Customs duty rate to increase from Friday
The rate of duty for personal use will increase from 25 percent to 35 percent from Friday, it was announced today.
A statement released this morning said the Premier intends to table a Bill in the House of Assembly amending the Customs Tariff Act 1970 in relation to the duty payable on personal goods imported by persons arriving in Bermuda.
“Beginning Friday, November 4, the rate of duty payable on accompanied goods imported for personal use will increase from 25 percent to 35 percent.
“In addition, the $100 duty free allowance for returning residents will be restricted so that where two or more members of the same household return to the Island on the same aircraft or vessel, only one may claim the allowance,” said the statement.
Members of the same household means persons living in the same residence, regardless of whether or not they are related; and so includes persons living in the same residence due to an employer-employee relationship, a house-sharing arrangement, or for any other reason. The $100 allowance restriction is intended to be of limited duration and will end on March 31, 2012.
The statement said the tariff changes, originally announced in September, are a part of a basket of temporary measures to assist local businesses that have a pressing need for financial relief due to the ongoing global recession, said the statement.
“Specifically, the tariff measures are intended to discourage personal spending abroad, and to help steer expenditure into the local retail sector, thereby boosting sales and keeping approximately 4,000 Bermudians employed in local stores.
“Accompanied personal goods that are currently zero-rated in the tariff will be unaffected by this change they will remain dutiable at zero percent. The duty rate for cigarettes will also remain unchanged at $35 per 200u or 17.5 cents per cigarette.
“The duty rate increase does not affect importers of commercial goods (e.g. goods for retail sale or goods for use in a trade or industry). Nor does the restriction of the $100 duty allowance affect any other duty free allowance. For example, each arriving passenger will still be allowed to import one litre of wine, one litre of spirits, 0.5kg of tobacco, 50 cigars and 200 cigarettes without payment of duty.”
Travellers who have questions regarding applicable duty rates or duty free allowances may ask a customs officer at the L.F Wade International Airport or telephone airport Customs on 293-2424. Alternatively any customs related queries may be sent to Customs by e-mail at customs[AT]gov.bm