All this week senior Mexican officials are in Belize for the eighth meeting of the “Bi-National Commission Belize Mexico.” It’s held every two years and authorities from both sides of the border discuss and analyse common issues in all areas affecting bi-lateral relations. And we’re talking big-ticket items including culture, security, tourism, education, technical and scientific cooperation, immigration, customs, trade, transport and foreign affairs – apparently the only thing not on the agenda are gift certificates for Applebee’s and McDonald’s.

But one item that caught our attention was a change in regulations that might affect your next trip to Chetumal: it’s insurance, to be specific, Mexican insurance for buses and private vehicles.

Now the Mexicans have been requiring insurance for Belizean vehicles travelling to Chetumal for some time – but travellers generally ignore the provisions – except this time, Federal authorities are insisting that Belizean vehicle owners purchase Mexican insurance.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport Edmund Castro led the Transport delegation today and he explained what the Mexicans are saying:…

Hon. Edmund Castro - Minister of State, Ministry of Works and Transport

"The Mexicans had advise us back then, about two months ago, that the buses going into Mexico, on the federal highway in Mexico, will require to have Mexican insurance and everybody that goes into Mexico. As long as they are on the federal highway, which is just about the main road, must have Mexican insurance, even private vehicles will be required; I think they already pass the law about a couple weeks ago. They are saying that their law is, that is has to be a Mexican company to sell the insurance. So a Belizean company having insurance in Belize and might cover Mexico will not work for them, according to their Mexican federal law. So it must be a company in Mexico that provides the insurance for us, so hopefully they will have a company set up at the border that we will be able to buy a one day, two day or one week insurance. Also, they don't like to see our buses going into Chetumal and park on the side of the streets where ever they feel like. They are trying to develop a terminal for Belizean buses, that they will pay a slight terminal fee, but the buses will be secured and get off the streets and park in the terminal area until they are ready to leave and return back to Belize.”

Today, the Mexican Embassy in Belize said it does not have any information about the insurance on Mexican Federal roads and can issue no statement at this time.

The Belize Mexico Bi-national Commission is the forum for political and cooperation dialogue at the highest level between both countries. It continues all this week.

Channel 7