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#212857 - 03/08/06 12:00 PM Help needed with Customs  

I have another problem with Customs. I recently imported a small package of forms from PADI, used to record student details (specifically, for those who understand these things, student record forms and DSD forms). Brought in by DHL. I've done this countless times before with no problems, but this package is being held by Customs who are demanding 50% duty! I have been told that as educational materials these things should be exempt anyway. Customs refuse to discuss the charge or the basis for it, and simply say they won't release it until the "duty" is paid.

I regard this as possibly criminal extortion by a government body, but what can I do about it? Does anyone have any knowledge of Customs rules - what constitutes educational material, what are appropriate rates of duty, etc? And can anyone give me a suitably senior contact in that area who is prepared to listen and respond rather than recite from a pre-prepared script?

I'm not going to pay 50% so I look like losing my shipment. So if Customs offer diveshops some cut-price PADI materials you'll know who they should belong to.

#212858 - 03/08/06 12:37 PM Re: Help needed with Customs  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,273
Kra-Z-K Offline
Kra-Z-K  Offline
can you have them return it to PADI, return to sender, and then return and repurchase and have someone bring down for you?

#212859 - 03/08/06 12:38 PM Re: Help needed with Customs  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,273
Kra-Z-K Offline
Kra-Z-K  Offline
when do you need it by

#212860 - 03/08/06 01:52 PM Re: Help needed with Customs  

Customs won't return it to PADI, even if I wanted them to do that. They'll simply "seize" the package. That's standard practice in many countries.

As to when I need it, how about yesterday?

#212861 - 03/08/06 02:00 PM Re: Help needed with Customs  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,484
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Sir Isaac Newton  Offline
Call a broker, I suggest George Bradley, in Belize City. It can help but you'll still pay something.


Check out my site:
#212862 - 03/08/06 09:19 PM Re: Help needed with Customs  
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,886
reaper Offline
reaper  Offline
Hi P2...Henry Marsden is the Senior Customs Examiner at Goldson. 225-2069 or 610-3097

#212863 - 03/08/06 09:40 PM Re: Help needed with Customs  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,688
Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
Educational material is not exempt from duties. I think that the basic "books/materials" rate is around 45% of value, so 50% sounds about right.

Once in while you get caught and have to pay some duty - it probably makes up for the little leeway that the customs dept have obviously afforded you in the past.

If you are desperate for some of the forms now, surely you can borrow some from a fellow instructor, and replace them when you get your package cleared.

Mr Marsden is a very fair man, but once the duty has been assessed on an item, it is not going to miraculously disappear.

Many of us have a friend bring down an item or 2 when they come down on their vacations. And whether you like to hear this or not this practice is contrary to the customs laws of Belize. All articles that are imported should be assessed and possibly customs duties would be levied.

So on the once in a while occassion when you get caught - just pay up. What are you talking about $20? $200? Whatever the amount is I wouldn't doubt that you have probably been able to smuggle in items that have exceeded that amount over the past few years.... come on, let's be honest.

Cheating/smuggling-in small items is probably the most criminal act we all tend to partake in - after speeding of course. smile

#212864 - 03/08/06 11:25 PM Re: Help needed with Customs  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 56,271
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

#212865 - 03/09/06 07:03 PM Re: Help needed with Customs  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,035
Pedro1 Offline
Pedro1  Offline
I do not speed

#212866 - 03/09/06 08:20 PM Re: Help needed with Customs  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,688
Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
A likely story my man!

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