Customs and Duties

At the international airport in Belize City it rarely takes more than 30 minutes to clear immigration and customs.

Duty-free allowances for visitors entering Belize include 1 liter of liquor and one carton of cigarettes per person. Customs officials may confiscate beer, including beer from Guatemala or Mexico, as Belize protects its domestic brewing industry. The exception is beer from countries in CARICOM, of which Belize is a member. When arriving by international air at Philip Goldson International Airport you can buy up to four bottles of spirits or wine at the duty-free shop in the arrival terminal near the baggage claim area. These won’t be counted toward your regular import allowance.

In theory, electronic and electrical appliances, cameras, jewelry, or other items of value must be declared at the point of entry, but unless these are new items you plan to leave in Belize, you probably will not be required to declare them. You should have no trouble bringing in a laptop for personal use.

Firearms of any type are prohibited, as are fresh fruits and vegetables. Although a couple of dozen food items, including meats, rice, beans, sugar, and peanuts, require an import license, grocery items in small amounts for personal use, in their original packages, are usually allowed.

To take home fresh seafood of any kind from Belize, you must first obtain a permit from the Fisheries Department. There's a 20-pound limit. It is illegal to export any Mayan artifact from Belize.

You may enter Guatemala duty-free with a camera, up to six rolls of film, any clothes and articles needed while traveling, 500 mg of tobacco, 3 liters of alcoholic beverages, two bottles of perfume, and 2 kg of candy. Unless you bring in a lot of merchandise, customs officers probably won't even check your luggage, although a laptop may be somewhat scrutinized.

It's illegal to export most Mayan artifacts. If you buy any such goods, do so only at a well-established store, and keep the receipt. You may not take fruits or vegetables out of Guatemala.

Information in Belize

Belize Fisheries (223/2623 Coastal Zone Management.

U.S. Information

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (877/227–5511 in U.S.; 202/325–8000 for international callers.

United States State Department (202/647–4000 State Dept. main switchboard in Washington; 888/407–4747 emergency help for travelers who are calling from U.S.; 877/487–2778 passport information; 202/501–4444 emergency help for travelers calling from outside U.S.

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