Belize: shipping to belize:
I don't know how much help this will be to you, but I am hoping that this will give you somewhat of an idea.
Someone, I think that is on this forum stated that they brought over a $200.00 TV that cost them $45.00 in duty taxes.
I am on many different forums for Belize and have come to the conclusion that it is just not worth it to ship all of my furniture when I move there. With the risk of things being damaged, lost or stolen, to me it's just not worth it. Also, someone on here stated that most of the furniture that we have here in america is not made to withstand the heat and humidity in Belize and would probably not hold up. So for all of the above reasons, I have decided to sell all of my furniture and the most precious items that I can't part with, will be given to my son and I will purchase new furniture that is made there.
Also, since I will be renting instead of purchasing a home there for at least a year, I will rent a furnished home and will not need furniture. I do plan on bringing cook ware, as I have heard that the cookware there sucks.
I have learned about from a couple that moved to Costa Rica and they have documented their entire move with videos. Their website is: Boomers Offshore.
Their videos have been very helpful to me in the extent off the tedious process of moving abroad and taking personal possessions.
I subscribe to "Expat Daily News" and they just recently had an article about moving personal items over seas. I will post that article here in case there is something of interest to you or others on this forum.
Here is the article:
Well, my husband and I have just moved from Patagonia up north to the Province of Mendoza, so the topic of moving is at the top of my mind. For us, things were not any more difficult than figuring out how to jam all our stuff into our little Renault. Pots and pans and our stash of good soy sauce, a few boxes of innumerable apparently essential small things, the electric heater, the printer, and the desktop computer being the bulkiest items, with the mattress and disassembled desk on the rack on top. We managed to squeeze it all in, and the dog and myself became known as “the scrunchies” together in the passenger seat area for a day-and-a-half- long drive.
For those of you who probably have more stuff and are wondering what the best way to bring or send it all might be, instead of taking the word of the shipping companies that want to sell their services, I have searched for advice from expats who have gone through the process and found that everyone has a different experience. Put together, the experiences offer some good tips for varying situations.
What to Take/Leave Behind
This depends on who is footing the bill. If you are receiving a relocation package, one expat recommends over packing, just to be sure you will have everything you need. However, the story is quite different if you are paying, as the costs for an experienced international mover and the additional customs fees are high – and the voices of experience overwhelmingly state the importance of using a reputable moving company.
Many people advise leaving furniture behind, because you can usually rent furnished apartments just about everywhere in the world or purchase furniture when you get there for less than the cost of moving yours. Someone points out that your US furniture may not fit into your house.
Also, it is highly suggested that you either leave irreplaceable heirlooms behind or understand that there is a risk of loss and breakage, no matter how good your moving service and insurance may be.
Another person recommends trying to find out what useful items are hard to obtain in your destination. For Uruguay and Argentina, for example, I recommend bringing a good can opener. Corkscrews, on the other hand, are widely available. Electronics are usually less expensive and more widely available at home. And several people recommend bringing some things that remind you of home.
Preparing For the Move
Try to mark your boxes so that you will know what to open first when you arrive. Tools and hardware for assembling shelves and furniture, kitchen items, and bedding would probably top the list. Of course, you can bring other essentials on the plane with you.
Be sure to remove items that will not get through customs before the movers show up (More on customs to follow).
Some people who make their move in several stages of coming and going have found bringing their personal household items in luggage on the airplane to be a cost-effective method. Just be ready to deal with customs rules and regulations.
The moving services vary in price and quality, so check around. Insist on having the bids in writing. Get recommendations. Find a company that has experience within the expat community. Inquire if they have an agent to get your belongings through the customs process. Check references!
Also insist on having hidden charges (taxes, tariffs, home-delivery) revealed. Make sure to get everything in writing, i.e. services and timelines (although you may need to take into consideration that “time” is a cultural concept). Read the fine print and be sure you understand the terms of the contract.
Supervise as much of the process as possible. Look into out how experienced the movers in your destination are with foreign languages, to be sure your directions will be understood.
Find out whom to contact if you need to discuss any issues. And try to stay in constant communication, especially when subcontractors are involved.
One expat emphasizes that it is important to know whether your belongings will be shipped direct or stored before shipment. If you do not have a full container of goods and they are stored, the chances of theft are high. The moving company may have no particular interest in security at this point because insurance covers the cost of stolen items.
This is highly recommended. However, be sure to make a detailed inventory, and read the fine print. Know what is covered. Of course, you must realize that the insurance does not actually ensure that irreplaceable items won’t get broken or stolen, and that it may take a struggle to get your claims met.
One expat describes having followed the advice of other expats, assumedly a scheme to get around the regulations, and how it ended up costing a two-month delay and a $5,000 fine.
Others recommend learning what the customs regulations and requirements are yourself, instead of leaving it all up to the moving company.
Be prepared for upsets and high costs, and be thankful when things go smoothly. And remember – it’s only stuff. What is important in life are loved ones and experiencing life to its fullest.
I have not heard of any hepatitis break outs in Belize. I know they are doing testing for it now though at a clinic. I have heard that HIV is very prominent in Belize though, in fact the statistics are unreal!
Belize: Helpful Websites:
Thank you for the links to the sites, I will check into them.
I have written to the Embassy of Belize
twice now and have not received any replies yet.
I haven't been able to locate anything for the consulate yet.
I hope your dream of moving to Belize happens soon for you. My dream is taking alot longer than I was hoping it would, but I'm still working on it.
Belize: Moving to Belize and could use your knowledge:
I emailed the Belize Embassy asking for information on February 22, 2011 and received a reply from them on March 9th, 2011. Here is the email that I sent to them and their response:
I am writing in hopes that you can help me to obtain some important and necessary information.
I have been trying to obtain information regarding relocating to Belize, but I seem to get conflicting information.
What I am trying to obtain is information on the residency laws and employment laws of Belize. I have checked www.belizelaw.org but have not been able to find the laws or information that I need.
I would like to know if you can send me information about the law for becoming a resident of Belize and also the law regarding working in Belize.
I thank you in advance for any information that you can send to me.
The Embassy does not have specific information, however you can google Belize Immigration pertaining to residency laws and employment laws of Belize and also you can google Belize Tourism Board for more information on relocating to Belize.
Belize: Internet costs in Belize:
From what I have found while researching relocating to Belize is that BTL has a monopoly on internet and phone services. I have read that internet charges are about $25.00 per month. Of course I am hoping that someone that actually lives there can answer this question better for you.
I have learned that some things that I read are not exactly correct. For instance, before I visited Belize I read that the water taxi fees were $10.00 US per person, but when I got there, it was $15.00 US per person.
Belize: Owning a Business In Belize:
I did do some quick research and learned that a person has to be a resident for at least 6 months before they can obtain a work permit. Kind of shoots down my plans, for awhile anyway.
Belize: Short Term Rentals:
Have you tried:
There is also: www.belize.net too
I haven't researched the southern end of Belize much at all.
Belize: How it is like living in Belize?:
I don't live in Belize yet, but I have done and still do a lot of research on Belize.
So to answer some of your questions:
Crime and violence is Belize is on the rising. I had planned on going back in August, but because of the high crime rate there now I am going to wait awhile.
I subscribe to the daily news paper there that is emailed to me and also the channel 5 and channel 7 news is emailed to me daily.
To date, there have been 42 murders, most in Belize city. That may not sound like a lot, but when you realize that we are in the middle of May and the small size of Belize, it is a lot of murders for the country.
The crimes have finally gotten the attention of the locals and the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow as well. Locals have been holding peace rallies and even the schools are getting involved in these rallies. The people of Belize have had enough of the violent crimes there.
The Prime Minister is now in the process of re-writing the constitution there for better laws against crime. One of which being that someone that commits a murder will not be given a jury trial.
So until the new laws come into effect, I will not be returning to Belize for safety issues.
As far as the local people being prejudice against foreigners, I personally have not witnessed that at all. They seem to welcome us and our american dollar.
The cost of living varies per area. I noticed that things are much less expensive in Corozal than on the islands. Ambergris Caye is much more expensive than Caye Caulker.
As far as anything that is shipped to you, yes, you will pay an import tax on anything. I hear that it is very costly too. One person that I think was on this forum, stated that they brought over a $200.00 TV that cost $45.00 in duty tax, just to give you an idea of the cost.
Hope the above information is a help to you and others here.
Belize: live in Belize on 500 a month US???:
I think you could probably live in Belize for $500.00 a month, but you will be living in rough conditions though. From what I have seen, to live comfortably it would cost about $1200.00 a month.
Basically it depends on where you want to live too.
The islands, Ambergris costs alot more to live, Caye Caulker is the next most expensive and Corozal is the least expensive.