Classification of imported goods

What is classifying?

You will need to decide the correct class or tariff code for your goods according to the Bermuda Customs Tariffin order to clear your goods through Customs.

It is important to make sure that you:

  • pay the correct amount of duty and wharfage;
  • contribute to the accuracy of import and export trade statistics;
  • know if an import licence is needed.

 If you classify incorrectly, then:

  • you could be penalised if your goods are incorrectly classified on the Customs entry;
  • you may have to pay any arrears;
  • your goods may be delayed and/or seized.

Who is legally responsible for classifying goods?

You, as the importer are legally responsible for the correct Tariff classification of your goods. This applies even if you employ an agent to handle your customs entries on your behalf.

How do I classify my goods?

You must apply the six general rules for the Interpretation of the Nomenclatures governing the principles of the Tariff classification procedure. These must be applied to your goods from the outset, and in sequential order.

The rules can be found within the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act 1970. You should be able to classify most of your goods using rules 1, 5 and 6. These relate to the legal terms of the headings and subheadings and their relevant section and chapter notes. They also relate to the nature of the packaging for the goods involved.

If you think that rules 2, 3 or 4 might apply to your goods then seek advice from us, as it is likely that more complex Tariff classification principles will be involved.

If you need help to classify your goods, you can use the online commodities tariff search feature and type in the good you are looking for. If there is still an uncertainty about the correct Tariff classification of specific goods, you can ask the Classification Section for help. However, you should be aware that whilst every care is taken to provide accurate advice, this advice is for assistance only and is not legally binding.

We recommend that you examine a copy of the current Bermuda Customs Tariff