Friday, October 8, 2010

Belize trade with Guatemala status report!

As far as agriculture crops go, Belize seems to have our side of the border rules and regulations and paper work organized, SORT OF?

BAHA issues a PHYTO-SANITARY paper, your broker ( brokers cost money ) makes out the export permit and nowadays the system of getting the Rules of Origin paper is now allegedly available from the Customs at the border? Next you have to spend more money and hire a broker on the Guatemalan side for the importation part of export to Guatemala. He the broker in Guatemala issues an importation permit, the Guatemalan buyer needs an import number, and then you have to pay the E.V.A tax, whatever that is. Don´t forget you have to get sprayed also and pay that fee and also a road usage fee when crossing the bridge over the river in Melchor de Menchos.

Belizeans who wish to export legally, will have to have brokers on both sides of the border, and it is questionable if crop exports are profitable when this is done, as they are low margin deals anyway. Just under a half million pounds of corn have been exported to Guatemala this year under the agreement. We also have citrus going to factories in Salvador. Not counting the agriculture which goes over the contraband routes as a necessity for the small players in this predatory taxation and fee charging game of the two governments. Outside of the actual spraying for insects, one has to look at the charges and fees as just so much, money earning taxes paper work by the two governments. Useful for bureaucratic revenue making, but counter productive for exporting requirements, as paper never solved anything in the business of growing and selling crops.

Any sensible young farmer just starting would smuggle his stuff across. The profit margin is so small as to make exporting legally, even if you wanted to be legal, just impossible. Something wrong when government costs take all the profit out of exporting.

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