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H.M. CUSTOMS:
Custom House
40 Front Street
Hamilton HM 12
Bermuda
Telephone: (441) 295-4816
Fax: (441) 295-5392
Email:
customs@gov.bm
Webpage: www.customs.gov.bm

Contact our Tariff Classification Officer
Email:
tariffclass@gov.bm
Tel: (441) 278-7422 or 278-7423

Contact our Valuation Officer
Email:
customs_valuation@gov.bm
Tel: (441) 278-7422 or 278-7423
 
Contact our Reviewing Officer
Email:
customs_reviews@gov.bm
Tel: (441) 295-4816

Customs Careers  

Customs FAQ’s

 

 

Visitors

 

1.      I am coming to Bermuda on vacation. Can I bring food items?

 

Yes you may bring food items with you on vacation.

Each traveler is restricted to 20lbs. of meat without certification.  Importations of meat in excess of 20lbs. must be accompanied by a “health inspection certificate”, and must be used for personal consumption only, not for sale.

 

The food items listed below may be imported 

into Bermuda duty free.

 

·        Breakfast cereals

·        Bulgur wheat

·        Cream

·        Malt

·        Potato flour and flakes

·        Prepared foods for infant use (including formula)

·        Rice

·        Sugar

·        Wheat and cereal flours

 

Duty at the rate of 25% of the value will be payable for any foodstuffs not listed above (including meat) for items arriving through the Baggage Hall.

 

The importation of any of the following dairy products is prohibited except where authorized by the Minister responsible for Agriculture:

 

·        Raw milk

·        Pasteurized milk

·        Ultra-pasteurized milk

·        Ultra heat treated milk

·        Manufactured milk

 

 

2.      What are the requirements for importing a pet or bringing my pet with me on vacation?

 

If you are a resident importing a pet for the first time you will be required to pay duty.  All pets require an import certificate, you will be required to present the health certificate together with the health documents from the overseas vet e.g. rabies certificate etc.   If you do not have one at the time of importation your pet will be returned on the same flight.

Please visit the Department of Environment Protection website on animal importation at www.gov.bm where you will find out what documents are needed for your pet and the age requirements, and the list of banned animals.

 

3.      I am arriving by motor yacht, what is required of me to clear my vessel and is there a fee?

You must to proceed directly to the Yacht Reporting Center located on Ordnance Island, St. George’s to clear in with Bermuda Customs.  You will need the registration for the vessel, passports for all persons onboard and your clearance from your last port.  A fee of $35.00 per person will be assessed at the time of clearance inwards.

 

4.      Do I need to have a return ticket if traveling to Bermuda by a) plane b) yacht?

 

If you are a visitor traveling by plane to Bermuda and you are returning by plane you will need a return ticket.  If you are arriving by plane but departing on a yacht or boat you will need a letter from the Captain of the vessel stating that you are joining it.  Should you sail into Bermuda on a private vessel, and plan to fly out of Bermuda you will need to notify Customs upon your arrival and show your ticket/e-ticket to them.

 

5.      As a visitor to Bermuda what am I allowed to bring with me?

 

A visitor is allowed to bring with them their personal effects, for example your cell phone, iPod, golf clubs, camera etc, and not pay duty on them. 

If you are a visitor you are entitled to a $30.00 gift allowance. Should you bring in any consumable goods (e.g. food) or anything that will remain in Bermuda. Most items are subject to 25% duty.

 

6.      Can I bring my personal medications in a travel case?

 

If you are traveling to Bermuda on vacation you will be allowed to bring in your medications. To avoid any misunderstanding they should be in the original containers with a copy of the prescription affixed to the container clearly stating the name of the person, the name of the drug and dosage. If you are on the methadone program you are not allowed to bring the methadone with you on vacation.  You will have to contact the Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute, 441-236-3770, where they will advise how to obtain a prescription suppy of methadone locally.

 

7.      Can we bring our grandchild, niece, nephew etc to Bermuda if their parents are not traveling with us? We are all US citizens. What documentation is needed other than his passport and birth certificate?  

 

All that is required is valid passports for everyone traveling in the party.  Please check with the country that you will be returning to regarding their requirements for traveling with children.

 

8.      I am getting married in Bermuda. Can I bring in my party favors when I arrive and if so, do I pay import duties?

 

Visitors are permitted to import goods for Bermuda weddings (e.g. party favours, wedding dress, wedding rings, wedding gifts) free of duty provided that they are exported from Bermuda at the end of the visit. Only goods which are intended to remain in Bermuda will be dutiable.  Most goods are subject to duty at 25% of the value.

 

Residents

 

9.      What currency do I declare my goods in?

 

You must declare your goods in Bermuda dollars.  For more information on the rate of exchange please visit www.customs.gov.bm where you can find the rate of exchange applicable. Just click on “Exchange Rate” in the “QUICK LINKS” box on our home page.

 

10. What are the requirements for importing a pet or bringing my pet with me on vacation?

 

If you are a resident importing a pet for the first time you will be required to pay duty.  All pets require an import certificate, you will be required to present the health certificate together with the health documents from the overseas vet e.g. rabies certificate etc.   If you do not have one at the time of importation your pet will be returned on the same flight.

 

Please visit the Department of Environment Protection website on animal importation at www.gov.bm where you will find out what documents are needed for your pet and the age requirements, and the list of banned animals.

 

11. I am a resident importing a dog/ cat. I got the animals from a shelter and they did not cost anything. Do I have to pay duty and how do I prove the cost?

 

You will have to pay duty on animals. The customs value is normally based on the transaction value.  Where there is no sale the value of identical or similar animals sold for export to Bermuda will be used.  Your valuation should be supported by evidence of the sale price of similar animals.  

 

12. Can I download the Customs Traveler Declaration (CTD) and complete it before arrival?

 

The CTD is not yet available for download. Copies will be made available to you on your flight to Bermuda.

 

13. Can I pay my duty via the web before I arrive?

 

Customs is planning on having a web payment option for customs duty in the future. We regret that we cannot yet accept duty payment via the web prior to your arrival.

 

14. What forms of payment can be used to pay duty?

 

Airport Arrivals Hall – you can pay duty by cash, check, or debit/credit card

Long Rooms – you can pay duty by check or cash.

 

15. My goods were taken from me at the airport. What do I do next?

 

You will be contacted by our Investigations Department once they have received your file.

 

16. I paid duty on my purchases and the airline has lost my luggage and can’t locate it. What do I do about my duty that was paid?

 

You may request a refund of duty from Customs. You should write to the Collector of Customs requesting a refund of duty. You will need to show proof that the bags were lost and that duty was paid.

Detailed guidance on refund applications is available from the Hamilton Long Room on Front Street.

 

17. I was told that I over paid my duty at the ATM. What do I do?

 

Please contact Ms. Sonja Reid in our Accounts Receivable section.  You will be asked to provide the CTD number which can be found on your receipt.  A refund will be given once we can verify the mistake.

           

 

 

 

18. Can I bring goods made from animal skins into Bermuda?

 

This depends on what type of animal skin you wish to import.  Please refer to the CITES site on the Department of Environmental Protection’s webpage on the Government Portal www.gov.bm for further guidance.

 

19.  My child is planning to buy a laptop overseas for use while she is in school, does she have to pay duty on the laptop.

 

Bermuda residents who are temporarily absent from Bermuda for purposes of study overseas and who ultimately intend to resume residence in Bermuda shall be permitted to temporarily import a laptop computer and accessories (laptop) into Bermuda without payment of customs import duty.

Provided that the importer of the laptop can produce documentary evidence –

(a) that the laptop in question is the subject of a valid student laptop rental or rent-to-own agreement or contract; or

(b) proof that the importer of the laptop in question is enrolled in a bona fide academic certificate or degree programme.

Should a person import or re-import a laptop into Bermuda upon conclusion of their overseas studies, the full import duty will be due and payable on the laptop.

 

20. Can I bring in dried starfish for decorations?

 

Yes you may bring in starfish to be used as decorations.

 

21. Can I bring my wedding bouquet back with me?

 

Yes you may bring your wedding bouquet back as long as they are cut flowers and the flowers are not on the restrict list (e.g. Orchids).  Please refer to the CITES site on the Department of Environmental Protection’s website on the Government Portal www.gov.bm.

 

22. Do I pay duty on film developed overseas?

 

You do not have to pay duty on film that has been developed overseas. Prints however are dutiable at 25% in the Baggage Hall and 22.25% if imported by post or courier.

 

 

 

 

23. What is a form 52A?

 

A form 52A is used to register items that you will be taking out of Bermuda.  It is advisable to have your items such as camera’s, ipods, golf clubs, cell phones etc. registered with Customs.  We will use a form 52A to register your items with the model, make and serial number.  You must bring proof that duty has been paid on the goods or a receipt from a local vendor.  The form is good for 5 years.  You can visit one of our locations, Hamilton Main Office, the Airport Arrivals Hall or the St. George’s Yacht Reporting Centre.

 

Clearing goods/paying duty

 

 

24. What is the duty on imported goods?

 

Please refer to the online Customs Tariff at www.customs.gov.bm for the individual tariff rates for goods arriving in Bermuda.  You will also be charged an additional duty (known as "duty in lieu of wharfage") at the rate of 1.25%.  The Customs Tariff 8th Schedule contains a list of exemptions to this additional duty.  Most goods imported as passenger baggage will be subject to 25% duty.  Cigarettes are dutiable at the rate of $35.00 per carton of 200. Passenger baggage is exempt from the 1.25% additional duty.

 

25. What goods are duty free?

The following items are duty free:

 

§         Medicaments and other goods zero rated under Chapter 30; sheath contraceptives; napkins and napkin liners for adults (incontinence aids).

o       E.g. Prescription drugs, condoms and adult diapers 0.00%

§         Orthopedic appliances, including crutches, surgical belts and trusses; splints and other fracture appliances; artificial parts of the body; corrective contact lenses and spectacles; hearing aids and other appliances which are worn or carried, or implanted in the body, to compensate for a defect or disability of a kind otherwise classifiable to tariff heading 90.21; carriages for disabled persons, parts and accessories thereof (excluding batteries).

o       E.g. Artificial teeth, pacemakers for stimulating heart muscles, artificial limbs, wheel chairs and walkers for the disabled      0.00%

§         Printed books (excluding antique books), brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter; newspapers, journals and periodicals; children’s picture books, drawing books or colouring books; children’s workbooks of a kind classifiable to 49.03; music, printed or in manuscript; original architectural plans and drawings of a kind otherwise classifiable to tariff heading 49.06; postage, revenue or similar stamps, first-day covers; computer software

o       E.g. Reading books, magazines and computer software (includes computer games)      0.00%

§         Tableware and kitchenware of ceramics, porcelain or china 0.00%

§         Seeds of a kind used for sowing

o       E.g. Packaged vegetable seeds          0.00%

§         Agricultural, horticultural or forestry machinery for soil preparation or cultivation of a kind otherwise classifiable to tariff heading 84.32

o       E.g. Rotary tillers, chipper shredders and seed broadcasters          0.00%

§         Collections and collectors’ pieces of zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical, historical, archaeological, palaeontological, ethnographic or numismatic interest of a kind otherwise classifiable to tariff heading 97.05.

o       E.g. Medal and coin collections

§         This excludes coins and medals not regarded as collectors' pieces nor forming a collection of numismatic interest (e.g., large consignments of any one coin or medal).          0.00%

§         Breakfast cereals, bulgur wheat, cream, malt, potato flour and flakes, prepared food for infant use (including formula), rice sugar, wheat and cereal flours    0.00%

 

 

 

26. Can I download the Bermuda Customs Declaration (BCD) forms?

 

You can download a PDF version of the BCD from our website and then complete it.  

 

27. When is the Tariff going to be made available on line?

 

There is link to the Customs Tariff available on our website www.customs.gov.bm.

 

28. How do I clear my goods with Customs and what documents are required?

 

Customs currently has two processing regimes in place.  One is our Customs Automated Processing System (CAPS) and the other is a non-CAPS system.  You will need to complete a Bermuda Customs Declaration (BCD) for your goods.  For more information and tariff codes please visit our website www.customs.gov.bm  Public Notice 17 for instructions on how to complete a BCD and also the online tariff.

The documents required for CAPS are as follows:

·        1 completed BCD

·        1 Master Bill of Lading (sea freight) or Airway Bill (air freight)

·        1 House Bill of Lading if necessary

·        Other supporting documents (invoices, packing slip, container load manifest, etc)

Documents for non-CAPS clearance are as follows:

·        2 copies of a completed BCD

·        Master Bill of Lading/Airway Bill

·        Delivery Order (marine shipments only) or the release copy of the airway bill

·        Other supporting documents (invoices, packing slip, container load manifest, etc)

 

29. Where can I clear my goods?

 

You may present your complete package to either the Long Room in Hamilton at the main office (40 Front Street) or at the L.F. Wade International Airport (located in the Air Freight Terminal)

 

30. What forms of payment can be used to pay duty?

                   Airport Arrivals Hall – you can pay duty by cash,

                   check, or debit/credit card.

Long Rooms – you can pay duty by check or cash.

 

31. How long will Customs take to process my paperwork for release?

 

You will be given a Quality Service Level (QSL) which is normally 8 hours.

 

32. What time will my BCD’s be ready?

 

You will be given a time depending on the amount of BCD’s and records, it is normally 8 hours.

 

33. Why is my release note not ready at the scheduled time?

 

There could any number of reasons why your paperwork has not been completed.  You may have errors on your declaration or gaps in supporting documentation that will prompt either the Customs Automated Processing System (“CAPS”) or our reviewing officers to send out a query to you.  In addition it may be that your goods may have been selected for customs inspection may be held until the search has been completed.

 

34. How do I know that my shipment has been cleared and what paperwork will I receive back from Customs?

 

If there are no queries or corrections to be made to your declaration you will be notified by email that your shipment has been released.  For those clearing by CAPS you will be given a release note and if using   the non-CAPS regime you will be given your release stamped copies of the BCD, the Bill of Lading and Delivery Order.

 

35. What if a group of individuals wish to import items using one container?

 

You are allowed to do this but since containers are no longer stripped on the dock it will be necessary for the entire container to be cleared before removing the container from the dock. The importer on the Master Bill of Lading is responsible to present to Customs all the necessary documents for all of the consignees.  For more information on the clearance of consolidated containers please visit our website, Public Notice #27.

 

36. What is a Trader I.D. number and do I need one?

 

A Trader I.D. number is a unique number given to importers (commercial or non-commercial).  You can apply for one through our website or visit one of our offices and complete and submit the form.  All commercial importers are required to have a Trader I.D. number.  If you are a non-commercial importer using Customs Procedure Code (CPC) 4000 (Goods imported directly to free circulation) you do not need a Trader I.D. number.  Should you however need to use one of the many other CPC codes you will need a Trader I.D. number. 

 

37. Must I always use the tariff codes from the First Schedule

 

No, you do not need to use one of the tariff codes in the First Schedule of the Bermuda Customs Tariff Act 1970 (‘the Bermuda Nomenclature”). To make the declaration of imported goods easier, the Collector of Customs has authorised all persons declaring imported goods, to declare goods of certain prescribed tariff headings using a single notional “simplified code” instead of declaring all of the tariff codes that actually apply to their goods. For more information please visit our website and refer to Public Notice # 23.

 

38. Is it possible to have my perishable goods released on Fridays? The container ship arrives on Sunday and since my shipment is  chilled I would like to have it delivered as soon as possible after it has been unloaded.

 

No, this is not possible.  However your work will be processed quickly so you can get your paperwork back by close of business on Friday.

 

Other questions

 

39. Do I have to pay duty on my goods when I move to Bermuda to work; or, if I move back to Bermuda after living abroad for an extended period?

 

If you are moving to Bermuda to take up residence on a full time work permit or a resident who has been off the island for at least a year you qualify for the Transfer of Residence Allowance (TRA).  You may bring in the following items duty free: TRA covers personal clothing, furniture, household appliances, portable tools of trade, and other household goods and personal effects.  Please refer to our website Public Notice # 28 for further information. Available on website etc.

 

40. I am coming to Bermuda to work. I am bringing a laptop/iPod/camera. When I leave, they will be going with me. Do I have to pay duty?

 

If you have a standard work permit you may be entitled to duty relief. Please refer to the Transfer of Residence Public Notice #28  available on website etc.

 

41.  I am sending my car overseas for to be restored and have completed a Form 52 is there a time frame to re-import the automobile?

 

You have five years to re-import your car.  Please note that duty will be payable on the cost of restoration at the present duty rate for cars.

 

42.  I own a local retail shop and wish to do some renovations (capital investment project), can I get any duty relief?

 

Yes you can get a duty relief as long as you are a retail shop that is a permanent structure and sells goods and merchandise. There is a list of qualifying goods but you may not claim duty relief on the following goods:

·        construction equipment;

·        tools;

·        goods for sale from your retail shop; or

·        normal operating supplies (e.g. replacement light bulbs, cleaning supplies, office supplies, stationery etc.)

 

Please refer to Public Notice # 29 on our website www.customs.gov.bm for more information at. 

 

43.   What happens if I have a shipment arrive in Bermuda and it is damaged, or contrary to order?

 

If the goods were damaged on route to Bermuda the Collector of Customs may allow a reduction in the value of goods which means you will pay less duty on the goods.  If they are damaged on the docks in Bermuda you will have to pay the full duty. You must deal with the person responsible for the damage in order to come to some arrangement with regards to claims  

 

If you have paid the duty on a shipment then realized that the goods are defective or unsatisfactory (contrary to order) and you decide to send them back to the original consignor or manufacturer company overseas they must be seen out of the country by a Customs Officer.  The Customs Officer will complete a form 52 stating that the goods were duly shipped. 

 

Once this is done, you can write a letter to the Collector of Customs requesting a refund of duty for the defective or unsatisfactory goods.  You must supply the original paperwork, invoices and Bermuda Customs Declaration, along with the form 52 and documentary evidence to the satisfaction of Customs that the goods were defective or unsatisfactory.

 

Defective of unsatisfactory goods that have been re-exported and repaired or replaced under warranty may be re-imported duty free provided that no refund of duty has already paid by Customs in respect of those goods.   Where a refund of duty has been granted, duty will be payable on the replacement shipment.

 

44.   I paid duty on my purchases and the airline has lost my luggage and can’t locate it. What do I do about my duty that was paid?

 

You may request a refund of duty from Customs.  You will need to show proof that the bags were lost and that duty was paid.

 

 

 

 

45.   How do I get a refund?

 

Write a letter to the Collector of Customs requesting a refund of duty along with the original receipted Bermuda Customs Declaration Form or the CAPS Release & Payment Receipt and all relevant copies of documentation associated with the shipment (e.g. invoices, bill of lading, corrected BCD etc.). Please include your street address and two contact numbers.  Detailed guidance is available etc.

 

46. How long do refunds take?

Should your application be approved, please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of a refund check from Accountant General.

 

 

 

Careers in Customs

 

47. How do I qualify to be a trainee Customs Officer?

 

In order to become a Trainee Customs Officer you 

must be:

Bermudian, 18 years or older, a High School graduate, good at dealing courteously and efficiently with people, able to make sound judgmental decisions while working under pressure, prepared to work any part of the 24 hour period and sometimes beyond normal working hours, and prepared to work anywhere on the island.

You must also have the B.S.S.C. with passes in Traditional Mathematics and English (or equivalent), must own telephone and transportation

 

48. When can I apply?

 

Vacancies are advertised in the Royal Gazette and application forms are available from the Department of Personnel Services (3rd floor of Global House, Church Street, Hamilton

 

49. When do I become a Customs Officer?

 

At the end of the two years training period you will be required to sit a proficiency exam. If you pass this test and have a clean disciplinary record, you will be advanced to the rank of Customs Officer and begin your first assignment.

 

50. What about promotion?

 

You may sit the Senior Customs Officer Qualifying Examination once you become a Customs Officer, see above. If you pass, you are eligible to deputize for a Senior Customs Officer. You may apply for a promotion to Senior Customs Officer when it is advertised after you have been a Customs Officer for 3 years

Your career progress depends primarily upon you and your ability and desire to improve both professionally and educationally. 

 

Who do I contact if I have a question about the Trainee Customs Officer Programme?

If you have a question about a career with H.M. Customs, please contact the

Training Supervisor at—

Tel: 295-4816 x278

E-mail customs_training@gov.bm 

or write to the following address:

Training Supervisor

Bermuda Customs

PO Box 2084

Hamilton HM HX

 

Contacting Customs

 

51. How do I contact H.M. Customs?

 

 

 HM Customs

Hamilton Hall,

40 Front Street,

Hamilton HM 12

P.O. Box HM 2084,

Hamilton HM HX

 

Telephone:

Main Office, Hamilton – 2954816

L F Wade International Airport – 293-2424

Classification – 278-7422

Valuation – 278-7437

Yacht Reporting Center – 297-1226

Fax – 295-5392

 

52. Can I speak to a person and not a voice mail?

 

Whenever possible our switchboard operators will forward your calls to the appropriate person. There is times however when we have an influx of enquiries or when customs staff may be busy with other clients.  Your business is important to us.  Please leave a voice mail including your name and number and a brief message and we will return your call at the earliest possible time.