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Lake Hawea, New Zealand



Updates on Bermuda Travel Information

Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory, is a major offshore financial center. It is the third largest reinsurance center in the world and the second largest captive insurance domicile. Bermuda is not considered a major drug transit country. To the extent money laundering occurs in Bermuda, it is believed to be principally related to the domestic drug trade. Money laundering proceeds are controlled primarily by domestic gangs, which have proliferated in recent years.

There is no significant black market for smuggled goods in Bermuda. There is no known money laundering/terrorist financing activity through free trade zones, or money or other value transfer services in Bermuda. However, there were cases where domestic criminals utilized the formal financial sector for money laundering purposes. Bermuda does not permit offshore banks. A foreign bank may establish a subsidiary as a Bermuda company with its own board of directors, but it may not establish a branch. Bermuda does not permit bearer shares, nor does it permit shell companies. Sports betting is legal, but online betting and casinos are not permitted.

All persons traveling between the United States and Bermuda are required to present a passport to enter Bermuda or re-enter the United States. Travelers with questions concerning travel to Bermuda may contact the British Embassy in Washington, DC or any of the British Consulate General offices across the United States.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Bermuda.

Crime: By comparison to the United States, Bermuda has a low to moderate crime rate. Recent crime statistics are available at the official website of the Bermuda Police Service. Valuables left unattended in public areas, in unsecured hotel rooms, or on rental motorbikes are vulnerable to theft. Criminals have been known to target visitors on motorbikes and at popular tourist attractions, and purse snatchings (perpetrated by thieves riding motorbikes) and muggings have occurred in the past. The back streets of the City of Hamilton have been the setting for nighttime assaults, particularly at night after the bars close. Travelers should exercise caution when walking after dark or visiting out-of-the-way places on the island as they can be vulnerable to theft and assault, and because narrow and dark roadways can contribute to accidents.
Travelers should note the presence of gangs and illegal drug activity in Bermuda. There have been no reports of gang violence targeted towards visitors to Bermuda, although gang-related shooting incidents have occurred and continue to occur throughout the island. In November and December 2014 alone, there were four shooting incidents that resulted on one death and four wounded persons.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Victims of Crime: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The U.S. Consulate in Bermuda can:

Although Bermuda does not have a formalized Victims of Crime Program, there is a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board c/o The Supreme Court, 113 Front Street, Hamilton HM 12, Bermuda. Telephone (441) 292-1350. Facsimile (441) 292-2268.

As in the United States, the emergency line in Bermuda is “911.”

Criminal Penalties: While you are traveling in Bermuda, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Bermuda, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.

Persons violating Bermuda’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Bermuda Customs routinely boards visiting cruise ships with drug sniffing dogs and will arrest persons found to have any illegal drugs in their cabin. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Bermuda are severe, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and/or heavy fines. In December 2014, Bermuda passed legislation adding cannabinoid pharmaceutical products Dronabinol (Marinol), Nabilone (Cesamet), and Nabiximols (Sativex) to the list of substances available by prescription. Having a prescription for marijuana or any other drug currently illegal in Bermuda will not protect you from arrest or prosecution for possession of that illegal drug.

Special Circumstances: The Department of State warns United States citizens against taking any type of firearm, ammunition or component of a firearm into Bermuda. The Bermuda government strictly enforces its laws restricting the entry of weapons and ammunition. Entering Bermuda with a firearm, some bladed instruments, an ammunition magazine, or even a single round of ammunition is illegal, even if the weapon or ammunition is taken into the country unintentionally. Permission to import or own a gun in Bermuda must be sought in advance from the Bermuda Police Service. Any privately owned firearms must be secured at Bermuda Police Headquarters. Violations may result in arrest, convictions, and potentially long prison sentences. Pepper sprays and stun guns are considered dangerous weapons in Bermuda and are illegal.

Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

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