Belize - Food and Agricultural Import Regulations and Standards
In Belize, there are several government agencies involved with food-laws. The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) (http://www.agriculture.gov.bz/) has the legal responsibility of food safety and quarantine. The Ministry of Economic Development, Commerce, Industry and Consumer Protection has the responsibility in terms of local production and import quotas. Finally, the Belize Bureau of Standards (BOS) is responsible for all food standards and labeling laws.
In April 2000, under accordance with Section 86 of the Belize Agricultural Health Act, No. 47 of 1999, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) was created. The purpose of this agency is to incorporate and modernize the plant and animal health, and quarantine services of Belize. Although this agency is under the MAF, the board of directors consists of members from the four ministries that represent agriculture, trade, health, and economic development, and five members from private sector associations representing the agriculture and fishing sectors (details of BAHA and its board can be found at www.baha.bz).
For the purpose of shipping U.S. food and agricultural products, exporters must deal directly with BAHA for all sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues. BAHA is responsible for approving the import procedure, and when needed, it will process import applications with other agencies for approvals.
The documentation needed to import food and agricultural products into Belize is an import permit from BAHA, an SPS certificate, a certificate of origin, a commercial invoice, and a bill of lading. Most plant products will also need a certificate of treatment and inspection by quarantine officials.
Belize does not have a product registration law; therefore the sanitary permit number of the product issued by the country of origin is automatically accepted in Belize.