Bermuda Duty Free Shopping & Allowances
Duty free shops are available mostly in Bermuda International Airport
at the departure hall. For cruise ship passengers, there is limited Duty Free shopping available at Heritage Wharf (a pier of Royal Naval Dockyard) where the large cruise ships dock. You won't get duty free items at any other shops in the island.
Recently a duty free shop has been opened at the airport arrival hall where you can buy wine, spirits and tobacco as you enter Bermuda. This is however subject to the duty free allowances applicable, beyond which duties would be charged. The page Bermuda Custom Duties
will let you know about what items and how much you can bring in to Bermuda free of duty, as well as the applicable duty rates for various other items on arrival that are beyond the duty free allowances.
It is possible that you buy cartons of liquor bottles from a store in Bermuda for direct delivery to the cruise ship at the time of your departure. You can order such cartons from the duty free store at the cruise ship berth. But, note that the cruise line may not hand-over the bottles to you till you reach your home port. There are hardly any generous cruise lines that allow you to enjoy your own drink while on board, that too duty free! The only exceptions may be for a bottle of wine for which you generally need to pay a corkage fee to the cruise line.
Other exceptions include the cruise ships which are not under any regular contracts with Bermuda who allow passengers to get liquor in cabins prior to disembarking especially those on world tours. The NCL lines weekly visitors have their liquor purchases delivered in their cabins usually on the last day prior to disembarking.
While taking your flight back home, Bermuda airport is a good place to pick up a few duty free items. Other than liquor and tobacco, you will get several other duty free items in the departure area including T-shirts, apparels, accessories, antiques (over 100 years old), prints, maps, coins, stamps and such. Gosling's Black Seal rum is a Bermuda's original produce and its history dates back to early 1800s. The rums come in different blends.
The Gift and Duty Free store at the pier of Royal Naval Dockyard was opened in 2010. It offers duty free items like paintings on bone-China mugs, mats, chopping boards, tea trays etc, gift items, post cards, Bermuda's original rum cakes, liquor etc. You can also try rum tasting here.
So how much of duty free allowances do you get to take goods back home? The answer really depends on your home country. Bermuda doesn't stop you from buying anything and in any quantity. In fact, you can take back whatever quantity you want, but will not get the duty free allowances or exemptions beyond a limit.
Actually in most of the countries, the import duty on the excess items is quite reasonable. But unfortunately for Bermudians themselves, that's not the case. Bermuda charges some 25% import duty on the excess goods that are brought back to the island from other countries by the Bermuda citizens.
Here are the duty free allowances or exemptions by country (for taking goods back home):
Duty free allowances for US visitors
US Customs and Border Protection has a pre-clearance facility at the Bermuda International Airport. Before departure, you will need to fill out written declaration forms in Bermuda before clearing US Customs and Border Protection. These forms are available at travel agencies and airlines in Bermuda. US Citizens’ duty free allowance is $800 after 48 hours of stay in Bermuda. Additionally, you can send home gifts under $50 every 24 hours to people other than to yourself, duty free. Check the following website for details and latest updates: www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel
Duty free allowances for Canadian visitors
$50 after 24 hours of stay in Bermuda, $400 if you have stayed for over 48 hours and $750 after 7 days of stay in Bermuda. Check the website www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca for details and updates.
Duty free allowances for UK visitors
Bermuda is not a EU country. The limit for duty free allowances for British citizens is £290. Check the website www.hmrc.gov.uk for details and updates.
Raj is an avid traveler, a travel journalist and a blogger. As an author of this website, he shares deep insights on Bermuda and related areas of interest. Since years, he has been helping countless viewers by posting quality articles, answering questions and sharing experiences on this website. Launched in 2008, this website is Bermuda's one of the leading sources of information since many years.
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Visitors' Reviews & Comments
Lynn Kirkwood (April 2015)
Hi! I will be arriving in Bermuda on HAL's Veendam, which docks inn Hamilton. I saw a post from a woman by the name of Carol, who has a shop in King's Wharf that is duty free for ships docked there. Is it also duty free for those of us who are docked in Hamilton? Also, is there a list of duty free shops in Bermuda in general, who come in by cruise ship, but not at King's Wharf? Thank you
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) April 2015
Hi, The store at Dockyard pier is duty free for all visitors. You need to show your passport. All other duty free shops are in Bermuda International Airport at departure area. There is no other duty free store in the island.
Carole Holding, Bermuda (January 2013)
Raj, it's me Carole Holding, Happy new year. Just read yesterday your comments about Bermuda Duty Free. I own and operated for 3 years now a large duty free shop in Dockyard at Heritage Wharf, the only shop there which services the Norwegian Cruise line and other ships who berth at Heritage Wharf pier during the cruise season!!! Though you should know... The approximate 900 sq. ft. shop also sells a large variety of my products at below normal Bermuda retail prices that are offered in all my other shops because of this duty free location. I also offer daily RUM tasting and rum cake tasting to passengers at this pier. Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Breakaway as well as selling Duty Free liquor to passengers.