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. The Customs Traveller Declaration Form will be given to you by airline staff on your flight.
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).
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
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)
- Fruit, vegetables, and plants
- Products made from endangered animals
Visitors are permitted to bring food to Bermuda provided it is for personal consumption.
The following items are duty free: breakfast cereals, cream, malt, potato flour and flakes, prepared food for infants, rice, sugar, plus wheat and cereal flours.
Anything not on the list above is subject to duty at a rate of 25 percent.
There is a limit to the amount of meat that can be brought in. This is currently 20 lbs per traveller.
Milk cannot be imported without special authorisation. Fish can be brought provided the packaging is free of algae and seaweed (but there are seasonal restrictions on lobsters).
Plants, fruit, and vegetables are restricted items.
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. A copy of the prescription should be attached to the medication that clearly shows the name of the recipient, the name of the drug, and the dosage.
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. Methadone is also not permitted, even for those on a methadone program.
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.