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#392731 - 11/14/10 03:25 PM Opening a bank account in San Pedro  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6
4woats Offline
4woats  Offline
We are coming to the island for the first time since we purchased our condo. Looking forward to the holiday.

We are planning on opening a back account. What bank would people recommend and what paperwork should we bring with us?

We will be bringing new sheets, light bulbs various things for the condo.
What should we expect form Belize customs people?

Thank you for you help
4woats smile

#392742 - 11/14/10 05:02 PM Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 834
BeBelize Offline
BeBelize  Offline
See my response re. the bank account in the other thread. We worked with Ms. Flor Nunez, who deals with the International branch of Belize Bank. She was a pleasure to deal with and very helpful.

As for your other questions, I hope someone answers the question about customs. We currently have a condo under construction on Ambergris Caye, and I'm very curious about how customs is going to work as we'll be bringing a fair amount of goods with us when we move down, and will not be in the QRP at that time, so it will not be duty-free.

Former Belize expat traveling the USA & Mexico
#392744 - 11/14/10 05:20 PM Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 592
GwenA Offline
GwenA  Offline
It's always best to bring used things, or things that look used (cut tags off, don't have things in packaging, wash the sheets so they don't have the folds in them, etc). Duty on used stuff is much less. Light bulbs here aren't that expensive, but th country is really at a loss for nice lamps. Are you sending down a container? There are different rates for different items.

#392745 - 11/14/10 05:26 PM Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6
4woats Offline
4woats  Offline
Hi Gwen
We are planning on bringing 2 sets of sheets, two comforters,a hair dryer, towels, CFL light bulbs - do they have these on the island?
We are planning on packing a box and having it as checked baggage.

Good Idea or bad or do you have some other thoughts?

Thank you Carolyn 4woats

#392747 - 11/14/10 06:20 PM Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats]  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 957
lovey and thurston Offline
lovey and thurston  Offline
If you are bringing other luggage, pack some of the items in among your clothing. Don't make it so obvious you are bringing in a box with just household furnishings. The comforters, put in a large trash bag or some of the storage bags used for taking the air out.Use your vacum to suck the air out and make them compact and wrap them up tight with strapping tape. Do consider buying things like dishes, glasses, and cooking utensils on the island or B.C. They have a good selection now and it is much easier than dealing with bulky items. Check out Mirab and some of the other stores in the city for lamps. Lot more available now, or be creative and make something interesting from clay pottery, santos etc. We have created lamps from many interesting pieces found on the island that can be very unique. Use this first trip to see what is available before shipping.

R.B. Mernitz
#392752 - 11/14/10 06:51 PM Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 6
4woats Offline
4woats  Offline
Thank you for your helpful information. Do you know what the duties and tax % are?

#392756 - 11/14/10 07:15 PM Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,988
ragman Offline
ragman  Offline
I've made several trips in the last year and the advice above is very good. The way we do it is we bring 4 suitcases. The smaller fit inside the larger for the return trip. We remove tags and wash as stated above. We usually have some obvious new items that are in their package and we declare them. We have found the customs people to be very polite and fair.

Now as far as how much you are going to pay. I think it depends on who the customs person is and what mood he is in. I have never been able to figure it out. I usually tell them that it is small household items. They always look at everything but I've never been questioned yet. Sometimes I think I'm a little to honest but what the hell we are not talking about that much money. If I had to guess I would say about 33% of what you declare. wink Be sure to have cash and some small bills because that has been an issue with people in front of me on two occasions trying to make change. Once you bring in one load it gets to be old hat and nothing to really worry about. What Gwen said about lamps was absolutely true with us. We had quite a time to find any that my wife liked. We probably spent more wondering around Belize and Mexico looking then the lamps cost. Good luck, relax it will be fine. smile

Somewhere on a beach in Belize
#392758 - 11/14/10 07:27 PM Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,988
ragman Offline
ragman  Offline
The other part of your question about banks. I use Belize Bank and I went in to see Ms. Flor Nunez, if I remember right. She was not in and one of the other Bank people helped me. I brought recommendations from 2 or 3 banks. Statements, a recent 1040 (I think) ect. Again what I brought was over kill and they looked at a few things and opened the account for me, no problem. I was armed with the cell phone number of a respected businessman on the Island who would vouch for me but it was not needed and a lot of my paperwork wasn't either.

It is natural to be somewhat apprehensive about all of this in a new country but you will see that it works out as long as you go with the flow.

Somewhere on a beach in Belize
#392761 - 11/14/10 08:25 PM Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 56
wasntme Offline
wasntme  Offline
Just out of curiousity, I'd love to hear the explanation of buying a condo in a foreign country when you dont even know how to open a bank account or how to deal with customs. Wow that real estate agent saw you coming a mile away. (FYI so will the custom agents here)

#392762 - 11/14/10 08:41 PM Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats]  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,670
Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
You know, that comment is just plain mean. Why would you be so tough on a couple that are reaching out and asking for some advice and want to hear how other people have handled a situation - that is what this message board is designed for.

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