BELTRAIDE - Belize Exporter's Manual 2007

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BELTRAIDE - Belize Exporter's Manual 2007

  1. 1. 1 Message from the Executive Director - Lourdes Smith FOREWORD Why an Exporter’s Manual? 1. There is a need to increase our exports. 2. Exporters need to know the new or changing requirements for exporting to the U.S. and other countries. 3. Persons desiring to enter into the export market, need to know what is required in order to (a) Be “export ready” (b) Forego unnecessary costs or loss of money/merchandise due to incorrect or insufficient knowledge about exporting requirements (c) Observe Intellectual property rights laws 4. Customs Brokers need to know these requirements. This Exporters’ Manual provides vital information to assist current exporters and potential exporters in their businesses. Although a producer may know his or her local market and procedures for doing business, doing business out of one’s familiar grounds is a totally different game. How to attain success in the completion of the required procedures in the documentation of exports is the main focus of this manual. Exporting cannot occur unless these procedures, which involve a considerable amount of documentation, are followed and completed in a precise and timely manner. Since the events of 9/11 and subsequent terrorist activities around the globe, combined with the various diseases affecting animal and plant health, many countries have instituted safeguard measures to protect the safety of their people and nation on a whole. Many new requirements and procedures have come into effect in recent years and it is our, BELTRAIDE and BAHA’s, intention to provide a comprehensive guide. This manual is, therefore, of vital importance to the individual exporter and the nation of Belize, as it will ensure that the necessary process is carried out in an effective and efficient manner. It will concentrate on clarifying some of the common questions and concerns regarding exporting. It is hoped that this manual will be used as the “Exporter’s Companion” in assisting you, the exporter or broker, in dealing with the necessary requirements for exporting. Once you go through the manual thoroughly, you will know exactly what to do, when to do it, where to do it, who is responsible for doing it, and what fees must be paid for the services when and if applicable. The plunge into the ocean of export business will be less scary if approached with a considerable good background on how to survive in it. Success in the world of export trade will be more likely and less costly if the manual is followed. I wish you success in all your export endeavors, and please, do not hesitate to contact us for any further assistance you may need. The production of this manual would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of several government agencies, therefore I would like to acknowledge them and give special thanks to the BAHA Technical Staff, Customs Department, the BELTRAIDE Export Promotion and Marketing Staff-Misty Bradley in particular for compiling all the information, and to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for funding the publication of this manual. BELTRAIDE, making business happen!
  2. 2. 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Foreword 1.0 Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE)...........................................................4 2.0 Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA)............................................................................................6 3.0 Logo’s - “Belize - The Natural Niche” & “Belize Foods - Celebrating Quality”.......................................8 4.0 Marketing Elements....................................................................................................................................9 4.1 Output .......................................................................................................................................................11 4.2 Communication.........................................................................................................................................11 4.3 Logistics......................................................................................................................................................12 4.4 Opportunities ............................................................................................................................................14 4.5 Potential Markets......................................................................................................................................14 4.6 Market Research........................................................................................................................................15 4.7 Market Capacity ........................................................................................................................................16 4.8 Limiting Circumstances .............................................................................................................................16 4.9 Checklist.....................................................................................................................................................16 5.0 The Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO).....................................................................................17 5.1 Intellectual Property ................................................................................................................................18 A. Industrial Property .......................................................................................................................18 B. Copyright......................................................................................................................................18 6.0 The Export Process ....................................................................................................................................20 6.1 The Major Documents ..............................................................................................................................20 6.1.1 Export License...............................................................................................................................20 6.1.2 Customs Entry Form .....................................................................................................................21 6.1.3 Commercial Invoice......................................................................................................................21 6.1.4 Customs Invoice ...........................................................................................................................21 6.1.5 Consular Invoice ...........................................................................................................................21 6.1.6 Certificate of Value......................................................................................................................21 6.1.7 Certificate of Origin.....................................................................................................................21 6.1.8 Health/Sanitary Certificate ..........................................................................................................22 6.1.9 Certificate of Inspection ..............................................................................................................22 6.1.10 Packing List...................................................................................................................................22 7.0 Export Documentation Procedures..........................................................................................................23 7.1 Classification of Exports............................................................................................................................23 8.0 Plant Health Export Certification Procedures..........................................................................................23 8.1 Packing Area Procedures ..........................................................................................................................24 8.2 Procedures during Transport....................................................................................................................24 8.3 Procedures at the Port of Exit ..................................................................................................................25 8.4 Port Authority Procedures........................................................................................................................25 8.5 Phytosanitary Certificate for Re-Export...................................................................................................25 9.0 Commodities Certification Program ........................................................................................................25 9.1 Safeguards.................................................................................................................................................26 9.2 Pack House Specifications.........................................................................................................................26 9.3 Pack House Inspection Procedures...........................................................................................................26 9.4 Post Packing Procedures ...........................................................................................................................27 10.0 Health Certification Procedures - Food Products & Animal Feed...........................................................27 10.1 Product Compliance Procedures...............................................................................................................28 10.2 Certification Compliance ..........................................................................................................................29 A. Sanitary Certificate.......................................................................................................................29 B. Certificate of Free Sale.................................................................................................................30 C. Veterinary Health Certificate .....................................................................................................30 D. Certificate of Compliance ...........................................................................................................30 E. Certificate of Facility Registration ..............................................................................................30 11.0 Animal Health ...........................................................................................................................................30 11.1 Quarantine & Inspection Department ....................................................................................................31 12.0 US Bioterrorism Act (2002) .......................................................................................................................31 12.1 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)........................................................................................................32 13.0 Exporting to the European Union............................................................................................................33
  3. 3. 3 13.1 EUREPGAP..................................................................................................................................................33 13.2 Key Points to EUREP..................................................................................................................................34 13.3 Food Labeling............................................................................................................................................34 13.4 Export Documentation .............................................................................................................................35 14.0 Transportation and Handling...................................................................................................................35 14.1 Ocean Freight............................................................................................................................................35 14.2 Air Freight..................................................................................................................................................37 14.3 Packing for Shipment................................................................................................................................38 14.3.1 Marking Requirements ................................................................................................................38 14.4 Unitization.................................................................................................................................................39 15.0 Terms of Delivery ......................................................................................................................................40 15.1 INCOTERMS................................................................................................................................................40 15.2 Payments and Financing...........................................................................................................................41 15.3 Terms of Payment .....................................................................................................................................42 16.0 Financial Aspects of Exporting .................................................................................................................45 16.1 Commercial Banks.....................................................................................................................................45 16.2 Development Banks ..................................................................................................................................45 16.3 Export Finance...........................................................................................................................................46 16.4 Post Shipment Financing ..........................................................................................................................46 17.0 Insurance....................................................................................................................................................47 17.1 Insurance Companies ................................................................................................................................47 17.2 Marine Insurance.......................................................................................................................................47 18.0 Preferential Trade Agreements................................................................................................................48 18.1 Cotonou Agreement ................................................................................................................................48 18.2 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)................................................................................................................48 18.3 CARIBCAN..................................................................................................................................................49 18.4 Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) .....................................................................49 18.5 CARICOM-Venezuela Agreement ............................................................................................................50 18.6 CARICOM-Colombia Agreement..............................................................................................................50 18.7 CARICOM-Dominican Republic Agreement.............................................................................................50 18.8 CARICOM-Cuba Agreement .....................................................................................................................50 INDEX Appendix I Transport & Cargo Services.............................................................................................51 Appendix II Important Contacts .........................................................................................................54 Appendix III Export Forms....................................................................................................................55
  4. 4. 1.0 Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is a statutory body governed by a Board of Directors. The Board includes representatives from the private sector, Government, and Civil Society. The Board is the principal policy making organ of BELTRAIDE. The aim is to promote investments that create job opportunities and increase foreign currency earnings for Belize. The functions of BELTRAIDE include: • giving advice and tendering recommendations to the Minister on the formulation or appropriate policies to guide trade and investment promotion activities; • identification of products for development and promotion; • identification of industries to be targeted for investment; • designing and assisting in the Implementation of export promotion programmes, particularly for Belizean non-traditional export products; • identifying suitable and viable potential export markets for Belizean products; • liaising with relevant organizations under the EPZ and CFZ Acts, in the promotion of local and foreign investments in Belize; • implementing policy guidelines on the country’s trade and investment promotion programmes; • implementing multilateral and bilateral loan-assisted projects for the development of medium and small enterprises; • collecting, storing and disseminating, reliable and timely information and trends in international trade and investment; • advising and assisting relevant Government Ministries in the formulation and implementation of trade agreements, conventions, treaties and other agreements or actively participating in the negotiation of such agreements, conventions, treaties, and arrangement for and on behalf of the Government; • monitoring the development of global trade policies; • undertaking, encouraging and supporting publicity campaigns to promote Belizean products in the international markets; • establishing and maintaining a register of exporters, importers, investors and other relevant partners in trade, for the regular supply of trade and market information; • performing and discharging such other functions and duties as may be conferred or imposed upon it by the Fiscal Incentives Act or any other law; • performing the functions of a one-stop information center to investors or potential investors, and furnishing to them, full information about all the investment procedures and requirements in Belize. The Export Promotion and Marketing department and the Investment Promotion and Business Facilitation department, have over the last year worked together in the development of a Belize Investment Guide, Importers and Exporters Directory, and now the Exporter’s Manual as part of a “Capacity Building and Trade & Investment Promotion” project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, which also produced new country and food image branding logos “Belize… The Natural Niche” and “Belizefoods… Celebrating Quality”, as well as a Priority Sectors study. 4
  5. 5. 5 Recently concluded is a consultancy for the review and revision of the investment legislation made possible with the assistance of the Commonwealth Secretariat in an effort to make Belize more competitive while remaining WTO compliant. Major activities already underway this year include the development of a National Export Strategy, and the development of a National Policy for the development of SMEs both made possible with the assistance of the Commonwealth Secretariat. In addition, the implementation of the Corporate Contact Programme, a focused investment attraction program targeting specific companies to invest in Belize; the Modular Training Programme that aims to provide training to frontline personnel and foreign service officers for a consistent format in promoting Belize both domestically and internationally. BELTRAIDE is also responsible for organizing participation in and attending trade fairs, identifying suitable and viable potential export products and undertaking, encouraging, and supporting publicity campaigns to promote Belizean products. For more information concerning BELTRAIDE’S services, or information on trade and investment in Belize contact: The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) 14 Orchid Garden Street Central Bank Building City of Belmopan, Belize Belize City, Belize Tel: (501) 822-3737/ 0175/ 0177 (501) 223-1913 Fax: (501) 822-0595 (501) 223-2464 Email: beltraide@belizeinvest.org.bz Website: www.belizeinvest.org.bz
  6. 6. 6 In an effort to increase efficiency and integrate animal and plant health and agrochemical control, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) was established in 1999 with the enactment of the Belize Agricultural Health Act Chapter 211 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000- 2003. Consequently the Plant Protection, Animal Health, and Quarantine departments within the Ministry of Agriculture were transferred to BAHA. In order to provide the necessary infrastructural and technical support for the development of this newly established institution, the Government of Belize secured a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), under the funded project title “Modernization of Belize’s Agricultural Health Services”. Upon its establishment, BAHA was given responsibility for plant and animal health and quarantine services. In 2000 with the encouragement of IDB and the priority need to secure export markets for Belizean produce, BAHA was given overall responsibility for Food Safety. Subsequently, on 13 October 2004, Cabinet officially recognized BAHA as the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Enquiry Point for Belize. BAHA is the Competent Authority for animal and plant health in Belize; it plays a lead role in the implementation of the food safety policy objectives and is recognized nationally as well as internationally as the competent authority for agricultural health and food safety in Belize. The objective for the establishment of BAHA was to enhance the competitiveness of Belize’s agricultural products, especially in foreign markets, seeking to reduce losses from pests and diseases and to ensure the safety and quality of agricultural and food products for domestic and foreign consumers. Specifically, the objectives as established by the Board of Directors are as follows: 1. To enhance the competitiveness of Belize’s agricultural products, especially in foreign markets 2. To reduce losses from pests and diseases 3. To meet our WTO obligations 4. To ensure that food products are safe and wholesome for human consumption 5. To safeguard the agricultural/ aquaculture industry, by preventing the introduction of exotic pests and diseases To achieve these objectives, the Authority is structured into four functional technical departments- Animal Health, Plant Health, Quarantine and Food Safety - to implement the various programs that are critical for the protection of plant, animal, and human health and life. The Animal and Plant Health Departments are responsible for carrying out surveillance of exotic and endemic pests and diseases, regulating the importation and exportation of animals, plants, animal and plant products and their by-products, pest risk analysis, and zoosanitary/phytosanitary certification. The Departments also conduct field assessments which are subsequently supported by laboratory diagnostics. 2.0 Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA)
  7. 7. 7 The Food Safety Department is responsible for ensuring that Belizean food products made available to consumers are safe and wholesome, thereby expanding the local market and trade in these products. This will increase agro-processing, improve food security and safety, and provide for a better socio- economic and nutritional standard for the Belizean people. The department also conducts inspection of slaughtering and processing facilities and is supported by laboratory diagnostics. The Food Safety lab provides cost effective, high quality, accurate product and food testing services. The Quarantine Department is the first line of defense against the introduction of exotic pests and diseases into the country. Quarantine Inspectors are stationed at all seven official ports of entry into the country. The Authority, although in its infant stage, has brought some success such as being able to export aquaculture products on a List I status to the EU. Belize is not known to be affected by any of the List A diseases in livestock (ex. Classical Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth Disease, Avian Influenza, Mad Cow Disease). The surveillance for Medfly, which serves over 1,034 baited traps on a weekly basis, has intercepted Medfly incursions to which the response has been intensified trapping, fruit stripping and spraying with insecticide to prevent the establishment of the focus. The Sanitary and Phytosanitary Enquiry Point Unit was established early 2003 as a commitment to the World trade Organization (WTO) and provides information to countries interested in importing Belizean products and to exporters desirous of trading with Belize. Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) Ms. Nerie Sanz - Managing Director P.O. Box 169 Cor. Forest Drive and Hummingbird Highway Belmopan, Belize Tel: 501-822-0818/1378 Fax: 501-822-0271 Email: baha@btl.net Website: www.baha.bz
  8. 8. 8 3.0 Brand Statements Under the IDB-BELTRAIDE Technical Cooperation Project a country image and food image “brand” for Belize have been created for Investment and Export Promotion. It was realized that a brand for Belize was necessary to compete against other countries for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and export sales. A country that has brand equity will benefit from a differentiated perception in the minds of consumers and investors so long as the brand is clear and positive. The question, “Why does Belize need a brand?” was answered by the fact that a brand would control the perceptions associated with Belize, and optimize marketing efforts and resources. The objective of the “Belize brand” is to create a differentiated positioning that proves Belize’s unique comparative advantages as an investment destination and a food products supplier. The brand “Belize - The Natural Niche” is investment and service oriented and aims to promote Belize based on its natural assets - biological and geographic diversity, pro-business investment climate, and development policies - Niche by nature! Niche by vision! Niche for business! Belize has been blessed with a strategic location, is the only English-speaking country in Central America, has an attractive framework for investment, an educated and hard-working labour force, and the list goes on. The natural characteristics that Belize possesses support the development of businesses that compete on quality rather than those that compete solely on price or in commodity markets. These characteristics are also attractive to investors who wish to have their products stand out because of their quality. The aim is to bring all eyes on Belize! “Belize Foods - Celebrating Quality“ is more product oriented and aims to promote Belizean products based on their quality. There is an increasing demand for products “Made in Belize” for the simple reason that they carry an aura of quality and distinctiveness that differentiates them from others in the eyes of consumers. Some of the premium driven and niche-market oriented products from Be- lize include “fair-trade” branded cacao, orange juice, papayas, and habanero pepper sauce. Belize’s agribusiness is producing high quality products that are being differentiated in the main consumer markets and are therefore benefiting from premium treatment in these niche markets.
  9. 9. 9 4.0 Marketing Elements: Terminology While discussing aspects of marketing, some general terms are used. The list below gives a short definition of the most commonly used expressions: ♦ Marketing elements Market A group of individuals or organizations which share a need for a particular product, as well as the will and the ability to use and pay for it. Market The process of dividing the market into smaller groups with one or more Segmentation characteristics within a defined market Market Share The proportion of the total market which is using a particular organization’s product or services. Marketing Information The system for collecting and exploiting information on existing, as well as System potential customers Positioning The place that a product occupies in a consumer’s mind relative to competing products Product Defining the differences of a product compared to its competition - Differentiation better quality, better price, just-in-time delivery, etc. Target market A group of consumers to which a particular product is marketed. It is often defined by age, gender, and/or socio-economic grouping. ♦ Marketing Mix In order for a company to achieve its marketing objectives, it must have a strategy that includes different elements of the marketing mix - the “4 P’s”. Calling it a mix reminds the company that it must try to get the right balance between the different elements. The concept of each of the 4 P’s is described below. Product The physical product or service. Product refers to both tangible (can be physically felt) and intangible (phychological aspects) elements of the products and services. Product decisions include brand name, quality, and packaging. Price The price is the value which a consumer is willing to pay for a product or service. Price decisions include volume discounts, wholesale pricing, seasonal pricing and price flexibility. Place The place is also sometimes called “distribution”. It involves getting the product or service to the consumer. A place which meets the consumers needs better may be worth more. Distribution decisions include distribution channels, market coverage, warehousing, distribution centers, order processing, and transportation. Promotion Promotion represents the communication of information about the product with the goal of generating a positive consumer response. Promotion decisions include adver- tising, sales promotions, public relations and publicity, and marketing communications budget.
  10. 10. 10 Marketing Model Output Communication Logistics Product Sales Distribution Packaging Product Line Sales Promotion Shipping Pricing Advertising Warehousing Image Public Relations Customer Services ♦ The new approach: The Customer-oriented Marketing Philosophy With the globalization of the market, competition has become more intense as new marketing tools such as e-business, facilitate market entry for new suppliers. To strengthen an existing supplier’s market position, a new customer-oriented marketing philosophy has been formulated: the four “C’s” which replace the traditionally defined four “P’s”. • Product becomes customer needs and requirements • Price becomes cost to the customer • Promotion becomes communication • Place becomes convenience to the customer The basic idea of this new philosophy is to satisfy the customer, thus ensuring a long-term business relationship. ♦ Marketing Principles Based on its corporate vision, a successful company will set up a detailed “business plan”. In this plan, long and medium term intentions, objectives, and targets will be clearly defined. The business plan is the strategic tool for the appropriate planning of the future resources required by the company in order to strengthen its position and operate with economic success. It helps to set up a marketing strategy on the basis of which the measures to influence the market, as well as the company’s environment, will be determined – the so-called marketing mix. Marketing is not just offering services and products to the market. The measures taken by a company in order to strengthen its presence in the market, as well as to influence potential customers’ requirements and demand form part of the marketing mix. Other elements of a successful marketing mix include all means of optimized logistics and customer services. The marketing mix represents the total of all measures taken to improve and to ensure the exchange of information between a company and its market partners. This includes not only sales-oriented activities but also all other means of product research and development, the image of a company as a supplier, as an employer, or as a customer of the suppliers, and last but not least, as a partner of authorities and the public. ♦ Basic Elements of a Marketing Model There are many marketing models available. The one shown below concentrates on the three key fields - Output, Communication, and Logistics - in which clear strategies have to be set up in order to define an appropriate marketing mix for successful entry to a market. ♦ Particular aspects of an export marketing concept Marketing principles are applicable whenever entry to a new market is taken into consideration - domestically or in exports. The same appllies to the introduction of new products or services into existing markets. In foreign markets product performance, availability, and appropriate pricing complying with customers’ requirements are not the only determining factors. External factors may be quite different to those known from a company’s domestic market. Evaluating these factors in advance and taking them into consideration while setting up the
  11. 11. 11 marketing concept is of highest importance to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. The following presents some particular aspects to be taken into consideration while setting up a marketing concept for export. 4.1 Output Product/Product Line ♦ Compatibility with local regulations, industrial norms and standards • Are our products compatible with existing regulations in the particular market? • Are our products subject to any special import clearance procedure (health inspection, advanced disposal fees, import licenses, etc.)? • Are our products subject to any official certification in the export market? ♦ Import restrictions or protectionism • Do we have to cope with any import restrictions for our products? • Is there any protectionism in favour of competitive products from local production? • Would local assembly, final conditioning or retail packaging of our products offer additional benefits compared to importing the finished product? • Is the infrastructure as well as skilled workforce available to ensure local final assembly or conditioning of our products in compliance with our quality standards? Pricing ♦ Compatibility with local market conditions • Unit prices: which measuring system is usually applicable in the respective market - metric, imperial, others? • Are prices generally offered inclusive of taxes or not (value-added tax, other taxes on sale proceeds)? • Are our products subject to any official price control, thus limiting our flexibility in setting our prices in accordance with our marketing objectives? • Cost structure: do we have to pay import duties which have a negative impact on our price structure as compared to local competitors? • Is pricing in our local currency feasible, or do we have to cope with payments in non-convertible currencies or compensation deals? Image ♦ Suitability of the Corporate Image • Is our corporate image suitable for the particular market (cultural and traditional habits, political correctness, etc.)? • Is our image interfering with the image of any competitor already established in the particular market, do we have to adjust the corporate image? 4.2 Communication Sales and Distribution ♦ Sales Organization • Is our export organization set up appropriately to reach all potential customers? • What sort of sales organization are the competitors running?
  12. 12. 12 • Do we have to establish a local sales office to ensure business in the particular market, or can we cope with the market’s requirements from outside? • Do we or our distributors sufficient locals sales force resources available to cover the market? • Are there any local restrictions regarding marketing our products? ♦ Distribution • Which is the distribution structure established traditionally for our products in the particular market? Can we do better? Do we have to adapt the existing structure? • Is our distribution concept in line with local conditions? • Are there any local regulations limiting our flexibility in setting up our distribution network (product sales restricted to specialized shops, e.g. Technical workshops, pharmacies, specially licensed retail stores)? • Does our distribution concept correspond to the concept of the competition? • Are there any local regulations regarding disposal or recycling of used packaging material or used products? ♦ Sales Literature • Which type of sales literature is required (folders, brochures, technical data sheets, material safety data sheets, technical descriptions, manuals, etc.)? • In which languages do we have to prepare the sales literature? Is English suitable, or do we have to present the literature in one or several local languages? Who will do the translations? • Is the content of our sales literature clearly understandable with respect to the average intellectual and educational level of the population of the target market? Do we have to concentrate on selected market segments? • Are our user manuals in accordance with local product liability requirements in the respective market, or do we have to adjust or amend them (safety and handling instructions, disposal or recycling recommendations, storage instructions, etc.)? ♦ Commercial Incentives • Is the discount system, as used in our domestic market, applicable in the particular export market (tax regulations)? • Are different bonus systems already implemented by established competitors? Do we have to adapt them? Are these systems applicable according to our calculation? ♦ Supporting Distributors • Is the available advertising material suitable for use in the export market - Do we have to redesign it in local languages? • Do we have to prepare special training for our distributors’ sales force (product properties, performance, applications)? Will there be special promotions (i.e. discounts, 3 for 2, contests)? ♦ Advertising • Are there any local restrictions regarding advertising (comparative advertising, ethical or moral rulings, cultural or political conditions)? 4.3 Logistics Packaging ♦ Packaging Design • Are there any local regulations regarding packaging of our products (safety in transport and handling; special safety regulations for containers containing liquids, hazardous goods; safety fittings; volume limitations per packaging container for certain products; etc.)?
  13. 13. 13 • Are the packaging containers used domestically suitable for export (ocean transport, airfreight), or do we have to design special export packaging containers? • Is the design of our retail packaging in accordance with the local taste and fashion trends in the particular export market? • Regarding quality assurance - are our packaging containers suitable for storage of the products under local climatic conditions in the export market, or do we need insulated packaging due to high humidity or high or low temperatures? ♦ Labeling • What are the local regulations for product labeling in the respective country (product composition, disposal or recycling recommendations, safety instructions, classification of hazardous or dangerous goods, etc.)? • Can the labeling been done in just one language, or do we have to design a label in different languages? Does the composition of the product have to be declared? • Is labeling of the packaging containers more economical in the respective country, or should we do it in our plant or warehouse before shipping (printing cost, special characters printing, etc.)? Shipping/Warehousing ♦ Climatic Conditions During Transport and Storage • To assure product quality and performance, do we have to ship the products in special transport containers to protect them from adverse climatic effects (special protection against humidity; temperature-controlled sea-containers)? • Do our products require special storage conditions in the particular market? Do we have to arrange special storage facilities to prevent product deterioration? • Is appropriate transport equipment available locally to ensure further distribution in accordance with quality assurance, or do we have to build an appropriate distribution network and infrastructure? ♦ Local Repacking or Reconditioning • Is there any requirement for special training regarding storage, handling or repacking of our products for the local staff in the particular market? • Is there any requirement for special maintenance or technical service-related training for local staff? Customer Service ♦ Technical Service • Do we, or our distributors, have sufficient skilled staff as well as the equipment and the infrastructure available to ensure appropriate technical service to the customers (maintenance; spare parts; repair service; etc.)? ♦ After-Sales Service • Is appropriately skilled staff available to cope with a customer’s request for additional information or support after delivery of the products? • Which measures have to be taken in order to ensure appropriate quality control - during storage and handling, domestic transport as well as in case of quality claims? • Can after-sales service be provided by our own staff, or do we need to set up a local organization in the respective market? To decide whether to export products and to which markets needs careful evaluation of all the questions presented. This is not limited only to the feasibility, but also to the availability of supply capacity, technical infrastructure, and the human and financial resources required to ensure successful market entry and penetration.
  14. 14. 4.4 Opportunities Preliminary Considerations Before getting involved with all the relevant questions regarding a potential export market’s particular conditions, some preliminary considerations have to be made. A basic evaluation has to be done - Does a company’s human, technical and financial capacities and resources allow for an expansion of business activities to new markets? If not, what might be the additional investment required to realize the appropriate capacities and organization? Furthermore, what additional benefit can be expected from export activities, and what will be the time frame required to achieve these benefits? Building Additional Business ♦ Increasing Capacity at Existing Production Plants A well known scenario: a company’s domestic market is saturated, but there is still some spare production capacity. Additional domestic market share could only be achieved by means of lower pricing. Instead of lowering local prices, and subsequently affecting market quality, it may well be possible to develop new markets to increase production output to create additional contribution to cost without affecting the profitability of domestic business. ♦ Opening New Opportunities for Growth While supplying domestic customers only, no further growth is achievable. To ensure steady growth under cost-covering conditions, and to be able to remain innovative, new markets may offer additional business potential. In some cases, exports might be profitable just due to the fact that the existing manufacturing capacity of a company may be exploited to a more profitable extent while increasing overall productivity. Ensuring Long-Term Market Presence ♦ Lowering Market Risks in a Globalized Market In times of ongoing concentration, due to mergers or restructuring, domestic production might be relocated to other markets. A presence in these markets helps to ensure continuous business, compensating lower demand in the domestic market with supplies to new markets. ♦ Increasing Profitability Whereas the price level for a company’s products and services are rather low in the domestic market due to general economical conditions, added value might be achieved in economically more developed markets - provided the quality of the products and services offered are in compliance with the particular market’s requirements. 4.5 Potential Markets Any market is of potential interest provided that it offers the possibility of creating additional business at profitable level. In order to ensure the greatest benefit, careful evaluation of the new markets is of the highest importance. To ensure careful evaluation, collecting as much reliable information as possible is important. Because not all markets can be entered into at the same time due to limited resources, it is important to define the targets and objectives a company would like to achieve in new markets in accordance with its medium and long-term business plan and marketing strategy. 14
  15. 15. Possible targets and objectives are: • Adding production output volume to the existing product range, thus optimizing the capacity load at existing plants, achieving additional contribution to cost. • Increasing contribution to cost by developing higher-priced markets in areas where domestic prices are unsatisfactory. • Developing new markets to ensure further growth of the company in fields where domestic markets are saturated and no further growth can be achieved. • Spreading the risk of losing business in fields where high competition exists for a limited number of customers in the domestic market. • Supplying subsidiaries of local customers operating in foreign markets. It goes without saying that not only one of these objectives may be applicable, but several of them depending on the company’s particular situation. After having defined the objectives and targets, the evaluation of suitable new markets may begin. 4.6 Market Research - How to Collect Information on Foreign Market Conditions Obntaining information on markets in different geographic areas is not always easily accessed if there are no existing contacts which may be used as sources. The decision of whether to enter a market or not should not only be based on estimations of the capacity of a market, but also on external factors which have an impact on a company’s marketing activities in a particular market. Quite a lot of information can be collected from informal and official sources in printed form. ♦ Official Publications on Economic Conditions Issued either by chambers of commerce, trade ministries of a country, or provincial authorities, these contain a lot of useful information regarding a market’s general development, major industries, trade relations and development projects. ♦ Official Periodical Publications Foreign trade and financial authorities of many countries publish periodicals commenting on current developments, and the general market’s political and social situation. Official publications may be obtained either from the issuing authority directly, or from the trade liaison office at a country’s local embassy or consulate. ♦ Reports and Statistics issued by International Organizations A great deal of background information regarding a market’s economical, political and social situation and development may be obtained from literature published by international organizations (World Trade Organization [WTO] or United Nations [UN]). ♦ General Economic Information Bulletins Published by banks, insurance companies, shippers’ councils or similar industrial associations, these bulletins can give an idea about existing industrial and logistical infrastructure in a market, its monetary system, balance of payment, foreign trade balance, etc. ♦ Press Surveys Some leading publishers issue periodical surveys on global economic or selected geographical areas, providing background information on economic, political and social development (i.e. “The Annual Global Survey” published by The Economist). These publications often also offer information regarding a country’s market structure and characteristics of the population (educational levels, employment rate, cultural surroundings, etc.). 15
  16. 16. 16 4.7 Market Capacity ♦ Official import statistics of a country This is a somewhat difficult source of information, as these statistics offer only rough ideas regarding the imported volume of product categories, declared import values as well as, the countries of origin. They may be useful as an indicator of market trends, but give no evidence as to whether a growth in imports reflects the overall position according to the tariff nomenclature or just one or two products included in the same position. ♦ Official export statistics of a country The same goes for export statistics, with one difference - provided there is existing export for a company’s product range from a potential target market, this might prove over-capacity of local production in the country in question. Entering this market would mean having to cope with strong local competition. ♦ Industrial Associations’ Reports Provided your customers’ industrial sector is well organised in an industrial association, reports on the industry’s production outputs for domestic as well as for foreign markets can give a good idea of the consumption of raw materials, intermediates, as well as end products in the particular market. ♦ Annual Reports of Potential Customers and Competitors in the Target Market: Annual reports contain useful information regarding the development of an industrial sector, and they give an idea of the economic development of potential customers in a market. 4.8 Limiting Circumstances ♦ Transport Regulations International shipping companies are the best source of information regarding limiting circumstances during transport, handling, and warehousing of products in foreign markets (transport safety, special packaging regulations, customs clearance procedures, fees and duties to be paid, etc.). ♦ Legislation Although many regulations have been harmonized internationally in recent years, most countries still have their own individual legislation, i.e. regarding environmental protection, working conditions, product labeling and certification, waste disposal, foreign currency exchange, etc. Information on these subjects may be collected from chambers of commerce or from the respective country’s trade liaison office at the embassy. Additional preliminary information may be collected from informal sources: ♦ Seminars and Conferences These are usually arranged by trade promotion organizations, banks, government agencies, and chambers of commerce. These events offer an opportunity of gaining first hand information from local people in the target market. ♦ Personal Discussions These discussions can be held with representatives of companies doing business or with experience in developing business in the target market. 4.9 Checklist Important things to consider in order to make a basic decision on whether to enter a new market or not include the following:
  17. 17. 17 ♦ Corporate Strategy • Does developing new export markets comply with the company’s corporate strategy? • Does the company have the appropriate financial, logistical and human resources to enter new markets? • What are the quantitative as well as the qualitative objectives to be achieved? ♦ Market Conditions • Does the corporate image comply with the respective market’s political, cultural and social environment? • Does the respective market offer sufficient capacity to allow achievement of the quantitative and the qualitative objectives? • Does the price structure in the respective market allow profitable marketing of the company’s products? • Are there any regulations restricting the free exchange of products (import restric tions, health and safety regulations, and certification requirements)? • What are the existing distribution channels, and are they available for the company? • Is a qualified and skilled workforce available to ensure appropriate handling of the company’s products during transport, storage and usage? • Is a qualified and skilled workforce available locally to ensure appropriate customer service (technical assistance, maintenance)? ♦ Product Range • Which products in the company’s manufacturing program may be marketed in the new market? • Do these products require additional adaptation or conditioning to be suitable for marketing in the new market? • Will additional adaptation and conditioning be effected in the company’s domestic plant or locally in the export market (subcontracting, licensing, availability of appropriate infrastructure and human resources)? • Are the users’ manuals issued in compliance with the consumers’ skills and educational level, as well as with product liability regulations in the respective market? ♦ Logistics • Is the packaging of the products in compliance with local regulations (safety during transport and storage, labeling)? • Is local logistical infrastructure available to ensure appropriate distribution in accordance with the market’s demand and requirements? ♦ Investments • What additional investments have to be made to ensure successful market entrance (regarding quality required, just-in-time delivery)? • Compared to the expected returns, are the required additional investments justified? Before a company exports its product from Belize, it is important that it registers the products mark with the Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO). BELIPO was established under Part II of the Patents Act, Chapter 253, and is the National Intellectual Property Registry for Belize. BELIPO’s three major functions are: 1. To administer the - • Patents Act, including the registration of patents and utility models 5.0 Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO)
  18. 18. 18 • Trade Marks Act, including the registration of trademarks, service marks, collective marks, and certification marks • Industrial Designs Act, including the registration of industrial deisgns under the Hague Agree- ment (1960 Act). The Hague Agreement’s principal objective is to enable protection to be obtained for one or more industrial designs in a number of States through a single deposit filed with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). • Protection of the New Plant Varieties Act, including the registration of new plant varieties • Protection of Layout Designs (Topographies) of the Integrated Circuits Act, including the registration of integrated circuits 2. To advise the Government of Belize on matters of policy pertaining to intellectual property rights, including Treaties, Conventions, and legislation. Belize’s Intellectual Property Laws became compliant with the Trade-Related Aspects of of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in June of 2000. 3. To promote knowledge of intellectual property law in Belize. 5.1 Intellectual Property Intellectual property deals with creations of the mind such as inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, and images, that are used in commercial activities. Intellectual property is divided into two categories - industrial property and copyright. A. Industrial Property 1. Trade marks - A trade mark is a sign which distinguishes the goods or services of one company from those of another, and can be graphically represented. The sign may consist of words, designs, letters, numbers, or the shape of goods or their packaging. Trade marks protect the owner of the mark by ensuring that he/she has the exclusive right to use it to identify his/her goods or services, or to authorize another to use it in return for payment. Trade marks can be initially protected for ten years, and can be further extended for periods of ten years. 2. Industrial Designs - An industrial design is the aesthetic qualities of a product. The product is decorative as opposed to functional. Industrial designs cover a wide range of products of industry and handicraft including - technical and medical instruments, watches, jewelry, electrical appliances, vehicles, textiles, and leisure goods. Industrial designs are protected for five years, and can be ex- tended for two further consecutive terms of five years. 3. Patents - A patent is the exclusive right to make, use, or sell an invention for a specified period of time, and is the title granted to protect an invention. An invention is a product or process that provides a new way of doing something. Patents protect the patent owner from the commercial exploitation of his or her invention without consent. The patent owner can authorize others to use his invention by granting a patent license. A patent is protected for twenty years. Industrial designs differ from patents in that patents must be “new” and industrial designs do not. Trade marks differ from industrial designs in that the trade mark must always be distinctive, whereas industrial designs are more decorative; trade maks can also be protected indefinitely, whereas in- dustrial designs are only protected for a fixed period. B. Copyright Copyright is the legal protection that is given to the creator of an original work. Work protected by copyright include novels, plays, broadcasts, newspapers, computer programs; films, musical com- positions; paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculpture; architecture; and advertisements, maps,
  19. 19. 19 and techinical drawings. Copyright applies only to works that are written down or recorded. The duration of protection of literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic works is the life of the author plus fifty years. The duration of the protection of sound recordings, films, broadcasts, and cable pro- grammes is fifty years from the end of the calendar year in which they were made. More information on BELIPO, its activities, and its fees, can be obtained by contacting them at: Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO) 5014 Baldy Beacon Street, East Piccini Site P.O. Box 592 Belmopan, Belize Tel: 501-822-1381/2073 Fax: 501-822-1382 Email: belipo@btl.net Website: www.belipo.bz
  20. 20. 20 6.0 The Export Process Besides all the physical considerations of the products for the foreign market, the most predominant difference between trading within Belize and trading with a foreign country is the process of documentation. A number of documents must accompany every shipment, and these documents must be correct. Documentary requirements vary depending on the country that the exports are destined for. If the documents are not complete or are incorrect, it can create delays at customs and incur additional charges - at times for both the exporter and the importer. A customer will think twice about future business with an exporter who has been negligent in the documentation of cargo. Losses due to improper documentation may be exacerbated when dealing with perishable goods. However, once the proper procedures and requirements are learnt, the whole process becomes easier, and although the exporter has the option of hiring the services of a freight forwarding agent to fill out the documents and arrange transportation, it is important that he/she acquaint himself/herself with the documentation procedures. 6.1 The Major Documents The major documents that any exporter must become familiar with include: • Export License • Customs Entry Forms • Commercial Invoices • Consular Invoices • Certificate of Origin • Certificate of Value • Health/ Sanitary Certificate • Certificate of Inspection, Analysis, or Weight • Packing List Not all of the above documents are required for all goods by all countries. The exporter must find out which ones are necessary in each case. It is also important to know where to obtain the documents needed. 6.1.1 Export License - This is the fist document an exporter must be concerned with. The following goods require an export license prior to exportation: 1. Live animals, excluding pets 2. Fish, crustaceans, and molluscs, excluding aquacultured species 3. Logs and lumber (except logs and lumber from Rosewood and Zericote trees, which are wholly prohibited) 4. Sugar 5. Citrus Fruits 6. Beans Export licenses are issued by the Ministry of Industry, however consultation is conducted with the government body or association responsible for the product before the license is granted. In the case of live animals, it is recommended that the exporter obtain a letter from the Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) or the Pig Council, recommending the export of the product. For exports of fish and other seafood, the Ministry of Industry will consult the Fisheries Department before granting the license. The Forest Department is consulted for exports of logs and lumber, and the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) for citrus exports. Licensing for beans and sugar is automatic. A sample Export License can be found in the Appendix.
  21. 21. 21 6.1.2 Customs Entry Form When exporting any type of good from Belize, a Customs Entry Form is required. This document, which is collected at the port of export, is used mainly for compiling statistics on the volume and value of a country’s exports. Within Belize, this form is known as the “Customs Declaration (Import/ Export) Form C100”. The form must be prepared and authorized by a licensed customs broker. Four copies are needed whenever a shipment arrives or leaves Belize. The forms can be purchased at major Bookstores in Belize. 6.1.3 Commercial Invoice This document gives the information on which duty will be assessed. It can usually be prepared on the exporter’s own form but the contents must comply with the regulations of the importing country. Amounts must be set out clearly and the cost of goods shown separately from the cost of transport and insurance. Some commercial invoices must be accompanied by a declaration that the exporter himself prepares and signs. Commercial invoices accompanied by such declarations are known as ‘certified’ commercial invoices. 6.1.4 Customs Invoice The customs invoice is usually required by Commonwealth countries, and is a commercial invoice prepared on a special form prescribed by the customs authorities. 6.1.5 Consular Invoice The consular invoice is a specific invoice used by the Consul of the importing country. Many importing countries, mainly less developed countries, have already phased out the use of this invoice. It is used for customs clearance and other purposes, and as such any errors or omissions on the invoice may cause problems and fines at customs in the importing country. In Belize, these forms can be acquired from the Consular office of the importing country, and the Consul must authenticate the forms. When consular invoices need to be validated, a fee is usually charged for the validating service. 6.1.6 Certificate of Value The certificate of value is an official declaration stating the value of a shipment of merchandise, and is usually included in the consular invoice. This certificate must confirm the values shown in the invoice. It will state that the invoice contains a true and full statement of the price paid for the goods, and that there is no other understanding between the exporter and the importer about the purchase price. 6.1.7 Certificate of Origin The main purpose of this document is to establish the right of the product to preferential duties to which it may be entitled in the importing country. In certain cases it may include such information as the local material and labour contents of the product. Certificates of origin may also be needed to prove that goods do not come from a country against which the importing country has trade restrictions. There are several types of certificates of origin, and below is a listing of some of the most common ones. a. Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Form A - Under the GSP, a free or reduced duty is granted by developed countries (country of destination, or “donor country”) to certain manufactured goods from the least developed countries (country of origin, or “beneficiary country), in order to help increase exports and economic growth. Countries that accept the GSP Form include the US, UK, Canada, and Japan, among others. b. Chamber of Commerce Certificate of Origin - The importer or the importing country may require a specific certificate of origin form issued by the local Chamber of Commerce in the exporting country. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) provides this service at a cost of BZ$15.00
  22. 22. 22 c. Exporter’s Certificate of Origin - Unless the Letter of Credit (L/C) specifies a particular certificate of origin form, the exporter may issue his/her own certificate of origin using the company letterhead. The Exporter’s Certificate of Origin contents includes basically the same data as in the commercial invoice and packing list, with the addition of a declaration which states that the goods in question are manufactured in the exporting country, and that the amount shown on the invoice is the true and correct value. 6.1.8 Health/Sanitary Certificate This certificate is required when animals, animal products (Zoo-sanitary Certificate), or plants and plant products (Phyto-sanitary Certificate) are shipped. It confirms that the goods are free from disease or insect pests. In the case of food, it may state that the goods have been prepared to meet prescribed standards, and a Sanitary Certificate is issued. These certificates are issued by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) at a service fee. 6.1.9 Certificate of Inspection The customer sometimes demands a certificate of inspection to ensure that the goods he is buying meet a certain standard. The exporter must arrange beforehand with the customer who is to carry out such an inspection and who is to pay for it. The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) is capable of providing such services for agricultural and food products. 6.1.10 Packing List This document is often little used and supplements the commercial invoice when numerous units of the same product are being used or when quantities, weight, or contents of individual units in a shipment vary. Generally, a separate list is prepared for each package, showing the weight, measurements, and contents. Customs officials usually carry out a partial examination by checking a certain number of the cases. If the packing list proves to be accurate for these, the rest of the shipment is assumed to be in order.
  23. 23. 23 8.0 Plant Health Export Certification Procedure 7.0 Export Documentation Procedures When an exporter has obtained a buyer for his product in a foreign market, the next step will be to prepare the goods for shipment. For any shipment of goods (for commercial purposes) leaving Belize, the following documents will be required by Customs: 1. C100 Form - completed by a licensed Customs Broker 2. Commercial Invoice 3. Certificate of Origin (for countries with which Belize has special trade agreements, i.e the US, CARICOM, the EU) 4. XCH2 Form The XCH2 Form is a type of monitoring mechanism of the Central Bank of Belize to facilitate the exporter. Through the XCH2 Form the Central Bank of Belize keeps track of the amount of foreign currency coming into and leaving the country. It also states that all Belizean exports must be paid in United States (US) dollars or a currency easily converted to US currency. Payments for exports cannot be deferred longer than six (6) months without permission from the Central Bank. The forms must be completed in duplicate. A sample XCH2 Form can be found in the Appendix. For shipments of goods to the European Union (EU), a special form called an “E100 Form” is required as well. The customer at the foreign end of the business provides this form to the Belizean exporter. The form is then filled in, and taken to the Customs Department who plays the role of the certifying agent. The Comptroller of Customs is EU certified, and all E100 Forms must be signed by him/her. The E100 Form also serves as a certificate of origin, to confirm that the goods originate in Belize. 7.1 Classification of Exports Non-Commercial Exports This classification is relevant to small amounts of product that may be sent to individuals, firms, or institutions as samples for analysis; personal effects being sent outside of the country; and items for repair that cannot be done in Belize (computers, engines). No monetary returns are expected from these exports. These exports are less complicated as no tight controls regulate their movement across frontiers, and they usually have few specific requirements. Commercial Exports Commercial exports are any large quantities of goods for sale at the destination country. The exports are expected to bring foreign exchange into Belize. The certification of plants and plant products for export is the sole responsibility of the Plant Health Department of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). The Plant Health Department en- sures the agricultural health protection for plants from invasive pests and diseases. The Department’s role has also become increasingly important in areas such as certification of wholesomeness of raw plant products for export; negotiation of phytosanitary measures; crop loss assesment due to pests, diseases, and natural disasters, and in the regulation of all important plant and plant products through Pest Risk Analysis.
  24. 24. 24 It is the responsibility of the exporter and the Plant Health Department to find out the exact require- ments of the importing country for the product that will be exported. The Department will ensure that the proper infrastructure is in place by the producers/exporter to receive, treat, and package the product to be exported. The Plant Health Department must sign a “Compliance Agreement” with the farmer or producer - whereby the farmer agrees to keep his/her farm or work area at a certain prescribed standard - and then register the farmer. Data on each farm or production area is kept in regards to: • Owner’s name • Variety of plant(s) being cultivated • Location (GPS) of farm • Cleanliness • Use of chemicals, pesticides, etc. • Use of Irrigation The location is visited frequently by the certifying officer to verify and record the pests present, and to keep the incidence of these as low as possible. A sample of the Compliance Agreement can be found in the Appendix. 8.1 Packing Area Procedures The certifying officer will look at the overall cleanliness of the packing area - which must be clean and organized. It is here that the product for export will be treated (if necessary) and visually in- spected by the officer. The officer will inspect a representative sample of the export product and make sure that it is free from pests. The officer must ensure that the packages are properly sealed and labeled. Treatment of the product, packaging, labeling, etc. must comply with the requirements of the importing country. When the officer is satisfied that the commodity to be exported is free from pests, and that all the requirements of the importing country have been fulfilled, the Phytosanitary Certificate is issued. The Phytosanitary Certificate will include: • Name and address of exporter • Name and address of importer • Name of product • Batch number • Quantity of product • Phytosanitary Status • Treatment • Date of treatment and packaging • Name and signature of certifying officer • Number of the container • Origin of the product A sample Phytosanitary Certificate can be found in the Appendix. 8.2 Procedures During Transport The certifying officer is responsible for ensuring that the container or transportation into which the consignment is loaded is clean and free from pests before the shipment is loaded into it. After loading, the container must be properly sealed, with all the proper documents, and be transported to the point of export. Data will be taken at this stage and includes: • Container number • Vehicle license number • Stops to be taken en route to the port of exit • Contents of the container • Route(s) to be used
  25. 25. 25 8.3 Procedures at the Port of Export When the shipment reachs the port, a Quarantine Officer will verify that the documents attest to the phytosanitary status of the product being exported. The officer will verify: the date of export, existence of the product, phytosanitary certificate, number of the container, seal, and stamp of the company exporting the product at the port. The Quarantine officer will record the shipment in their logbook of exports which assists with traceability. 8.4 Port Authority Procedures Port Authority Officials are responsible for securing the shipment to be exported once the contents of the container have been verified with the Quarantine officials. The container is sealed and placed in an appropriate storage place so as to ensure that it maintains its phytosanitary integrity. The container is then shipped to the importing country. 8.5 Phytosanitary Certificate for Re-Export The Plant Health Department is also responsible for the issuance of “Phytosanitary Certificates for Re-Export”. Such certificates are issued when an imported consignment is repackaged here in Belize before being sent to the importing country; or if the Department did not require a phytosanitary certificate for the imported commodity, but the commodity is being shipped to another country that does require a phytosanitary certificate. In this instance, the Department issues the phytosanitary certificate required by the next country. The National Medfly surveillance program was established in 1976 under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Government of Belize with the intention of reducing the risk of introduction of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) to the U.S. Territory. The Commodities Export Certification Program was introduced later to guarantee the freedom of pests and diseases on commodities being exported to the U.S. All Districts of Belize were officially recognized as a Medfly free area by the USDA through the publication of its rule in 7 CFR Parts 300 and 319 (Docket No. 00-006-2) on August 28th , 2001. The government of Belize through the Belize Agricultural Health Authority continues to maintain active surveillance and implements necessary measures to eradicate any Medfly introduction into Belize. As stated in the work plan agreed upon under the MOU est. 1976 and revised on February 2000, any farm located within a Medfly detection site radius of four and a half (4.5) miles will not be allowed to operate under the Export Certification Program for an established period of three (3) Medfly life cycles (or 90 days) without repeated captures. Furthermore, growers and packers approved under the Export Certification Program are subject to signing a compliance agreement to participate in the program. This is done between the stakeholder and the executing agency, BAHA. BAHA will provide trained personnel to supervise all program activities which include: field supervision, packing activities, post packing storage, loading and inspection during loading, with the issuance of a phytosanitary certificate. A list of commodities, growers and packers approved for participation in the program is maintained by BAHA. Additional growers and packers must register with BAHA and sign a compliance agreement for participation. 9.0 The Commodities Certification Program
  26. 26. 26 Packers/Producers are required to advise BAHA of their weekly fruit packing schedules so that BAHA inspectors can inspect field and packing plant operation prior to the issuance of the phytosanitary certificate. The USDA will provide oversight supervision of all inspection procedures. 9.1 Safeguards Under the Compliance Agreement, the following conditions must be met to permit continuation in the program: (i) Medfly Surveillance - Medfly Jackson traps must be placed in the fields - one (1) trap per every five (5) acres - and is to be serviced on a weekly basis. (ii) Pest and disease management - Standard phytosanitary practices such as weed control, insect and mite control, as well as disease management, are monitored and implemented in a timely manner using approved pesticides as indicated by the USDA authorities. (iii) Field Sanitation - Fields are to be kept free of over ripe and fallen fruits, and these are to be disposed of at a minimum distance of two hundred (200) metres from any certified field, treated, and buried in pits. (iv) Harvest - Fruits that fall during the harvesting operations must be rejected. Weekly harvesting schedules and packing schedules should be submitted to BAHA, so that inspectors can inspect fields and ensure compliance of field sanitation practices prior to harvesting for export. (v) Field Inspection - BAHA inspectors conduct weekly inspections of all farms included in the program. The previous criteria are evaluated and if satisfied that conditions are met, a field phytosanitary certificate is issued. The certificate must be presented to the packing house inspector in order for the harvested product to be accepted for packing . 9.2 Pack House Specifications The following are the required specifications for Packing Houses involved in Export Operations: • The packing house doors and windows must have proper screening to prevent the entrance of pests. • The entrance and exits must have an inner and outer door with a dead space between. Both doors should not be opened at the same time during packing. Air curtains must be used at the first entrance. Doors must be closed while fruits are being packed. • Adequate space must be provided for all operations, i.e. unloading, washing, inspections and packing. • The unloading area must not be the same as the packing area. • Unauthorized fruit and culled fruits should not be kept or stored in the packing area while export commodities are being packed. • Herbicides, insecticides, fuels and other hazardous substances must not be stored in or near the packing area. • Storage spaces for supplies (carton, boxes, and flats) should not be in the packing area. • The perimeter or surroundings of the packing house must be maintained free of weeds, insects and mammalian pests by use of appropriate means. • The packing house must follow every procedure that prevents insects from getting into the packing area, into the areas where cardboard boxes are stored, and into the wooden pallets. • The packing house must have an employee who is capable of implementing and enforcing these guidelines. • Rejected fruit should be removed from the packing compound within a maximum of 24 hours. 9.3 Packing House Inspection Procedures • The exporter/packer must ensure, and BAHA officers must verify, that any fruit not authorized for inclusion in the program is not present in the packing house during periods when a commodity for export is being packed.
  27. 27. 27 10.0 Food Safety Health Certification Procedures • BAHA and USDA inspectors will inspect each shipment of fruit and randomly select a minimum of 1 percent of the fruit and examine them for the presence of pests. A written record is kept of all pests found. The detection of a quarantine significant pest will be cause for rejection of the infested lot of fruit and immediate notification to the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). • Nighttime loading of packed fruit for export is prohibited. 9.4 Post-Packing Procedures • Packed fruits must be refrigerated prior to transportation. • Loading ramps must be properly sealed to prevent entrance of insect pests into the shipping container. • Containers must be fogged washed and ventilated prior to loading. • It is not permissible to store or transport unauthorized fruit with approved fruit. Packing houses and conveyances must be approved and maintained in good phytosanitary conditions so as to preclude pest infestation or contamination of approved fruit. • The BAHA inspector will be present at the loading of the produce. The normal site for carrying out phytosanitary inspections, depending on type of shipment, will be: ÿ Overland Via Guatemala - Packing house inspection during loading of container ÿ Sea freight - Belize seaport ÿ Air freight - Packing house or prior to aircraft loading • Boxes of inspected and certified fruit will be individually stamped “Quarantine Inspection Service, Belize Agricultural Health Authority, Belize C.A”. BAHA maintains control of stamps to prevent unauthorized use. • The Phytosanitary Certificate is issued by BAHA for each shipment after ensuring that satisfactory sanitary practices have been carried out at the packing facility. • Containers will be sealed in the presence of a BAHA inspector and customs official. A sample “Farm Visit Report” can be found in the Appendix. The Food Safety Department of BAHA has a mandate to monitor, evaluate, and take action on any matters that may have a direct or indirect effect on the safety of the food supply. This is done for both the export market and for local consumption. Providing safe, wholesome and nutritious food is also regarded as a requirement under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement, to which Belize is a signatory. A certification program, based on the implementation of the Hazard Analysis and Crititical Control Points (HACCP) food safety system was established for fish and fishery products processing indus- try in Belize, which has enabled Belize to export these products freely to the US and the European Union (EU). BAHA’s “farm to table” approach of the food safety program, provides for food safety assurances along the entire chain - from the production site on the farm with the application of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), to the processing plants’ implementation of Good Manufactur- ing Practices (GMP), Standard Sanitary Operating Procedures (SSOP) and HACCP systems that are verified and certified by BAHA’s inspectors and sanitary auditors. Exports of food products and animal feed from Belize into international markets must, as a general rule, must be accompanied by a health certification that satisfies the importing country’s conditions. The importing country sets out the conditions that must be satisfied, and the checks that must be undertaken, if imports are to be allowed. The details of the certification required are usually set
  28. 28. 28 out in specific legislation, which frequently includes models of the certificates to be used by the exporting country. In Belize, BAHA is the competent authority for the sanitary certification of products of agricultural origin including food. The certification must be signed by an official veterinarian or official food safety inspector (as indi- cated in the relevant certificate). BAHA applies strict rules to the production, signing and issuing of certificates, and they confirm in compliance with international codes of practice for certification. Each category of food product or animal feed has its own set of animal, plant and/or public health requirements that may be specific for the market to which the product is destined. Particular attention must be paid to ensure that the correct certification is used, and that all of its provisions have been met. 10.1 Product Compliance Procedure The following sequence is generally followed (although it may vary according to the food product/ feed concerned): (1) Representative of establishment seeking certification of the product must submit a formal request for approval to the Food Safety Services of BAHA. This can be done using established application forms or through a letter of application from the requesting party. The application should include the following information: (a) Name and address of exporter and establishment registration number (if applicable) (b) Address of importer and country of import (c) Type of food product for which approval is sought. Full details of all animal or plant origin products should be given (d) Volume or weight of the products to be exported (e) Origin or source of primary materials involved (f) Description of process or minimum treatment (heat, maturation, acidification etc) applied to the products (e) Means of transport of the final product The application should also include confirmation that the establishment has been approved for export. BAHA is the authority responsible for approving establishments for exporting products of an animal or plant nature. (2) BAHA acknowledges the request and determines when an inspection of the establishment should be carried out (3) Bilateral contacts and arrangements between the national authorities of the importing country and BAHA (if applicable) is consulted to determine certification requirements (4) If the Food Safety Services of BAHA is satisfied with the information provided, an on-the-spot inspection may be organized by BAHA (5) If the establishment is already registered with BAHA and is currently being subjected to its inspection and sampling protocol on a program basis with good results, depending on the class of products to be exported (ready to eat products, products for further processing, etc.), certification applicable to the products may be granted forthwith. (6) If the outcome of the inspection (and testing where applicable) is satisfactory to BAHA and all other outstanding issues have been resolved, BAHA then prepares the necessary health certification based on the importing country’s requirements.
  29. 29. 29 (7) Following completion of the inspection, including results of any testing undertaken from samples submitted to the official laboratory, (The Central Investigation Laboratory in Belize City) a copy of the inspection report is sent to the Director of Food Safety Services and to the establishment. (8) The certificates are authenticated with the BAHA Food Safety Seal and submitted to the party requesting certification of the food product after payment of all relevant fees. (9) If for any reason, an establishment or exporter who makes a request, is dissatisfied with the inspection or certification services of BAHA, the applicant can submit a letter detailing the reasons for such dissatisfaction and direct it to the Director of Food Safety Services where it will receive prompt attention with the view of resolution of any discrepancies. 10.2 Certification Compliance The following are the compliance requirements that are to be met by establishments requesting certification of food products by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority: (a) Sanitary Certificate (1) Completed application form or letter of application outlining the details of the products to be certified (2) Establishment is registered with BAHA as an approved food processing facility (3) Establishment is subjected to BAHA Food Safety Services Inspection and Sampling Protocols
  30. 30. 30 (4) Proof that the product has been handled, prepared or processed, identified, stored and transported under a competent Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and sanitary program, consistently implemented and in accordance with the requirements laid down in the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (Food Safety) Regulations, 2001 (5) For Fish and Fishery Products, the establishment must comply with the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (Fish and Fisheries Products Inspection) Regulations, 2001 of the Laws of Belize (b) Certificate of Free Sale (1) The product is sold freely in Belize, and is not under any legal restrictive measures imposed upon the establishment by BAHA or another competent authority (2) Submit a completed application form or letter of application to BAHA outlining the details of product(s) to be certified A sample of the Certificate of Free Sales can be found in the Appendix. (c) Veterinary Health Certificate (1) Submit a completed application form or letter of application to BAHA outlining the details of product(s) to be certified (2) The products establishment of origin is subjected to the Food Safety Services Inspec- tion and Sampling Protocols (3) The product has been tested and found to be free of relevant diseases (4) Testing records that are no more than 4 months old are available (d) Certificate of Compliance (Veterinary Drugs) (1) Submit a completed application form or letter of application to BAHA outlining the details of the product(s) to be certified (2) Establishment is subject to BAHA Food Safety Services Inspection and Sampling Protocols (3) Demonstration that the product is free of, or does not exceed, established Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) of relevant veterinary drugs (4) Testing records that are no more than a month old are available (e) Certificate of Facility Registration (1) Submit a completed application form to BAHA (2) The establishment, its processing and support areas, must meet the requirements set out by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (3) The establishment is free from serious contamination 11.0 Animal Health The Animal Health Department of BAHA, in its mandate to protect animal health and life, provides veterinary services that stimulate the growth of the livestock industry. Its assists in achieving a level of animal production that can sustain the nations’ food of animal origin needs while contributing the necessary veterinary support to the livestock industry, which can then be expanded for export markets. In order to obtain certification for exporting live animals, or animal products, the following must take place: 1. The exporter must obtain an import permit from the importing country 2. BAHA will review the importing country’s conditions for importation
  31. 31. 31 3. BAHA will conduct an inspection of the exporter’s facilities 4. Once the inspector finds that the exporter meets all the requirements of the importing coun- try, the request for approval will be granted, and certification will be given 5. BAHA will issue the exporter an International Veterinary Certificate (IVC). A sample IVC can be found in the appendix of this manual. Depending on the importing country, certification may require pre-shipment quarantine for live animals. For products of animal origin, a Sanitary Certificate may also be required, as well as testing for residues. A sample Sanitary Certificate can be found in the appendix of this manual. The requirements for importing live animals and animal products differ depending on the importing country. The general import requirements for Belize’s major trade partners consist of: A. Approval of the veterinary infrastructure in Belize by the importing country, including animal health status B. Approval of the exporting establishment. This approval is given following a site visit to the establishment by the officials of the importing country. 11.1 Qurantine & Inspection Department The Quarantine Department of BAHA, was formerly under the Ministry of Agriculture, and began its operations in 1981. Its first task was to eliminate threats posed to Belize by the Mediterranean Fruit Fly (MedFly) which was intercepted in the states of Florida and California in the US. Since then, the Quarantine Department is seen as the first line of defense against the introduction of foreign pests or diseases that could threaten animal, plant, or human health. This is done through various certification programs. Quarantine Inspectors are located at all official points of entry into Belize, and are responsible for the inspection of luggage, vehicles, commodities and any receptacle that may be considered a vehicle for the introduction of pests or diseases. 12.0 U.S. Bioterrorism Act 2002 The events of September 11th, 2001, reinforced the the need to enhance the security of the United States. The US Congress responded by passing the “Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Prepared- ness Act of 2002 (the Bioterrorism Act)”, which was signed into law on June 12th, 2002 by President George Bush. As a result of the Act, companies who export food for human or animal consumption to the US are required to register with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For companies which were exporting at that time, certain requirements needed to be complied with before December 12th, 2003. The requirements are as follows: Before December 12, 2003 Registration with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). This applies to all facilities that store, hold, pack, process, trans- port, or export food to the United States Five days before and after Prior Notice of Consignments being exported to the United States On and after December 12, 2003 Record Keeping and Maintenance for Traceability in the event that the FDA requires information on any product that has been exported to the US
  32. 32. 32 12.1 Frequently Asked Questions (1) Why should I register with the FDA? Failure to register with the FDA will result in consignments not being allowed entry into the US. Failure to comply with the Bioterrorism Act will be classified as a federal offense by the USA. (2) Is there a cost to registering with the FDA? No. Registering online with the FDA is free. (3) Where do I register with the FDA? Registration with the FDA can be done online at the follow- ing website: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~furls/ovffreg.html (4) Who needs to register with the FDA? Owners, operators, or agents in charge of domestic or foreign facilities that: • Manufacture • Process • Pack • Hold or store food for human or animal consumption in the US (5) What is considered a foreign facility? A foreign facility is any facility not located in the States or territories of the US, in the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (6) What do you need to comply with in the registration process? To comply, you will need a US Resident FDA Agent (any person: an individual, partnership, corporation or association, that resides or maintains a place of business in the US and is physically present in the US); Fill in the form with accurate information. (7) What foods are included under the FDA? • All fruits and vegetables • Fish and Seafood • Dairy products and shell eggs • Raw agricultural commodities for use as food or components of food • Live food animals • Infant formula • Bakery goods, snack food, candy, and chewing gum • Canned and frozen foods • Beverages (including alcoholic beverages and bottled water) • Animal feed and pet food • Food packaging • Additives such as colouring, preservatives, and flavours • Dietary supplements and dietary ingredients (8) What foods are exempted from the Act? Bulk shipments of chicken and beef or commodities strictly regulated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are exempted from meeting the requirements of the Act. (9) When should prior notice be given to the FDA? Prior notice should be given five (5) days or eight (8) hours before the consignment arrives in the US. With the exeption of food arriving by international mail, prior notice cannot be submitted more than five (5) days before arrival. Arrival by land via road: Prior notice must be given no less than two (2) hours before the food ar- rives at the port of arrival
  33. 33. 33 Arrival by air and land via rail: Prior notice must be given no less than four (4) hours before the food arrives at the port of arrival. Arrival by water: Prior notice must be given no less than eight (8) hours before the food arrives at the port Food carried by or accompanying an individual: Time is based on method of transportation Food arriving by international mail: The prior notice must be submitted before the food is mailed. (10) What are the requirements for food arriving by international mail? You will need to state: • The anticipated port of arrival, date, and time of arrival • Importer, owner, or ultimate consignee • Mode of transport • Carrier and planned shipment information • HTS code • Date of shipment • US recipient (11) How should prior notice be submitted? It is recommended that prior notice be done electroni- cally. (12) How often should prior notice be given? Prior notice is required for every consignment enter- ing the US. 13.0 Exporting to the European Union (EU) The European Union (EU) is a union of twenty-five (25) independent European states, and was founded to enhance political, economic, and social cooperation. The following table lists the memebers of the EU: 13.1 EUREP GAP The Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group (EUREP) sets out a framework for developing Good Ag- ricultural Practices (GAP) globally for horticultural products (i.e. fruits, vegetables, potatoes, salads, cut flowers, and nursery stock). The EUREP framework generally outlines the minimum standard acceptable to leading retailers in Europe, and is based on Integrated Crop Management (ICM) - a philosophy that recognizes the need for crop production to be economically and environmentally sustainable.
  34. 34. 34 13.2 The Key Points of EUREP 1. Record Keeping - Up-to-date records are required to demonstrate compliance with GAP and to ensure traceability of produce from farm to final consumer 2. Varieties & Rootstocks - Choice of rootstock must meet the customers specified quality standards; seed quality and germination rate should be checked; susceptibility to pests and diseases should be known 3. Site History - A permanent record of each field should be kept; ensure that crop rotations maintain soil conditions 4. Soil Management - A soil map is recommended; avoid chemical fumigations where possible 5. Fertilizer Usage - Routine soil samples should be taken to determine nutrient requirements of the soil 6. Irrigation - Crop requirements of water should be predicted using a recognized method; irri- gation water should be analyzed for microbial, chemical, and mineral pollutants, and records kept 7. Crop Protection - Crop protection systems should be developed to minimize the use of ag- rochemicals; Integrated Pest and Crop Management Systems (IPM/ICM) should be adopted; use of only approved chemicals 8. Harvesting - Workers must have access to toilet and washing facilities, and receive hygiene training before handling fresh produce; store harvested produce to adequately avoid pest contamination 9. Post Harvest Treatments - Post-harvest chemicals should be avoided where possible but if used, must be in strict accordance with product label requirement 10. Waste and Pollution Recycling - Identify all possible waste products and pollutants; develop a plan for responsible disposal 11. Worker health, safety, and welfare - Training should be provided to those using agrochemi- cals, or operating dangerous machinery; establish accident procedures, and provide for first aid training; have first aid kits on hand; ensure that there is no exploitation of labour 12. Environmental Issues - Farming activity should not impact adversely on the environment; growers should have a policy for enhancing wildlife and conservation Certification is important because most European retailers and processors need assurance that the produce they buy has been grown in a responsible way, that it is safe, and that any chemical residues are within permitted levels. When you believe that your farm/facilities meet the required status, “CMI Certification” a leading provider of independent assurance and certification services, can register you and the products you want to grow, inspect your farming operation, and then provide a EUREP GAP Certificate if you meet the requirements of the scheme. More information on CMI Certification and can be found on the company’s website at www.cmi.plc.com 13.3 Food Labelling All foodstuffs marketed in the EU must comply with EU labelling rules, which are aimed at ensur- ing that consumers get all the essential information to make an informed choice while purchasing their foodstuffs. Labels of foodstuffs must contain the following particulars: • The name under which the product is sold • List of ingredients • Net quantity

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