GENERAL QUESTIONS

1. What is the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA)?

The Belize Agricultural Health Authority is the Competent Authority for agricultural health and food safety in Belize.

2. When was it established?

The Authority was established when the Government of Belize enacted the Belize Agricultural Health Authority Act No. 47 of 1999.

It became operational on April 01 2000.

3. Where is it possible to obtain a copy of the BAHA Act and its subsidiary regulations?

A copy of the BAHA Act is available on BAHA’s website.

All of Belize laws are also posted on the Government’s website at www.belizelaw.org. The BAHA Act is Chapter 211 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011.

To obtain a copy of all subsidiary regulations passed under the BAHA Act, it is required that you search for Chapter 211S on that same website.

4. How is BAHA structured?

BAHA is a corporate body and is run by a Board of Directors.  It falls under the Ministry of Agriculture and all Statutory Instruments passed under the BAHA Act need to be signed into law by the Minister with responsibility for Agriculture.  An organogram of the organization can be obtained from the BAHA Website.

The Authority has as head, the Managing Director, who in turn has a team of Senior Managers.  Each Department is headed by a Director.  Other Units are headed by Coordinators.

The organization has four (4) technical departments:  Animal Health, Plant Health, Quarantine and Food Safety.

The Authority also has a Finance Director and a Human Resource Director.

Each Department has its own structure based on its functions.

BAHA also has offices country-wide.  Quarantine Stations are located at all the major ports of entry.

In addition, BAHA has several laboratories:  Plant Health Laboratory (Plant Health, Central Farm, Cayo District), Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the PCR Laboratory (Animal Health, Central Farm, Cayo District), Chemical Analysis Laboratory and the Food Microbiology Laboratory (Food Safety, Belize City).

5. Does BAHA charge for the services offered?

  • Yes.  The Organization has a fee structure which is legislated:  Statutory Instrument Number 182 of 2004.  The aforementioned regulation contains all the services offered by BAHA and the fees that apply. However it should also be noted that other regulations may also contain fees and services in more detail, such as the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (Veterinary Drugs and Animal Feed) Registration and Control Regulation.

6.  If I have any queries on BAHA where could I direct my questions?

  • The Belize Agricultural Health Authority is also the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Enquiry Point for Belize.  As a result, BAHA has a focal point where all queries can be directed to.  Queries can be sent either to  bahasps@btl.net or  baha@btl.net.

7. Is BAHA also the notification authority?

  • The Directorate General for Foreign Trade in the Ministry with responsibility for Trade is the Notification Authority for Belize.  They can be contacted at the following electronic address:  foreigntrade@btl.net or you may visit their website at www.dgft.gov.bz.

8. Does BAHA also serve as other contact points?

  • Yes.  BAHA is also the contact point for the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) because the Authority is also the National Plant Protection Organization for Belize.
  • It also serves as the contact point for the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
  • In matters as they relate to Food Safety it is also the contact point for CODEX, however the focal point for CODEX is at the Belize Bureau of Standards, Ministry of Finance.
  • BAHA has also recently been given the responsibility of functioning as the focal point for Biosafety.