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SINGAPORE    High & Low Tides



     There is no limit on the amount of currency you can bring into Singapore.

     If you are 18 years old or above and are arriving from a country other than Malaysia and have spent no less than 48 hours outside Singapore immediately before your arrival, you may use the following duty free concessions for personal consumption:

     Spirits           :           1 litre

     Wine or port :           1 litre

     Beer, Stout or ale :   1 litre

     There are no concessions on cigarettes and other tobacco products. This is in line with the government's campaign to discourage smoking.

     Excess dutiable items may be left in Customs Bond until your departure, provided this is from the same point of entry. Storage costs are chargeable.

    There is a 5%* Goods and Services Tax (GST) levied on all goods imported into Singapore. A bona fide traveller, other than holders of work permit, employment pass, student pass, dependent pass or long term pass, will be given relief on GST on new purchases, gifts, souvenirs and food preparations, excluding liquor and tobacco, up to the value of:

     -S$200 if you have been away from Singapore for less than 48 hours.

     -S$400 if you have been away form Singapore for 48 hours or more.

     In line with most other countries, Singapore prohibits the entry of some items, while others are subject to controls and restrictions.

     Other prohibited items include:

     - Chewing gum

     - Chewing tobacco and imitation tobacco products

     - Cigarette lighters of pistol/revolver shape

     - Controlled drugs and psychotropic substances

     - Endangered species of wildlife and their by-products.

     This list of controlled and restricted items is by no means exhaustive. Please contact the following authorities for further information. These items can be allowed into Singapore by applying for an import permit or authorisation from the relevant authorities.

     ITEM                                             AUTHORITY

     Animals, birds and their          Primary Production Department

     by-products and plants           Tel: 1800 226 2250

     with soil.

     Arms and explosives,             Singapore Police Force

     bullet proof clothing, toy         Tel:(65) 6734 4162

     guns, pistols, revolvers,

     weapons, kris, spears

     and swords.

     Cartridges, cassettes (pre-      Ministry of Information & the Arts

     recorded), newspapers,           Tel: 1800 375 7080

     books and magazines.

     Films, video tapes and            Board of Film Censors


     Medicines, poisons and          Drug Administration Division

     pharmaceuticals.                   Tel:(65) 6325 5639

     Telecommunication and         Telecommunication Authority of

     radio equipment, toy              Singapore

     walkie talkies.                       Tel:(65) 63221948 / 6322 1857

     Toy Singapore coins and        Board of Commissioners of Currency

     currency notes.                     Tel:(65) 6325 9815


*GST Rate - 3% since 1 Apr 1994,

1st Rate Change- 4% from 1 Jan 2003,
2nd Rate Change - 5% from 1 Jan 2004



     Clearance of Travellers through Customs

     - Red and Green Channels for customs clearance (important)

     Taking up residence in Singapore? Read THIS!

     Establishment of Singapore Customs





Cosmetic products to be regulated from 1 Jan 2008

Effective from 1 January 2008, all new products must comply with the ACD requirements and notify HSA prior to sale.
All existing products that are currently sold in the local market will be given 12 months to notify HSA and to fully comply with the requirements by 1 Jan 2011...



Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act passed

Clause 11 of the Bill makes it mandatory for anyone physically carrying currency and bearer negotiable instruments or CBNI, above S$30,000, into or out of Singapore, to declare this to the authorities at the checkpoints...

The threshold amount of S$30,000 is based on the recommendation by the FATF, and includes not only currency in circulation, but also bearer negotiable instruments such as travellers cheques, money orders, cheques, bonds and promissory notes...
Hence, for clarity, a crossed cheque made payable to a specific person with the word “bearer” deleted is not considered a bearer negotiable instrument because only the person named on the cheque can receive the amount stated on it.
The new measure would be non-discriminatory and will be imposed on all travellers, including citizens, residents and foreigners, entering and exiting the country.
The penalties for non-declaration and false declaration are a maximum fine of S$50,000 or a term of imprisonment of up to 3 years or both...


     - Police arrest Malaysian for smuggling counterfeit S$1 coins


 Singapore to hold large-scale flu pandemic exercise

21-22 Jul 2006

"This large scale exercise will involve over 1,000 personnel from MOH, the Ministry of Education (MOE), home-front and related agencies such as the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Immigration and Checkpoint Authority (ICA), Maritime Port Authority (MPA) and the People's Association..."


     - Food items individual travellers may bring into Singapore



Nguyen Tuong Van Case: Separating fact from fiction

"If we let off a convicted courier because of age, financial difficulties or distressed family background, it will only make it easier for drug traffickers to recruit more "mules", with the assurance that they will escape the death penalty..."



Woman fined $3000 for hindering ICA officers in their duties

"Mdm Tan had returned to Singapore from China on 30th September 2005 at about 7.40 pm through the Changi International Airport Terminal 2. ICA officers noticed that she had brought two roast geese from China with her to Singapore.

"Mdm Tan was informed she had to surrender the two roast geese for disposal, as she did not have a licence to bring them in. She hindered the ICA officers in the execution of their duties by refusing to surrender the roast geese brought from China and subsequently throwing the roast geese onto the floor..."


      - Changi Airport's no-frills terminal ready in early 2006

     - Equipment to detect terrorist shipments of nuclear material

     - 11,790 Immigration Offenders Arrested in 2004

     - Foreign Vehicle Entry Permit operating hours shortened from 4 Feb 05


Changes to Vehicle Entry Permit scheme for visitors from 6 Dec 2004

Reduction in VEP fees from S$30 to S$20 a day for foreign motorists driving foreign-registered cars into Singapore.
Reduction in the VEP operating hours on weekdays for the 6 December to 31 December 2004 period. The VEP will end at 12.00 noon instead of 7.00 pm.
Reduction in the fixed priced ERP charges from S$10 to S$5 a day, for visiting motorists who choose to use ERP-priced roads during ERP operating hours but do not have In-Vehicle Units (IUs) in their cars.
The normal toll charges for foreign-registered cars will still apply.

     - Changi Airport tests automated check-in & immigration system

     - Enhanced safety requirements for motorised bicycles & riders

     - Resumption of poultry & egg imports from Malacca & Johor

     - Update on Poultry & Egg Supply Situation in Singapore


Suspension of poultry imports from Malaysia

AVA has concurrently imposed a suspension on imports of poultry and poultry products from Malaysia with immediate effect (18 Aug 2004).

AVA would like to assure the public that poultry and poultry products in Singapore are safe for consumption.


     - Taxing cigarettes by stick from 1 July 2003



  The Customs & Excise Department has pumped in S$8.8 million for the installation of new equipment to boost border security. The equipment includes two high-tech gamma-ray scanners which allow officers to "see" the contents of cargo containers without opening them physically. The scanners will be used at Tanjong Pagar Gate, where 90 per cent of cargo containers pass through, and Pasir Panjang Terminal Gate. (Straits Times 29 Nov 2002) (H2)

  United States Customs officials will soon be deployed at ports here to help the authorities ensure that goods being shipped to the US are "clean". Singapore is the first country in Asia to adopt the new counter-terrorism security procedures under a Container Security Initiative proposed by US Customs in January. More than 50,000 containers arrive in the US daily from all over the world and Singapore reportedly ranks third after Hongkong and Shanghai in the volume of US-bound container traffic. (Straits Times 10 Jun 2002) (4)

  Last year, the Customs Department seized nearly 30 kg of drugs, including heroin, opium and Yaba tablets. This was nearly five times the amount seized the year before. Customs officers seized 13,343 kg of tobacco - the equivalent of over 66,700 cartons of cigarettes - compared to only 7,965 kg or about 39,825 cartons in 2000. The Customs Department has about 1,300 officers who belong to 13 branches. (Straits Times 21 Apr 2002)(1)

  Two new checkpoints for Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) clearance have been set up at Clifford Pier and the West Coast Ferry Terminal. The facilities, which started operating on Monday, will enable customs officers to check and clear crew members and Singaporeans returning from ships anchored in Singapore waters. (Straits Times 19 Apr 2002) (H2)


  Nearly 12,400 people were caught last year trying to sneak cigarettes into Singapore without paying duty on them. In 1999, the Customs and Excise Department picked up about 9,500 such people. More than 90% of them tried to bring in one or two packets of cigarettes without paying tax. Mr LEE Kok Fatt, the department's head of public relations said that the quantity of cigarettes seized has dropped by almost half, from about 24,000 kg in 1999 to almost 13,800 kg in 2000. The government has been raising the tax on tobacco products gradually over the years. It was increased from S$130 per kg of tobacco to S$150 in February 2000 and to S$180 in February 2001. The latest rise in tobacco taxes means that consumers are paying S$3.60 in duty on every pack of 20 cigarettes they buy. This is 20% more than before. (Straits Times 20 Mar 2001)


  Applicants for an ordinary liquor licence can now go online, submit and post it on the Customs and Excise Department's website. The department's website, customs, also accepts e-mail objections from parties opposed to the application. The new system came into effect on Monday 2 Oct 2000.



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