends that they consult Serbian diplomatic and consular office in the country of the exporter before sending the aid.

 

  IMPORTANT NOTE: Certificate that is provided by diplomatic and consular offices DOES NOT acquit goods from necessary inspection controls (sanitary, phytosanitary, veterinary)! Those controls must be conducted in order to protect health and safety of citizens.

 

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RIGHTS OF RECIPIENTS OF AID

 

   

We underline that Law on Donations and Humanitarian Aid presupposes that the recipient of the donation and humanitarian aid is exempt from paying customs, other import charges and taxes which are paid for import of goods which is the subject of the donation and humanitarian aid. Customs procedure is therefore enforced in a regular procedure (by submitting customs declaration). The law prescribes that state services, units of local self-government, public enterprises, public institutions, other organizations and communities which are not profit makers as well as local and foreign humanitarian organizations can receive donations and humanitarian aid. For the purpose of using privileges stipulated by that Law, the recipient of the donation and humanitarian aid, with the request for exemption, submits the following to the customs office:

 

1. donor’s statement, namely the statement of the donor of humanitarian aid which proves that goods are sent free of any charge,

 

2. statement that the goods will be used for humanitarian, scientific, education, cultural,  sports, religious and artistic purposes, for improving citizens’ living conditions and health care, environment protection, etc.;

 

3. statement from the registry or any other evidence that it deals with some of aforementioned activities (this evidence is not submitted by state service and services of local self-government units). In accordance with the submitted request, the customs office makes the decision.

 

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SITUATION ON BORDER CROSSING POINTS

 

  

We inform all citizens that since May 30th 2014 operations have been normalized on all border crossing points within Šabac Customs Office.

It is recommended that, before starting to any of border crossing points, you pay attention to information provided by Automobile and Motorcycle Association of Serbia about situation on roads considering the fact that some roads are impassable due to landslides:

  

http://www.amss.org.rs/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=544%3Aspisak-neprohodnih-puteva-zbog-izlivanja-reka-i-poplava&catid=67%3Avesti&Itemid=90

 

  

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CONTACTS

 

  

 

Telephone number  for information regarding storing and customs clearance of humanitarian aid shipments dispatched to Belgrade Terminal

 

011/2109.2649.264 and it is available from 08.00 AM to 08.00 PM.

 

Citizens and organizations can be provided with all necessary information about customs procedures regarding import of humanitarian aid by the Assistant Manager of the Customs Administration, Mr Veselin Milošević. Contact telephones are:

 

+381 (0)11 20 15 920;

 

+381 (0)11 26 90 822

and

+381 (0) 64 858 21 45

 

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APPEAL FOR PATIENCE

  

 

Customs Administration appeals once again to citizens who send humanitarian aid as well as to participants in customs procedure that they be patient during customs formalities considering import of humanitarian aid.

It is necessary to enforce minimum prescribed customs procedure not because we insist on formalities but for the sake of protecting the already vulnerable citizens who have lost everything,

Humanitarian disaster would be even bigger if some of vulnerable citizens receive inadequate humanitarian aid – spoiled food or medicines.

Therefore we appeal to all people of good will to get informed first about what kind of aid is necessary, what customs procedures must be conducted and what border crossing points are available for sending aid.

Customs Administration has started telephones for information +381(0)11 20 15 920, +381(0)11 26 90 822 and +381(0)64 858 21 45, so citizens and organizations can find all information and instructions considering import on the website of Customs Administration www.upravacarina.rs, as well as in Diplomatic and consular offices of the Republic of Serbia worldwide.

 

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          SIX BIGGEST MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT HUMANITARIAN AID IMPORT

 

 

 

  1. The certificate obtained in diplomatic-consular offices EXEMPTS the goods from obligatory checking by the inspection services (sanitary, phytosanitary, veterinarian)! - FALSE

Humanitarian aid is exempted from the customs DUTY only, but must pass the customs clearance, which implies that sensitive goods must have certificate from relevant inspection services, guaranteeing it is safe for use and does not pose a threat to citizens’ health and safety.

 

  1. Humanitarian aid must enter the country FAST and WITHOUT INSPECTION! - FALSE

Sensitive goods, such as food, water and medical supplies must pass adequate inspection, as humanitarian disaster could be even greater if any of the affected citizens received “help” that could affect their health.

 

  1. Humanitarian aid CAN enter the country on any border checkpoint! - FALSE

Unfortunately, inspection services are not present on all border checkpoints, so if humanitarian aid arrives to some of these checkpoints, it will HAVE TO be directed to some other checkpoint where inspection services are present. Redirecting to another checkpoint and waiting for confirmation of the inspection service TAKES additional time. This is why attention must be paid to where and during what period the mentioned inspection services work, so as to avoid additional waiting:

http://www.carina.rs/cyr/Stranice/Vest.aspx?ListItemID=794

 

  1. Sanitary, phytosanitary, and veterinarian inspections are part of customs services! - FALSE

Several state services work on border crossings, and customs service is only one of them. Before sending a complaint on Customs Administration’s work, it is necessary that the party involved in the procedure be informed about WHAT service caused the delay or problem. Customs officer can by no means let pass the goods without appropriate inspection service’s confirmation on its safety.

 

  1. Formalities related to humanitarian aid import are FINISHED at the border crossing! - FALSE

Formalities on border crossings are solved quickly, but the goods must be sent to a customs unit in the country’s mainland for inspection. Such a procedure is necessary in order to avoid crowding and to provide for the best conditions for detailed inspection. The vehicle is sent directly to a specifically determined internal customs unit and its driver MUST NOT self-initiatively drive to any other place, nor miss the determined deadline of maximum 72 hours for reaching the destination customs unit.

 

  1. Goods intended for sale CAN be registered as humanitarian aid, or be smuggled with the humanitarian aid! - FALSE

It is a misconception that the inspection of goods is more difficult due to the intensified goods inflow, as customs service now operates ten mobile and one stationary scanner which enable detection of every detail in the cargo. Also, customs officers are authorised to carry out in-depth controls in the mainland, as well as additional check-ups of already controlled goods, while in coordination with other authorities – the police, trade inspection and the justice department makes the actions significantly more efficient.

 

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