Customs Regulations in Bermuda

Duty Free Allowances

In general, persons entering Bermuda will need to pay 25 per cent duty on most goods imported in their personal baggage that exceed their duty free allowance.

Tourists should note that this refers to goods imported, i.e. items that will remain in Bermuda (gifts for residents etc.) or be consumed in Bermuda. If you are a tourist, your personal belongings (clothes, cameras, computers etc.) are exempt from duty.

Duty free allowances differ slightly for tourists and residents. More detailed information about allowances and customs duty rates can be found here.

Customs Procedure – LF Wade International Airport

All flights to Bermuda land at LF Wade International Airport. After passing through Immigration visitors enter the Baggage Claim area. They collect their bags and exit the airport by going through Customs. There are two exits; a red channel and a green channel.

The green channel is for those with nothing to declare:

  • Goods within the duty free limits
  • No restricted or prohibited items (see below)
  • No more than $10,000 in cash or cash equivalents (bank notes, coins, traveller’s cheques, money orders etc.)

The red channel is for persons with:

  • Goods in excess of the duty free limits
  • Persons claiming Transfer of Residence Allowance (see below)
  • Goods for business use
  • Restricted or prohibited items
  • More than $10,000 in cash or cash equivalents

Persons using the red channel must complete a Customs Traveller Declaration Form (Form 98) before passing through.

If they have any duty to pay they must also pay it before going through the red channel. It can be paid at the HSBC or Butterfield terminals, or at the cashier’s desk (all located within the Baggage Claim area).

Prohibited Items

The following items cannot be brought into Bermuda under any circumstances:

  • Illegal drugs – including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, amphetamines, LSD etc.
  • Offensive weapons – includes flick knives, spear guns, catapults, crossbows, blowguns, self-defence sprays, stun guns etc.
  • Indecent materials

Restricted Items

Certain goods can only be imported into Bermuda with a licence or permit:

  • Firearms and ammunition (licence from the Commission of the Police required)
  • Live animals (import permit from Bermuda Department of Environmental Protection required)

Prescription Medicines

Visitors can bring a reasonable quantity of prescribed medication into Bermuda (enough for their own use and duration of stay). It should be labelled and in its original packaging. Such medicine does not have to be declared on the Customs Traveller Declaration Form (Form 98).

Marijuana is prohibited even if it has been prescribed by a physician.

Transfer of Residence Allowance

Persons coming to work in Bermuda and their dependents can claim Transfer of Residence Allowance on their personal possessions and avoid paying duty on these items.

Goods qualifying for the allowance include clothes, furniture, computers, household appliances, and portable tools of trade.

You will need to have been in possession of the goods for at least 6 months before taking up residence in Bermuda. Customs officers may ask for receipts as evidence.

Anybody claiming Transfer or Residence Allowance needs to complete the Customs Traveller Declaration Form (Form 98) and pass through the red channel.

Transfer of Residence Allowance is also available to those ordinarily resident in Bermuda, provided they have been living overseas for one year.

Comments and Additional Information

  1. Dudefrog says

    Bermuda is great and the customs officers are doing all they can to protect Bermuda from all of the illegal items. So if they question you then they have the right to, so deal with it.

  2. elmo v says

    I was trying to find out how to file a complaint against rude customs officers when I saw these comments. We were just on a cruise to Bermuda on that HAL Veendam in August. This was our 8th trip to Bermuda. The customs guard at the Hamilton terminal on the night of Aug 23rd was very rude and insinuated I had "contacts" in Bermuda because I’ve been there several times. I was polite but made it clear I did not appreciate what he was insinuating. During the 2.5 days we were there (we left early because of Hurricane Irene), I was searched 7x, 4 of which were documented on their logbook. None of the 6 other family members with me were searched; I was always singled out because I’m a Filipino male in my 40′s. NONE of the other passengers I spoke with were searched more than once; most of them were not even searched at all despite all the shopping bags they had. They were all white. Racial profiling at it’s best. By the way I am a US citizen and a doctor. My only vice is I love to travel.

  3. Melanie says

    I travelled to Bermuda 2 weeks ago and I do not recommend anyone of ethnic decent to visit this island. The treatment going through customs ruined our whole trip. They treated us like criminals. We went to Bermuda for a vacation not to live. It was a weekend trip due to JetBlue giving a sale. The customs officers accused us of carrying drugs. They asked so many questions my girlfriend broke down and started crying. They threatened to send us to jail and when they realized we were not mules. They sent us out the airport late so late we missed our shuttle.
    We are all professional people and this was uncalled for. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. I am happy to be home and I will never take the US for granted again. Shame on you Bermuda!

  4. Kathryn says

    Having made enquiries with HM Customs in October, the following information was provided:
    If you are relocating to Bermuda on a permanent work permit you are entitled to the Transfer of Residence Allowance (TRA). Your goods must arrive in Bermuda 90 days before or after your first date of arrival in Bermuda to take up residence. Your personal effects will be duty free as long as they have been in your possession for six months or more. Any items that are new or less than six months old duty will be payable at the applicable rate. If you are relocating to Bermuda on a temporary work permit you will have to pay duty on your goods at the applicable rate. Should you get a permanent work permit with in the 90 day period from when you first arrived in Bermuda to take up residence, then you may apply for a refund for your goods that you paid duty on. For further information please visit our website customs.gov.bm.
    Public Notice 28 Transfer of Residence Allowance. If you do have to pay duty you can also find the applicable rates on this website in the tariff, however should you import the goods as your personal baggage the duty will be 25%.
    I cannot speak on any other charges that might be incurred from the shipping company in Bermuda other than a wharfage charge of 1.11% or 1.01% for goods arriving by boat or plane respectively which is collected by Bermuda Customs.

  5. Ted says

    I’m moving to Bermuda in about ten days and spoke to them about the issue of exemption from duty. Public Notice 28 on the Bermuda Customs website states that you are allowed to claim something called Transfer of Residence Allowance. There are a bunch of conditions, but if you’re an expat moving there with a standard work permit, your goods that are older than six months (which you need to be able to prove with receipts) are exempt from duty.

  6. BDA shorts says

    Absolutely no human right for expats. I have moved here for couple months and experienced that myself. Also I did pay custom duty on all the electronic items when I first got here. Be aware that if you are a resident here, you will have to pay custom duty on everything you bring back to the country.

  7. Observer says

    The website is incorrect. Duty at the air and seaports is 25% of the declared value.

  8. Observer says

    If you are moving to Bermuda as a returning Bermudian or a person on a regular work permit, you will not pay duty on items that are 6 months old so long as you have been overseas for more than one year. If you are coming to work on a temporary work permit, everything you bring is subject to duty. If you are a genuine visitor, only items that will stay (or be consumed) in Bermuda must have duty paid. Remember Bermuda has no income tax and duty brings in 25% of the Government’s revenue. Residents must pay duty on everything, EVERYTHING acquired overseas.

  9. Jim says

    I’ve entered Bermuda twice so far, both in April 2009. Be sure you have a copy of your return flight itinerary, fill out both forms you on the flight in, and read them carefully. If you don’t have anything that will remain in Bermuda, don’t list it and you won’t have any issues. Much more friendly than you’ll read below. If you have items that you will be bringing back and forth, go to the customs house on Front Street when you get here and get a slip saying that the item is in Bermuda. Next time you enter with the item, have the slip with you and you won’t be hassled either. Goes for cell phones, laptops, cameras, etc.

  10. Wolfy says

    Anyone going into Bermuda please be ready for a rough ride through customs. They are very rude, even if you are very polite. I live here in Bermuda and go in and out 5 or 6 times a year and every time it’s the same problem. Make sure you declare every last thing.

  11. Larry says

    I’VE BEEN BACK AND FORTH TO BERMUDA SEVERAL TIMES.YOU ARE REQUIRED TO PAY DUTY ON EVERYTHING THAT YOU BRING INTO THE COUNTRY, EVERYTHING! SOME SAY,YOU CAN ASK FOR A FORM TO GET BACK MONEY YOU HAVE PAID ON YOUR DEPARTURE OF THE ISLAND, BUT I HAVE YET TO KNOW OF ANYONE WHO HAS. GOOD LUCK!

  12. Joe Smith says

    Note that bermuda customs is extremely punitive to temporary residents. They do not credit you back for duty when you permanently leave and take goods with you – so things like engagement rings, watches and other items which will not be remaining in Bermuda they are making a killing from. Get used to it, as well as not having any human rights as an expat if you plan to move here.

  13. Lisa says

    The rules have since changed. New arrivals do not have to pay duty on anything when they first arrive. I got here two days ago and was pleasently surprised by this!

  14. michelle says

    On the question of paying duty if you’re moving here – I arrived 6 months ago and had to pay duty on almost everything I brought (ie a 5 year old alarm clock, camera, scuba gear, linens) – you would do well to compare the cost of excess luggage and duty fees to the cost of purchasing items here.

  15. Audrey says

    Thank you so very much for the feedback, I can’t wait to know if I have the job!!!

  16. Editor says

    This comments form is really intended for adding information and not asking questions. However, as several people have asked about customs duty for expatriates moving to Bermuda, I telephoned the Bermuda Customs office with the question. They said duty is payable on all goods brought into Bermuda, regardless of the time the person is intending to stay on the island and whether or not a person intends to take them back when they leave. This seems a little strange to me, especially if somebody was only coming to work here for a few months. But this is what they said. If somebody knows any better, please feel free to leave a comment here.

  17. Audrey says

    How does duty works if you move there for a year or two?

  18. asa says

    Do i have to declare tools for working in bermuda if i am not leaving them in country?

  19. jimmy says

    There’s a store on Front Street that sells Cuban cigars.

Add Comment or Additional Information

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *