Airport Customs Dual-Channel Starts Nov 19

November 7, 2012

The Department of Customs has advised that effective November 19, 2012, it will commence the operation of a dual-channel declaration system at the L.F. Wade International Airport.

Commonly referred to as a “red/green system”, the dual-channel system is based on a recommendation of the World Customs Organisation [WCO] for a simplified customs control of arriving travellers and their baggage. The system is in use by border control agencies in many countries around the world including the UK.

Persons travelling during the month of October will have noticed that airport Customs has been conducting a series of simulation exercises in order to familiarize themselves with the altered flow of passengers and to identify and address any operational issues arising prior to the official establishment of the dual-channel system.

The dual-channel system allows arriving air travellers to choose between two types of channels:

1. A green channel for travellers having with them

  • no more than their duty free allowances
  • no prohibited or restricted goods
  • no more than BDA $10,000 (or equivalent) in cash or negotiable instruments

2. A red channel for travellers having with them

  • goods that exceed their duty free allowances
  • goods for business use
  • prohibited or restricted goods
  • more than BDA $10,000 (or equivalent) in cash or negotiable instruments

The red and green channels will be located beyond the baggage reclaim area so that travellers will have all their baggage with them when choosing their channel.

Entering the green channel will be considered to be a declaration that the traveller has nothing to declare. In the green channel travellers will not be subject to any customs formalities but customs officers may make spot checks.

In the red channel travellers will be required to present their CTD to a customs officer. The customs officer will either refer the traveller for baggage inspection or direct them to the exit without inspection. Under normal circumstances it is to be expected that most travellers in the red channel will exit without inspection.

Customs will ensure that travellers are sufficiently well informed to choose between the channels before they enter the dual-channel system. For this purpose travellers will be told about the functioning of the system and about the descriptions and quantities of goods they may have with them when using the green channel or the red channel.

This will be done by means of informational panels at the airport and by means of an information leaflet entitled “Clearing Customs”. This leaflet will be available to the public at the airport on the Customs department website under travellers.

Other on-line information will include instructions on completing the Customs Traveller Declaration (Form 98), together with guidance on declaring cash and negotiable instruments, claiming traveller allowances and declaring restricted goods.

Any questions regarding the airport dual-channel system may be sent by email to

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Comments (37)

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  1. Mad Dawg says:

    Oh. Just before the election. Not 14 years ago, or 5 years ago. Weeks before the election. How surprising.

  2. timeshavechanged! says:

    great! now can we have some customer care for the customs officers, and we do need some overhead protection from the aircraft to indoor customs,..we need to appear friendly as a start of renewing our friendly spirit! Any improvements are welcomed! Maybe a couple of local resturants serving local food to entice them back as they leave, so they experiene that “much” more.

  3. Opressed says:

    Don’t go to the Govt. web site looking for any information, it isn’t there. They’re so eager to make themselves look like they’re doing something they got too far ahead of themselves.

  4. SoFar Bye says:

    So true these people think we the public are stupid,the time I came back from a trip they two line merging in to one, there was a genius somewhere behind that. We fly for two hours or more and we get to stand for another hour or two,we don’t do that when we get to where are going when we leave here, come on geniuses figure it out, or do you just like to poke in people’s luggage to see what ones bought in. Next time I won’t wash my clothes when I come back. Can you smell what I’m cooking.

    • SoMuchMore says:

      i am not searching you… next LOL

    • SO SILLY says:

      don’t wash your clothes, but don’t be embarrassed when your stank clothes are spread out on the counter to get to find your new clothes underneath. Your not the first with that idea and you won’t be the last.

  5. alicia says:

    I came back in October and were put in the “red” line. When we got to the front of the line we were told we could leave, but we had to back up and get past the others behind us to get to the exit as the customs office was too close to the inspection area – probably to cause people to look guilty and thus increase their odds of being searched.

    We had declared everything we bought so I wasn’t worried about being searched, but the bottle neck was very annoying and looked like they didn’t think it through.

  6. SoMuchMore says:

    auntie paula won’t call the election until this is up and running i bet.

    this line makes it easier for her and her counterparts to exit customs.

    too funny!

    plp thinking of new things at the 11th hour! smdh

    • blankman says:

      Paula et al do not have to go thru the customs line as is.

  7. James says:

    And woe betide you if you go in the green line!
    40 years plus behind the rest of the world.

  8. Kiskadee says:

    And family and friends will still walk through without paying duty !

  9. Ironic says:

    Certainly a vote-grabbing headline, but, let’s be honest, our customs revenue is going to drop noticeably from this initiative. This will create a further shift from honesty on customs forms, until customs realizes that people are abusing the system. Then they will begin randomly searching people from the green line, in an effort to curb the social issue of dishonest declarations, to the point where it will not be any faster. I don’t have a solution in mind, however given the absolutely terrible fiscal management of the PLP I am hesitant to see them let more top line revenue walk out the door. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  10. Unbelievable! says:

    This is in effect now as I recently came back and Custom’s Officers informed me that anybody that has anything to declare is directed to the ‘Red Line’. Once there all your bags are searched and you must produce all your receipts. Whose in this line – all locals! Not sure what type of screening they are doing as all visitors to the Island are directed to the ‘Green Line’ as would be they have nothing to declare. I stood in line for 40minutes as it was backed up. Be prepared to stand in long during the upcoming holidays!

    • Logic76 says:

      So let me get this straight; they’re now searching EVERYONE in the red line? That is ridiculous!

      • Unbelievable! says:

        YES – they are searching EVERYONE in the RED LINE!

  11. ButICanDream says:

    I hate to say this….but there’s gona be a lot of expats/business folk on one side, and a lot of locals with carrying their weight in shopping bags. i predict a lot of animosity coming from this….

  12. Boss Lady says:

    This soumds a lot like what was already in place… I don’t get it? Let’s keep it real, if you go in the Red Line and they think you haven’t declared everything —> They’ll send you to be searched anyway. Red Line – Green Line 1-2-3… Now freeze. Games and Politricks!

  13. pebblebeach says:

    But at the same time, I cannot use my cellphone, albeit, blackberry, iphone android etc… to make calls, text or check e-mails until I am outside of the building…why is that…Bermuda appears to be the only place where we are prohibited from doing these things…please don’t tell me homeland security or technical interference because I will not believe that…

    It is worst when leaving Bermuda; having some lady shouting to you while you are in some long line waiting to depart and using your instrument…

    • OMG says:

      Sorry Pepple Beach this is the same else where in the world – certainly Miami USA.

    • US Observer in Pink Sand says:

      @Peeble Beach – There are many reasons for this, but all are essentially for law enforcement purposes.

      I’m assuming that they don’t want passengers having any contact with someone on the outside until they clear customs because its possible that passengers will use their cell phones to commit illegal activity.

      Bottom line is that they don’t want a potential suspect tipping off to someone on the outside that they have been caught, or even if someone else has been caught doing illegal activity. They also don’t want phones that have cameras to take photos of sensitive information which may later appear on computer screens which may include crimial files which come up on early warning systems.

      There are other countries that ban cell phone use in the arrivals and customs hall include Australia, China, the UK and the USA just to name a few.

      • Zombie Apocalypse says:

        Not the UK. It’s no problem using ceccllphone at Gatwick while waiting for luggage.

  14. Concerned says:

    Department of Information Services initiative that will be underway DURING THE NEXT YEAR. The Government will replace the Government portal with a more modern software platform that will provide improved content management and, most importantly, increase the community’s ability to access Government services on-line….

  15. Concerned says:

    adopted by the Second Intermediate Session of the European Civil Aviation Conference in JULY 1969 on the dual-channel or red/green system;

  16. 1minute says:

    I hope that there are increased fines for people sneaking down the Green channel, when they should be in the Red.

  17. OK says:

    And we expats are still waiting for the new ID card, instead of this A4 size workpermits that takes up all the space in my travel holder. I have to carry 4 of this around for the family. So promises, promises, promises

  18. NiceOne says:

    In most counrties typically the green line is the “nothing to declare” line which is used for anyone who is not bringing in excess cigarettes/alcohol or monetary instruments. Bermuda has warped this concept into a “Nothing to pay” line – I am sure this is not how the WCO envisioned their red/green system being used.