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#144173 - 06/08/02 12:54 AM Blowing & Duty  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 33
Woz Offline
Woz  Offline
Please, tell me there are no leaf blowers in Belize! I'm begging you. Getting blasted out of bed at the crack of dawn, by the roar of my neighbors leaf blower is getting very, very old. Any country with the civilized intelligence not to allow these instruments of the devil to cross their fair boarders, I will gladly run off to.
I'm clueless to this whole Duty thing. If staying for 6 months what will I have to pay Duty on? Do I just declair my Computer and stuff and make sure it comes back out with me? What about art supplies in various stages of use? Mountain Bike? What can you bring in? What is a personal item and what is going to cost money to bring in? Seen a few discussions on Duty and am only more confused now.
The only thing I know for sure is people should have to pay a HUGE Duty on bringing in Leaf Blowers.

#144174 - 06/08/02 04:11 AM Re: Blowing & Duty  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 713
susangg Offline
susangg  Offline
If you are a "visitor" and you are coming in on a tourist card, you should not be assessed duty on anything you bring in that is obviously for your own personal use. I would not "declare" anything since you are a visitor. I have on occasion brought my laptop computer with me and was not asked to "declare" it.
However, if you bring a lot of stuff that is so far beyond what the typical tourist would bring (lots of huge bags and boxes) and they search and find things of a nature that Belizean citizens and residents often try to sneak in without paying duty (typically, televisions, appliances, etc.), they will probably document it and when you leave the country you will be required to show that you are bringing it home with you. Presumably you will have nothing like that. As for your art supplies, just pack them in your bags and forget about them. If you get searched and you are questioned, just explain that they are your personal supplies, you are an artist and will be painting while on your visit. Art supplies are not the kind of thing for which there is a hot resale market and for which customs is likely to suspect is being brought in un-dutied for re sale.
They do not routinely search tourist bags.
You need not worry abut leaf blowers on Ambergris Caye.
However, AC has its own special form of early morning sleep deprivation torture. It's called "the garbage truck" and I am convinced that nothing short of mass sit ins at the town board's office will get them to do something about it. My manager has called repeatedly to complain about guests being awakened at 3:30 AM by the loudest truck in the world running its engines for 15 minutes right outside the gates and it is still happening at least a couple of times a week.
On the other hand, enough panty rippers and you will not hear the garbage truck!

Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email:
#144175 - 06/09/02 02:50 PM Re: Blowing & Duty  
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,157
silkpainter Offline
silkpainter  Offline
Its possible on large items to have them stamped onto your passport (bicycle & computer), and not pay any duty, however, you will have to take those same items out of the country in 6 months or you will be assesed the duty. We did this with a boat & a van, brought it in on our passport, then paid the duty later when these items stayed. A note of caution, you wont be able to leave the country without these items leaving with you. If you pay the duty, they are removed from your passport. Am I confusing you? I'm confusing myself. For example, you can drive a car to Belize and keep it in the country for 6 months (they put a special stam on your passport naming the vehicle), and you can have your passport stamped monthly, but in order to leave the country, you either have to pay the duty on the car, or drive the car out of the country, to get that item removed from your passport. In the past I've brought tons of art supplies in my suitcase, they were all for personal use. The only time I paid duty was when I had things shipped to Belize, and my customs broker (who shall remain nameless) really shafted me. I would suggest that you bring less clothes and more art supplies. I would bring a few receipts with you though, just in case they ask you to show the value of the items.

#144176 - 06/10/02 12:24 AM Re: Blowing & Duty  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 33
Woz Offline
Woz  Offline
TOAD : No, it's a privilege.
SILK & SUSAN : Thanks. Think I understand how to to deal with Duty now. Just bring the big stuff back out with me God willing. Tossed more out of my wardrobe, down to bathing suits,shorts, sarongs, and a few tops. Having trouble parting with some 3 inch heels, but I'll get over it in time. Then I went to the art store and stocked up.
You guys are a great resorce. Mind a few more questions?
Can you buy : Dog food, if so what kind? Flea controll for dogs? Hair dye for a woman in a mid life crisis? Ink cartriges and paper for my printer? Do you need to filter gas there? Should I bring extra car parts? Can you leave a car some place safe on the mainland, when going over to the Cayes?
What items would you sugest bringing for a long term stay? My luxury item is a Food Saver= vacuum seals every thing. I've ingested more than my fair share of ants and far worse while traveling in the tropics and it seemed like a good solution.
Reading this I sound like a total nerotic. Honestly I'm not.

#144177 - 06/10/02 12:45 AM Re: Blowing & Duty  
Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,157
silkpainter Offline
silkpainter  Offline
My luxury item for long term stay is a plug in dirt devil dust buster with attachments.
No you can't get inkjet cartridges or paper, if they have them they are about 300% higher than what you pay in the U.S. Cannon is the easiest brand to get supplies for, other brands have to be special ordered and could take up to 2 months to get. Hair dye - maybe, depending on what brand, you will probably need to bring that with you, 3" heels, forget it, you'll spend more time on crutches than not, try a couple pair of comfortable Rockport sandles. I can't remember if you said this or not, but have you ever visited Belize before?

#144178 - 06/10/02 01:04 AM Re: Blowing & Duty  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 713
susangg Offline
susangg  Offline
I don't know where you are driving from but I personally would not drive a car to Belize from anywhere in the US for a 6 month stay. Driving to Belize from the USA will be a tiring, time consuming and possibly even dangerous activity. It will take you several weeks each way. If you have not lived in Belize before, you don't know if you will even like it enough to stay 6 months. Unless you are planning to travel constantly within Belize, you will not need a car. If you find that you do, you may find the cost of working out a long term "rent a wreck" deal less costly than the expenses of driving it not to mention the hassle. Until you know where you will be staying, you cannot evaluate your need for a car (vs. a bicycle or a golf cart).
You may have noticed a thread about transporting animals since I see that you have a dog. Time of year has a lot to do with it and of course size of the dog. If its a small dog you can carry it on board a flight under the seat. If its a large dog, you can "ship" it with you if you are not coming during the hot season (May through September). If you are, you may wish to have a friend care for your dog until the heat moritorium on animal shipping is over.
Anything that is not manufactured in Belize or in a Caribbean country or in Mexico is very expensive. You can find these things in Chetumal and as a "tourist" you may not be charged any duty if I remember right. My advice is to buy a whole bunch of cartridges cheap on EBay, order a bunch of flea medicines from one of the online pet supplies vendors. Get 6 months worth of your hair coloring (hair color is easy to get in chetumal). Buy enough cosmetics and sunscreen to carry you through, its expensive in Belize.
Routine dry and canned dog and cat food is available but probably not the "premium" stuff, I don't know about that but its probably available in Chetumal. Your dog may have to get used to ordinary dog food for a few months.
You really should consider taking a couple of weeks to visit if you can and go to the various places you might want to stay.
This is especially advisable if you have not traveled extensively in Central America and are not really familiar with what it is like.
You will find that the pleasure you get out of being there is inversely proportional to the amount of "stuff" that weighs you down.

Susan Guberman-Garcia, Attorney at Law. Phone: 510-792-2639
Fax/Voicemail:: 510-405-2016 Email:
#144179 - 06/10/02 09:49 PM Re: Blowing & Duty  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 33
Woz Offline
Woz  Offline
You guys are the best when it comes to information! Thought some background on me might be in order, after you've taken the time to answer so many of my questions. I'm not crazy, not doing this on a whim, and sort of know what I'm getting into. I'm just a bit fuzzy on some of the details. This site has hepled clarify a lot. Plus as a bonus these boards are just really fun to read. I hope to someday meet some of the perpetrators.

Spent the last year of my life planning this out, and several before it deciding it's the direction I wanted to go. Planning on spending the next 15 yr. as an international transient. Originally I was going to do this in 3 yr., but things happen, and I've had to move the time frame up and rearage it a bit.

I agree that the dog and car are a Albatross around my neck. I'm used to traveling light. But I refuse to get rid of my dog. She's a very big dog, and the car was the sollution. I'll be camping my way down the Pacific side of Mexico, to Guadalajara. There I'll be staying with friends for awhile before crossing over the Sierra and on into the Yucatan.

The beauty of this is nothing is set in stone and time is not a factor. If I like Mexico I stay 180, if I like Belize I stay 180, if not I move on to the next country. Or I go running back to the States in horror (doubt it) with the knowledge that at least I tried it out.

As to the danger aspect of it. I've lived in LA 15yr. Actually gone and laid in my empty bath tub a couple of times, just in case a stray bullet enterd my house. Have also traveled in very poor and war torn countries. The only problem I ever had was in a small, quaint Iowa town. Common sense and precautions go a long way, then Fate sets in.

No I've never been to Belize. That's the reason for all of my questions. I've traveled by bus through Honduras, driven part of Costa Rica, and done the occasional dive trip to Baja. I've lived, worked, and done most of my traveling in Asia. My 1st love is Indonesia. But with the dog, and the fact that they're developing a fondness for decapitating tourist in that part of the world, it didn't seem like a very good option at the moment.

Silk, I tossed the 3 inch heels out. I'm probably going to look like a bum by the time I get to Belize any way, and 3 inch heels aren't going to help.

Hope I didn't ramble on too much, and thanks again.

[This message has been edited by Woz (edited 06-10-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Woz (edited 06-10-2002).]

#144180 - 06/11/02 07:17 AM Re: Blowing & Duty  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 208
BankerWoman Offline
BankerWoman  Offline
I guess it's good to know that we folks in Iowa still maintain our mystique of danger. Let me know which little town that was, will ya Woz? Think I'll visit this weekend. I could use the excitement! Have a great relaxing 15 years of adventure!

#144181 - 06/11/02 11:43 AM Re: Blowing & Duty  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 33
Woz Offline
Woz  Offline
OK, I was trying to be polite, it wasn't even that quaint of a town, it was Waterloo. P.S. Is Lou's Bar and Bathrooms still there? Due to zoning laws the Bathrooms used to be larger than the Bar, thus the name.

[This message has been edited by Woz (edited 06-11-2002).]

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