Singapore’s Duty Free Allowances and Staying Out of Trouble
Even “good” vacationers can inadvertently get in difficulty in Singapore.
Good behavior is awarded with an interesting city-island-country to discover. However poor behavior could make you go Singa-poor faster than you like– even for seemingly harmless violations. For example, distractedly obtaining onto the MRT train with a beverage in your hand might set you back S$ 500 if you get busted.
Locals and also resident deportees recognize exactly how to navigate their “penalty” city best; follow their lead. You do not need to see your step also very closely the whole time in Singapore, just do not watch those steps jaywalk in front of the pleasant law enforcer. They skillfully possess fines that need to be paid prior to departure!
How Strict Are They Really?
That depends. Like many places, several of the radical laws on guides are essentially simply straw reviewed by travelers. Although the maximum penalties seem a little harsh (e.g., swiping a Wi-Fi signal can land you three years in prison), the authorities most likely would need to remain in an extremely tiff to burden the lawful system and also consular offices for that.
However, outright violations such as going down a cigarette or tipping around the corner when the line for the shower room at a celebration is too long will certainly obtain you in problem.
Below are some ways you can technically get fined in Singapore:
- Feeding pigeons
- Not flushing a public toilet
- Smoking outside of designated areas
- Spitting in public
- Bringing in pirated DVDs
- Being caught with porn (internet browser cache counts, as does certain swimsuit magazines)
- Bringing in electronic cigarettes
- Bringing in non-medical chewing gum
Some controversial legislations are so heavy-handed that they are rarely enforced. Homosexuality is formally still illegal in Singapore. Being discovered naked in your own residence counts as indecency, however, there is a similar legislation in Virginia.
Technically, by neighborhood regulation, getting here in Singapore with drugs in your blood counts the like bringing drugs into the country. You can encounter prison time for failing a drug examination whether you did the drugs in Singapore or otherwise.
No Food or Drinks on Public Transportation
The exceptional MRT train system in Singapore is tidy for a reason: no food or drinks of any kind of kind are permitted. The no-food-or-drink guideline is strictly imposed. Cameras as well as officials vigilantly keep track of all settings of public transport. Consuming tiny snacks, eating periodontal, and also taking a drink are forbidden– wait until you arrive!
Singapore Is Hard on Smokers
Smoking cigarettes isn’t practical in Singapore. Unlike much of Southeast Asia where cigarette costs are low and usage is high, Singapore is an exemption. Cigarette smoking is absolutely one of two easy ways to blow a traveling budget plan (alcohol consumption is the other). Or else, Singapore isn’t as costly as the majority of budget travelers fear.
Smoking cigarettes in the wrong place or leaving a butt behind are severe offenses in Singapore. You’ll certainly bring in a great if seen by a policeman who isn’t in a flexible mood.
Technically, Singapore has no duty-free allowance for any number of cigarettes brought into the country — not even a single pack. This catches a great deal of travelers by shock. Do not believe you can beat Singapore’s harsh cigarette tax obligations by bringing an inexpensive box from Thailand or Malaysia. Bags are scanned for precisely such things.
Travelers are expected to declare all tobacco products brought into the country or risk facing a S$200 fine for the first offense. Customs agents at the flight terminal are usually tolerant and also might allow an opened up pack with a couple of cigarettes missing out on to be performed, but by legislation, they do not have to make any type of allocations. Enforcement seems to be a lot more rigorous at the land border with Malaysia.
Smoking is unlawful indoors as well as on the majority of outdoor patios. As of January 2013, smoking cigarettes was also banned on all covered pathways, pedestrian bridges, and within 15 feet of bus quits. If you aren’t certain, do not smoke unless a permanent-looking ashtray is present.
Electronic cigarettes are banned in Singapore as is chewing tobacco. Don’t use these products in public, even in designated smoking areas. Pretty well all nicotine-delivery systems are illegal to bring into Singapore, this includes nicotine gum and patches.
Bringing Alcohol into Singapore
Travelers are given a duty-free allowance for up to three liters of alcohol in one of these possible combinations:
- 1 liter of spirits, 1 liter of wine, and 1 liter of beer
- 2 liters of wine, 1 liter of beer
- 1 liter of wine, 2 liters of beer
But there is a catch: you need to be at the very least 18 years of ages, have invested at least two days beyond Singapore, and also can’t be showing up from Malaysia. That last terms causes some vacationers to obtain busted.
If you get here with greater than one bottle of spirits, you’ll need to experience the Red Channel and pay a steep responsibility tax obligation.
Staying Out of Trouble at Customs
If you read this on the airplane to Changi and also have a bag full of contraband products, don’t panic: there is a remedy. You practically haven’t broken the regulation up until you exit with custom-mades.
If you didn’t trash any suspicious things yet, you can decide to experience the Red Network at customs as well as declare what you are lugging. Although the suggestion of doing so makes most vacationers cringe (was that a rubber glove that simply snapped?), the policemans will merely confiscate items that aren’t appropriate.
If you go with the Green Channel with contraband, be planned for a lot of trouble concluded with a high fine.
The Singapore Customs website will have the latest on restricted goods and allowances.
Is Chewing Gum Really Illegal in Singapore?
Really, no. However selling gum tissue or bringing it into the nation is prohibited.
Gum tissue for oral or clinical reasons (leaving out smoking-cessation gum tissues) is enabled, but you’ll need proof that chewing is in some way helping your body. Restorative gum tissue has to be purchased from a dental practitioner or pharmacologist, and they need to tape your personal details.
Spitting gum out is a certain means to bring down the rage of the nation’s hard clutter legislations. Just to be risk-free, do not slap that gum as well noisally when about public authorities.
Singapore’s Drug Laws
Singapore’s drug laws are draconian, even by Southeast Asian standards—which are tough anyway. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte stole the title once held by Singapore for harshest stance on drugs with his deadly 2016 Drug War in the Philippines.
Drug smugglers in Singapore receive a mandatory death penalty. Although rare, police have the right to demand random drug tests for tourists. If you test positive for controlled substances, you could be jailed and fined whether or not you partook in Singapore.
Pornography Is Illegal in Singapore
Similar to several various other nations in Southeast Asia, pornography of any kind of kind– digital or print– is illegal in Singapore.
Although anti-pornography regulations are common, the real enforcement can be create for privacy problem. The authorities may take and also duplicate your smartphone or hard disk at any time along with search your video camera and also any other kind of digital storage. Momentary files in an internet web browser cache may contain what is still taken into consideration adult images.
Avoid carrying magazines with provocative covers (e.g., specific men’s publications, bikini editions, etc). Publications aren’t the only means to obtain broken for pornography: some preferred computer game (consisting of ones regarding stealing cars and trucks) are outlawed as a result of scanty bikinis and also such.
Note: Singapore has stringent laws to curb digital piracy. Even if your hard disk drive is clean of pornography, you could still be busted for copies of “illegal” flicks or music unless you show ownership.
Don’t Criticize the Government
Ever. Although Singapore has a thriving art motion, the Singaporean government purely keeps an eye on media and also the internet for any kind of outspoken objection of the government. That includes what you publish on social media sites.
Enjoy what you write about, a minimum of till you’re outside of the country. Books that speak up versus the government are prohibited and blacklisted. The Singaporean government also came under criticism by the United Nations in 2011 for civils rights problems associated with totally free expression.