Duty Free Allowances
In general, persons entering Bermuda will need to pay 25% 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.
An example of the Customs Traveller Declaration Form can be found here. Instructions for completing the form can be downloaded here.
If there is any duty to pay it must be paid before going through the red channel. The tariff 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 and pets (import permit from Bermuda Department of Environment and Natural Resources required)
- Products made from endangered animals
Visitors are permitted to bring food to Bermuda provided it is for personal consumption.
Fruit, vegetables, and plant products (seeds etc.) must be declared on arrival. Certain items are prohibited e.g. carrots, sweet potatoes, and corn.
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.
CBD products with less than 1% THC content can be purchased from pharmacies in Bermuda. CBD products with more then 1% THC content are not permitted.
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
Hi, can I bring spices for personal use for a period of three days for vacation?
I am bringing in a boat propeller as a visitor. Is this permissible and what will the duty be?
I am taking my family to Bermuda from USA. We would like to take snacks and alcohol with us. What are the restrictions?
I don’t keep receipts for clothes, how do the customs officers know whether clothing and shoes are newer than 6 months old!? Also if items of clothing/shoes are newer than 6 months old then what value is attached to them? Also in terms of electronics, I have a MacBook that is about 7 years old so worth about $250 if that but retail on MacBook is over $1,000 so what value do customs take??
If you’re staying in Bermuda to work (not if you’re a short-term visitor), then keep the receipts for things you’re taking that you bought within six months before your trip, even if you don’t normally. The “Transfer of Residence Allowance” will answer your other question. Your computer should have a date of manufacture on the bottom label. If it doesn’t, it’s probably clear that a seven-year-old computer is more than six months old and, therefore, duty-free.
We are heading to Bermuda for a week in February, we are both Canadians. Are we able to bring in snacks i.e. peanuts/cashews/chocolate/candy to consume while there? Does it need to be declared on a form upon arrival? Also, are we able to purchase wine at the duty free in Bermuda for our personal consumption? We will be there over Valentines and would like to enjoy some wine.
My partner has personal friends who are now residents of Bermuda, are we able to bring them a gift without paying duty?
If I want to send presents to a relative in Bermuda, can I be the one to pay for the customs tax? If so how do I go about doing that?
I am an annual resident of Bermuda with a visa for a year. I left the island 4 or 5 times this year and I am harassed every time I return. I am grilled about what I have in my bag (just dirty clothes), what I was doing in the US (taking CPA exams). This time they threatened to confiscate the MacBook I purchased here at i-click in Bermuda. They have done away with the “yellow” registration slips Bermuda used to required me to carry for all of my electronic items when leaving the island, so I no longer carry proof of purchase with me. Plus, the MacBook is almost a year old now and I have traveled with it multiple times since I purchased it here on the island. I was shocked when I was told by the rude and nasty customs agent that he “could take anything he wanted” if there was suspicion it was purchased off the island and brought in without paying duty. He also said my suitcase looked new and asked me when and where I purchased it. Really? My personal suitcase? They are completely lawless here. Be prepared to be fleeced when you come to this island. These aggressive tactics are EXACTLY the reason Bermuda has lost a valuable expat workforce and their tourism is suffering.
We are visiting our son who works in Bermuda. He has asked us to bring “Biltong Spice” with us (we are from South Africa). This would be called “Jerky Spice” in the States. Are we allowed to bring this in?
Does anyone have a scan of the Bermuda arrivals form that they could send me?
There’s one on the Bermuda HM Customs website. Search Google for Customs Traveller Declaration (Form 98) and it should be the first result.
Am I allowed to send my daughter photographs though the post? And maybe some tea bags? Her favourite tea? She’s moved out there to work. Thank you
Is there a duty free shop on arrivals in Bermuda?
Yes there’s a duty free shop in the arrivals area at LF Wade International Airport. It opened just over a year ago. It’s open for all arriving flights.
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.
Dont be mean about it. Suitcase is not an illegal item, clearly
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.
Filipinos are notoriously unsavory and should be subject to additional measures to ensure the safety and security of the Bermudian people.
You Dale sound like your are an unsavoury person.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The website is incorrect. Duty at the air and seaports is 25% of the declared value.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Thank you so very much for the feedback, I can’t wait to know if I have the job!!!
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.
How does duty works if you move there for a year or two?
Do i have to declare tools for working in bermuda if i am not leaving them in country?
There’s a store on Front Street that sells Cuban cigars.