10% Duty Increase For Cigarettes & Alcohol

March 28, 2013

Effective 1st April 2013, the Customs Tariff Amendment Act 2013 will usher in an across the board 10% increase in the import duty rate for cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.

In the 2013 -14 Budget in February, Government said, “The duty on cigarettes and tobacco and beer, wines and other spirits will be raised in April 2013 to achieve additional Customs revenue of about $2 million.”

Tthe following duty rate increases for cigarettes and alcoholic beverages will come into effect at 01 April 2013:

  • Cigarettes – from $0.20 to $0.22 per cigarette, or from $40.00 to $44.00 per carton of 200 cigarettes.
  • Beer – from $0.90 per litre to $0.99 per litre.
  • Wines and vermouth – from $2.63 per litre to $2.89 per litre.
  • Other fermented beverages such as cider, perry and mead, from $1.28 per litre to $1.41 per litre.
  • Spirituous beverages such as rum, whiskies, vodka, gin, liqueurs and cordials, from $24.15 per litre of alcohol to $26.57 per litre of alcohol.

For passengers arriving at the L.F. Wade International Airport the duty rate on spirits will be fixed at $10.63 per litre.

A Customs spokesperson explained, “The flat rate for spirits imported in passengers’ baggage makes it easier for arriving travellers to declare and pay duty on liquor. Our airport staff will not have to know the alcohol content of your rum or whisky to collect the right duty.”

A Government spokesperson said, “Further provisions of the 2013 amendment Act make improvements to the structure of the Customs Tariff Act 1970. The current complex duty charging provisions are to be made simpler by replacing the 25% “standard rate” and associated business end-use relief with a streamlined charging provision which simply imposes duty at the rate specified in the Customs Tariff on all imported goods – whether intended for personal use or for a business purpose.

“In consequence of the repeal of the ‘standard’ rate and business end-use relief, Customs will discontinue the use of customs procedure code (CPC) 4098 (Special rates) and CPC 4099 (Standard rate). The existing goods declaration processes are otherwise unchanged.

“This year’s amendments to the Customs Tariff Act 1970 also include measures designed to encourage certain types of business for the development of Bermuda by expanding the scope of the surcharge on duty suspended goods using the mechanism of a business temporary importation duty relief.

“The scope of the surcharge provisions is to be expanded to include not just bonded warehousing under the Revenue Act 1898; but also other duty suspension arrangements, such as –

  • storage in a regulated shop under the Bermuda Airport (Duty Free Sales) Act 1997;
  • storage in bond under the Bonding of Precious Stones Act 1952; and
  • the new business temporary importation relief .
  • For goods removed from bond the two surcharge rates provided in the current system will be rationalized to a median rate of 3.75%. For goods discharged from business temporary importation relief the surcharge will be calculated by reference to their ‘deemed customs value’ as defined in the Customs Tariff Act 1970. In both cases, the surcharge will be payable in addition to any duty that may be due upon the discharge of duty suspension arrangements.

“The new business temporary importation relief is designed to encourage sustainable development by real economic growth. It allows the duty free importation of goods for business use, including use of goods as inventory, subject to the payment of duty and the surcharge on diversion to home use or export. For traditional business it facilitates greater inventory and larger scope of goods and services. For new business it allows for entry to market with reduced initial investment cost.

“The new business temporary importation relief will not come into effect right away. Rather it will be activated by Minister’s Order in due course to allow Customs and commercial importers the time to make the necessary programming adjustments to their respective automated systems,” a Government spokesperson said. “Any questions on the changes to the Customs Tariff Act 1970 may be sent to customs@gov.bm .”

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Comments (22)

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  1. Really says:

    Cigarettes one of The most addictive substances known to man should have taxed it more , even bums and down and outers who have nothing still manage to find money for the cigarette industry

  2. Hobby says:

    Tax condoms and birth control while you are at it.

    • YADON says:

      ya cause thats a great idea to stop the spread of disease and teenage pregnancy . That stuff should be FREE

  3. smit says:

    April fools day inna

  4. Toast says:

    I would prefer to have seen a bottle tax of 20 cents per bottle of beer charged instead with the option of turning empty bottles in at the recycling center for 25 cents.

    Our island is littered with empty beer bottles and every year KBB volunteers, school clean up projects clean the trees and shorelines after the dirty individuals that toss them out of their windows or drop them while walking.

    At least if we tax those drinking and dumping beer bottles and reward those that bring bottles back we can reduce garbage, encourage recycling, and reward those that return empties by giving them 10 cents per bottle ($2.40 per case).

    When I was a kid growiing up we used to collect empty soda bottles and take them back to Barrits and Metro. As kids we made some great money doing this while at the same time cleaning up our neighbourhoods!

    When I was away in University, we saved our beer bottles are returned them for a refund. While I worked in a bar, we saved the empty beer bottles and they too were put in cases and returned for credit. It was the norm, and not a big deal to do, and it the same time it was a win, win, win for the bars, the government and the enviroment.

  5. Toast says:

    sorry I mean return for 10 cents…been at happy hour, forgive me.

  6. nuffin but da truth says:

    the handbag wont like this increase,puff goes her new earrings now.

    • Eastern says:

      I agree toast; In fact I’d increase the tax to 50% of the value of each item as alcohol is Bermuda’s biggest drug problem (and tobacco, but more so alcohol). So my proposal will guaranty the cooporation of the alcohol importers (if you pay them 25% of that 50%) and you can use the rest of the profits to pay off the national debt or even better; drug (including alcohol) interdiction.

  7. If the government really want to make money on the sin items why not put them up 30% and then maybe people would buy less and save more on their health care,so they dont have the backdrop of all the other issues that go along with cigarettes and alcohol.

    I wonder if cabinet loose their discount on liquor

  8. Poison water says:

    Just ban alcohol all together

  9. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    so youre gonna tax the bums n down n outers who have nothing already …hmmm…maybe we should tax the people who dont smoke or drink more because they contribute less to our economy, we should be taxing the ones who fly out of here more than once a year taking their money out n spending it abroad…we should be taxing the ones who drive around in $50,000 cars…we need income tax, but i bet you dont want that now do you …and as for you a$$holes talking about health care…i wonder how many people that dont drink or smoke are in the hospital now sick huh? you all are as dumb as the concrete youre standing on…

    • Moojun says:

      But we do tax people who drive around in $50,000 cars more. It’s called a consumption based tax, or duty. The more you choose to spend the more tax you pay. Seems fair to me. Every time you buy a car… Taxed. Every time you buy a boat…. Taxed. Every time you buy a drink… Taxed. This way, those who consume more pay more tax. And if you don’t want to pay tax you can choose not to… By consuming

  10. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Why don’t we tax prisoners in jail!?

    • Fed Up Bermudian says:

      Because we pay for them anyway, Einstein. And don’t suggest deferring such a task until their release, because it won’t get paid, I bet some go on the dole when they’re out because they can’t find a job, so…we pay again. Increasing sin taxes is a great idea, if you don’t want to pay the tax, don’t consume the product, simple.

      And while we’re at it, increasing petrol and fuel tax wouldn’t be bad, either, might inspire some to leave their cars at home. Government hasn’t increased the petrol taxes in about twenty years.

      • Chuckling says:

        Then our food prices will increase because the wholesalers will pass their fuel cost onto the supermarkets and we all know they are not regulated so who will foot the increase.

        • Fed Up Bermudian says:

          Fine. Then give an exemption for diesel, which is how the trucks are fueled, and give an exemption for supermarkets. If it gets our island of fatasses to leave their flipping big cars at home, then that’s a win. Food staples should be regulated, they can increase the price of designer cheese or kobe beef to make up the minimal difference anyway.

  11. swing voter says:

    fron now on um smokin fennel and drinkin petrol

  12. drunken ursula says:

    what’s Pat the mouth from Warwick thoughts on this …?????