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Click here for Procedure for the Acquisition of Import Permits

The Plant Health Department ensures the agricultural health protection for plants from invasive pests and diseases. Additionally, its role has become increasingly important in areas such as certification of wholesomeness of raw plant products for export; negotiation of phyto-sanitary measures, both bilaterally and multilaterally; crop loss assessment due to pests, diseases and natural disasters and in the regulation of all important plant and plant products through Pest Risk Analyses.

BAHA's Plant Health Department is active in the following areas:

The Plant Health Department performs farm visits and one-site inspections to investigate crop pests and diseases at the field level. It also maintains a support program for plants material imported under a Post-entry Quarantine scheme. The field visits also serve as a support activity for commodities registered under a BAHA Export Certification Programme.

BAHA is the plant health certifying authority for all export commodities. The Plant Health Department provides pre to post-harvest inspections culminating with the issuance of a Phytosanitary Certificate that will assure acceptance of Belize's plant products into the importing countries.

The Plant Health Department is responsible for maintaining a database on the health of crops in Belize as well as the occurrence of pest and diseases. It is also the central repository of all data gathered as it relates to plant health and serves as the official point of information regarding pest and diseases in the country. Surveys are conducted using GPS and GIS technology for endemic as well as exotic or invasive pest organisms as a way of updating existing plants health databases and as an early warning system for rapid pest or disease control response.

Exotic pest and disease introduction continues to be the foremost deterrent to free trade and thus the Department remains vigilant for the early detection of injurious pests and diseases. It is also integrated with the regulation of importation of plants and plant products with that of Pest and Disease Surveillance and the Quarantine Department of BAHA. The Mediterranean Fruitfly and Pink Hibiscus Mealybug programmes are two areas where early detection results in minimal economic loss to the agricultural sector.

  1. Import Permit Applications must be received at least 7 days prior to placing an order for purchase of a plant or plant product. For low risk commodities permits are issued within 7 days of receipt of the application. Importers are asked to fill the applications completed especially contact numbers so that any issues regarding the application may be communicated without delay.

  2. Conditions attached to an Import Permit must be adhered to fully by the exporting country. Failure to do so may result in additional fees being charged to the importer or the product being denied entry.

  3. Risk analyses must be conducted for plant or plant products being requested for importation.

    a. For certain high risk commodities there may be a need to conduct on site (at origin) verifications of a phytosanitary nature. The cost of such procedures must be borne by the Importer/Exporter as well as any other relevant fees as indicated by BAHA.
    b. Compliance agreements, of a phytosanitary nature, for post entry follow-up of imported commodities may be requested prior to issuance of a permit.

  4. Approval of Import Permits for certain commodities may require clearance/approval as dictated by national committees or authorities in accordance with local or international law, regulations, standards, conventions or agreements. Such procedures may delay the issuance of permits by BAHA or may result in BAHA denying a request for importation.

  1. An Import Permit that has been issued may be cancelled at any time if the phytosanitary status of the exporting country changes with respect to that commodity during the period of its validity.

  2. An Import Permit that has been issued may be cancelled at any time if the Authority believes that there has been a false declaration or falsification of documents associated with an importation.

  3. No liability shall be borne by the Authority as a result of cancellation of an Import Permit.

Import Permit applications may be obtained at any of the following BAHA offices:

(i) Central Investigation laboratory, Belize City Tel: 011-501-224-4794/5230 Fax: 011-501-224-5230
(ii) Orange Walk Vet. Clinic, Orange Walk Town Tel: 011-501-322-3257 Fax: 011-501-322-3201
(iii) Santa Elena Northern Border Tel: 011-501-403-8058 Fax: 011-501-403-8058
(iv) Headquarters, Belmopan, Agricultural Show Grounds Tel: 011-501-822-1378/0197 Fax: 011-501-822-0818
(v) Permit Unit, Belmopan, Agricultural Show Grounds Tel: 011-501-822-0818/0197 Fax: 011-501-822-3084
(vi) Central Farm, Animal Health Department Tel: 011-501-824-4899/4872 Fax: 011-501-822-4889
(vii) Central Farm, Plant Health Department Tel: 011-501-824-4899/4860 Fax: 011-501-824-3773
(viii) Central Farm, Quarantine Department Tel: 011-501-824-4899/4872 Fax: 011-501-824-3773
(ix) Benque Viejo Western Border Tel: 011-501-803-2455 Fax: 011-501-803-2455
(x) Phillip Goldson International Airport Tel: 011-501-205-2521 Fax: 011-501-225-3557
(xi) Belize Port Authority Tel: 011-501-227-5398 Fax: 011-501-207-1814
(xiii) Punta Gorda Town Tel: 011-501-702-2563 Fax: 011-501-702-2563
(xiv) Placencia Tel: 011-501-503-3532 Fax: 011-501-503-3532
(xv) Big Creek Tel: 011-501-523-2251 Fax: 011-501-523-2251

  • Plants for planting, fresh fruits and vegetables belonging to the Citrus group or its relatives are prohibited entry. Importation of plants and plant products that are hosts or may be hosts of the Mediterranean fruitfly and originate in any country or part thereof where this pest is present are prohibited. Importation of plants, plant products or their by-products may be prohibited entry as specified by the Plant Health and Quarantine regulations from time to time.

  • The importer must be a Belizean national, legal resident, registered company or have adequate representation in Belize in order to import plants for planting.

The Department's laboratory staff accurately identifies pests and pathogens of field cases. It offers prompt recommendations for the management of major plant health problems; from vegetable crops to grains and pulses and fruits for export. The latest in our laboratory diagnostics include photo microscopy and linkages with the best laboratories in the hemisphere.

Specialized personnel of the Plant Health Department are represented on various commodity and Government committees and offer guidance as it relates to the field of plant health, trade, natural resource and the environment. The Department also offers consultancies for business start-ups in the area of plant pest and disease management, site selection, variety selection and source acquisition, and export certification.

Contact the Plant Health Department
Mr. Francisco Gutierrez, Director
Central Farm
Cayo District, Belize
Tel: 011-501-824-4899
Fax: 011-501-824-3773


Copyright 2006 Belize Agricultural Health Authority. All Rights Reserved.

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