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Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats] #392860
11/16/10 08:34 AM
11/16/10 08:34 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 592
San Pedro/Prescott
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GwenA Offline
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GwenA  Offline
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The receipts could get you in trouble. Remember, used items, so they are worth less, so it isn't good to advertise in writing they are worth more. We sometimes use the "sacrificial item" technique. Pick one or two items to leave in wrappers and have their receipts. All other things, don't declare.
We have the lightbulbs here, in fact lots of them. The only light bulbs I ever brought were exotic xenon under cabinet lights.
Duty is different for each item, it's based on whether Belize makes an item, or imports those items. So, duty is often higher on odd things. Don't bring a broom for instance, as they are made here. But, if you bring a swiffer (hard to find here) duty is less, go figure. All of my stainless steel faucets and shower fixtures had less duty than the chrome items you can buy here. But I never kept them in boxes or brought receipts!

Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats] #393012
11/17/10 12:32 PM
11/17/10 12:32 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 353
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Noelle Offline
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Noelle  Offline
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When we went to open an account on caye caulker (just recently) we were told we needed a letter from a doctor, a lawyer or a priest attesting to our good moral character. It sounds like the beginning of a joke! Obviously, what you "need" to open an account varies from place to place (and probably from bank employee to bank employee).

Also, we were too honest about what we were bringing in, including donations of stuff for the humane society and the school and we were charged about 37% duty. Ouch! Next time we will be more creative in our declarations.

Good luck!

Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: Noelle] #393016
11/17/10 01:39 PM
11/17/10 01:39 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 420
tortuga.chica Offline
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tortuga.chica  Offline
Originally Posted by Noelle
Also, we were too honest about what we were bringing in, including donations of stuff for the humane society and the school and we were charged about 37% duty. Ouch! Next time we will be more creative in our declarations.

Good luck!


Requests for Duty exemption should be directed to:

Financial Secretary
Ministry of Finance
Edney Cain Building
Third Floor
Belmopan
Belize

I did all of my correspondence by e-mail, but unfortunately, I no longer have my contact's information. But if you go to http://mof.gov.bz I am sure they would be able to direct you to someone. They told me I only needed to contact them 2 weeks before I left to get this done, but I recommend at least 2 months. I started my request about mid-May and I finally had the letter in hand about mid-July. (I left for Belize on August 21st) Just to give you an idea how long it took.

They require an itemized list of items to be brought: (3) dozens pencils, (20) childrens toys, etc.

Will also need an address where to respond to (they will mail you an exemption letter to give to customs at the airport (or where-ever your point-of-entry is)

I brought bunch of stuff down for Be Kind Belize on my last visit. I had the duty exemption letter in my hand when I went thru customs and had no problems. Did pay 2% environmental tax on about $200 USD worth of items, but that was it.


A hug is the shortest distance between friends. ~ Author Unknown
Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats] #393020
11/17/10 02:27 PM
11/17/10 02:27 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 353
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Noelle Offline
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Noelle  Offline
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Thanks phishhippiegirl! How helpful!

Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats] #393025
11/17/10 03:20 PM
11/17/10 03:20 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 420
tortuga.chica Offline
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tortuga.chica  Offline
Your welcome. I thought if someone else can avoid some headaches coming thru customs...I would share my knowledge.

Considering how great the need is in Belize for these donations, the easier it is for visitors like us to bring them in, the better.

Last edited by phishhippiegirl; 11/17/10 03:39 PM.

A hug is the shortest distance between friends. ~ Author Unknown
Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: tortuga.chica] #393037
11/17/10 08:39 PM
11/17/10 08:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
Canada
seashell Offline
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seashell  Offline
Many years ago around Xmas immediately after Hurricane Keith, I was bringing in a suitcase full of little toys and shoes for the poor kids. I had no receipts, most of the stuff was dollar store items, or good quality used items. Customs wanted duty equal to what I'd paid for the items. The back and forth of it didn't go too well, and embarassingly I lost my cool . . . threatened to burn the stuff before I either paid that amount of duty or left the stuff behind. At that point, it didn't take too long for a supervisor to show up and offer me an acceptable compromise. I wouldn't do it that way again, nor am I recommending my behaviour to anyone else. A person sure wouldn't get away with that here at home, nor would I be likely to try it.

In any event, the year following, undaunted, I again brought in a bunch of stuff for the kids. I was prepared with some receipts, things went a bit smoother but the duty was still ridiculous. A couple of years after that, I again brought little stocking stuffers for the Holy Cross School. Things went relatively smoothly, but that was the end of it for me.

Speaking for myself and some of my friends, we go to a lot of trouble to select these items, pack them, haul them along with us only to find that it is an opportunity for a money grab by the government. I'm sure appreciative that others haven't lost the joy and are still bringing things in, but personally, I'm done with it.


A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: seashell] #393077
11/18/10 09:48 AM
11/18/10 09:48 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 420
tortuga.chica Offline
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tortuga.chica  Offline
Originally Posted by seashell
Speaking for myself and some of my friends, we go to a lot of trouble to select these items, pack them, haul them along with us only to find that it is an opportunity for a money grab by the government. I'm sure appreciative that others haven't lost the joy and are still bringing things in, but personally, I'm done with it.


It was my first time bringing stuff to Belize & it required a little extra work on my part, but it was worth it. Will do it again in a heartbeat.


A hug is the shortest distance between friends. ~ Author Unknown
Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats] #393086
11/18/10 11:07 AM
11/18/10 11:07 AM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 4,672
Northern California
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LaurieMar Offline
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LaurieMar  Offline
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I like to pick one special person or cause to bring something down...and that makes me feel good. Other than that, I agree with SS!

Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: LaurieMar] #393097
11/18/10 01:24 PM
11/18/10 01:24 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 8,880
Canada
seashell Offline
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seashell  Offline
Ah yes, like Laurie, I'm still bringing in a few things for certain people, I'm just not bringing in a suitcase full of toys and shoes for the poor kids like I used to do.


A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

Re: Opening a bank account in San Pedro [Re: 4woats] #393749
11/29/10 04:02 PM
11/29/10 04:02 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 60
Farwell, Texas US
TiredOfTheUS Offline
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TiredOfTheUS  Offline

I sust quit asking anything,I'll learn on my own!
Originally Posted by 4woats
The comment from wasntme was just plain stupid and a waste of time.


"Be all that you can be"
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