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Corozal Free Zone -- would like to know more

Posted By: JRinSC

Corozal Free Zone -- would like to know more - 01/16/08 07:43 PM

Hi,

I've read a little about the Free Zone, but I would like to know some more if anyone had the "skinny".

I have read that Expat's can buy in the Free Zone, but must proceed into Mexico before coming back to Belize. Is this so we hav to pay the exit tax of (10 or 18 USD) each time?? mad

They also have had a couple or more "national days" where Belizeans can come in and shop free (and then, I assume) and go back to Beize. Are these days good for gringos also???

Any other info or links would be great, TIA.

Julian
Posted By: belizelaw

Re: Corozal Free Zone -- would like to know more - 01/16/08 07:53 PM

I've been once in 2002. I'm sure things have changed. This is my recollection, foggy as it may be: when going to the Free Zone, it was as if you were leaving Belize, and when leaving it, it was as if you were entering Belize, so no, you don't have to go into Mexico, but you still have to go through the passport process. We got hassled a bit about what we bought, and I think the system didn't exactly seem consistent--a cop tried to tell us we had to give up the items (mind you, it was new at that time). From our standpoint, there was nothing too special, but I think for the Mexicans, it gave them access to goods at a lower price than they could normally get it.
Posted By: JRinSC

Re: Corozal Free Zone -- would like to know more - 01/17/08 02:29 PM

Well, thanks to NC from SC! wink By the way, are you the fellow that has property on an island off the coast of NC? Is it anywhere near Bald Head Island? We rented a condo there for a Thanksgiving week a number of years ago but it was a really great place!

From what you've said it sounds like you would have to pay the Departure Fees just like going into Mexico - which is exactly what I was afraid was the case. frown

I appreciate the info and hope maybe some other people might have more recent news. I saw that they had a big fire that destroyed one big building.
Posted By: belizelaw

Re: Corozal Free Zone -- would like to know more - 01/19/08 05:43 AM

Yep, that's me!
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Corozal Free Zone -- would like to know more - 01/21/08 02:18 PM

It is a goods tax free zone for non-Belizeans that do not reside (or are on vacation) in Belize. This a to stimulate foreign trade and receive foreign currency.

If you shop in the free trade zone you should have to enter and exit via Mexico. When you renter Belize you would be expected to pay import taxes, gst and/or stamp duty on the items you bring into the country.

And departure taxes would be applicable.

That is the theory - I'm not sure exactly what happens day-to-day.
Posted By: JRinSC

Re: Corozal Free Zone -- would like to know more - 01/23/08 02:52 PM

Thanks Amanda!

Looks like, just like most places, we'll have to check it out when we come down to visit for a week. I was hoping that it would be worthwhile using it in conjunction to making a Sams / Walmart run to stock up for a couple of month's stay.

If we ever do find out how it really works for gringos I'll let everyone know.
Posted By: johnbelize

Re: Corozal Free Zone -- would like to know more - 06/07/09 10:18 PM

A)
It is a goods tax free zone for non-Belizeans that do not reside (or are on vacation) in Belize. This a to stimulate foreign trade and receive foreign currency.

B)
If you shop in the free trade zone you should have to enter and exit via Mexico. When you renter Belize you would be expected to pay import taxes, gst and/or stamp duty on the items you bring into the country.
And departure taxes would be applicable.

A & B would seem to be somewhat mutually exclusive. If it is for me (a non-Belizean & on vacation) then making me go into & out of Mexico and pay import, gst/stamp duty, and departure taxes would limit the amount of trade and foreign currency I could offer up I imagine. Are the deal that good?

I guess I'm learning such situations are not "strange" in Belize.

Thanks very much for the info & would love to hear more about the Zone. Or traveling to Mexico for shopping and stocking up.

Posted By: MisterB266

Re: Corozal Free Zone -- would like to know more - 06/08/09 01:41 AM

I don't know what is meant by statement B).
I have entered the Free Zone from Belize and returned to Belize.

Maybe to clarify... the Free Zone is actually situated on land immediately south of the Hondo River (the Hondo River being the border between Mexico & Belize), AND sitauted between the Mexican & Belizean border control points.

So, to get to the free zone from Mexico, you go through Mexican customs/immigration (exiting Mexico), cross the bridge over the river and enter the free zone.

To get to the free zone from Belize, you go through Belizean customs/immigration (exiting Belize), and then enter the free zone.

I've been to the zone twice, and the most I spent was a few $ for lunch. Don't think I'd ever go again.
Posted By: johnbelize

Re: Corozal Free Zone -- would like to know more - 06/22/09 11:27 PM

Thanks for the clarification.

It does not seem to be worth the trouble for most people who have posted about the place.
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