News from Asociatia Neemia, April 2023

We in Horley continue to sort and pack dwindling donations of clothing. We continue with heavy hearts knowing that our efforts are not rewarding those our efforts are meant to help. The many who have supplied us with beautiful blankets from around the country, can be reassured that they will go somewhere else where they will be appreciated. We have the next lorry load in our warehouse ready to go. What we don’t have is a guarantee that the load will ever be accepted to unload. Every single box has been checked and complies with the current instructions from Romanian Customs. However in the past these rules can change even when the lorry is in transit. The future is in the balance. We have the potential to continue here in U.K. It is however in the hands of the Romanian authorities for how long.

In Swansea, we are in the process of revisiting boxes to check for conformity; back tracking is always a bit disappointing but we are not discouraged, trusting that in due course the things that we do send will be of benefit to their recipients. Sadly we have had to advise many of our supporters that much of what they have given previously is no longer acceptable.

It has been a difficult few weeks for the AN team in Dorohoi. Goods imported from the UK are now regarded as being sourced from outside of the EU and some stringent rules have been imposed. As with many EU directives, there is a degree of variation in how they are applied; in Romania, non-conformity with the local expectations can be very stressful and is usually expensive.

Prominent amongst the new rules are those which govern what types of goods we can distribute and what level of taxation they will now incur. One of the rulings is that we can no longer import hand-knitted items. These are considered to be new items and therefore need labels and documentation that we cannot obtain. We know that this will be a particular disappointment to the ladies and gentlemen of our knitting groups, and we take this opportunity to thank you for all your efforts up to now.

The ingredients of items such as toothpaste, soap and sanitizer, need to be labelled, in Romanian. This makes these items impractical for us.
More details are on our website, on the ‘Items for Romania’ page.

There are also stricter definitions of those who can benefit from our donations; individuals can be registered as beneficiaries but organisations such as churches, schools and other charities which have their own legal identity will be subject to extra scrutiny.

On a more positive note, we have received sponsorship for the purchase in Romania of fleece blankets; these are suitable for use during the Spring and we have started giving them to young mums and families with small children. In addition, we do still have a good stock of the heavier knitted blankets which are more suitable for older people.

Previous month’s news, March 2023

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