Shipping to Bermuda
Are you thinking of relocating to Bermuda? Once you have made the decision to relocate, there are many things to consider and organise, not least how you are going to go about transferring your personal belongings.
It is here that choosing the right international removals company is so important. But with so many to choose from and each offering different estimations on price and packages it is difficult to know which one to go with. Many opt for the company offering the lowest priced quote, only to later find out certain services are not included or are substandard.
White & Company have been in the international removals business for 145 years and have relocated people to Bermuda and all around the globe. Despite our global reach we still manage to retain that feel of being a close-knit company with strong ties to the local communities we serve. Indeed, much of our business is generated through word of mouth, a fact that we are very proud of.
Whether you are moving from Hampshire to Hamilton, or Stoke-on-Trent to St Georges, our door-to-door freight service is hard to beat!
Why Move to Bermuda?
Have you been dreaming of ditching grey skies and the morning commute in favour of a new life on the shores of an exotic island? Look no further than the tiny island of Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean with a splendid subtropical climate and little forecast of rain. English is the main language spoken and the culture is a subtle and friendly blend of British, Caribbean and American influences. In fact, old traditions such as the taking of English afternoon tea remain giving the island a welcoming and familiar appeal to over 20,000 expats. (nearly a third of the population).
The island’s tourism sector is thriving, with thousands of holidaymakers descending upon the island each year, making it a popular haunt for famous celebrities such as Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Hamilton, the capital of Bermuda since 1815, is home to many of the island’s shops, restaurants and almost all its nightlife with drumming and dancing troupes often taking to the streets in numbers.
Those seeking refuge from the bustle of the capital can escape to the secluded paradise of Robson’s Cove. Perched on limestone cliffs, the cove provides a more relaxing ambience at the opposite end of the mainland, offering privacy and outstanding views of the coastline. When not swimming or snorkelling in the eloquently warm waters you can indulge in BBQ grills and rum cocktails at one of the many hotel restaurants scattered along the shores.
All of this comes at a price however. Despite Bermuda’s generous wage packets the island is incredibly expensive, and the cost of living is high. Those looking for a more laid back, relaxing and safe lifestyle surrounded by beautiful clear blue seas however can do far worse than the pastel pink sands of Bermuda.
Working in Bermuda
Balmy Bermuda enjoys a thriving economy and international business sector based on offshore insurance and reinsurance which attract significant pay and benefit packages for its employees and generous tax incentives.
As an expat, your Bermudan employer must apply for and obtain a Government work permit, which will enable you to work on the island for a maximum of ten years. Bermudian work permits only allow you to have one employer and you are not permitted to have two jobs. For a permit to be issued, employers must prove to the Government that they have sought a qualified Bermudian for your position first, and that none were available to fill the job.
For more detailed information on work permit applications just visit the following web site:
Moving to a new country is a huge, life changing experience. Currency, laws, health, taxes, bank accounts, driving, and public travel are just a few of the new aspects of life you will need to adjust to.
For some helpful tips and information on settling into life in Bermuda, visit some of the many Expat forums online:
Importing personal effects into Bermuda is a straightforward process however, being aware of Bermuda’s customs regulations is imperative if you want a hassle-free import experience. Problems can lead to lengthy delays as well as incurring demurrage fees and port charges.
Documents required for import of house hold effects:
Work Permit (Non-Bermudian)
Transfer of Residence Allowance (TRA)
Customs Traveller Declaration Form 98 (CTD)
Cash Valuation Sheet
Original Bill of Lading (OBL) / Air Waybill (AWB)
Detailed inventory list
Certain items are strictly prohibited for import:
Weapons and ammunition
To ensure that you are aware of restricted and prohibited items visit the following web sites:
Bright pink with blue stripes, the island’s buses are hard to miss. They are also frequent, plentiful and reasonably priced making them a very efficient means of travelling around the island. To help save on transport costs, you can purchase a Transportation Pass, available for one, three and seven days of unlimited use on buses and ferries.
Bermudan law prohibits anyone from driving a car without a Bermudan driver’s license and only residents can obtain a driver’s license. As such many expats choose to travel by bicycle, scooter or moped. You can also hire a small boat to explore the smaller islands surrounding Bermuda.
Bermuda does not have a publicly funded healthcare system. Even senior citizens are not covered under any national healthcare program. Even though it is a British Overseas Territory, there is no reciprocal healthcare arrangement in place with other countries. This makes healthcare in the region an expensive affair and the law does instruct all employers to provide local health insurance to their employees, whether local or foreigner.
The following web sites offer further information and cost of health insurance:
If you are looking to purchase a home on the island, you will find it both costly and complicated. You must obtain an Acquisition License from Bermuda’s Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs first. The Acquisition License fee is 15% of the purchase price for condominium units, and 22% for houses.
There are also some restrictions placed on which properties expats may purchase. Interested non-residents can only acquire condominium units in ‘special development areas’ approved for foreign ownership. When a property has been chosen, and a price agreed, a sales agreement is prepared and executed. The buyer is then required to place down a 10% deposit which is held until the transaction is closed. The current average price per square metre of real estate is $6229 (£4583).
As such the current consensus is to rent before you buy. This gives you an opportunity to explore the island and decide which area best suits your needs. It also gives you time to investigate and decide whether or not you want to tackle the complex purchasing process or not.
Renting a property in Bermuda is a relatively easy procedure but it is again very expensive. Depending on the employer, you may be granted a housing allowance to assist in paying your rent. To rent a 3-bedroom apartment in the town, you can expect to pay approximately $5875 (£4,322) per month. For a similar property on the outskirts of the town this drops to $4472.00 (£3,290).
The following web sites have some very useful information regarding renting and house hunting tips before you begin your search for property in Bermuda.
There are a number of schools in Bermuda and children are required to attend school until they are 16 years old. Some of them are public schools run by the government and some are privately run. Public schools operate on a three-tier system. Primary school, middle school and high school (or the secondary school). Most private schools essentially follow the same structure to complete the required course curriculum as in the UK.
Expats normally choose to educate their children in private or international schools, however the fees are high. Some employers will assist with the costs involved.
For a list of the best international schools in Bermuda, fees and curriculums visit the following web sites:
White & Company
International Removals since 1871
We recommend a visit from one of our Surveyors for all International moves, so that we can assess your requirements, and the volume of goods to be moved.
Popular Places to Relocate in Bermuda
What Others Say…
Wayne Middleton and Brian Witherford were professional and extremely helpful. Did a brilliant job. Would recommend Whites to anyone. Thanks very much.
Have used this company regularly for 5 years including my time in the armed forces. They are professional and efficient. Will use them again on our next move.
The move went very smoothly and they were very polite.
A very smooth move by White and Co. The team worked very hard and were polite, professional and helpful.