Importing animals into Bermuda

All animals arriving in Bermuda must be accompanied by the following:

  • a 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).

Animals arriving without the proper documentation will be immediately returned to the point of origin.

How to get an import permit

Visit your veterinarian to obtain a health certificate and veterinary statements before 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.

Forward the relevant application form and veterinary documents via email to or fax (441) 232‑0046. Please ensure that your fax number or email address is shown on the application form. Expect a response within one business day.

Import permits will be valid for 10 days marked from the date of the veterinary certificate.

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

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. 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 have breed restrictions. The owner must contact the airline in advance of travel to make arrangements.

By ship

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 or yacht

Upon arrival into Bermuda, each 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.

Service animals

Service animals are required to meet the same conditions of entry as non-service 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.

Customs import duty on animals

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, 40 Front Street, Hamilton, Bermuda; telephone (441) 295‑4816 or send an email.

New resident animals

An accurate bill of sale for the animal should be available to present. You 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 Customer's Traveller Declaration, and are subject to a flat duty rate of 25%. Animals unaccompanied by a traveler, 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)


Tariff Number

Customs Duty
(% of animal's value)










Psittacine birds



In addition to Customs Duty, a wharfage fee of 1.25% will be charged.


Visiting animals

If you bring your animal(s) for a short stay in Bermuda, you 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 you must be prepared to satisfy the Customs officer that the animal is in fact a qualified returning resident. This can usually be done by presenting a 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 there is satisfactory evidence.