At a session of the Emergency Situations HQ of the Republic of Serbia, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić was explicit in stating that there must not be any misuse of aid.
“Every type of assistance and every dinar coming from home or abroad must be accounted for and there must not be a single instance of misuse.”
First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić called on all those living abroad who wish to help to contact Serbia’s consular offices in their countries.
“Our people and those abroad are not so foolish as to give aid for it to be misused,” said Mr. Vučić, adding that a large amount of aid had arrived from individuals and organizations at home and abroad, as well as from a number of countries.
Speaking to the competent ministers, Kori Udovički, Lazar Krstić and Dušan Vujović, Mr. Vučić urged them to ensure transparency in their work.
“Not a single dinar is to be misused, and to hear of an individual allegedly taking something in the name of the government is unacceptable. We must account for all spending to the people – it must be clear where the funds are going and what they are being used for”, said Vučić.
First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić said that coordination with diplomatic and consular offices was required.
“If you want to send aid from abroad, please contact the Consulate of the Republic of Serbia in your respective country for the necessary certificates”, said Minster Dačić.
Humanitarian aid coming from abroad should be announced via our consular offices so that it can enter the country unhindered through cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, the customs authorities and the Ministry of Finance, said Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić.
The receipt of humanitarian aid is regulated by a clearly defined customs procedure and a harmonized procedure which prescribes how such goods are to be handled at border crossings and within the Republic of Serbia.
Following Minister Dačić’s inquiry at the session of the Emergency Situations HQ of the Republic of Serbia, the Customs Administration of the Republic of Serbia has eased the procedure for receiving humanitarian aid.
“Only a brief list and description of the incoming goods with a specification is required. We have already sent directives to all customs offices to prioritize the humanitarian aid procedure. Accordingly, it is enough for a vehicle to arrive and our colleagues will immediately set to work and the vehicle will very quickly, without any hindrances, enter the customs area and arrive at its destination”, said Customs Administration Assistant Director Veselin Milošević.
The key piece of information is that everyone sending humanitarian aid to Serbia with no specific recipient should direct the aid to the Terminal Beograd (Belgrade Terminal) customs office.
This way the aid will reach those who need it most as the aid will be forwarded from Belgrade Terminal to the final destination after the required procedure has been completed. Please note that Red Cross representatives and Ministry of Interior and customs employees are present round-the-clock (24 hours) at the Belgrade Terminal customs office.
We urge all those who are involved in the customs procedure, freight forwarders and drivers to have patience so as to avoid disorganization and agitation.
We are also joining government appeals to humanitarian aid providers to try to find out which type of aid is most needed by those affected and where it should be sent, so aid can be delivered in a coordinated and continuous manner for the benefit of affected citizens.