Thursday, September 21, 2006

not duty free

I've mentioned before about how expensive laundry detergent is over here. It's not the only item. Almost everything in Bermuda is expensive due to shipping costs & duties. So both locals & expats alike stock up necessities & anything else when they're in the US or Canada. Some locals specifically make trips to the US to garner some savings that would otherwise be eaten up in Bermuda.

But you won't get off scott free with your suitcases laden with goods. Your duty bound to pay up when you get to Bermuda. Most residents know to line up & pay up before they pick up their bags & head over to customs. To make the process smoother the government recently imposed a flat 25% duty on all goods. Whether or not you will be checked at customs is predetermined at Immigration. And when I say checked I mean it. They will open every single bag of yours & go through all your stuff (with gloves on of course) to ensure that all your pretty purchases are accounted for. So it is a good idea to hang on to all your receipts. A 25% duty may seem a lot but it's still worth it especially when
Bermuda stores lack the variety & the amazing price point that you will be guaranteed to find off the island.

But in reality no one really claims all of what they've bought. We always fudge amounts as does everyone I am sure because sometimes customs really do go overboard. Here's one area where we need them to slack off & not be over zealous about their job. We heard about this one instance where the customs dog began sniffing this guy's golf clubs. So the customs officer cut off the drivers (not one but all of them) to make sure it was not packed with any sort of illegal substance. Of course it wasn't but customs nonchalantly handed his clubs sans drivers back to him. The poor guy must have been mad with rage. Heck I'd be too. Those things cost a pretty penny. Were they expecting him to super glue the drivers back to the clubs? Guess he didn't go golfing as planned!

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