AmbergrisCaye.com Home

Charitable donations getting thru customs

Posted By: mommalou

Charitable donations getting thru customs - 06/22/12 11:58 PM

Hi all! Well, ask and you will receive!!...I told friends I was collecting school supplies for kids on AC. Between my travelling partner and myself we are at 200 lbs worth of items in 4 suitcases. I am getting worried that customs will not allow these items in. Has anyone had trouble bringing supplies for the kids in to Belize. I was told the items SHOULD be duty free because it is a charitable donation but also told that means nothing if the customs officer want you to pay him...you pay him!...any info or advise would be appreciated!! thx
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Charitable donations getting thru customs - 06/23/12 02:18 AM

Charitable donation to what entity? If you have a target charity then ask them to be your link and likely all will be well.
If not, begin to explore how to distribute the goods and have a plan before bringing them in.
Posted By: Wizardofaahs

Re: Charitable donations getting thru customs - 06/23/12 02:58 AM

I came in January, had probably 80 pounds of school supplies for schools, condoms for poly clinic, and some baby clothes to donate. I didn't have a specific entity in mind, but distributed items around several villages on the mainland and Ambergris Caye. We came through customs at the border from Mexico (flew into Cancun, ADO overnite to Belize City). When asked by the customs agent to declare, I told her I had pencils, erasers, etc. and none of it was for sale and would be donating it all to the schools. She waved me through without even looking. Can't say that would happen with 200 pounds...how awesome of you! A good contact for you would be Linda Carter - at the school just north of the bridge in San Pedro. She can assist you with a plan and probably a letter.
Posted By: tortuga.chica

Re: Charitable donations getting thru customs - 06/23/12 02:43 PM

My 2 cents:

Two years ago, I had 2 duffle bags of school supplies that I wanted to bring down and I contacted the Ministry of Finance and explained what I wanted to do. I had to send them an itemized list of everything I was bringing with costs for each item, when I was coming & if I was arriving by air or by land. They sent me a letter (with my list attached) stating that all of the items on the list were exempt from duty. I had no issues at customs (I came in thru the Intl airport) and paid no duty because I had that letter. I did have to state in my list who the donation was for (this case it was for Be Kind Belize).

Fair warning: It took me about 2 months from the time I started the process until I actually recieved the letter in the mail from them.

Contact:

Ministry of Finance
New Administraton Building
Ministry of Finance
Belmopan
Belize, Central America
Posted By: Judyann H.

Re: Charitable donations getting thru customs - 06/23/12 03:06 PM

Good move Tortuga Chica. I too have had some pretty good success contacting them ahead of time. Most recently bringing in a variety of donations & gifts.....I used an e-mail address and received an answer in about 3 days.....I used a copy of the e-mail through customs....All went smoothly

The e-mail is [email protected]

Good Luck
Posted By: mommalou

Re: Charitable donations getting thru customs - 06/24/12 07:57 PM

Thanks Wiz!, I contacted Linda at Holy Cross School and she forwarded a letter to us that we can use going through customs stating that they are expecting our donations. I am hopeful that customs will waive us through but us never know.
© 2020 Ambergris Caye Belize Message Board