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Customs Regulations
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This page has some information about the Belize Customs regulations...
 

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Customs Regulations

Entry and Documentation...

The Belize Customs Service requires the following documentation for entry of imports:

  • Import Permit
  • Commercial invoice
  • Bill of Lading or Air Waybill
  • Packing List (for efficiency)
  • Certificate of Origin (if required)
  • Health and Sanitary Certificates (if required)
  • Fumigation Certificate (for imports of vehicles and aircraft
  • CUSTOMER MUST BE PRESENT FOR CUSTOMS CLEARANCE
  • Used household goods and personal effects imported duty-free if owned and used for a minimum of one year
  • Belize nationals must have been out of the country for at least one year to be entitled to duty-free entry of household goods and personal effects
  • Items must arrive within six months of owner's arrival

DUTIABLE/RESTRICTED ITEMS

  • New items (less than one year old) are dutiable and purchase invoice required
  • New items that are duty-free include: refrigerators, computers, stoves and most sports items

MOTOR VEHICLES

  • Autos are examined by Customs for valuation depending on their condition and year of manufacture
  • Ownership papers required
  • Duties applicable
  • Boats require Import Permit (Permit is very difficult to obtain for boats made of wood)

Tariff Classification...

Tariff classification is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System generally referred to as the Harmonized System.

Valuation...

The Belize Customs Service generally uses the original commercial invoices and product catalogs to determine the value of goods coming into the country.

Tariff Ranges...

The basic import tariff, based on the CARICOM common external tariff, ranges from 5% to 35% and by 1998 the maximum rate will fall to 20%.

Other Import Charges...

In addition, there is a 14% stamp duty and a variable revenue replacement duty.

Temporary Entry...

The Belize Customs Service provides for temporary entry or transit of certain items into Belize providing the products are re-exported. The products must not be modified or transformed while in the country.

Free Trade Zones and Warehouses...

Belize has legislation that enables companies to operate within special and general export processing zones (EPZs) in the country. Special EPZs are enclosed one factory operations and general EPZs are enclosed multi-factory operations.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Labeling, Marking, and Packaging Requirements...

Legislation concerning labeling or marking requirements of locally produced or imported goods is still in the drafting stage.

Technical Standards...

The government generally accepts goods that have already satisfied the exporting country's product standards and requirements.

Restricted or Prohibited Products...

Certain goods are prohibited unless they originate from CARICOM states. The list includes: peanut butter, jam, jellies, matches, pasta, beans, rice, wheat flour, and pepper sauce. Beans and rice, like many other locally produced agricultural products, are not allowed to be imported from any country

INCENTIVES

Tariff Preferences...

Belize enjoys preferential tariff treatment (duty-free access) to the U.S. market for certain products under the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The major products exempt from CBI preferences are textiles, apparel, watches and petroleum products. Most exports enter duty free into the EU market under the Lome Convention. Belize's exports receive reduced tariffs into Canada as a member of the Commonwealth.

CUSTOMS CONTACT

Customs Department
P.O. Box 146
Belize City, Belize
Phone: 02-77405, 02-77015, 02-77092

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