Customs Increase Moved To November

October 2, 2011

Premier and Minister of Finance Paula Cox announced this evening [Oct.2] that the changes to custom duty will not take effect till November 4th, rather then October 1st.

On Friday [Sept.30] the Premier announced that duty payable at the airport for returning residents will raise from 25% to 35%, and only one person per household can claim the duty free allowance, with the changes coming into effect on October 1st.

At that time the Premier said, “By restricting the duty free allowance to only one person per family as opposed to two or more, and increasing the duty rate from 25 percent to 35 percent, this will discourage personal spending abroad.”

“The measures related to residents returning from overseas business and vacation trips are to help steer expenditure into the local retail sector. These measures are aimed at helping to boost sales and keep approximately 4,000 Bermudians employed in local stores,” continued the Premier.

In announcing the change this evening the Premier said, “On the customs duty changes at the airport, given the time required to make system changes, including the changes to bank kiosks at the airport that are used for payment of customs duty, the recently announced changes to the customs duty on goods accompanying residents when they return from overseas trips will have effect from November 4, 2011

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  1. Customs Duty Changes Coming Into Effect : | November 2, 2011
  1. sandgrownan says:

    Ah..didn’t think it through did you Paula?

    If ever there was confirmation this was a knee jerk reaction….it was something you thought of over breakfast. Or did someone else suggest it? Are you in charge?


    • Rick Rock says:

      Exactly. Didn’t think it through. Another “idea of the day”. And two days later they realize it was not such a good idea and change it. Clueless.

      • Can't Take It Anymore says:

        Nah, this was the right move. Gov is waiting for the spike in Bermudians travelling abroad, you know christmas shopping and vacation trips. This is where the big payouts will be coming in. Smart move.

  2. Inspired says:

    So… what happens to those that have paid the 35% so far? Are they reimbursed?

    • Derek Simons says:

      They should be Paula Cox just jumped the gun this time.

    • Shaking the Head says:

      Doubt if anyone did. Probably caused a near riot today at the airport which is why it was put off.

  3. Cancer says:

    Shud this leading really be the premier of this country??

  4. Cancer says:

    Ill ask again…. Shud this lady really be the premier of this country?? Next time think it thru !

  5. hmph says:

    wth is this. “this will discourage personal spending abroad”?

    paula, did it ever occur to you that i do not feel like spending $300 here if I can buy it for $70 in walmart or best buy.

    love my little island but most of the business are a damn rip off!!!

  6. Clueless In Hamilton.. says:

    Wow.. we are in trouble.. Not only will they be hitting you up for 10% more in duty in-bound to Bermuda.. they will be charging $3 to wrap your luggage at the airport in departures.. guess who will be benefiting from it.. Ms. Cox’s husband!!

    Also heard from the airlines that govt. tried to make this MANDATORY but it has yet to FLY with with airlines and ‘other’ officials.. This is some awful CRAP!!

    • Bedhead says:

      wrap your luggage? Please explain what is that!

      • Clueless In Hamilton.. says:

        they will be offering ‘Saran Wrapping’ of your luggage to make it ‘Secure’… What do you think about that???

        • Rumandcoke says:

          Tell me this is a joke!

          • Clueless In Hamilton.. says:

            No Joke.. $25 for your checked bag and an extra $3 for your ‘Wrap’..

      • JUNO says:

        I guess that’s for cheap bags

    • Mars says:

      While the concept of wrapping luggage in sarah wrap is not new and occurs at European airports, in my opinion this is only benefical if you are travelling long distance and transiting through 2 or 3 airport hubs on your journey and it is NOT mandatory, it’s a personal choice.

      If this becomes MANDATORY, my suggestion is that everyone get those hard shell suitcases. It weights more yep…but gurantee 100% protection and most have combination locks built in.

  7. Bedhead says:

    OMG! The only thing I wrap in a saran wrap is a sandwich and I truly think after this they are one slice of bread short of a sandwich!

    • Clueless In Hamilton.. says:

      No Doubt!!.. The wait is long enough!! Making bucks on the backs of Bermudians and Residents.. in a ‘redundant’ way is just.. out of touch.

  8. martin says:

    with these tax breaks and less income from people employed how long before Bermuda defaults on it’s loans, can anyboby tell me if paula is getting the salary for being premier and another salary for being the minister of finance in any company when the person in charge takes actions that hurt the company the board of directors will mostlikely remove such a person …. Bermudians wake up!

  9. Panic panic panic. Bermudians can tolerate a bump up in crime…widepread unemployment…poor educational standards in the public schools & decreasing home values but if you want to start a RIOT inna de streets?? Try to mess with their overseas shopping. SMH.

  10. VJ says:

    What about the thousands of dollars in goods coming through the courier services and container ships daily…why haven’t they raised the duty of that too? People are ripped off bringing stuff in through the airport as it is. Duty at the airport is MUCH higher than ordering stuff online, and now they’re making the rates even higher. This isn’t going to stop people from buying overseas. I, for one, am just going to shop on tvia the internet. Dumb idea Ms Cox!

    • martin says:

      makes you think the premier)she or her family are probably share holders of the courier services.

  11. Noel Ashford says:

    It seems the PLP is giving Bermuda a great xmas present – great thinking, everyone is travelling with xmas gifts. Bah Humbug from the PLP. This must be the ghost of premiers past and cogs current? Imagine what the ghost of christmas future will look like if the impcompetency isnt corrected…


  12. Carse Yer Wote (Original) says:

    Another hair brained PLP idea. Not thought out properly, ill conceived by the most incompetent Government Bermuda has ever had. They simply don’t have a clue. How a seemingly intelligent community could ever vote these idiots in is beyond me.

    This is not Cyber Bullying, not racism either – just the truth.

    THINK again next time you go to Carse Yer Wote.

    • Think about it says:

      “How a seemingly intelligent community could ever vote these idiots in is beyond me.”

      It’s not that hard to figure out, black Bermudians will ALWAYS vote PLP because it’s a black party. They don’t want to vote the white man back into power because they know they’ll only make life harder for them. Wait, isn’t that what the PLP is doing?

  13. Joe Bermuda says:

    Despite the reason given, you all know the real reason for the delay is to rethink the whole thing. The majority population is OVERWHELMINGLY against this move.

  14. ag says:

    Does ‘one person per family’ mean a family receives 100$ free allowance for only one person regardless of size? If so that seems to be unfairly punishing larger families like a family of 7 compared to a family of 3. Just another thing that doesn’t seem to be right…

    • Truth says:

      I believe that’s the case. If I’m reading it correctly, a family of 7 goes away, buys goods, returns…. only 1 of the 7 can claim their allowance of $100. Not only that, but the person who claims the allowance on this trip will not be allowed to claim any further allowances should they make further trips, until March 31, 2012.

    • D. Rock says:

      This is so not right and dumb!! Still cheaper than what you pay here for goods!

  15. This lady is truly scary says:

    She leaps from one poorly thought out idea to another with no idea of what any of them mean.

  16. Carse Yer Wote (Original) says:

    What about two people living at the same address who are not related? This is a ridiculous rule which will be impossible to track. Whoever came up with this silly rule should immediately be fired. IT WILL NOT WORK! A child could see that this wouldn’t work. Only a total incompetent could come up with something this stupid. Only a PLP person.

    Carse Yer Wote against the Pathetic Learnalot Party at the upcoming Elaction!

    • Truth says:

      It doesn’t matter if they’re not related, it goes by household. But to simplify this whole situation because people are reading it differently, if you personally go away now and claim your $100 allowance, you will NOT be able to do so again until at least April 1st, 2012.

  17. star man says:

    Nothing about this makes any sense. Good point, ag, this thoughtless policy does seem to punish larger families.

    One thing’s for sure – and it should make people extremely anxious about keeping the PLP in power – many in the know are predicting a further DEFICIT of $250,000,000.00 FOR THIS YEAR ALONE!!

    That would bring our national debt up to a TOTAL of $1.5 BILLION DOLLARS!!!!

    • Truth says:

      That’s understating it I believe, I think our debt is going to be in the 2 billion range come next budget speech…..or higher.

  18. star man says:

    The First Rule of Holes: when you’re in one quit digging.

  19. LP says:

    AH great penalise the people for the failing economy, increase the tourists increase the ideas, the Island is boring , and lack customer service, the retail sectors sells products for outrageous prices. Take a look at Florida, Orlando, pure tourist city, brings money in to the people and provides income for the locals to travel outside of Orlando.

  20. Chart says:

    She’s winging it. Again. They don’t have a plan. They implement short sighted “PR wins” with little thought … and that has contributed mightily to our problems.
    Ewart Brown caused many problems for Bermuda. But Paula Cox has been far more damaging.
    We can’t afford them anymore.

  21. Another Bermudian says:

    Premier Cox should be ashamed of herself yet again. By basically screwing the lower and middle class by catering to ONLY the rich business owners, herself included, she has effectively betrayed the foundation of the PLP and it’s voters. At least Dr. Brown gave back to the community inspite of his greedy escapades. Paula was supposed to be PLP’s saving grace after controversial Brown, but she’s actually being alot worse.

    • Think about it says:

      How was Paula Cox supposed to be the saving grace? You do realize that she is the head of finance and was signing those cheques that Ewart Brown was cashing right?

    • Truth says:

      I’ve never understood why people ever considered Paula Cox to be a savings grace. She came right out and said ‘she’s a cog’. And she was DEPUTY PREMIER at the time. At what point has she demonstrated real leadership qualities? Even now, when she says she’ll take a pay cut if the senior civil servants do, what’s that called? Leading from the rear?

  22. Selina says:

    Bermuda has priced it self right out of the market. Hotels are beyond reach for many even considering visiting our shores. There are many other islands with so much more to offer. Retailers with mark ups beyond the 200% increase that even the locals choose not to shop. I for one haven’t shopped at a local store(for clothing or shoes) for many years. I take 2-3 trips a year with my long list of items needed. If I could purchase groceries overseas weekly I would do just that.

    If these retailers are serious about tourism and making capital why aren’t they open late evenings to the tourist when the ships are in Hamilton.I drove through town whilst ships in and every retailer closed and many tourist wondering about the streets. Are we really trying to satisfy our visitors? The prices are ridiculous and I know this as someone who worked retail for many years.

    If Premier Cox can remove payroll tax for retailers(even if for such a short period) I believe that she needs to look at other sectors in this country that are also struggling. PLP gave the hotels a break on the payroll tax but that didn’t prevent the Willowbank from shutting it doors.

    People of BDA we need to wake up.Come out and PROTEST such a move. We all complain about such idiotic crap but need to stand up for what is right. The PLP have put us in such a position and now want to TAX your privilege of travel and buying overseas to save a few jobs.This still won’t save any more than a few jobs if any.

  23. MPP says:

    The announcement essentially immediately effective was also unfair to people who were abroad at the time or already held tickets for travel sometime very soon.

  24. just me says:

    So, So true Selina, look at all the kids that Graduated from University, Some still are without work, and they have degrees, Paula Cox, is talking outta her arse, charging extra on duty, and cutting our free allowance to $100 per household is not gonna do anything, job’s are still not gonna be there, the prices for clothing and food are still gonna be high, so what’s the point Mrs Cox? tell me, your jumping the gun yet again..Please just stop….Why don’t all of you MP’s and Minister’s take a paycut, start paying duty your selves and look at all the money you’ll be getting once you all start paying….Hellooooo

  25. Steph says:

    I was trying to defend this move at first until I found out that if you are bringing in goods through ZipX or Mailboxes you do not pay the same duty at the airport and I actually went into town and it’s not the prices that are bad it’s teh selection out there. Whoever is doing the buying obviously has no sense of style or is choosing garments blindfolded cuz most of them are horrible.

    • Mars says:

      I honestly thought I was the only one who noticed thoses horrible clothing being sold in Hamilton. Now that Haloween will soon be here, some will make some great costumes.

      I think retailers have no one else to blame but themselves for overpriced, cheap, tasteless stuff they wish to sell us John Public.

      Imagine going in one store and the sales clerk told my husband that the so-called leather slippers is made in Italy hnece the price tag. I took one look at it and told him NO that can’t be made in Italy. Anyway, my husband decided to try the slippers and when he took out his feet, sticking to his sock was a Made in China label. Guess they forgot to remove it from under the flap of the slippers.

      • MinorMatters says:

        I agree with the outrage expressed with this nonsensical tax relief and increased import tarrif. However, I do disagree with the notion that Bermuda sells mainly horrible clothes. For consideration – I buy most of all my clothing here and I am astounded by the compliments I receive from locals, even the flight attendants (honestly) and from people in the cities that I visit. I am often incredulous when they want to know where I purchased this or that. I happily say,I bought it in Bermuda. Case in point, went to South Beach Miami and thought I would just buy all these exciting shoes. I looked in many places and only found and bought one pair of shoes that I liked. The next week walked past Perry’s and an hour later walked out with 4 pairs of shoes that were exactly what I had hoped to find in Florida AND there were 3 cruise ship passengers who were excitedly buying shoes because they were a good price and at size 11 they couldn’t find stylish shoes as they did here. I am bringing this to your attention for you to know that there is a flip side to the coin. I shop Perry’s, love Gibbons, Vibe, Calypso, Trends and even a little store in St. George’s called Wales (?). The proof is in the pudding.

  26. Redman says:

    As if returning to Bermuda isn’t daunting enough, what will it be like now ?? For those travelling particularly after Nov. be prepared for Scrutiny of your purchases like never before. Don’t forget to declare that pack of Gum (etc…) that you purchased prior to boarding, the Rubber Glove Brigade will be instructed to ‘Leave No Stone UnTurned’. To the Habitual Cheaters in particular, you also have been warned!!

  27. VJ says:

    Staph you are absolutely right! I can go into the stores overseas and shop til I drop because the selection is just overwhelming. In Bermuda I have to go from store to store just to find something I like and when or IF I finally find something I have to pay out of the you-know-what for it. And like somebody else mentioned, how will they keep track of households? People will just fill out separate forms and say they’re from different households. Imagine the headaches the customs officials will have with that one!

  28. Just Wondering says:

    Just wondering…if the OBA makes up the next Government, i hope people call them as much names as they do this government, when they mess up or do something that they dont like. Some of the stuff i read on here seems to be straight up hatred at times.
    Just wondering…if the OBA will get the same treatment.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      Damn right they will. It’s your duty and right to call out bullsh*t on your elected officials.

    • Say Say Say says:

      Any Government that screws up will get crap from me and that is my solemn promise. This is not a PLP OBA or black white thing. No hatred here – other than I hate that the PLP is ruining our beautiful island.

      PLP has screwed up royally. So if you are ‘Just Wondering’ if we should give them yet another shot consider this:

      A Vote for PLP is a vote into financial slavery.

      You would have to be a total deaf dumb and blind idiot to vote PLP after what they have done.

    • Waiting Patiently says:

      lol comments like this always pop up when the PLP do something that is without a doubt a bad move.

      stop knocking the “haters” if you yourself dont agree with the policy.

      if you agree with it, say why the haters are wrong. If you disagree with it, admit that in this case the haters are right.

  29. Dispatcher #48 says:

    Somehow I still need a good trip, lets go fly.

  30. 1minute says:

    Paula’s family & friends are still away… Have to hold off until they are back…

  31. PawPaw says:

    For those of you that are not in a hurry to have your small purchases, now is a good time to utilize the services of the Bermuda Post Office.
    The rate of customs duty is applicable to the item imported, i.e. shoes – rate of duty: 10%, clothing – 6.5%. and then I believe there may be a 1% wharfage fee and you can use express shipping: International Data Express, whcih can be a 2- 5 day lead time.

  32. Bermie says:

    Bermuda is dying, because of greed and corruption. It boils down to lack of proper parenting, lack of family values, lack of team work collaboration, all of which seems to be getting worse as the days go by.

    And what’s this about divorced fathers who has been important daily entities in their children’s lives from the beginning getting shafted by the courts which caters more toward sadistic mothers? It seems that father’s don’t have rights anymore …that doesn’t seem good for the child. Parents need to work together, equally in-spite of their differences to raise their children.

    Just goes to show that this society needs drastic changes in wholesome goodness as only those who are corrupt are able to succeed here.

  33. JUNO says:

    Funny how this woman could up the duty 10% but we have hell for them to up our pay more than 2%

  34. Watcher says:

    For those thinking that Zip X etc are cheaper get your stuff quick, it won’t be long before the duty for thos packages is upped also. Just wait and see.

  35. CantWatch says:

    Perhaps if there was some type of balance between the increase to 35% and the retail sector, meaning…Duty Goes UP and Retail Prices Go DOWN!!!!…But right now Pauls’s theroy is like being on a See-Saw with Fat Albert..It’s damn near impossible to work, due to a HUGE imbalance!! & Why is it that everytime someone is laid off, its a Bermudian and NEVER a Foreigner getting kicked to the curb….But Anywho…PLP…Please STOP!!!

    • next? says:

      Plenty of foreigners have lost their jobs too.

      IB, landscaping, construction, restaurants and hotels all employ foreigners.
      The numbers of those foreigners is dropping steadily as IB firms relocate, landscapers and construction are forced to cut the size of their and hotels and retaurants close.

      It’s a pack of cards. As these jobs go, the ripple effect on apartment rentals, restaurants and duty is felt more and more.
      It all looked so solid until 4 years ago.
      Some of this distress is certainly down to the world economic crisis but the current government must accept the error of spending into +$1 billion of debt.

      • Very Concerned Bermudian says:

        At this stage it is so much more the mismanagement by the PLP than the worldwide recession. We have driven away tourists, and now we are driving away expats. Remember that every expat that you hate so much, rents an apartment, drives a vehicle, buys groceries. Without foreigners we will be a 3rd world starving country corrupt with mindless violence.

        Bermudians have made foreigners feel so unwelcome that there are just about gone now. All I can say is enjoy the 3rd world. I’m planning my exit as so many other more sensible Bermudians are. Only the weak, helpless, violent, and stupid will be left in a short while.

        PLP has ruined the best place in the world with their term limits, racism, and hatred of expats.

        • Hurry Up says:

          when are you leaving….

          may God bless you and keep you safe, All the best for your future don’t forget to trade your passport with one of those expats still begging to stay.

          • soon leavin' says:

            I’m an expat.I can assure you there are very,very few “begging” to stay.Matter of fact in 10 or less years you’ll be begging to have us back.
            You’ve bitten the hand that feeds you for much too long.Get your head out of the sand my friend.

            • @Soon Leaving, Sadly you are right on point there!! We have bit the hand that feeds us and as IB goes so does our economy.

              Expats are not the only people going, as we all know many Bermudians are leaving as well, the Brain Drain is on and many others that can go will go myself included unless the rot can be stopped.

              Funny thing is my Family had many members that left here to work overseas and on Merchant Ships many years ago. Why? to make a living and there’s the Rub. If we are unable to turn this around (and I don’t see it happening anytime soon) then more and more of us will follow the exodus of expats.

              Also many of my expat friends have already left and more are going, when many of them came here over the last 20 plus years they fell in love with Bermuda & Bermudians and wanted to stay as long as possible but now some have gone voluntarily as the Island/life here has changed and not all for the good. sad and much of it unnecessary really.

          • sandgrownan says:


        • Hurry Up says:

          we know the country is in trying times….regardless of ones belief as to how it arrived in it’s present state…but, why would one want to leave a country that have served them so well in the pass. why not stay and be a part of the solution..where are you going American, Europe,these and many others countries are having trying times as well, are go to take from another country or contribute….foreigner are leaving some as stated voluntarily as they no longer need Bermuda. Bermuda no longer is servicing them , they have taken all that they feel they can get, so now it’s time for them to move on to greener pastures…most of us including me would like them to stay and be a part of the solution..all those that feel so compelled to leave during these very difficult times, I say all the best to you…we will not only survive but in time thrive. and we will welcome you back

          • Very Concerned Bermudian says:

            As a white Bermudian it is very difficult to want to stay in the country I love when we are constantly bombarded with racism. White people are made to feel unwelcome by the PLP and it has worked very well for them. Remember the last election was run entirely on racism. Some of us are just plain fed up with that sort of childish behavior. I am not to blame for what my ancestors absolutely did not do. No slave owners in my family.

            However, I’ve given it some thought and I’m not going anywhere – you people are stuck with me and i will be the pain in PLP’s backside. That is my solemn oath.

            In addition, when UBP was in power people were able to criticise them and use our real names. I did many many times never once was called a hater. Criticise the PLP tho and you get labelled a racist and a hater. So I cannot use my real name because I am white – and would be immediately labelled a racist. I am not, I am criticising PLP because they have ruined our country – not because they are black.

            I say again: PLP has ruined our country – they are useless and they must be taken down. There are totally incompetent – shouldn’t be allowed to run a tap.

            • Hurry Up says:

              I appreciated your responses, It’s nice to hear the other side … But you must admit that some of the comments are just simply hate filled ..there is nothing wrong with criticizing a policy or voicing an alternative…but simply calling persons out of their names and being utterly disrespectfully to the Leaders of this country does nothing for race relations, what it does is makes the divide deeper.
              I will admit I was looking very closely at an alternative to the PLP, for the first time in my life. But in the last month reading these blogs, I was totally turned off. I am afraid that I may end up in a room with some of these persons, that by reading there comments are not the kind of people I would want to associate with. We, can and should be respectful to each other as human being whether we support this current Government or not.
              There are both white and black people that eat, sleep and drink the race issue. I once worked in a local Bank where the manager was openly racist it took 7 years before the Bank got rid of them… would it be fair for me to say the whole Banking Institution was or is racist. For that fact all white people.
              We can also respectfully differ on who may have started and or perpetuates the race rhetoric. How many white people have taken a quote for one or two prominent and not so prominent black persons in the community and repeated it to no end merely to promote self interest. So we can’t blame race discord on one set of people.
              I am a black woman, and but for the rough start to our conversation, I will concur that we both want the same things in life regardless of what race box society put us in.
              We as human beings we must take responsibility for our own actions and not the actions of others.
              Glad to know you are staying, the island we need intelligent and caring persons like yourself to recover.
              Keep highlighting the issues until they are corrected, regardless of who wins the next election.

  36. American Airlines bankrupt says:

    It’s all the PLP’s fault, all that overspending,

    what it’s not their fault it’s just a rumor, however their stock has plummeted

    well everything else is PLP’s Fault.

  37. Mr. Duane P. Santucci says:

    it dont matter how much you raise it we the travelling public will still shop abroad,especially when their are giant sales,reminder that Bermuda has a 150 to 300% mark up on everything so we still better off shopping overseas,very few things are worth buying locally and when we buy overseas they tell us we are hurting the local economy and truer words have never been spoken,but are they doing anything about the real cost of living in Bermuda to keep us buying locally and the answer is no,so you go figure,how the rich keep getting the end of the bargain.

  38. Mars says:

    Oh forgot to ask, will Dollar Depot finally sell items at a $1 now and live up to their name? Just wondering.

    • 0_o says:


      lol! they never said how many dollars it takes to shop at the dollar depot :D

  39. On the Fly says:

    O.K. the Premier wants us to buy Bermuda. I don’t expect for the prices to be outrageous as they currently are. Also what about items that they DON’T sell here like my favorite VICTORIA SECRETS OR BATH AND BODY …..where is the fairness. I can TRY to understand purchases that we currently bring in but …come on be reasonable. This situation needs to be re-thought like the ferry situation. Come on PLP use your common-sense ….

  40. me says:


  41. Truth says:

    Anyone hear that the 35% duty may apply to goods coming through the couriers and post office as well?

  42. 0_o says:

    The only people who “Buy Bermuda” are those on the “stop list”! And only because their forced to. Everyone else is still going to shop abroad. I guess Customs going to ask more of us to “go over to the side there” to get our luggage rummaged through.

    Duty increase only means more longer lines at Parcel post!

  43. Keeping It Real says: