Soil and topsoil are prohibited entry into Bermuda, though Bermudians can import grower’s mix or “potting soil” with a special permit. Potting soil is defined as any medium in which plants can be grown. Coconut coir and specialised mixes such as orchid mixes also require a permit.
How to import potting media
To import potting media, submit the following to the Plant Protection Laboratory:
- a completed application form
- a certificate of treatment (heat or fumigation), nematode test results or a sample of the product for on-island testing
- a copy of the product label and Material Safety Data Sheet
Applications which are complete will be processed within five business days. Applications containing beneficial fungal, bacterial, or nematode components that have not been previously accepted will take longer to process. Applications requiring on-island nematode testing may require more time to process due to other lab priorities.
Applications will be rejected if:
- the required supporting documentation is not provided, is incorrect, or is not written in English
- the product contains a pesticide (see Importation of Pesticides)
- the product or any of its ingredients are of quarantine or a health risk
- the product is found to contain nematodes or other organisms of quarantine significance
- the product contains soil or topsoil
The importer will be contacted to confirm of the status of their application. The importer may then authorize their supplier to ship the product to Bermuda.
Potting material will be confiscated if there is evidence that it has been previously used, or was harvested or stored in a manner leading to the risk of contamination with soil or other organisms prior to entry into Bermuda.
When the shipment arrives, the Bermuda Customs Declaration (BCD) form must be sent to the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources for review prior to submission to Customs. Authorized shipments will be stamped and signed for a fee (see below). The BCD form can then be collected and submitted to Customs.
Officers may perform periodic sampling to confirm compliance of imported products.
- Nematode test - compliance for entry: $50
- Examination of Bermuda Customs Declaration for soil and/or soil amendments: $55