Moving Pets to Bermuda
You can import your pets to Bermuda anytime as you visit or move to the island. Bermuda does not require any quarantine period. Bermuda is a rabies free place. However, all pets including dogs and cats will require to be accompanied by the following documents:
A copy of their Import Permit or an Import Certificate that you need to get in advance from Bermuda's Department of Environment Protection. You need to apply for the same with necessary documents.
You will also need to produce the original health certificate of your pet issued by a licensed veterinarian of your own country and within 10 days before its arrival in Bermuda. The certificate should include the identity, contact information, and signature of the issuing veterinarian.
If the animal belongs to an endangered species, a properly endorsed CITES document
If you do not have all the documentation ready at the time of importation, your pet is likely to be returned to the same point of origin. And if you arrive by a private yacht on a short visit, your pet will need to be kept on board inside the yacht. In such a case the vessel will be kept anchored for the entire period of stay as there are no quarantine facilities in Bermuda.
The pet import regulations in Bermuda are applicable for even fish and birds. If you are coming by a flight, you can talk to the airline and they will help you with the arrangements of carrying the pet on the flight.
How do you get an Import Permit?
You must visit your veterinarian in order to procure a health certificate and veterinary statements before 10 days of the animal’s arrival. In case, you are coming from the UK, you need to visit the Local Veterinary Inspector within 5 days of your departure for an export permit.
Check out the Department of Environment Protection website on animal importation at www.gov.bm/importing-animals-bermuda (Email: [email protected]
; Phone: 441-236-4201). Here you will get all details like what documents are needed for your pet and the minimum age requirements, the list of banned animals etc. You can download the Import Permit Application
form (for Dogs or Cats/ Birds/ Horses, Ponies or Equines/ Fish, Marine fish, Lobsters, Sea Shells) from this site and make an application for the Import Certificate.
You are required to send the import application along with supporting health documents to Bermuda Department of Environmental Protection by email or fax (441) 232-0046, and no more than 10 days prior to your arrival. Ensure that your fax number or email address is shown on the application form. The Import Permit is usually faxed back to you or e-mail is responded to within 1 business day. While arriving, you will need to show this faxed copy along with the originals of the pet's health documents.
Import permits are valid for a period of 10 days from the date of the veterinary certificate.
Points to remember before arrival
If you arrive by commercial airline:
Transportation must be done in sturdy, leak-proof, escape-proof and well-ventilated carriers. Moreover, the container should be properly and prominently labelled (“Live Animal”, “This Way Up”, etc.) along with the owner’s details (name, destination address, contact details).
Contact the airline in advance to make necessary arrangements. If the animal is travelling in the luggage/ cargo hold, enough room must be left for the airline to attach a cargo airway bill/luggage tag. If the airline permits, very small animals can be carried in the passenger cabin, although in either case, a transportation fee is charged. Some airlines also have breed restrictions and some prohibit carriage of animals during the summer and winter months.
If you arrive by ship:
The cruise line needs to be contacted to enquire about an animal on board. Once you arrive in Bermuda, and disembark from the ship, ensure the animal is properly restrained in a travel crate, or by leash, and is under the supervision of a person capable of maintaining control of the animal.
If you arrive by private plane or yacht
Once you arrive in Bermuda, ensure the animal is properly restrained in a travel crate, or by leash, and is under the supervision of a person capable of maintaining control of the animal.
Import of Dogs and Cats
Some conditions that apply:
All dogs and cats being imported to Bermuda are required to be implanted with a micro chip which should be ISO compliant and unencrypted.
It should be accompanied with a veterinary health certificate issued within 10 days before arrival and stating that he animal is not infected with any communicable disease and is free of external parasites. The health certificate must be signed by a licensed veterinarian and contain information such as Name, date of birth, breed, description and microchip identification of pet; Owner at present; Owner in Bermuda and address.
A statement from the veterinarian giving the name of the acaricide applied during the examination, which is known to have residual activity against ticks. The statement should also ascertain the animal has not been exposed to rabies nor been present in an officially quarantined rabies area within the last 6 months.
Dogs and cats of any age can be brought into Bermuda from UK, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica without requiring rabies vaccination. However for other countries, they will require double rabies vaccination and the minimum age of the pet in such case should be 10-months. The first vaccination should have been given after 3 months of age and the second between 6-12 months from the first vaccination. The latest vaccination must be given minimum 30 days and not more than 12 months before arrival. In addition to the above, your pets must be free of all disease at the time of importation and must use protection against ticks if applicable.
The animal has not been kept within 30 miles of Foot and Mouth disease during the last 30 days. This however, is not applicable to those dogs and cats that are arriving directly from the Continental USA or Canada.
Information regarding the purpose of imported animal, and the location of facility where the animal will be housed must be given as and when requested.
Resident dogs must be licensed at the main office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, (Botanical Gardens, Paget) immediately after arrival.
If you bring more than two dogs, a Multiple Dog Permit is required. Upon arrival at Bermuda, you will need to keep the pets in a travel cage or by leash. If you are relocating to Bermuda, then whether you will be allowed to live with your pet in Bermuda finally depends on the landlord of the house or apartment. In some cases the landlords do not allow pets.
Other laws for dogs
Dogs need to be licensed annually and must wear its numbered licence tag, which was issued at the time of its initial licensing.
When you acquire a dog, ensure the person selling/giving them to you also provides you with a valid licence
Breeding of dogs requires a special breeding license
The pet law in Bermuda requires that the dogs cannot be left free and should always be leashed (unless the dog is in a designated off-leash are). Penalties apply if there is a violation noticed. Also dogs are not permitted in the beaches during the high season (April through October).
As per local law you cannot keep your dogs unattended without access to drinking water, adequate shelter from the sun/wind/rain, the ability to move freely, but not stray
Dogs should not be left locked within a motor vehicle as officers would be obliged to break it free if required.
Customs duty on pets
Most pets like dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses etc will attract a customs duty of 25% of their assessed value (this is applicable for new resident animals that are usually brought in by foreign nationals coming to Bermuda on work or joining their spouses who work in Bermuda).
Ensure the value of your animal is accurately stated in your Bermuda Customs Declaration and is accompanied by a Bill of Sale before presenting it to the Customs Officer. New residents can also file a customs declaration and pay the required fees before the arrival of the animal in order to hasten the clearance process from the dock/airport.
For owners bringing pets for short stays, there is no customs duty as such but a refundable deposit may be required depending on the discretion of the Customs Duty Officer.
If you are a traveller, declare the animals accompanying you in the Customer’s Traveller Declaration. They incur a flat duty rate of 25% and the animals must also be declared on the Bermuda Customs Declaration long form. In addition to Customs Duty, a wharfage fee of 1.25% is charged.
To get a clarity on your specific case, contact the HM Customs, 40 Front Street, Hamilton, Bermuda. Phone: (441) 295-4816.
In case of Returning resident animals, that is, animals that have been away from the island for a period spanning less than five years, an import duty is not levied. However, for this, you need to present a document issued within the past five years in Bermuda pertaining to the animal. This could be a local health certificate, vaccination certificate, dog licence receipt etc. If the evidence produced id satisfactory enough, the import permit will indicate that the animal is a returning resident animal.
Prohibited Dog Breeds
(list subject to change)
Following dog breeds can not be imported to Bermuda:
American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, American Staffordshire Terrier, Argentine mastiff (Dogo Argentino), Boerboel, Brazilian Mastiff (Fila), Cane Corso, Presa Canario, Neapolitan Mastiff, Tosa Inu, Wolf, Wolf Hybrid, cross of these.
Note that Ferrets are not allowed for importation to Bermuda.
Restricted Dog Breeds
The following breeds can be imported subject to meeting certain conditions (the list issubject to change, check out the website animals.gov.in):
Australian Cattle Dog, Belgian Malinois, Bouvier Des Flandres, Bull Terrier, Bullmastiff, Chow Chow, Doberman Pinscher, Dogue De Bordeaux, German Shepherd, Mastiff – English, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, any cross of these.
Note that any rare, exotic or uncommon breed may also be refused permission to enter Bermuda or to be used in breeding despite its absence from the lists above.
Update January 2012
Approximately 200 dogs and cats are imported to Bermuda from the United Kingdom every year. The Bermuda Government has lifted the earlier ban on keeping and breeding dogs that were considered of moderate risk like Rottweilers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, German Shepherds and Doberman pinschers.
Organizations for pet dogs and cats in Bermuda
Bermuda Kennel Club: This is the sport governing body for dog events including dog shows.
The Dog Training Club of Bermuda. HM 1406, Hamilton HM FX.
Bermuda Feline Assistance Bureau (BFAB). P. O. Box WK 91, WK BX.
Phone 441/291-BFAB (or 291-2322)
A pet grooming and spa facility operates in Paget since 2014, called Love your Poochie, located on 15 Dudley Hill in Paget. Phone: (441) 541-5683
Devil’s Isle All Breed Club: Club for members with pure bred dogs. They hold seminars, education programs, health and handling clinics, regular meetings of members etc.
Bermuda Cat Fanciers Association (BCFA). Phone 441/295-5723 or 238-0112.
Update July 2017: BCFA has been disbanded and no longer exists.
Visitors' Reviews and Comments
Kristin (May 2018)
Hello, I am moving to Bermuda from US and would love to bring my two cats. The problem is, I adopted them from a shelter that no longer exists. They were given the necessary rabies shots when they were kittens but I have no way of proving that. They are currently 4 years old. I am getting their rabies shots this Sunday May 20, 2018. I plan to move to Bermuda In July. Am I not going to be able to bring them with me as I cannot prove the rabies shots were given to them when they were kittens? Also, It has been over a year since their last rabies shots as they are strictly indoor cats that never go outside. Please tell me straight up if you think I am not going to be able to bring them with me as I am going to have to think of other options.
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) May 2018
Hi, pet importation law in Bermuda requires that you furnish evidence of all import requirements including appropriate rabies vaccinations. Otherwise the import permit won't be issued. A mere declaration won't be good enough.
Olga (October 2017)
Hi, Thank you for the very informative resource! I hope you can point me in the right direction with my question. My husband and I are moving to Bermuda early next year. We are bringing our cat with us - a British Shorthair five-year old who is also a very fussy eater :) At the moment she is fed good quality wet and dry food with high meat content and some commercially available raw frozen cat food. I would like to find out what sort of cat food is available in Bermuda and where is the best place to get all the cat supplies (like litter tray). Many thanks,
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) October 2017
Hi, Noah's Ark Feed and Supply
is one of the best in Bermuda when it comes to pet food and products including for cats. They are located at #3 Marsh Lane, Middle Road, Devonshire; Phone: 441-236-1533; Email: [email protected]
; You can visit their website noahsark.bm and scan through the 'Cat' category for details (they have some 240 food and products for cats).
Hi, I am relocating to Bermuda in seven weeks and bringing my dog. Are dogs allowed on any public transport. Many thanks
Hi, In Bermuda, dogs are not allowed in any public transport. Even most taxis may not allow dogs.