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Old 15-11-2013, 06:40   #1
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Belizean Clearance

I've been off cruising Panama for a couple of seasons so have not cleared in/out in Belize in a while. So I was pleasantly surprised when clearing a boat in at Cucumber Beach in Belize City recently. I was anticipating the usual surly raas (Kriol for BS) from the officials, but they were courteous and professional...WTF?

Costs are a bit higher to clear in at Cucumber Beach because the officials must travel to you, but the process went smoothly. There were long delays in different officials showing up because it was a cruise ship day, but that's understandable.

To clear at Cucumber Beach just call the marina office and they will make arrangements for you.

Costs (including their travel and "tips") for clearing in a 50' cat, USA documented vessel with Belizean Foreign Vessel registration, with 3 aboard listed below.

Immigration. BZ$75
Customs & BAHA. BZ$160.
Port Authority. BZ$20.

Total US$127.50.

Fees and processes change like the wind in Belize so I am curious what others have experienced this season?
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Old 15-11-2013, 07:17   #2
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Are you belezian flagged? If not how often do you need to renew your "navigation permit" with the port authority?
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Old 15-11-2013, 17:08   #3
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The boat I cleared in above was USCG Documented (by definition USA "flagged", annual renewal) with a Belizean Foreign Vessel registration (annual renewal).

IIRC a standard Belizean navigation permit for a foreign vessel, as would for example be issued to a typical cruising boat, is 90 days.
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Old 15-11-2013, 19:59   #4
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Re: Belizean Clearance

The Belize port authority in Belize city issued us 30 days of cruising permit, and we missed our renewal in Big creek by a few days, as we were unable to locate a BPA rep. Good to see they're now issuing 90 day permits.
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Old 16-11-2013, 05:47   #5
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Don't quote me on the 90 days, remember I said "IIRC". Its been many years since I cleared a vessel into Belize that did not have some form of Belizean registration. Maybe I am recalling that they can be extended to 90 days.

Anyway, more on the subject: When did you clear in? where? And what was your experience?
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Old 20-11-2013, 16:20   #6
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Re: Belizean Clearance

What portion of the costs were "tips"?
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Old 20-11-2013, 16:42   #7
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Re: Belizean Clearance

We've cruised Belize for the last two summers. 2012 for 6 weeks, 2013 for 2 months. We received a 30 day permit which was easily extended. Never paid any "tips", even to the health inspector who came to the boat in 2012 to check on our cat. One check in was in San Pedro the other in Placencia with extensions and check outs the other way round.

We are on our way to Isla Mujeres tomorrow. Will pick up our boat which has been at Marina Del Sol since July. We'll head back to Belize for 2 -3 months prior to heading East in March.

Lots about Belize in our blog S/V WAHOO.
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Old 20-11-2013, 16:55   #8
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Re: Belizean Clearance

Thanks Nolagal, that has been our experience also. Skipping Belize this year (staying closer to USA due to new boat) but hope to return for 2014-15 season. Enjoyed reading your blog.
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Old 20-11-2013, 19:51   #9
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Re: Belizean Clearance

Thats real close to what we spent last year down there for 30 days and got 2 free extentions! Sure looking forward to being there again as soon as we find our new to us boat ! as the ketch has sold!!
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Old 21-11-2013, 07:41   #10
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Originally Posted by gbanker View Post
What portion of the costs were "tips"?
Very little in this case. Just a "lil 20" (BZ$20) for a couple officials...just a goodwill gesture...good to keep the officials you work with on a regular basis happy. I don't think tips tend to come into play for the typical cruising boat. Although I know of officials who tend to include a little extra in the "fees". It becomes part of the routine when doing business here. The wheels of the system have a tendency to grind to a halt without a little lubrication.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:46   #11
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Re: Belizean Clearance

We just checked in on San Pedro so I made a point to write each fee. As we were in a hurry to get over to Hurricane's for a couple of Belikins and some ceveche if I hadn't written down I would never have remembered.

We paid very close to what Belize Sailor paid except, as we have no Belize reg for Wahoo we had to pay the regular Port Authority fees.
All fees are good for 90 days but you can only clear the boat in for 30 days with extensions available to 90 days.

Immigration(per person) $75BZ ($37.50US)
Health & Agriculture $50BZ ($25.US)
Customs $100BZ ($50.US)
Port Authority Vessel under 40 tons, includes 2 days $100BZ ($50 US)
Port Authority Vessel Daily Fee $5.BZ ($2.50US) per day - 1st 2 days included in Vessel Entry Fee.
Initial Permit is 30 days, this can be extended to 90 days at the $5.BZ($2.50 US) rate. This is the only fee you need to pay an extension fee on.

So a US flagged, under 40 ton, vessel will pay $237.50 US for 30 days if 1 person is aboard, add $37.50 for each additional crew member.

Also you don't have to hurry and find BPA at the end of your 30 days. During the summer there was no fine for paying later. We caught up with Mr Martinez as we were wondering around in San Pedro and paid him right there. I think we were 10 days late.

Looking back at fees paid when we checked into Placencia in May I see the same. We haven't checked in at Cucumber Beach but I'm glad to hear it is now less painful.
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Old 12-12-2013, 14:14   #12
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Wahoo, glad to see they appear to be getting more consistent. In some years past it has been a real crap shoot.

The immigration fees are interesting though. BZ$ 37.50 is the normal departure tax (BZ$ 30) + PACT fee (BZ$7.50). Did they charge you this when clearing in? Just noticed I paid the same above, but normally that is on departure (which I did pay on the way out too). Not sure why they are now charging on entry. We had 3 aboard, but the same fee as you...so maybe a flat rate immigration fee now.
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Old 12-12-2013, 14:19   #13
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Re: Belizean Clearance

The Immigration Fee was $75BZ ($37.50US) per person.
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Old 17-12-2013, 16:10   #14
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Who dat in Belize? Wahoo is dat you?
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Old 17-12-2013, 17:50   #15
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Re: Belizean Clearance

Dat be us. Who Dat in Belize!
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