flag Belize Belize: Perfil comercial

Foreign Trade in Figures

International trade represents around 108% of the country’s GDP (World Bank, latest data available). Whereas imports from CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market) are exempt from import duties, other countries have to pay relatively high customs taxes (up to 45%). Moreover, import licenses are mandatory to protect certain national industries. According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, in 2022, the country’s main exports were sugar (USD 162.4 million), bananas (USD 81.7 million), animal feed (USD 52.4 million), orange concentrates (USD 24.4 million), and lobsters (USD 24.1 million), while imports were led by machinery and transport equipment, mineral fuels, manufactured goods, and chemical products.

The country's main export partners in 2022 were the UK (USD 118.3 million), the U.S. (USD 95.7 million), Guatemala (USD 62.2 million), Spain (USD 37.2 million), and Trinidad & Tobago (USD 29.5 million), with imports coming chiefly from the U.S. (USD 1.15 billion), China (USD 484.4 million), Mexico (USD 282 million), Guatemala (USD 211.4 million), and Trinidad & Tobago (USD 42.3 million – data Statistical Institute of Belize). Despite the discovery of a large oilfield in the northern part of the country, Belize relies on other members of Petrocaribe (primarily Central American countries, Mexico, and Venezuela) for its energy supply. Belize also relies heavily on the U.S., leading to commercial vulnerability due to lack of diversification. Belize's first National Trade Policy, which was launched in 2019, is aligned with the Government’s development strategies, such as Horizon 2030 and the Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy, and seeks to reduce the cost of doing business, enhance competitiveness, develop efficient production systems and capacities, improve trade performance for goods and services, and diversify production, which should significantly contribute to a competitive economy and sustainable socio-economic development. Foreign trade is subject to fluctuations in global prices of raw materials and depends on the longevity of certain trade agreements, especially with the United States, the European Union (sugar cane), and the United Kingdom (bananas). The biggest challenge to Belize's trade and reputation involves being blacklisted by the EU as a fiscal paradise, presumably involved in money laundering.

According to data by the WTO, in 2022, Belize exported USD 494 million worth of goods, while imports stood at USD 1.38 billion; concerning services, exports stood at USD 850 million against USD 350 million in imports. Belize's trade balance is structurally in deficit: it was estimated to be negative by 3.2% of GDP in 2022 by the World Bank, from 3.8% one year earlier. Preliminary figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize show that, in 2023, imports stood at USD 2.68 billion, while total exports (domestic, re-exports, and CFZ sales) totaled USD 976.1 million.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 9867871,0611,3811,341
Exports of Goods (million USD) 425289422518488
Imports of Services (million USD) 235170293350305
Exports of Services (million USD) 677426621851974
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 5-23325n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 5-30354n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) -543-443-534-729n/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 1018097102n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 50435053n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 51374650n/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2023
United States 28.0%
United Kingdom 17.3%
Guatemala 8.7%
Spain 7.4%
Trinidad and Tobago 6.1%
See More Countries 32.4%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2023
United States 42.0%
China 17.2%
Mexico 9.5%
Guatemala 9.4%
Trinidad and Tobago 1.6%
See More Countries 20.3%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

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Main Products

0.3 bn USD of products exported in 2022
Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in...Cane or beet sugar and chemically pure sucrose, in solid form 26.9%
Bananas, incl. plantains, fresh or driedBananas, incl. plantains, fresh or dried 14.0%
Bran, sharps and other residues, whether or not in...Bran, sharps and other residues, whether or not in the form of pellets, derived from the sifting, milling or other working of cereals or of leguminous plants 8.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 7.4%
Crustaceans, whether in shell or not, live, fresh,...Crustaceans, whether in shell or not, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine, even smoked, incl. crustaceans in shell cooked by steaming or by boiling in water; flours, meals and pellets of crustaceans, fit for human consumption 6.3%
See More Products 36.8%
1.4 bn USD of products imported in 2022
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 13.4%
Cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of...Cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes 4.8%
Footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics,...Footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of textile materials (excl. toy footwear) 2.1%
Mineral or chemical fertilisers containing two or...Mineral or chemical fertilisers containing two or three of the fertilising elements nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; other fertilisers (excl. pure animal or vegetable fertilisers or mineral or chemical nitrogenous, phosphatic or potassic fertilisers); animal, vegetable, mineral or chemical fertilisers in tablets or similar forms or in packages of a gross weight of <= 10 kg 1.7%
Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, executive-cases,...Trunks, suitcases, vanity cases, executive-cases, briefcases, school satchels, spectacle cases, binocular cases, camera cases, musical instrument cases, gun cases, holsters and similar containers; travelling-bags, insulated food or beverage bags, toilet bags, rucksacks, handbags, shopping-bags, wallets, purses, map-cases, cigarette-cases, tobacco-pouches, tool bags, sports bags, bottle-cases, jewellery boxes, powder-boxes, cutlery cases and similar containers, of leather or of composition leather, of sheeting of plastics, of textile materials, of vulcanised fibre or of paperboard, or wholly or mainly covered with such materials or with paper 1.6%
See More Products 76.5%

Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data

 

To go further, check out our service Import Controls and Export Controls

To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows

 
 

Main Services

0.6 bn USD of services exported in 2021
60.28%
13.54%
11.77%
7.59%
4.88%
0.73%
0.58%
0.54%
0.09%
0.3 bn USD of services imported in 2021
42.37%
15.83%
13.03%
8.06%
7.10%
6.41%
3.87%
3.16%
0.14%
0.03%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties and Local Taxes

 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
International Economic Cooperation
Member of Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM)

Member of Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)

Useful Resources
Belize Customs and Excise Department
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The BELIPO, Belize Intellectual Property Office .
 
 
 

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Latest Update: May 2024

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