Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Hand-Me-Downs FORBIDDEN!

This place is just full of interesting little tidbits.

When we moved to China, we had no intentions to add another family member while abroad. And so, we left all of our baby gear in a basement in West Chicago. And then Annika came along, and she needs some baby gear.

We asked Dave's folks to throw it all into a few boxes and ship us all of our used baby items. A few crib sheets, some diapers, but primarily used clothing. We did our research, and found USPS to be the most affordable shipper. We all began to organize around this plan, and then quickly searched China's customs rules as a just-in-case.

Get a load of what we found on the Prohibitions list:
That's right - used clothing and bedding right alongside infectious biological substances and radioactive materials.

I did a little digging, because this could not possibly keep me from receiving my own baby clothes. Turns out we'll be fine, upon some good advice and background from a fellow Shanghai Mama.

Simple Instructions: label the contents as "personal items" rather than "used clothes and bedding." It is entirely true, and draws less attention.

Background: Apparently, China used to be an unwilling recipient of donated used clothing from other countries. It seems that in the 70's, loads of insect-ridden, tatty clothes were sent as donations to China causing loss of face. We can't have that - and so we have legislation.

As we say in Shanghai, T.I.C. (This Is China)!

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