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#256902 11/16/07 10:23 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline
from a friend...

I don't get it but thousands of gullible Belizeans shoppers will descend on our ratty "Free" Zone tomorrow thanks to the largess of government that has finally relented and allowed Belizeans into the area for two days this year.

Fact is there is list of "banned" items starting from the famous turkeys that are unfit for human consumption, to ciggies and booze that presumably are bad for you.

Then the customistas will be merrily slapping on 42% tax (hopefully not with an evil Ho, Ho Ho), yup, not a typo, 42% tax on ALL items.
You do not even get the lamer BZ$50. exemption as you are technically not an international traveler.

The Chamber of Commerce estimates the customistas will have to process each hapless Belizean at the rate of one every 15 seconds.

It's a sick political gimmick that poor Belizeans are falling for hook, line and sinker. It makes me sick to the stomach to see such a heartless government playing this out.

And you have to take in US Dollars of Mexican pesos - no Belizean dollars wanted.

And the icing on the cake is that cops and customistas will be out in force manning additional checkpoints on the highways to harass Free Zone travelers who might have managed to rescue a turkey or pack of ciggies from the zone.

GOB should I think do the gimmick locally as the Chamber has said - remove all taxes for two days a year in the country. Really help poor Belizeanss and merchants.
And then work to reduce taxes

G. Mike is on radio at this time singing mightily for his breakfast and jumping for joy over the Free Zone gimmick.
Saying we should be happy none of those nasty turkeys, hams, liquors etc. will be available to Belizeans - we should all go out and make out own cheecha and rompopo and start to raise turkeys and by extension I think grow our own backyard pigs. But he was rudely "braced".

Poor G. Mike was left stammering as a true blue merchant Ernesto Vasquez happened to be hosting the morning show and not the clueless announcer who usually does the Friday morning show.
Ernesto is a well-known businessman and ripped to tatters G. Mikes blabber about the Free Zone

G. Mike was attempting to slam the merchants for high prices so let us all head to the FREE Zone. But it is the government that has cranked up taxes to incredible levels, even in the "FREE" zone.
G. Mike beat a hasty retreat - hopefully will try to call in to the other radio stations and manage to sell his goods to an empty head.

All G. Mike managed to get in was that there are excellent deals on Xmas decorations at the "FREE" zone. I do salute G. Mike however as he knows to beat an extra fast retreat when confronted by facts.

But puzzling that we have the police spokesman calling all media in an attempt to sell the "Free' Zone gimmick? What's in it for you Mike?

Only in Belize ...

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline
From TV 5:

f you were looking forward to heading to the Corozal Free Zone on Saturday and returning with that Christmas ham and turkey, we've got some bad news. A press release from BAHA, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, advises that no fresh or smoked meat or seafood products-including ham and turkey-will be allowed to pass from the Free Zone into the rest of Belize. Reason cited for the ban is "Compliance with the sanitary and phytosanitary regulations of Belize." This afternoon News Five spoke to BAHA's Roberto Manzanero in search of a more detailed explanation.

Roberto Manzanero, Asst. Director of Quarantine, BAHA "When those products went into the Zone they went under some stipulations, noh, which was they met certain conditions that was only allowing them for it to only be consumed within that area. It was safe for human consumption but in that area we don't have much animal life then it would not have met more stringent conditions which would have been placed if it were then to be used in the wider Belize area since in the wider Belize area then those products could come in contact with our animal population."

Stewart Krohn
"Mr. Manzanero if we are talking about say a Butterball turkey or a Hormel frozen ham, I mean those are the same products that are imported regularly into the country anyway, why would there be a problem with products like that?"

Roberto Manzanero
"When they were allowed they were allowed under those conditions that the product would not be leaving that area coming back through the border, only to be consumed within the area."

Stewart Krohn
"So is it a question of safety or is really just a technicality then?"

Roberto Manzanero
"Mostly it would be for safety for the animal population within Belize."

Stewart Krohn
"Now what will happen if people go to the Free Zone on Saturday, what will happen if they attempt to bring back into Belize with them a smoked ham or turkey?"

Roberto Manzanero
"Okay, that's the reason for the early announcement so that they know that we will be inspecting vehicles and persons so that they do not come in with these products. If we do find them they can have the option of returning it to the Free Zone and get their money back or if they cannot we would detain it and then subsequently destroy it."

Shoppers should note that they are also barred from bringing back alcoholic beverages. Huge crowds are expected in the Zone on November seventeenth and December fifteenth, when, by special government edict, Belizeans will be allowed to enter the area where goods are sold free of customs duties and other taxes. Those taxes are supposed to be payable at the customs station outside. If they are collected accurately, one is left to wonder what the big attraction is in the first place.

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