All animals arriving in Bermuda must be accompanied by the following:
- A copy of the Import Permit issued in advance by the Bermuda Department of Environment and Natural Resources;
- The 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 (for an animal of an endangered species).
Animals arriving without the proper documentation are immediately returned to the point of origin.
Process to obtain an import permit
Visit your veterinarian to obtain a health certificate and veterinary statements within 10 days of your animal’s arrival. If the animal is coming from the United Kingdom, visit the Local Veterinary Inspector within 5 days of your departure for an Export Permit (EHC-2921).
- Apply for an Import Permit for Dogs or Cats
- Apply for an Import Permit for Birds
- Apply for an Import Permit for Horses, Ponies or Equines
- Apply for an Import Permit for Fish, Marine Fish, Lobsters or Sea Shells
Forward the application form and veterinary documents to this office via email (email@example.com) or fax (441 232 0046). Please ensure that your email address or fax number is shown on the application form. We will usually respond within one business day.
Import permits will be valid for 10 days marked from the date of the veterinary certificate.
Service animals, Emotional support animals
Service animals and emotional support animals are required to meet the same conditions of entry as pet animals. Once on Island, no special concessions may be demanded for a service animal, although service providers are often willing to make a concession to accommodate a person with a disability.
Show dogs and trial animals
The club organizing the show will obtain and distribute an import permit for each participating animal. Contact the club hosting the show for all details; you usually don’t need to contact this Department directly.
Other things to consider before you arrive
All animals must be examined shortly before travel to ensure that they are fit for travel.
By Commercial Airline
Pet carriers must comply with International Air Transport Association (IATA) Regulations. Animals must be transported in sturdy, leak-proof, escape-proof and well-ventilated carriers. The container should be labelled with the owner's name, destination address and contact telephone number(s). Labels displaying the words "Live Animal" and "This Way Up" must be prominently displayed on the container.
For animals travelling in the luggage/cargo hold, leave sufficient space for the airline to place a luggage tag or a cargo airway bill label. Very small animals may be carried in the passenger cabin if the airline permits. Whether the animal travels in the baggage hold or in the passenger cabin, a transportation fee will be charged. Many airlines do not carry animals during the summer and winter months, and some airlines have breed restrictions. The owner must contact the airline in advance of travel to make arrangements.
Contact your travel agent or the cruise line to enquire about an animal on board. Upon arrival into Bermuda, and upon disembarkation from the ship, the animal must be suitably restrained in a travel crate or by leash, and be under the supervision of a person capable of maintaining control of the animal.
By Private Plane / Yacht
Upon arrival into Bermuda, the animal must be suitably restrained in a travel crate or by leash, and be under the supervision of a person capable of maintaining control of the animal.
Once the animal arrives in Bermuda - Customs Import Duty (Tariff)
All animals may be subject to a Customs import duty (tariff), up to 25% of the animal's true value. You must accurately state the value of your animal (as supported by a bill of sale) on your Bermuda Customs Declaration form and present it to a Customs Officer. Questions about customs duties and the customs clearance procedure should be directed to H.M. Customs-Bermuda, 131 Front Street, Hamilton, Bermuda; telephone 441-295-4816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Resident Animals
An accurate bill of sale for the animal should be available to H.M. Customs-Bermuda. Importers of animals may file a customs declaration and pay the required fees prior to the animal's arrival so to hasten the animal's clearance from the dock/airport.
Animals accompanied by a traveller may be declared on the Customs Traveller Declaration, and are subject to a flat duty rate of 25%. Animals unaccompanied by a traveller and those arriving via cargo must be declared on a Bermuda Customs Declaration (BCD) long form. The following table will assist you in completing the Customs Declaration form.
New Resident Animals
Details applicable to a Bermuda Customs Declaration (Long form)
In addition to Customs Duty, a wharfage fee of 1.25% will be charged.
Animal owners who bring their animal(s) for a short stay in Bermuda may be asked to place a refundable deposit on duty. This will be at the discretion of the Bermuda Customs officer.
Returning Resident Animals
Returning resident animals that have been away from Bermuda for less than five years, are not subject to an import duty, however the importer must be prepared to satisfy the Customs officer that the animal is in fact a qualified returning resident. This can usually be done by presentation of some document pertaining to this animal, issued in Bermuda within the last five years (i.e. a local health certificate, vaccination certificate, dog licence receipt). The Department of Environment & Natural Resources will usually indicate on an import permit that the animal is a returning resident animal, if the Department has satisfactory evidence of such.
Living with an animal on Island
Now that you are on-Island with an animal, see Regulations pertaining to animals on Island.