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Director of Newsweek Romania Stopped at the Border by Moldovan Customs Inspectors and was Found to have 250 Copies of the Magazine: ‘It’s a Stalinist Attitude!’— Explanations of the Customs Service

21 June 2018
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The Moldovan customs inspectors stopped Sabin Orcan, Director of Newsweek Romania, from bringing to Chisinau 250 copies of different issues of the magazine because the journalist did not have the required supporting documentation. The Customs Service reported that that many magazines were rated as a commercial lot, in which case, the customs inspector acted in line with the law. Sabin Orcan called this incident at Leuseni border crossing point a ‘stalinist attitude’.

The journalist told us that when he took along the 250 copies of Newsweek (50 copies of 5 issues), he never thought he won’t be able to cross the border because of them since he previously crossed it several times as coordinator of ‘Adevarul’ Newspaper from Moldova.
Sabin Orcan specified that he had shown the customs inspector his press card and his ID card of Director of Newsweek Romania and had explained that he had had no intention of selling them, but of only handing them out to friends at the ‘Private Investment Ecosystem and Smart Marketing’ Conference in Chisinau.

Sabin Orcan speaking at the conference in Chisinau about his experience at the Moldovan border. Photo source:

After having browsed through a few magazines, the customs inspector did not let him take the magazines along. ‘This whole adventure lasted for about an hour. I left the magazines in Romania, at a gas station, and went back again to the border to come at this conference. When I was back again, after having left the magazines behind, they checked me again. Another gentleman wanted to make sure I hadn’t hidden some magazines away. I find this blatantly shocking. It’s a stalinist attitude...’ told Orcan
The representatives of the Customs Service of Moldova confirmed that Sabin Orcan was indeed prohibited from carrying across the border 250 copies of Newsweek Romania. The Head of Public Relations Unit, Cristina Rau, explained Media-azi portal that the customs inspector acted in line with the law. ‘The quantity of 250 copies of the magazine, shown during the customs inspection, fall under the definition of a commercial lot. Article 5 of the Law on Goods Brought Into and Taken Out of the Territory of the Republic of Moldova by Individuals provides that the goods to be used for commercial or production purposes, shall be declared under the import customs regime only by legal entities. The gentleman introduced himself as an individual.’, explained Cristina Rau.
According to Cristina Rau, the journalist should have had an invoice, transport documents and other permits required for bringing to Moldova the 250 copies of its magazine.    
Sabin Orcan was manager of the ‘Adevarul Moldova’ project.