This process ensures that the consignments comply with the Sanitary and Phytosanitary requirements of Belize. With the globalization of markets, an increase in the commercial exchange of commodities between countries is evident. This offers a pathway by which various pests and diseases can enter and be disseminated easily in Belize, Therefore, the INSPECTION OF CONSIGNMENTS is one of the important duties performed by a Quarantine Officer in stopping or delaying the entry and establishment of pests and diseases of quarantine importance and safeguarding human health.
CARGO – LAND, SEA, AIR
Importations of cargo are allowed through the authorized points of entry or as designated through the import permits after a risk assessment has been completed when necessary.
Areas for cargo inspection are:
- Terrestrial points of entry – at the inspection yard designated for that purpose by the Border Management Agency.
- Phillip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) – the apron, the Amerijet warehouse or at any other authorized warehouse.
- Maritime Ports – at the designated warehouses in these areas.
PASSENGER BAGGAGE – LAND, SEA, AIR
The inspection of a person’s baggage arriving in Belize by any means of transportation at a point of entry (Sea, Air, and Land) is of great importance. Records show that a large percentage of interceptions of plant and animal products prohibited or restricted entry into Belize are transported in baggage. These products can pose a serious threat to our agricultural health and food safety. The quantities intercepted may be small but can pose a high risk.
Quarantine Inspectors maintain adequate coordination with Customs, Immigration, Police and other related authorities to foster support in the execution of the inspection of baggage.
Passengers and crew baggage primarily is searched by Customs clerks and will be directed to Quarantine Inspectors when products regulated by BAHA are encountered. The Customs’ declaration form is a written declaration of the contents of a person’s baggage and includes a section for plant and animal products. All persons are required to fill out this form and sign under oath.
Quarantine Inspectors have the authority to recall and search any passenger or baggage that is suspect of containing products of quarantine importance which has escaped the search or was overlooked by Customs.
Non-declaration of commodities regulated by BAHA is an offense. Passengers are advised to fill the form properly and avoid any penalties.
INSPECTION OF MAIL
Quarantine Inspectors are authorized to inspect postal packages which the Postal Services of Belize (includes government and private entities) has verified as containing a commodity regulated by BAHA.
TRANSITS – CARGO
Quarantine Inspectors verify that cargo (plants, animals, their products and by-products) originating from other countries transiting to a third country abide by BAHA’s regulations.
Consignments that present Sanitary and Phytosanitary hazards to our agricultural and human health and life shall meet BAHA’s import requirements. It is the exclusive responsibility of the owner to communicate to his foreign provider/consignor, the requirements of Belize.