BERMUDA'S INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING EXPERTS

Customs Clearance

Fast Forward Freight Ltd. has fully staffed Customs Clearance offices both at our airport office and our Operations department to handle all types of customs entries, refunds and claims. All of our entries are prepared using the latest customs clearance software and will shortly be transmitted to customs.

Special Information for Customs Clearance:

Required Documentation for Customs Clearance

All goods imported into Bermuda have some type of duty or landing tax attached to their importation. This duty must be paid at the time of clearance as per the Bermuda Customs Tariff 2000, according to the commodity imported. Landing Tax is more commonly known as wharfage.


Goods arriving at:

Bermuda International Airport (BIA) 1.01% of value


Port of Hamilton (HAM) 1.11% of value




Wharfage is payable on ALL imports (except where exemptions exist):


Standard Invoice or Commercial Invoice
The invoice should:

  1. Be clearly written or typed (preferably) on company letterhead
  2. Show individual and extended costs
  3. Show any discounts clearly
  4. State type of currency
  5. Show proper values for all items, including "no charge" items (inclusive items)
  6. Be signed as "True and Correct" if a "Commercial Invoice"


Proforma Invoices are NOT acceptable as an import document for customs clearance in Bermuda.

Packing Lists

A Packing List may be required by customs to show how the goods were packed. e.g. 1 pallet STC (said to contain) 25 pcs of machine parts.

Note
The total number of pieces, weight and cubic footage from the shipping documents must ALL match that of the shipment; i.e. there must be continuity between the documents and the freight. Any discrepancy will result in the entry being rejected by customs.

Perishables/Food

We MUST receive a MINIMUM of 24 hours advance notice for the importation of perishable items to arrange timely clearance and delivery. In addition full pre-alert documentation must be faxed through to our operations office. Please note that there is NO perishable storage facility at the Bermuda Int'l Airport.
Please note that some food (e.g. meats) requires special import permission from the Bermuda Department of Health (441-236-0224).

Perishables/Plants

Please note that special documentation and government approval* MUST be obtained PRIOR to the importation of live plants and plant material. Please contact the Bermuda Agriculture Department for additional details (441-236-4201). *not required for cut flowers



Convention/Meeting Imports

Goods arriving for conventions and meetings are duty and wharfage exempt provided that:

  1. The convention/meeting has been registered with the Bermuda Department of Tourism (441-292-0023)
  2. We are notified PRIOR to the arrival of the goods that they are for a registered group.

Please note that we can assist in the registration process should the need arise.

Special and/or Sporting Events

Goods arriving for special or sporting events MAY be duty and wharfage exempt provided that:

  1. The convention/meeting has been registered with the Bermuda Department of Tourism or the appropriate government body that has sanctioned that event.
  2. We are notified PRIOR to the arrival of the goods that they are for a registered group.

Please note that we can assist in the registration process should the need arise.


Temporary Imports

Goods imported for short periods of time (e.g. tools of trade) must have a bond (customs deposit) placed with customs prior to being released by customs. This bond can be recovered in full less the Landing Tax by proper adjustment with customs. The adjustment and refund timeframe is 2-3 weeks. Some restrictions apply and proper export procedures MUST be followed to cover bond. (Contact our export department)


Ship Spares in Transit

Visiting yachts, merchant and NATO vessels all are duty exempt but MUST pay the appropriate Landing Tax. Please note that special conditions and procedures apply.
A proper invoice must still be provided for customs clearance.*all EXCEPT warships
Special shore services can be arranged for executive yachts.e.g. ground transportation, fuel and stores.
Personal Effects
Persons moving to Bermuda with their personal possessions MUST pay duty and landing tax on the declared or customs assessed value of their goods. To avoid lengthy inspections by customs, the importer may make a written declaration of the contents and estimated fair values of their goods for duty purposes. If the declared value is accepted by customs, no inspection will be necessary. If customs decide to carry out an inspection, they may do so at their will. If they deem inspection necessary, the shipment must have a customs deposit (bond) filed prior to release from the airport or pier. Shipments due to be inspected CANNOT be opened without the presence or permission of a customs official.


A signed H.M. Customs Declaration Form <downloadable> must accompany signed Personal Effects Declarations <downloadable>  as well.


Please contact our Personal Effects specialist for additional details and scheduling information.


For more information on Bermuda Customs and online tariff visit their web site at www.bdacustoms.gov.bm or call 441-295-4816.


Note: Failure to comply with proper customs procedures may result in forfeiture of goods, fines, penalties or imprisonment.