Saturday, March 21, 2009

Getting ready for the drive

As March quickly moves toward the end of the month, I must now start focusing on the task ahead. I plan on driving to Belize near the end of the month and must now figure out what I want, and what I need to bring along with me for the trip. Originally, I had planned on waiting to drive down until I was going to bring the dogs. I didn't want to subject them to flying, especially with connecting flights. And they are not small dogs that I could bring aboard the plane.

But now, I have decided to drive down this time, by myself, caravaning with a Belizian friend, Hipolito, who has made the trip several times and knows all the details on going thru Mexico. This is probably the best way, so I can get a feel for what will be required later when I do transport the dogs. Mischelle is not overly happy with me driving down thru Mexico at this time, with all the trouble that has been happening lately, especially along the border towns. But I plan to cross over in Brownsville, TX and if all works out well, we will try navigate Mexico in a couple of days.
With the new rules in Mexico regarding "transmigrante", I now have to use a customs broker to get my car and belongings thru Mexico and to the Belize border. That involves sending the original (yes, THE original) pink slip to the customs broker so they can forward the information to the US Customs service. I couldn't believe that they wanted the original pink slips (what happens if they lose it?), but a change in policy last year made it so that copies were no longer acceptable. I also need to send a detailed list of everything I am bringing. I won't have any duties due on my car or belongings, but this allows them to track what I have brought into their country and to make sure that is what I have when I leave.
Belize will be another story. I will also need a customs broker in Chetumal to get my car and belongings in to Belize. That is the unknown. How much will duties be? My truck is a '90 Toyota pick-up with 130,000 miles on it. It has just broken in. Lots more miles left on her. The Kelley Blue Book shows a resale value of under $1000. I am hoping that with taxes, duties and enviromental fees, the cost to import my truck from the US will be under $400. With that and all the other stuff I want to bring, I am trying to get thru customs with a bill of under $700. But you never know who is on duty that day, or what kind of a day they have had before I arrived. I have also heard it can be an all day experience at the border. That sounds like fun. Maybe I can cross into Belize and go to the Casino while my car and belongings are checked and taxed.


richies said...

Last summer I purchased a van here in Arkansas for some Belizean friends. They rode the bus to Dallas and I picked them up there. I learned how much of an ordeal it is to get a vehicle from the U.S. through Mexico to Belize. I had never heard of the transmigrantes before, but I spent quite a bit of time on the phone getting all of the paperwork done correctly. We had to FedEx the paperwork to the transmigrante a week ahead of time so he could have everything ready to cross the border.

An Arkies Musings

Perry and Mischelle said...

That is what I'm finding out. And it's not too easy to find a customs broker from so far away. I'm lucky that Hipolito has a broker already. I only found one other broker thru the Belize forum. And I can't believe they want the original ownership papers. How did it go after you got all the paperwork?

sandra said...

Hi Perry and Michele. Here is a link to duty and taxes to import your stuff
There are people who can bring your stuff and they will help you with all the paper work and deliver to your door. If you are interested I can give you some contact numbers. If you tell me the model of your vehicle(DLX, SR5, DLX with CAb, SR5 w/cab, extra cab,DLX 4wd, 1 ton etc) and whether 4/6cylinder, I will get you a quote for duty on your vehicle. Easiest move would be to put everything on a ship or truck and come by plane with your babies and bypass the hassles of Mexico. wishing you a happy move and wonderful years in Belize.

Perry and Mischelle said...

Hi Sandra,
Thanks for the info. I will look it up tonight. I have a standard 4-cyl 1/2 ton Toyota pickup witha straight shell and no extras and 130K miles. I am driving down so I have a car during construction.