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."
"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?"
"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."
"So is it a question of safety or is really just a technicality then?"
"Mostly it would be for safety for the animal population within Belize."
"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?"
"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.