Owners, crew and passengers of any vessel visiting Bermuda must ensure they and their vessel are in compliance with local environmental legislations and guidelines.
Ships should also be familiar with Bermuda’s Ship Environmental Policy.
Please ensure you are aware of the following requirements and considerations for the each stage of your visit to Bermuda.
- Before You Arrive
- Upon Arrival
- While You Are Here
Before You Arrive
Please bunker with Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel (i.e. less than 15 ppm sulphur) before heading for Bermuda.
Failure to do so could lead to poor air quality within the various marinas, should boats need to operate their generators for electrical power, thereby violating our Clean Air Regulations.
Superyacht Waste Notification Form
Visiting superyachts must declare the amount and type of waste to be deposited in Bermuda 24-hours prior to arrival using the Waste Notification Form.
A ‘superyacht’ is a vessel that is certified to carry 15 people or more and is subject to the conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
This form should be used for all wastes including but not limited to: waste oil, bilge water, sewage, plastic, paper, food waste, ash and medical wastes.
All animals arriving in Bermuda must be accompanied by the following:
- Copy of their import permit
- Their original health certificate (issued within the 10 days prior to animal’s arrival), which includes the identity, contact information and signature of the issuing veterinarian.
- A properly endorsed CITES document (only required for an animal of an endangered species)
Please see Importing Animals into Bermuda for more details.
Animals arriving without the proper documentation will be immediately returned to their point of origin.
Fruits and Vegetables
You must Apply for a Permit to Import Fresh Plant Produce (Fruits and Vegetables) if you wish to import any high-risk produce.
The following items are prohibited entry:
- Fresh, unfrozen corn on the cob
- Fresh, untreated, unfrozen carrots
- Fresh, unfrozen sweet potatoes
- Fresh, unfrozen mangoes, papaya, guavas, and other fruit-fly hosts that are not hot-water treated or irradiated
- Fresh, unfrozen citrus fruit (i.e. oranges, lemons, mandarins, grapefruit, limes, etc) from either Florida or NON-US countries
- Fresh or unfrozen avocados originating from Mexico, Central or South America or the Caribbean which are not in compliance with southern US port entry requirements.
- Any fruit or vegetable or other agricultural item originating from countries in which the Hibiscus (Pink) mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus, has been reported. This includes Africa, Australia, ALL Caribbean Islands, the Far East, Florida, Guatemala, Hawaii, India and the Middle East.
Plants imported into Bermuda must be free from harmful pests and diseases.
The following plants are prohibited entry into Bermuda:
- Palm trees, leaves and other products and parts of the palm family. (De-husked coconuts and dates (fruit) are permitted). Palm trees for decoration are NOT permitted on board.
- Oleander (Nerium spp.) plants and flowers
- Banana, plantains (Musa spp.) plants. Fruit is permitted.
- Hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.) plants and flowers
Flowers, Floral Greens and Decorations
The importation of all floral material is restricted to local florists and must comply with the established importation protocols and procedures (including declaration of each incoming shipment, clearance through H.M. Customs, authorization of release from H.M. Customs and inspection by the DENR).
Floral material imported in contravention of the regulatory procedures will be confiscated and destroyed upon arrival.
SOIL IS NOT PERMITTED ENTRY. Used vehicles and other items contaminated with soil must, under NO CONDITIONS be landed in Bermuda
Other Regulated Commodities:
Please contact the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the importation requirements for firewood, plants, plant products, bulbs, potting media, pesticides and other agricultural items.
Please notify the DENR if bees, wasps or other hitchhikers have travelled into Bermuda’s waters with the vessel.
Superyacht Waste Notification Form
Visiting superyachts shall use a certified waste contractor to dispose of the waste once alongside.
Contact a shipping agent for more details.
When the waste is removed the boat owner shall retain the waste transfer note received from the waste contractor. See the Ship Waste Disposal site for more details.
Please ensure you have all the necessary documentation for your pet before arriving in Bermuda.
Fruits and Vegetables
Do not import any of the prohibited fruits, vegetables, and other plants and flowers referred to above. Please ensure you have the necessary permit for any restricted produce.
While You Are Here
Superyachts shall not discharge untreated sewage within 12 nautical miles from the nearest land.
Smaller yachts shall abide by the Sewage Management for Boat Owners and shall use either shore-based pump out facilities or shall only discharge sewage when beyond 500 metres from the nearest point of land and when completely outside of enclosed water bodies such as the Great Sound, Little Sound, Harrington Sound and Castle Harbour.
Shore-Based pump out facilities are/will-be available at Cross Island, Dockyard and Hamilton Princess Marina.
Superyachts shall connect their grey water discharge lines to shore connection disposal facilities where available. This includes the wastewater from showers, washing machines, galleys and sinks.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recommends the use of environmentally friendly, non-phosphate detergents and suggests limiting the amount of any detergents used. Bermuda’s waters are naturally very limited in nitrate and especially phosphate and any additions of these nutrients from detergents, etc. can readily result in algal blooms. You should also be mindful of the types of detergents used to clean your boat.
Superyachts shall not discharge bilge water in Bermuda waters but should collect and hold it until it can be removed using shore based Waste Management facilities.
Contact a shipping agent for more details.
Yachts and vessels without bilge water holding tanks shall use adsorbent materials to collect any free oils or sheens within bilge areas before it poses a risk to the environment via automated bilge pumps. Oiled adsorbent pads can be double bagged disposed in the general garbage for incineration at Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility.
For guidelines on how to correctly dispose of a wide range of materials please consult the What Goes Where? Chart.
You can also consult the Ship Waste Disposal table for the list of reception facilities and their contact details.
If you see an oil spill or sheen on the water please immediately contact Bermuda Radio (Channel #67 and Tel: 297-1010) who will inform the necessary Departments in Government.
The DENR and The Department of Marine & Ports manage oil spill response equipment including boom (adsorbent and harbour) and skimmers and will respond to address any pollution sources and subsequent slicks.
DO NOT apply any detergents to any visible oil slicks or sheens.
For other types of pollution please notify the Pollution Control Section by calling 236-4201 during office hours or Dr Geoff Smith at 747 2302, Patricia Hollis at 505-3286 or Jim Thomson at 535-2318.
It is your responsibility to know Bermuda’s Fisheries Regulations and Bermuda’s No Fishing Areas before taking part in any fishing activities within Bermuda Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Please note that visitors are not permitted to spearfish or lobster fish in Bermuda. Spearfishing and lobster fishing licences are issued to Bermuda residents ONLY and are not transferrable.
Contravention of any of the regulations is a criminal offence. Contact the Fishery Wardens (705-3474) with regards to potential breaches to the Fisheries legislation.
Bermuda has a wide range of protected species. Find out more about Bermuda’s Protected Species and our Protected Species laws, to ensure that you do not inadvertently break them during your visit. Injured turtles should be reported to Bermuda Radio (297-1010). The public should contact the Department (293-2727) with regards to any harm brought against other protected species outside of Fisheries legislation.
Bermuda is famous for the hundreds of shipwrecks scattered around the shallow reef platform. All shipwrecks and their contents are the sole property of the Crown. It is an offence to damage or interfere with shipwrecks or their related artifacts and the removal of artifacts is strictly prohibited. There are also strict export rules governing the export of Bermuda’s heritage.
Think You Found a Wreck?
If you believe you may have found the remains of a ship, part of a shipwreck or an article associated with a shipwreck, you can report your finding to the Custodian of Historic Wrecks.
New finds will be reviewed by the Custodian of Historic Wrecks and brought to the attention of the Historic Wrecks Authority.
To conduct archaeological and scientific examinations of any historic wrecks in Bermuda, you will need a Wrecks Investigation Licence.
Anchoring on the reef platform
There is a system of permanent mooring buoys placed around the Bermuda reef platform at specific popular protected areas, dive sites and shipwreck sites. It is much easier and safer to tie up to one of these mooring buoys than to place an anchor. The buoys also help to eliminate anchor damage to our delicate reefs.
All of the dive site moorings are white 21 or 28 -inch float balls with a yellow pick-up line extending through the buoy.
Some of these designated mooring sites are No Fishing Areas.
Using a mooring buoy
The pick-up line is not intended to be attached to boats directly. A line of the appropriate length must be used to attach to the yellow loop. The best practice is to pass a line through the loop and back to the boat. The bigger and heavier the boat the longer the line needs to be.
When tying up to moorings Captains need to assess the mooring and the general area for the health and safety of their passengers and particular boat. The maximum size vessel that can use moorings is 50 feet though many areas with moorings will not accommodate a vessel that size.
Moorings are on a first-come first-served basis. The general length of time dive site moorings are used reflects the length of one dive, 1.5 -2 hrs.
If a mooring buoy is not available?
If there is no mooring buoy available at the location you wish to anchor, please only place anchors in sand using an appropriate sand anchor. Lines and chains must not connect with the reef in any way.