Import/Export trader kiss of death. The Regulated industries

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Import/Export trader kiss of death. The Regulated industries

Post by Ericwt on Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:22 pm

A fortune can be made with import/Export and yet most new small Import/Export traders fail.

In later threads I will discuss the necessary ingredients for small Import/Exporter traders to have in order to make it in a very competitive industry.

But for now we are going to discuss industries you need to avoid until you get lots of experience in trading.

Governments and corporations are doing everything they can to cut out the small international trader. How do they eliminate any possible potential new competition?

Regulations, Permits and Laws. The big corporations have a team of experts including a government employee that gets paid by the corporation to help them through regulations. Yes that is legal.

The following industries are the kiss of death to the small international trader.

This is not a complete list but it does give you guidelines on what industries to avoid until you get some practical experience.

Avoid these industries.


Plants, seeds and/or other horticultural products

Perishable and non-prepackaged food

Police and other government identification and equipment

Body modification products,

Mature toys, novelties, paraphernalia and related Products

Supplements and vitamins

Nazi war memorabilia

Hazardous materials, Chemicals and Radioactive waste

Weapons ( firearms and ammunition)

So if you are a new Import/Export trader avoid these industries. Usually it is impossible to compete against the large corporate conglomerates.

In the next post on this thread I am going to break down the steps the average person has to take to legally import 200 Pepper seeds from abroad.

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Last edited by Ericwt on Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:15 pm; edited 1 time in total

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How to import 200 pepper seeds from abroad

Post by Ericwt on Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:54 am

I want to kind of break this down to the basic level.

Suppose grandma wants to import 200 pepper seeds for her garden.

Grandma is not a seed or agriculture conglomerate, she just wants non GMO pepper seeds that are more exciting than what the Big name US retail stores offer.

What can grandma do?

She can order seeds on the internet. Most companies that are not based in the USA will just send them in an envelope.

However we have a US office and a Belize office. So we have to be licensed to Import and Export seed and agricultural products in the USA and in Belize. 

Now grandma does not have a Import License so she is legally supposed to obtain a small seed permit.

Somehow on the internet or through a licensed exporter she might find this site from the USDA. The link is at the bottom of this post.

Grandma see this.

How to Apply for a Small Lots of Seed Permit: For fastest turn around time, apply on-line at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. Alternately, use [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], Application for Permit to Import Plants or Plant Products. On the first line of section 3 of the application, enter “SMALL LOTS OF SEED PROGRAM”. Starting on the second line, list the seed species and countries from which you want to ship each species. If the list of species is long, you may enter “eligible taxa”. By using this option, you are accepting responsibility for determining the eligibility of the seeds. The Permit Unit cannot tell you if the species are eligible for importation if you do not list them. A permit is issued for taxa that are admissible with no restrictions beyond the port of entry inspection. If port of entry inspectors find prohibited or restricted seeds in your shipment, they will seize and destroy the ineligible kinds.
To determine the entry status of seed taxa, see (2) above and refer to the Plant Protection and Quarantine Nursery Stock Manual’s reference section. (Follow this link: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] /plants/
manuals/ ports/index.shtml). Click on “Nursery Stock Restrictions”, and then find the List of Regulated Propagative Material starting on page 1-9 of the manual. Plants that are not listed in this section are generally admissible and eligible for the small lots of seed program. Plants that are listed in this section are ineligible for the small lots of seed program, with the following exceptions:

  • A taxon is eligible for the small lots of seed program if the relevant manual entries exclude seeds (check entries at both the genus and species levels and note family-level listings for Cactaceae, Cycadaceae and Rutaceae).
  • Species noted only as FSA-A or FSA-V in the “other requirements” column are eligible, but must meet the import provisions of the Federal Seed Act; i.e., the labeling must include variety names for vegetable seeds and lot numbers for both agricultural and vegetable seeds.
  • Species noted only as CITES or ESA in the “other requirements” column are eligible if accompanied by any required CITES or ESA permits. Generally, seeds of both Threatened and Endangered plants are regulated under the Endangered Species Act; however, the seeds of Threatened plants are not regulated if they come from cultivated plants. See:

Well grandma is overwhelmed. She is not sure if she can import 200 pepper seeds. (She can)

It says registering online is faster. (A week or so).

But grandma is scratching her head.

Instead of doing it the faster way she chooses to downlaod [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and mail it in. Assuming that she filled out the paperwork properly in about 2 or 3 weeks she will get shipping labels with here permit number.

Then she needs to mail us the permit label (2-3 weeks). We legally cannot send the seeds without the Permit label that has official watermarks and bar codes.

If Grandma had figured out the online application she might get the permit labels in 2 weeks. Online she will get a number a lot quicker.

Can she send us the number? No, we cannot ship to the USA until we get that permit label.

When we get grandmas permit label we have to pack the seeds like this.

(5) The seed meets the following packaging and shipping requirements:
(i) A typed or legibly printed seed list/invoice accompanies each shipment with the name of the collector/shipper, the botanical names (at least to genus, preferably to species level) listed alphabetically, as well as the country of origin, and country shipped from, for each taxon. Each seed packet is clearly labeled with the name of the collector/shipper, the country of origin, and the scientific name at least to the genus, and preferably to the species, level. The invoice/seed list may provide a code for each lot, which may be used on the seed packets in lieu of the full list of required information. In this case, each packet must at least include the appropriate code, which is referenced to the entry for that packet on the seed list/invoice.
(ii) There are a maximum of 50 seeds of 1 taxon (taxonomic category such as genus, species, cultivar, etc.) per packet; or a maximum weight not to exceed 10 grams of seed of 1 taxon per packet;
(iii) There are a maximum of 50 seed packets per shipment;
(iv) The seeds are free from pesticides;
(v) The seeds are securely packaged in packets or envelopes and sealed to prevent spillage [Note: we recommend that seeds are packed in resealable, clear plastic envelopes to facilitate inspection];
(vi) The shipment is free from soil, plant material other than seed, other foreign matter or debris, seeds in the fruit or seed pod, and living organisms such as parasitic plants, pathogens, insects, snails, mites; and
(vii) At the time of importation, the shipment is sent to an approved port of entry listed in the permit.

If we don't pack the seeds like this the whole shipment can get confiscated.

Now this is the basic idea without a rant about USDA regulations. The fact is a lot of items are cleared or denied based on the mood of the Agriculture bureaucrat.

One mistake the whole shipment can get destroyed at customs.

Not a big deal for a 200 pepper seeds order.

However it is a different world if you are importing an entire container load.

It would almost make a small book to outlining the whole process.

Regulation is how the USA is trying to eliminate the small trader.

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The awating monster will eat those who dont understand

Post by Ericwt on Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:36 am

Did you know you can actually ruin yourself financially if you do not know the game of how it works.

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

The intent is to have a small farm and grow their own food. And grow they do. Soon they have way more then they can eat. (This is after two to six years, depending on the agricultural product.)

The start selling the produce at the local markets. Depending on your connections you 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.

Bureaucracy will eat up the uninformed.

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

Copied from Belize law and other documents.

Besides all the physical considerations of the products for the foreign market, the most predominant
difference between trading within Belize and trading with a foreign country is the process of
documentation. A number of documents must accompany every shipment, and these documents must be
correct. Documentary requirements vary depending on the country that the exports are destined for.
If the documents are not complete or are incorrect, it can create delays at customs and incur additional
charges - at times for both the exporter and the importer. A customer will think twice about future
business with an exporter who has been negligent in the documentation of cargo. Losses due to
improper documentation may be exacerbated when dealing with perishable goods. However,
once the proper procedures and requirements are learnt, the whole process becomes easier, and
although the exporter has the option of hiring the services of a freight forwarding agent to fill out
the documents and arrange transportation, it is important that he/she acquaint himself/herself with
the documentation procedures.
6.1 The Major Documents
The major documents that any exporter must become familiar with include:
• 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
Not all of the above documents are required for all goods by all countries. The exporter must
find out which ones are necessary in each case. It is also important to know where to obtain the
documents needed.
6.1.1 Export License - This is the fist document an exporter must be concerned with. The following
goods require an export license prior to exportation:
1. Live animals, excluding pets
2. Fish, crustaceans, and molluscs, excluding aquacultured species
3. Logs and lumber (except logs and lumber from Rosewood and Zericote trees, which are wholly
4. Sugar
5. Citrus Fruits
6. Beans
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.

6.1.2 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 form 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 whenever a shipment arrives or leaves Belize. The forms can be purchased at
major Bookstores in Belize.
6.1.3 Commercial Invoice
This document gives the information on which duty will be assessed. It can usually be prepared on
the exporter’s own form but the contents must comply with 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.
6.1.4 Customs Invoice
The customs invoice is usually required by Commonwealth countries, and is a commercial invoice
prepared on a special form prescribed by the customs authorities.
6.1.5 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 of this invoice. 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, and the
Consul must authenticate the forms. When consular invoices need to be validated, a fee is usually
charged for the validating service.
6.1.6 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 contains 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 purchase price.
6.1.7 Certificate of Origin
The main purpose of this document is to establish 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 labour 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. There are several types of certificates of origin, and below is a listing of some of the
most common ones.
a. Generalised 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.
b. Chamber of Commerce Certificate of Origin - The importer or the importing country may
require 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
at a cost of BZ$60.00

c. 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 in the exporting country, and that the
amount shown on the invoice is the true and correct value.
6.1.8 Health/Sanitary Certificate
This certificate is required when animals, animal products (Zoo-sanitary Certificate), or plants and
plant products (Phyto-sanitary Certificate) are shipped. 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.
6.1.9 Certificate of Inspection
The customer sometimes demands a certificate of inspection to ensure 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.
6.1.10 Packing List
This document is often little used and supplements the commercial invoice when numerous units of the
same product are being used or when quantities, weight, or contents of individual units in a shipment vary.
Generally, a separate list is prepared for each package, showing the weight, measurements, and contents.
Customs officials usually carry out a partial examination by checking a certain number of the cases. If the
packing list proves to be accurate for these, the rest of the shipment is assumed to be in order.
8.0 Plant Health Export Certification Procedure
7.0 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
4. XCH2 Form
The XCH2 Form is a type of monitoring mechanism of the Central Bank of Belize to facilitate 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 must
be completed in duplicate. A sample XCH2 Form can be found in the Appendix.
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.
7.1 Classification of Exports
Non-Commercial Exports
This classification is relevant to small amounts of product that may be sent to individuals, firms, or
institutions as samples for analysis; personal effects being sent outside of the country; and items for
repair that cannot be done in Belize (computers, engines). No monetary returns are expected from
these exports. These exports are less complicated as no tight controls regulate their movement
across frontiers, and they usually have few specific requirements.
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 assesment 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 ensure
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 location is visited frequently by the certifying officer to verify and record the pests present, and
to keep the incidence of these as low as possible. A sample of the Compliance Agreement can be
found in the Appendix.
8.1 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 ensure that the packages are properly sealed
and labeled. Treatment of the product, packaging, labeling, etc. must comply with 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
A sample Phytosanitary Certificate can be found in the Appendix.
8.2 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
8.3 Procedures at the Port of Export
When the shipment reachs 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 traceability.
8.4 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 appropriate storage place so as to ensure 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 require a phytosanitary
certificate for the imported commodity, but the commodity is being shipped to another country that
does require 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 maintain 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 operate 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 participate in
the program. This is done between the stakeholder and the executing agency, BAHA.
BAHA will provide trained personnel 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.
9.0 The Commodities Certification Program
Packers/Producers are required to advise 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 provide oversight supervision of all inspection procedures.
9.1 Safeguards
Under the Compliance Agreement, the following conditions must be met to permit 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 minimum distance of two hundred (200) metres 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 ensure 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 previous 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 .
9.2 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
• 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 appropriate 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
• 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
9.3 Packing House Inspection Procedures
• The exporter/packer must ensure, 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 examine 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 prior to 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
so as to preclude 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:
ÿ Overland Via Guatemala - Packing house inspection during loading of container
ÿ Sea freight - Belize seaport
ÿ 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.
A sample “Farm Visit Report” can be found in the Appendix.
The Food Safety Department of BAHA has a mandate to monitor, evaluate, and take action 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 requirement 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 Crititical 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 frequently 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 category 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 ensure that the correct certification is used, and that all of its provisions
have been met.
10.1 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 submit 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 final 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 determine 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 currently 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 forthwith.
(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
(Cool 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 submit 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.
10.2 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

(4) Proof that the product has been handled, prepared or processed, identified, stored and
transported under a competent Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and
sanitary program, consistently implemented and in accordance with the requirements
laid down in the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (Food Safety) Regulations, 2001
(5) For Fish and Fishery Products, the establishment must comply with the Belize Agricultural
Health Authority (Fish and Fisheries Products Inspection) Regulations, 2001 of the Laws
of Belize
(b) Certificate of Free Sale
(1) The product is sold freely in Belize, and is not under any legal restrictive measures
imposed upon the establishment by BAHA or another competent authority
(2) Submit a completed application form or letter of application to BAHA outlining the
details of product(s) to be certified
(e) 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 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 minimum 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.
13.2 The Key Points of EUREP
1. Record Keeping - Up-to-date records are required to demonstrate compliance with GAP and
to ensure traceability of produce from farm to final consumer
2. Varieties & Rootstocks - 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; ensure that crop rotations
maintain soil conditions
4. Soil Management - A soil map is recommended; avoid chemical fumigations where possible
5. Fertilizer Usage - Routine soil samples should be taken to determine 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
7. Crop Protection - Crop protection systems should be developed to minimize the use of agrochemicals;
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
9. Post Harvest Treatments - Post-harvest chemicals should be avoided where possible but if
used, must be in strict accordance with product label requirement
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; establish accident procedures, and provide for first
aid training; have first aid kits on hand; ensure that there is no exploitation of labour
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 provide 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 [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
13.3 Food Labelling
All foodstuffs marketed in the EU must comply with EU labelling 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 pre-packaged foodstuffs with the marking preceded by the letter “L”
These particulars must appear on the packaging or on a label attached to the pre-packaged foodstuffs.
In the case of pre-packaged 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.
13.4 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 [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Information on exporting
particular products can be obtained by typing in the tariff code, along with the country of origin.

And that is just the start you still need to follow the regulations of the country you are exporting to.

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

Happy global trading.)

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Re: Import/Export trader kiss of death. The Regulated industries

Post by de Heydon on Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:29 am

Unbelievable !

After dealing with all that, do you still have your sanity ?
de Heydon
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Re: Import/Export trader kiss of death. The Regulated industries

Post by Ericwt on Sat Jun 29, 2013 3:56 am

I honestly cannot answer that question. At least I am happy.Very Happy 

Unfortunately, the regulations are not finished. I have not covered shipping and payment paperwork.

This documentation is needed before shipment can leave port.

In my next post I will cover those regulations.

de Heydon wrote:Unbelievable !

After dealing with all that, do you still have your sanity ?

Last edited by Ericwt on Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:00 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Import/Export trader kiss of death. The Regulated industries

Post by Ericwt on Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:58 pm

In Belize they want to know everything about what and who you are Exporting goods to.

I am not going over shipping methods and documents because it depends on the many methods of shipment and what is being shipped.

Regardless of the mode of transport, the cargo will require 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 provide 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 in order to minimize the cost of transportation. It is estimated that approximately 80% of
all cargo worldwide is shipped by volume rather than by weight. Therefore, the savings on a few
centimeters on the dimension of the each packing case in a large shipment could make a sizeable
difference in the freight cost.
14.3.1 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 require 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, prepared foodstuffs,
pharmaceuticals, toilet preparations, and others. The label should clearly identify the quantity 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 frequently required in the language and weights and measures of
the importing country. The Bureau of Standards is the exporter’s source for information regarding
compliance with requirements for packaging, labeling, and other standards.
For further information regarding 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: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
♦️ 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 indicate 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 favour of the
beneficiary. The applicant is usually importer or buyer of the goods and services.
• Beneficiary – the party in whose favour 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 (Phyto-sanitary or Zoo-sanitary certificate)
• 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.

Nor will any of this help you if you have not followed the laws regarding permits, licenses and paperwork in the country that will receive your goods.

Happy trading. Wink

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