SPAIN’s customs officials banned food and aid donated in a charity drive for the Philippines from entering Spain.

The emergency aid was due to be shipped from the port of Algeciras to the Red Cross in Manila.

But the departure of the 20-foot container packed with food, blankets, vitamins and drinking water was held up on the border in a red tape wrangle.

It will now be delayed until after Christmas, due to apparent problems with issuing certificates.

The container will now be collected directly from Gibraltar on December 29 at greater expense to the Maroc Atlas Gibraltar 4×4 group which organised the relief shipment, worth just over £600.

The Spanish Customs Authorities told freight company Redwood that only clothing, water and canned tomatoes would be allowed across the frontier because health certificates could not be issued due to the lack of facilities.

A spokesman for Madrid’s Customs and Excise department said that food was denied access into La Linea as the office there “is not enabled by European legislation for the importation of products intended for human or animal consumption”.


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