Exporting Agricutural products from Belize.

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The following is an edited and expanded version of a series of posts I did on Import/Export regulations for an expatriate business forum.

However that forum has advertising. This blog does not. At the end of the article I will post a link to the forum itself.

Did you know you can actually ruin yourself financially if you do not know the game of Import/Export and how it works?

I could give dozens of stories but the most common for expatriates is they move to a country and buy a good size plot of land.

Their intent is to have a small farm and grow their own food.

So grow they do. Soon they have considerably food more than they can eat. (This is after two to six years, depending on the agricultural product.)

They start selling the produce at the local markets. Depending on their connections they can sell to food distributors in the area.

You meet these people in Farmers markets in countries all over the world.

They make a living but that is about it. That should be okay if they have retirement income.

Yet the retired couple suddenly decide they don’t want to be retired. They want to hit the big time. Perhaps they hear of another local exporter who made it big.

Bureaucracy will eat up the uninformed.

Want some light reading. This is what our farmers have to do before any product gets exported.

Note: This does not include producing the product or actually selling the product.

Copied from Belize law and multiple other legal documents. I have corrected most of the grammatical and spelling errors and specifically talk about Agricultural exports. I can do nothing about their use of hidden verbs and how they write in the passive voice.

Also I have more information based on my experience as an exporter.
All of the information on Import/Export from Belize can be found at WWW.belizelaw.org. and BAHA.

However because of the way it is presented it is often confusing to potential world traders.

Besides all the physical considerations of the products for the foreign market, the most main difference between trading within Belize and trading with a foreign country is the process of documentation.

A number of documents must go with every shipment, and these documents must be correct.

If your documents are not in order, your products will rot while you try to get everything together. Small traders often learn the requirements too late and will typically borrow large sums of money in a futile attempt to meet all the requirements.

In the mean time the shipment spoils, their reputation as suppliers has been destroyed, and sometimes they will lose everything financially.

This could have been avoided with a simple call to a freight forwarder and customs broker. You are paying for their valuable experience. For a reasonable fee they can help and arrange shipping.

Paying an expert does not cost, it pays. The bureaucracy in Belize is unbelievable.

Small traders often sell their goods before even learning the basic export requirements. Perhaps they get an offer from a buyer in another country.

Without figuring in the extra costs necessary to actually process and ship agricultural products it is impossible to know if the venture is going to be profitable.

What seems like a good offer often eats up the profit margins before the goods even leave Belize.

Documentary requirements vary depending on the country that the exports are destined for.

All the documents must be filled out properly.

The Major Documents

• Export License
• Customs Entry Forms
• Commercial Invoices
• Consular Invoices
• Certificate of Origin
• Certificate of Value
• Health/ Sanitary Certificate
• Certificate of Inspection, Analysis, or Weight
• Packing List

Export License – This is the fist document an exporter must be concerned with.

Export licenses are issued by the Ministry of Industry, however consultation is conducted with the government body or association responsible for the product before the license is granted.

Customs Entry Form

When exporting any type of good from Belize, a Customs Entry Form is required. This document,which is collected at the port of export, is used mainly for compiling statistics on the volume and value of a country’s exports. Within Belize, this from is known as the “Customs Declaration (Import/Export) Form C100”.

The form must be prepared and authorized by a licensed customs broker.

Four copies are needed when a shipment arrives or leaves Belize. The forms can be purchased at major Bookstores in Belize.(provided you can even find a bookstore in Belize). Office supply retailers will also have the form.

Commercial Invoice
This document gives the information on which duty will be assessed. It can usually be ready on the exporter’s own form but the contents must follow the regulations of the importing country.

Amounts must be set out clearly and the cost of goods shown separately from the cost of transport and insurance.

Some commercial invoices must be accompanied by a declaration that the exporter himself prepares and signs.

Commercial invoices accompanied by such declarations are known as
“certified” commercial invoices.

Customs Invoice
The customs invoice is usually required by Commonwealth countries, and is a commercial invoice ready on a special form prescribed by the customs authorities.

Consular Invoice
The consular invoice is a specific invoice used by the Consul of the importing country.

Many importing countries, mainly less developed countries, have already phased out the use this invoice. (in other words..backward third world places like Belize)

It is used for customs clearance and other purposes, and as such any errors or omissions on the invoice may cause problems and fines at customs in the importing country.

In Belize, these forms can be acquired from the Consular office of the importing country.

The Consul must authenticate the forms. When consular invoices need to be validated, a fee is usually charged for the validating service.

Certificate of Value

The certificate of value is an official declaration stating the value of a shipment of merchandise, and is usually included in the consular invoice.

This certificate must confirm the values shown in the invoice.
It will state that the invoice has a true and full statement of the price paid for the goods, and that there is no other understanding between the exporter and the importer about the price.

Certificate of Origin
The main purpose of this document is to prove the right of the product to preferential duties to which it may be entitled in the importing country.

In certain cases it may include such information as the local material and labor contents of the product. Certificates of origin may also be needed to prove that goods do not come from a country against which the importing country has trade restrictions.

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Form A – Under the GSP, a free or reduced duty is granted by developed countries (country of destination, or “donor country”) to certain manufactured goods from the least developed countries (country of origin, or “beneficiary country), in order to help increase exports and economic growth. Countries that accept the

GSP Form include the US, UK, Canada, and Japan, among others.

Chamber of Commerce Certificate of Origin – The importer or the importing country may need a specific certificate of origin form issued by the local Chamber of Commerce in the exporting country. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) provides this service

The cost depends on whether you are a member of the Chamber, a citizen of Belize, a non-resident or if you look like you are a rich outsider. It is totally up to them what they think they can get away with charging you.

Exporter’s Certificate of Origin – Unless the Letter of Credit (L/C) specifies a particular certificate of origin form, the exporter may issue his/her own certificate of origin using the
company letterhead.

The Exporter’s Certificate of Origin contents includes basically the same data as in the commercial invoice and packing list, with the addition of a declaration which states that the goods in question are manufactured or grown as in agriculture in the exporting country, and that the amount shown on the invoice is the true and correct value.

Health/Sanitary Certificate
The phytosanitary certificate is required for plants and plant products

It confirms that the goods are free from disease or insect pests. In the case of food, it may state that the goods have been prepared to meet prescribed standards, and a Sanitary Certificate is issued.

These certificates are issued by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) at a service fee.

Certificate of Inspection
The customer sometimes demands a certificate of inspection to make sure that the goods he is buying meet a certain standard. The exporter must arrange beforehand with the customer who is to carry out such an inspection and who is to pay for it.

The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) is capable of providing such services for agricultural and food products.

Packing List
This document is often little used and supplements the commercial invoice when many units of the same product are being used or when quantities, weight, or contents of units in a shipment vary.

Generally, a separate list is ready for each package, showing the weight, measurements, and contents.

Customs officials usually carry out a partial examination by checking an amount of the cases. If the packing list proves to be correct for these, the rest of the shipment is assumed to be in order.

Plant Health Export Certification Procedure

Export Documentation Procedures

When an exporter has obtained a buyer for his product in a foreign market, the next step will be to prepare the goods for shipment.
For any shipment of goods (for commercial purposes) leaving Belize, the following documents will be required by Customs:

1. C100 Form – completed by a licensed Customs Broker

2. Commercial Invoice

3. Certificate of Origin (for countries with which Belize has special trade agreements, i.e the US, CARICOM, the EU)

4. XCH2 Form
The XCH2 Form is a type of monitoring mechanism of the Central Bank of Belize to ease the exporter. Through the XCH2 Form the Central Bank of Belize keeps track of the amount of foreign currency coming into and leaving the country. It also states that all Belizean exports must be paid in United States (US) dollars or a currency easily converted to US currency.

Payments for exports cannot be deferred longer than six (6) months without permission from the Central Bank. The forms <span
For shipments of goods to the European Union (EU), a special form called an “E100 Form” is required as well.

The customer at the foreign end of the business provides this form to the Belizean exporter.

The form is then filled in, and taken to the Customs Department who plays the role of the certifying agent. The Comptroller of Customs is EU certified, and all E100 Forms must be signed by him/her.

The E100 Form also serves as a certificate of origin, to confirm that the goods originate in Belize.

Classification of Exports

Commercial Exports
Commercial exports are any large quantities of goods for sale at the destination country.
The exports are expected to bring foreign exchange into Belize.

The certification of plants and plant products for export is the sole responsibility of the Plant Health
Department of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). The Plant Health Department ensures the agricultural health protection for plants from invasive pests and diseases.

The Department’s role has also become increasingly important in areas such as certification of wholesomeness of raw
plant products for export; negotiation of phytosanitary measures; crop loss assessment due to pests, diseases, and natural disasters, and in the regulation of all important plant and plant products
through Pest Risk Analysis.

It is the responsibility of the exporter and the Plant Health Department to find out the exact requirements of the importing country for the product that will be exported. The Department will make sure that the proper infrastructure is in place by the producers/exporter to receive, treat, and package the product to be exported.
The Plant Health Department must sign a “Compliance Agreement” with the farmer or producer whereby the farmer agrees to keep his/her farm or work area at a certain prescribed standard – and then register the farmer.

Data on each farm or production area is kept in regards to:
• Owner’s name
• Variety of plant(s) being cultivated
• Location (GPS) of farm
• Cleanliness
• Use of chemicals, pesticides, etc.
• Use of Irrigation
The site is visited often by the certifying officer to verify and record the pests present, and to keep the incidence of these as low as possible.

Packing Area Procedures
The certifying officer will look at the overall cleanliness of the packing area – which must be clean and organized. It is here that the product for export will be treated (if necessary) and visually inspected by the officer. The officer will inspect a representative sample of the export product and make sure that it is free from pests. The officer must make sure that the packages are properly sealed and labeled. Treatment of the product, packaging, labeling, etc. must follow the requirements of the importing country.

When the officer is satisfied that the commodity to be exported is free from pests, and that all the requirements of the importing country have been fulfilled, the phytosanitary certificate is issued.
The phytosanitary certificate will include:
• Name and address of exporter
• Name and address of importer
• Name of product
• Batch number
• Quantity of product
• phytosanitary Status
• Treatment
• Date of treatment and packaging
• Name and signature of certifying officer
• Number of the container
• Origin of the product

Procedures During Transport
The certifying officer is responsible for ensuring that the container or transportation into which the consignment is loaded is clean and free from pests before the shipment is loaded into it. After loading, the container must be properly sealed, with all the proper documents, and be transported to the point of export. Data will be taken at this stage and includes:
• Container number
• Vehicle license number
• Stops to be taken en route to the port of exit
• Contents of the container
• Route(s) to be used

Procedures at the Port of Export

When the shipment reaches the port, a Quarantine Officer will verify that the documents attest to the phytosanitary status of the product being exported.

The officer will verify: the date of export,existence of the product, phytosanitary certificate, number of the container, seal, and stamp of the company exporting the product at the port. The Quarantine officer will record the shipment in their logbook of exports which assists with tractability.

Port Authority Procedures
Port Authority Officials are responsible for securing the shipment to be exported once the contents of the container have been verified with the Quarantine officials.

The container is sealed and placed in an proper storage place to make sure that it maintains its phytosanitary integrity.
The container is then shipped to the importing country.

8.5 Phytosanitary Certificate for Re-Export

The Plant Health Department is also responsible for the issuance of “Phytosanitary Certificates for Re-Export”.

Such certificates are issued when an imported consignment is repackaged here in Belize before being sent to the importing country; or if the Department did not need a phytosanitary certificate for the imported commodity, but the commodity is being shipped to another country that does need a phytosanitary certificate. In this instance, the Department issues the phytosanitary certificate required by the next country.

The National Medfly surveillance program was established in 1976 under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Government of Belize with the intention of reducing the risk of introduction of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) to the U.S. Territory. The Commodities Export Certification Program was introduced later to guarantee the freedom of pests and diseases on commodities being exported to the U.S. All Districts of Belize were officially recognized as a Medfly free area by the USDA through the publication of its rule in 7 CFR Parts 300 and 319 (Docket No. 00-006-2) on August 28th, 2001.
The government of Belize through the Belize Agricultural Health Authority continues to keep up active surveillance and implements necessary measures to eradicate any Medfly introduction into Belize.

As stated in the work plan agreed upon under the MOU est. 1976 and revised on February 2000, any farm located within a Medfly detection site radius of four and a half (4.5) miles will not be allowed to run under the Export Certification Program for an established period of three (3) Medfly life cycles (or 90 days) without repeated captures. Furthermore, growers and packers approved under the Export Certification Program are subject to signing a compliance agreement to take part in the program. This is done between the stakeholder and the executing agency, BAHA.

BAHA will give trained people to supervise all program activities which include: field supervision, packing activities, post packing storage, loading and inspection during loading, with
the issuance of a phytosanitary certificate.

A list of commodities, growers and packers approved for participation in the program is maintained by BAHA. Additional growers and packers must register with BAHA and sign a compliance agreement for participation.

The Commodities Certification Program

Packers/Producers are required to tell BAHA of their weekly fruit packing schedules so that BAHA inspectors can inspect field and packing plant operation prior to the issuance of the phytosanitary certificate. The USDA will give oversight supervision of all inspection rules.

Under the Compliance Agreement, the following conditions must be met to let the  continuation in the program:

(i) Medfly Surveillance – Medfly Jackson traps must be placed in the fields – one (1) trap per every five (5) acres – and is to be serviced on a weekly basis.

(ii) Pest and disease management – Standard phytosanitary practices such as weed control, insect and mite control, as well as disease management, are monitored and implemented in a timely manner using approved pesticides as indicated by the USDA authorities.

(iii) Field Sanitation – Fields are to be kept free of over ripe and fallen fruits, and these are to be disposed of at a least distance of two hundred (200) meters from any certified field, treated, and buried in pits.
(iv) Harvest – Fruits that fall during the harvesting operations must be rejected. Weekly harvesting schedules and packing schedules should be submitted to BAHA, so that inspectors can inspect fields and make sure compliance of field sanitation practices prior to harvesting for export.

(v) Field Inspection – BAHA inspectors conduct weekly inspections of all farms included in the program. The earlier criteria are evaluated and if satisfied that conditions are met, a field phytosanitary certificate is issued. The certificate must be presented to the packing house inspector in order for the harvested product to be accepted for packing .

Pack House Specifications
The following are the required specifications for Packing Houses involved in Export Operations:
• The packing house doors and windows must have proper screening to prevent the entrance of pests.
• The entrance and exits must have an inner and outer door with a dead space between. Both doors should not be opened at the same time during packing. Air curtains must be used at the first entrance. Doors must be closed while fruits are being packed.
• Adequate space must be provided for all operations, i.e. unloading, washing, inspections and packing.
• The unloading area must not be the same as the packing area.
• Unauthorized fruit and culled fruits should not be kept or stored in the packing area while export commodities are being packed.
• Herbicides, insecticides, fuels and other hazardous substances must not be stored in or near the packing area.
• Storage spaces for supplies (carton, boxes, and flats) should not be in the packing area.
• The perimeter or surroundings of the packing house must be maintained free of weeds, insects and mammalian pests by use of proper means.
• The packing house must follow every procedure that prevents insects from getting into the packing area, into the areas where cardboard boxes are stored, and into the wooden pallets.
• The packing house must have an employee who is capable of implementing and enforcing these guidelines.
• Rejected fruit should be removed from the packing compound within a maximum of 24 hours.
9.3 Packing House Inspection Procedures
• The exporter/packer must make sure, and BAHA officers must verify, that any fruit not authorized for inclusion in the program is not present in the packing house during periods when a commodity for export is being packed.
10.0 Food Safety Health Certification Procedures
• BAHA and USDA inspectors will inspect each shipment of fruit and randomly select a minimum of 1 percent of the fruit and check them for the presence of pests. A written record is kept of all pests found. The detection of a quarantine significant pest will be cause for rejection of the infested lot of fruit and immediate notification to the US Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service (APHIS).
• Nighttime loading of packed fruit for export is prohibited.
9.4 Post-Packing Procedures
• Packed fruits must be refrigerated prior to transportation.
• Loading ramps must be properly sealed to prevent entrance of insect pests into the shipping container.
• Containers must be fogged washed and ventilated before loading.
• It is not permissible to store or transport unauthorized fruit with approved fruit. Packing houses and conveyances must be approved and maintained in good phytosanitary conditions to prevent pest infestation or contamination of approved fruit.
• The BAHA inspector will be present at the loading of the produce. The normal site for carrying out phytosanitary inspections, depending on type of shipment, will be:
Overland Via Guatemala – Packing house inspection during loading of container
Sea freight – Belize seaport
Air freight – Packing house or prior to aircraft loading

• Boxes of inspected and certified fruit will be individually stamped “Quarantine Inspection Service, Belize Agricultural Health Authority, Belize C.A”. BAHA maintains control of stamps
to prevent unauthorized use.

• The Phytosanitary Certificate is issued by BAHA for each shipment after ensuring that satisfactory sanitary practices have been carried out at the packing facility.

• Containers will be sealed in the presence of a BAHA inspector and customs official.

The Food Safety Department of BAHA has a mandate to check, rate, and act on any matters that may have a direct or indirect effect on the safety of the food supply. This is done for both the export market and for local consumption. Providing safe, wholesome and nutritious food is also regarded as a need under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement, to which Belize is a signatory.

A certification program, based on the implementation of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) food safety system was established for fish and fishery products processing industry
in Belize, which has enabled Belize to export these products freely to the US and the European Union (EU). BAHA’s “farm to table” approach of the food safety program, provides for food safety
assurances along the entire chain – from the production site on the farm with the application of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), to the processing plants’ implementation of Good Manufacturing
Practices (GMP), Standard Sanitary Operating Procedures (SSOP) and HACCP systems that are verified and certified by BAHA’s inspectors and sanitary auditors.

Exports of food products and animal feed from Belize into international markets must, as a general rule, must be accompanied by a health certification that satisfies the importing country’s conditions.

The importing country sets out the conditions that must be satisfied, and the checks that must be undertaken, if imports are to be allowed. The details of the certification required are usually set
out in specific legislation, which often includes models of the certificates to be used by the exporting country. In Belize, BAHA is the competent authority for the sanitary certification of products of agricultural origin including food.

The certification must be signed by an official veterinarian or official food safety inspector (as indicated in the relevant certificate). BAHA applies strict rules to the production, signing and issuing of certificates, and they confirm in compliance with international codes of practice for certification.

Each class of food product or animal feed has its own set of animal, plant and/or public health requirements that may be specific for the market to which the product is destined. Particular attention must be paid to make sure that the correct certification is used, and that all of its provisions have been met.
Product Compliance Procedure
The following sequence is generally followed (although it may vary according to the food product/feed concerned):

(1) Representative of establishment seeking certification of the product must give a formal request for approval to the Food Safety Services of BAHA.

This can be done using established application forms or through a letter of application from the requesting party. The application should include the following information:

(a) Name and address of exporter and establishment registration number (if applicable)
(b) Address of importer and country of import
(c) Type of food product for which approval is sought. Full details of all animal or plant origin products should be given
(d) Volume or weight of the products to be exported
(e) Origin or source of primary materials involved
(f) Description of process or minimum treatment (heat, maturation, acidification etc) applied to the products
(e) Means of transport of the product
The application should also include confirmation that the establishment has been approved for export. BAHA is the authority responsible for approving establishments for exporting products of an animal or plant nature.

(2) BAHA acknowledges the request and determines when an inspection of the establishment should be carried out
(3) Bilateral contacts and arrangements between the national authorities of the importing country
and BAHA (if applicable) is consulted to decide certification requirements
(4) If the Food Safety Services of BAHA is satisfied with the information provided, an on-the-spot inspection may be organized by BAHA
(5) If the establishment is already registered with BAHA and is being subjected to its inspection and sampling protocol on a program basis with good results, depending on the class of products to be exported (ready to eat products, products for further processing, etc.), certification applicable to the products may be granted immediately.
(6) If the outcome of the inspection (and testing where applicable) is satisfactory to BAHA and all other outstanding issues have been resolved, BAHA then prepares the necessary health certification based on the importing country’s requirements.
(7) Following completion of the inspection, including results of any testing undertaken from samples submitted to the official laboratory, (The Central Investigation Laboratory in Belize
City) a copy of the inspection report is sent to the Director of Food Safety Services and to the establishment.

The certificates are authenticated with the BAHA Food Safety Seal and submitted to the party requesting certification of the food product after payment of all relevant fees.
(9) If for any reason, an establishment or exporter who makes a request, is dissatisfied with the inspection or certification services of BAHA, the applicant can give a letter detailing the
reasons for such dissatisfaction and direct it to the Director of Food Safety Services where it will receive prompt attention with the view of resolution of any discrepancies.
Certification Compliance
The following are the compliance requirements that are to be met by establishments requesting certification of food products by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority:
(a) Sanitary Certificate
(1) Completed application form or letter of application outlining the details of the products to be certified
(2) Establishment is registered with BAHA as an approved food processing facility
(3) Establishment is subjected to BAHA Food Safety Services Inspection and Sampling Protocols
(4) Proof that the product has been handled, ready or processed, identified, stored and transported under a competent Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and sanitary program, consistently implemented and under the requirements laid down in the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (Food Safety) Regulations, 2001

Certificate of Facility Registration
(1) Submit a completed application form to BAHA
(2) The establishment, its processing and support areas, must meet the requirements set out by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority
(3) The establishment is free from serious contamination

Are you exporting to Europe..you will need this.
The Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group (EUREP) sets out a framework for developing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) globally for horticultural products (i.e. fruits, vegetables, potatoes, salads, cut flowers, and nursery stock).

The EUREP framework generally outlines the smallest standard acceptable to leading retailers in Europe, and is based on Integrated Crop Management (ICM) – a philosophy that recognizes the need for crop production to be economically and environmentally sustainable.

The Key Points of EUREP
1. Record Keeping – Up-to-date records are required to prove compliance with GAP and
to make sure tractability of produce from farm to last consumer
2. Varieties & Root stocks – Choice of rootstock must meet the customers specified quality standards; seed quality and germination rate should be checked; susceptibility to pests and diseases should be known
3. Site History – A permanent record of each field should be kept; make sure that crop rotations maintain soil conditions
4. Soil Management – A soil map is recommended; avoid chemical fumigation’s where possible
5. Fertilizer Usage – Routine soil samples should be taken to decide nutrient requirements
of the soil
6. Irrigation – Crop requirements of water should be predicted using a recognized method; irrigation water should be analyzed for microbial, chemical, and mineral pollutants, and records kept
7. Crop Protection – Crop protection systems should be developed to decrease the use of agrichemicals; Integrated Pest and Crop Management Systems (IPM/ICM) should be adopted; use of only approved chemicals
8. Harvesting – Workers must have access to toilet and washing facilities, and receive hygiene training before handling fresh produce; store harvested produce to adequately avoid pest contamination
9. Post Harvest Treatments – Post-harvest chemicals should be avoided where possible but if used, must be in strict accordance with product label need
10. Waste and Pollution Recycling – Identify all possible waste products and pollutants; develop a plan for responsible disposal
11. Worker health, safety, and welfare – Training should be provided to those using agrochemicals,or operating dangerous machinery; set up accident rules, and give for first aid training; have first aid kits on hand; make sure that there is no exploitation of labor
12. Environmental Issues – Farming activity should not impact adversely on the environment; growers should have a policy for enhancing wildlife and conservation Certification is important because most European retailers and processors need assurance that the produce they buy has been grown in a responsible way, that it is safe, and that any chemical residues are within permitted levels.
When you believe that your farm/facilities meet the required status, “CMI Certification” a leading provider of independent assurance and certification services, can register you and the products you
want to grow, inspect your farming operation, and then give a EUREP GAP Certificate if you meet the requirements of the scheme. More information on CMI Certification and can be found on the company’s website at www.cmi.plc.com
13.3 Food Labeling
All foodstuffs marketed in the EU must comply with EU labeling rules, which are aimed at ensuring that consumers get all the essential information to make an informed choice while purchasing their foodstuffs.

Labels of foodstuffs must contain the following particulars:
• The name under which the product is sold
• List of ingredients
• Net quantity
• Date of minimum durability consisting of day, month and year (in that order) and preceded by the words “best before” or “use by” for highly perishable goods
• Special conditions for keeping or use
• Name of business and address of the manufacturer, packager, or importer
• Place of origin
• Instructions for use
• Acquired alcoholic strength for beverages containing more than 1.2% alcohol by volume
• Lot marking on prepackaged foodstuffs with the marking preceded by the letter “L”
These particulars must appear on the packaging or on a label attached to the prepackaged foodstuffs.
In the case of prepackaged foodstuffs intended to be sold in bulk, the compulsory labeling particulars must appear on the commercial documents, while the name under which it is sold, use by date, and the name of the manufacturer must appear on the external packaging.

Export Documentation
Exports to the EU must be accompanied by the following documents:
1. E100 Form (obtained from the Importer)
2. Commercial Invoice
3. Transportation documentation (Bill of Lading, Airway Bill, etc.)
4. Packing List
5. Sanitary Certification
6. Certificate of Origin (to be eligible for preferential treatment)
There is an EU Help Desk website that gives a vast amount of detailed information for exporting products to the EU. The web address is www.export-help.cec.eu.int Information on exporting
particular products can be obtained by typing in the tariff code, along with the country of origin.

Please note: You will either have to pay a large food processing facility to do the work for your shipment or you will have to build your own food processing facility.
The cost of both is considerable.
The major food processing facilities will be busy with their own work during harvest.

Also the supervision and monitoring by BAHA is going to be paid for by you the exporter.

The cost of the supervision and monitoring is very high considering the BAHA employee might not even have the equivalent intelligence of an US high school graduate.

Regardless of the mode of transport, the cargo will need some form of packing.
Packing methods for a particular product will depend largely on the following factors:
• The characteristics of the product itself
• The mode of transportation
• The climatic conditions during the different stages of the journey
• The customers requirements
• Governmental or other regulations
Packing for transit must give a casing/crate strong enough to withstand the hazards of transportation (pilferage, rough handling, corrosion, crushing, etc.).
It must also be as compact as possible to reduce the cost of transportation. It is estimated that about 80% of
all cargo worldwide is shipped by volume and not by weight. Therefore, the savings on a few centimeters on the dimension of the each packing case in a large shipment could make a sizable
difference in the freight cost.
Marking Requirements

The first mark to be considered by the exporter is the “mark of origin”. The mark of origin indicates the country of origin of the particular goods, ex. “Made in Belize”. Some countries need a compulsory mark of origin. The mark of origin must be legible, indelible, and easily seen. The exporter should investigate the importing country’s marking regulations before packing goods for export shipment.

The particular way in which the mark is applied depends on the particular country.

Special rules govern the labeling of certain products including beverages, ready foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, toilet preparations, and others. The label should clearly show the measure and quality of the goods. The information on the labels may include:
• Name and address of manufacturer
• Weight or volume of contents
• Ingredients
• Percent recommended daily allowance (RDA) [if food product]
• Other relevant details
Note that the information is often required in the language and weights and measures of the importing country. The Bureau of Standards is the exporter’s source for information about
compliance with requirements for packaging, labeling, and other standards.
For further information about labeling requirements and other international standards
The Bureau of Standards
Ms. Helen Reynolds-Arana
53 Regent Street
Belize City, Belize
Tel: (501) 227-2314
Email: bbs@btl.net
♦ Shipping Marks
All cases and crates have to be marked for shipping or other transportation. Some customers may have their own shipping mark so that consignments due to him are easily recognized at the port of destination. Essential data includes the name of the exporter and his/her address, the name of the customer and his shipping mark, and often a case or crate number. Other data may include weight of the packages, name of the ship, port of shipment, and destination and origin of goods. Handling instructions are based on those recommended by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). For example, to show that goods should be handled with care, there is an international sign of a wineglass.

In a prepayment agreement, the exporter will not ship the goods to the buyer until the goods have been paid for. Goods must be paid for before the shipment is dispatched, and goods are available to
the buyer, once payment has been made. This method poses no risk to the importer. The importer must rely completely on the exporter to ship the goods as ordered.

• Letters of Credit (L/C)
Letters of credit (L/C’s) are usually the most common method of receiving payment for exports. They are issued by a bank on behalf of the importer promising to pay the exporter upon presentation of
the shipping documents. Payment is made by the buyer when the shipment is sent by the exporter and the goods become available to the buyer after payment is made. The exporter faces little or no
risk, but the importer relies on the exporter to ship the goods as described in the documents.

Important Terms:
• Applicant – The party who instructs the bank to open a letter of credit in favor of the beneficiary. The applicant is usually importer or buyer of the goods and services.
• Beneficiary – the party in whose favor the applicant’s bank opens the letter of credit. The beneficiary is usually the exporter or seller of the goods and services.
• Issuing Bank – The bank that opens the letter of credit in favour of the beneficiary at the request, and on the instructions of the applicant.
• Advising Bank – Advises the beneficiary that a letter of credit opened by the issuing bank is available to him and informs the beneficiary about the terms of the L/C.

The required documents for a L/C typically include the following:
• Bill of lading (receipt for shipment)
• Insurance policy or certificate
• Commercial Invoice
• Draft (Sight or Time, which designates the terms of payment)
Other documents may be needed to meet customs requirements such as:
• Consular Invoice
• Certificate of Origin
• Health certificate (Phytosanitary)
• Weight note
• Packing List

Note this does not include Bribes and transportation costs to deal with Belize’s corrupt and incompetent government bureaucracy.

Also this has nothing to do with Geopolitical things that can happen when your freight reaches the port of destination.

A paperwork delay could cause you to lose your entire shipment.

The original series of posts I did is at http://crossingborders.board-directory.net/

Happy global trading.)


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