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BAHA Clarifies Sugar Export Rumors

Recent rumors circulating regarding the issuance of an export license for sugar at a border location in northern Belize have been addressed by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). The authority has clarified that it does not issue export licenses for agricultural commodities.

As a regulatory body, BAHA's primary role is to regulate imports to ensure compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary requirements, thereby mitigating the risk of plant pests and animal diseases. Importers are legally mandated to obtain BAHA import permits, outlining the conditions for importation.

BAHA also supports the exportation of agricultural commodities by overseeing an inspection and certification process. This process ensures that exported products, such as raw sugar destined for various markets including the Caribbean and Europe, meet the stipulated conditions. Only two companies, BSI-ASR and Santander Sugar, are authorized for sugar exportation. BAHA inspectors verify compliance, and upon confirmation, issue a phytosanitary certificate attesting to the inspection process.

The authority emphasizes that the Port of Belize LTD and the Port of Big Creek are the only authorized points of exit for certified sugar consignments. BAHA personnel stationed at these ports ensure that only approved shipments leave the country.

BAHA unequivocally denies any involvement in illicit sugar exports to Mexico or any other country. It states that BAHA does not issue export licenses, as this function falls outside its jurisdiction. Furthermore, BAHA does not impose quantitative restrictions on commodities; instead, it adheres to mandates from relevant regulatory agencies.

In reaffirming its commitment to safeguarding Belizean agriculture and supporting lawful trade initiatives, BAHA urges the public to support its efforts in maintaining the integrity of the agricultural sector.

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