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#360161 - 12/04/09 06:39 PM Bringing beef into Belize question
Bwana Offline
Hi all!

I am flying in for my 4th visit with my wife in Feb. When I was there last year, I ran into a couple of guys that own a fishing/dive shop that want to trade some Montana steaks for some fishing trips.

The problem is, I have no idea if it's legal to bring in beef or not. Does anyone know if this is ok and are there any special steps that need to be taken?

Cheers,

Greg

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#360211 - 12/04/09 09:19 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Bwana]
dabunk Online   content
You used to be allowed but rules changed. Not allowed now.

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#360245 - 12/05/09 09:42 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: dabunk]
Katie Valk Offline
Contact BAHA for a permit to import 20 lbs. or less
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Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
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#360387 - 12/06/09 12:58 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Katie Valk]
Bwana Offline
Many thanks! I just sent out a few emails to the BAHA for clarification.

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#360617 - 12/08/09 09:55 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Bwana]
Neil D Offline
Hey Greg:
We are going down to Ambergris Caye for our first visit in Feb. That's a good idea about taking some beef steaks down. Post what you find out about the regulations re: beef import, as we have a ranch here in Canada as well, maybe trade some beef for lobster, or have a steak / lobster feast.. who knows maybe we'll go fishin together....

Lookin forward to the trip to AC as it's -34 C here in Saskatchewan this morning, Not sure what that is in F, but there is definately frost on the pumpkins..

Neil

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#360648 - 12/08/09 01:58 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Neil D]
TravelinMan1 Offline
Tell them that you only eat kocher food and that is why you bring it with you. Keep a few extra steaks to payoff hungry Customs people or bring a pair of size 10.5 Nikes in the box. either way you should be okay. Oh and you can always say that you have a transplant organ in the cooler.

When you live here it is nice to have a USDA or Canadian beef steak every so often but come on what you can't live without for a week or two?

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#360652 - 12/08/09 02:52 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: TravelinMan1]
legendsburger Offline
The best way is to get a permit in the city for your next trip, so when you come back you already have everything you need
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#360685 - 12/08/09 07:34 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: legendsburger]
Bwana Offline
I shot out emails to 4 different people at the BAHA and didn't get anything back. frown

Neil: I'll let you know, when/if I hear something back. What dates are you going to be down there?

Does anyone know someone at the BAHA? I had a feeling this would take sometime, which is why I'm starting early.

I guess if I have to 10.5 Nike shoes it is, or I go invest in a hat and start telling wild west stories when I fly in. wink


Edited by Bwana (12/08/09 08:02 PM)

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#360717 - 12/09/09 01:38 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Bwana]
Neil D Offline
We're getting into Belize Feb 10th , but I think it is a couple days later before we get to AC. Then on AC for about a week.
Neil

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#360718 - 12/09/09 02:24 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Neil D]
seashell Offline
Neil, how do you plan on keeping that beef in good condition before you get to AC? Would you be packing it in a cooler?

I've never taken down any beef, but with no cooler, I've taken down cheddar cheese and packaged meats (long ago). Starting frozen, I could keep it cold just about long enough to make it to AC and then quickly into the fridge.
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#360724 - 12/09/09 06:38 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: seashell]
TravelinMan1 Offline
Honestly I just don't get it. You all are telling me that you can't leave the US or Canada for a week or two without having to take Cheese or cold cuts with you?

I like cheese as much as the next guy and most likely more than any of you, but get a grip. Maybe I misunderstand and this meat and food thing is code of some sort for contraband items?

How the heck are you ever going to get the full experience of Belize unless you eat crappy beef and over priced cheese. Live like the natives for a week or two. Also I would say that the pork and chicken here in Belize is actually better then most of what you get around the US and Canada I have also heard that the Beef from Gallon Jug is not bad.

Give it a chance.

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#360728 - 12/09/09 07:51 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: TravelinMan1]
Diane Campbell Offline
Josh said a mouthful and I agree.

The bad press incomers get is that they apparently want to be here but on the other hand some folks don't appear to respect what being here really means. If I came to your house for dinner and brought my own food would you feel insulted or at least a little bewildered about why I bothered to come at all? Maybe.

Travel light, bring an open heart and leave with delicious memories --- forget the beef.

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#360745 - 12/09/09 09:58 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: seashell]
Bwana Offline
As I stated in the first post in the thread, I am trading the beef, not eating it down there. Beef in exchange for fishing trips.

The guy that owns the fishing business likes good steak, I love to fish, so it's a win/win. On a side note, we love the food down there and that's all we will be eating.

The only problem is, I have yet to get an email back from the BAHA explaining what I need to do to make it happen. smile

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#360779 - 12/09/09 11:44 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Bwana]
seashell Offline
Sigh. As for my post, it was supposed to say "long ago". I don't do that anymore.
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#360886 - 12/09/09 08:39 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: seashell]
Neil D Offline
yea transporting it can be tricky, I doubt I will take it this time as we're going to be in Belize City for a couple days before AC. I went to Costa Rica back in 1995, and took some steaks down to some missionary friends, started with steaks frozen like rocks, and they were starting to thaw by the time we arrived in San Jose. That worked ok, but that was back in 95, not sure what they think if they found it in your luggage today. What are your connections like from Montana? And how long are you in transit ? I'm sure your meat would be good for 12 hours or so, but put in an good plastic bag, or better double bag it so you don't mess up your speedo's.

Neil

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#361156 - 12/12/09 10:30 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Neil D]
Bwana Offline
Originally Posted By: Neil D
yea transporting it can be tricky, I doubt I will take it this time as we're going to be in Belize City for a couple days before AC. I went to Costa Rica back in 1995, and took some steaks down to some missionary friends, started with steaks frozen like rocks, and they were starting to thaw by the time we arrived in San Jose. That worked ok, but that was back in 95, not sure what they think if they found it in your luggage today. What are your connections like from Montana? And how long are you in transit ? I'm sure your meat would be good for 12 hours or so, but put in an good plastic bag, or better double bag it so you don't mess up your speedo's.

Neil


Speedos? *SNICKER* I think if I dawned a pair of Speedos, my wife would make me sleep on the front lawn of the hotel.

I plan to freeze it and put it in a cooler. I have to over night in Houston. I still have yet to hear back from any of the four people I emailed. I think I'm going to put the guide on it, to see if he can get any information. So far it's like hitting a brick wall.

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#361170 - 12/12/09 12:08 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Bwana]
JZB Offline
Front lawn? *snicker*

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#361205 - 12/12/09 06:03 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: JZB]
Bwana Offline
Originally Posted By: JZB
Front lawn? *snicker*


Yes, JZB, The front lawn of the Belize Yacht Club to be exact. (or would that be the back lawn) Either way, not a good thing. smile

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#361206 - 12/12/09 06:27 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Bwana]
seashell Offline
Bwana, if you have to overnight in Houston, depending on which hotel you choose, of course, it is very likely that they will put your meat into their freezer, if it is wrapped properly and they can tag it. Back in the day, when I used to bring along my own cheese, etc., the Sheraton would give me a tag (like a baggage check) and put my foodstuff in their freezer. I'd pick it up as I checked out.
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#361207 - 12/12/09 06:40 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: seashell]
LaurieMar Offline
Where's the beef?

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#361213 - 12/12/09 07:00 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: LaurieMar]
seashell Offline
Argentina, baby!!! Ya!
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#361217 - 12/12/09 07:06 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: seashell]
LaurieMar Offline
Oh yeah, I heard Argentina beef is tasty.....

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#361224 - 12/12/09 07:15 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: LaurieMar]
Ernie B Offline
Yeah, its breast fed smile
_________________________
Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.

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#361238 - 12/12/09 09:44 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Ernie B]
Bwana Offline
seashell: Not a bad Idea at all, but I still need to get someone to return and email to let me know whow to gt a permit. Grrrr

The Jewish hat/story may have to come into play, if I can't figure out how to an answer . wink

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#361242 - 12/12/09 10:14 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Bwana]
LaurieMar Offline
It may be when I get there.

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#361245 - 12/12/09 10:23 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: LaurieMar]
KwikWalk Offline
Originally Posted By: LaurieMar
Oh yeah, I heard Argentina beef is tasty.....


Unless you happen to be in Argentia, and they cook it into shoe leather. frown

I had a business trip there, and they didn't know how to cook less than well done, and used no spices or marinades. It was a supreme let down.

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#361246 - 12/12/09 10:28 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: KwikWalk]
LaurieMar Offline
Kwik, I don't want to hijack Bwana's thread, but I am disappointed to hear that, especially since I have heard the opposite and am traveling there in May for vacation. Guess I will have to try it out and see, but then again, I like my beef cooked!

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#361248 - 12/12/09 10:42 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: LaurieMar]
KwikWalk Offline
It's quite possible we hit an unlucky place (or 2, or 3 LOL). Don't give up hope. You may find the premo place, and we just had an off week.

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#361251 - 12/12/09 10:49 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: KwikWalk]
seashell Offline
Bwana, sorry, I don't know how to help with the permit.

KwikWalk, I'm going to Argentina with Laurie, so I also hope you were unlucky! smile Everything I've read about the Argentinian beef taste experience has been positive, until I've read your post. I'm from Alberta beef country, so . . .well, you know. I don't want to be disappointed.

_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#361254 - 12/12/09 10:54 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: seashell]
LaurieMar Offline
Well, if all else fails, I will tango my time away.

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#361263 - 12/13/09 12:21 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: LaurieMar]
KwikWalk Offline
Hey seashell,

I'm from Houston, and one of my crew is from Calgary, so.....

But we took the advice of our company colleagues. Perhaps a good concierge will point you to a better location than we were.

The wine, on the other hand, was fantastic!!

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#361264 - 12/13/09 12:23 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: KwikWalk]
seashell Offline
Well, then, no worries, my glass is half full! smile
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#361266 - 12/13/09 07:52 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: LaurieMar]
lovey and thurston Offline
Good place to eat is Cabana Los Lelos in Buenos Aires. Fabulous beef.
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R.B. Mernitz

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#361294 - 12/13/09 12:47 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: lovey and thurston]
seashell Offline
Thanks for the tip, lovey and thurston.

I was doing some guide book reading last night, and from what I could gather, some of the small quaint street and less expensive places, might be serving cheaper cuts whilst the "finer" restaurants will be serving the "finer" cuts. Of course, I won't know my taste on this until after the trip. smile
_________________________
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?


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#361970 - 12/18/09 09:22 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: seashell]
Bwana Offline
Hmmmm? Still no reply from the BAHA. I emailed every email address I could find and never did get an email back. Does anyone out there know anyone that works at the BAHA, or the ultra secret "James Bond" like email address for those fine folks? If I could get some help, it would indeed be worth a tasty Belikin or two on my dime.

Many Thanks!

Greg


Edited by Bwana (12/18/09 09:22 AM)

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#361971 - 12/18/09 09:23 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Bwana]
Amanda Syme Offline
you really need to call them and then do follow-up calls.

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#361990 - 12/18/09 09:55 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Amanda Syme]
Phil Offline
Must be desperate for that free Fishing trip.

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#361992 - 12/18/09 10:30 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Phil]
Bwana Offline
Originally Posted By: Phil
Must be desperate for that free Fishing trip.


Free? *Runs off to look for the free cow*


Edited by Bwana (12/18/09 10:35 AM)

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#361993 - 12/18/09 10:34 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Amanda Syme]
Bwana Offline
Amanda: It looks like that is going to be the route to take. smile


Edited by Bwana (12/19/09 10:50 AM)

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#368035 - 02/18/10 09:38 PM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Bwana]
Bwana Offline
Ok, here goes……

I’m posting this, so that if anyone wants to bring in any kind of meat in the future, it will save you a lot of grief.

You have to get a “meat permit” from the BAHA. This should be a relatively simple process, but be prepared to keep after them to get it done. I started the process several weeks ago and got it done this week. In theory, it will be waiting for me at customs in Belize City when I get there, if not, I had them send me a copy via email so I could present it when I get there.

In addition to that dance, there has to be evidence of federal inspection of the meat product. Sounds simple right? Not so much. You can’t run over to your local grocery store, buy a bunch of steaks and be ok. It either has to be in a package that has the USDA Federal inspection stamp on it, or the meat itself has to be stamped by a federal inspector on the meat with their magic purple ink. Places like Sam’s Club, Costco, or grocery stores get their meat from other sources, repackage it and don’t have a Federal meat inspector on hand. Their meat is “retail only” and they can’t ship it across states lines without the federal inspection status. So in other words, if you go out and buy steaks from any place other than a packing house, you’re, pretty much screwed and it would get into the country, period.

The BAHA didn’t enlighten me of the federal inspection requirement. I caught it on the permit, two days ago. Oh s#@% oh dear! I still have the steaks from Sam’s club, (Future Bar-B-Que) but I had to run down the only Federal inspector in the area, who works at a packing plant and buy steaks from them. The reason, their meat has been inspected by this dude, AKA the meat guru and each package has the “this meat has been inspected by the USDA Federal inspector," on the package.

If you are going to do this, just call around to the various packing plants in your area, until you find one with a Federal inspector and you have that part handled. As far as the BAHA, expect to make several calls, to light a fire under them, to get it done. If you follow those two rules, it’s a relatively simple process. Next time I do this, it will be a piece of cake. I wanted to do a follow up to save anyone else a lot of trouble and try to make it easy for you.

On a side note, the good captain better have some honey holes where we can skip rocks off of fish, or one of us may not make it back to shore. *GRIN*


Edited by Bwana (02/18/10 09:47 PM)

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#368056 - 02/19/10 08:58 AM Re: Bringing beef into Belize question [Re: Bwana]
tacogirl Offline
For those of you who have not tried it yet while in Belize if you have the opportunity, Gallon Jug Beef is super tasty. I Know the minute I stuck my fork on without even tasting it yet that our steak was going to be good.
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