Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Immigration Guide for Tourists Travelling to Singapore

Each country has their own legal system, including the immigration process. Here is the general information on Customs formalities and clearance procedures you need to take note of when you're entering Singapore.


The Red and Green Channel system are operated at all entry checkpoints to smooth up travellers' arriving clearance. If you are arriving by car (from Johor Bahru, Malaysia), you will see signs that direct you to the Red and Green Channel. These signs are located along the route after immigration clearance. Other passengers arriving from air sea, and land (bus/coach and train) will see the Red and Green Channel signs above the examination counters in the Arrival Hall at the respective checkpoints.

Red Channel: Goods to declare

Singapore Immigration Red ChannelIf you carry any of the items below, you must proceed to the Red Channel: Dutiable or taxable goods exceeding your duty-free concession or GST relief. Controlled or restricted goods. Prohibited goods. Inform the officers if you carry any of the items, and show the item(s) together with its import permit or authorisation from the relevant authorities.

Green Channel: Nothing to declare

Singapore Immigration Green ChannelIf you are not carrying any of the 3 types of goods stated above, you can proceed to the Green Channel. However, the officers may still conduct selective checks in this channel.


It is an offence to proceed to the Green Channel with any goods exceeding your duty-free concession and GST relief. The fine is up to S$10,000 or imprisonment.

Duty-free liquors

If you meet the following conditions, you can get duty-free concession for liquors:

  1. You are 18 years old or above;
  2. You have spent 48 hours or more outside Singapore immediately before arrival;
  3. You have not arrived from Malaysia; and

The liquors are for your personal consumption and not prohibited for import into Singapore.

Duty-free concession options for liquors

Singapore Immigration liquor allowance

Controlled goods

Controlled goods mean the items that require an import permit or authorisation form from the relevant controlling authority before they can be brought into Singapore. Please produce the goods and the import permit or authorisation at the Red Channel for clearance. Some of the items on controlled goods list are:
  • Animals (birds, fishes, etc) and their by-products.
  • CDs, DVDs, films, and video games.
  • Arms and explosives.
  • Medicines and pharmaceutical products.
  • Telecommunication and radio communication equipment.
  • Handcuffs and nightsticks.

Prohibited goods

Some of the items that are not allowed to be brought into Singapore include:
  • Chewing tobacco and imitation tobacco product.
  • Chewing gum.
  • Cigarette lighters of pistol or revolver shape.
  • Controlled drugs and psychotropic substances.
  • Endangered species of wildlife and their by-product.
  • Firecrackers.
  • Obscene articles, publications, video tapes/discs and software.
  • Reproduction of copyright publications, video tapes, video discs, laser discs records or cassettes.
  • Seditious and treasonable materials.

Singapore Customs

Call centre number: +65 6355 2000
Fax: +65 6250 8663
Email: customs_feedback@customs.gov.sg
Website: www.customs.gov.sg
Address: 55 Newton Road #10-01, Revenue House Singapore 307987

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