Various items are restricted when they are imported into Singapore. There are many important reasons why the Singaporean government requires such items to be restricted. It restricts such items for the sake of the health and safety of everyone who lives in Singapore today.
Different countries have different import regulations which are imposed on citizens and international tourists alike. Most import restrictions prohibit certain commodities from being brought into a country. The list of prohibited items in most countries include edible items, animals, and both prescribed and non-prescribed drugs.
One of the common mistakes made by those entering a country is that of bringing in goods to a country without first checking whether such goods or commodities are restricted in that country; they might only realize that such is the case upon arrival. Therefore, most countries through their embassies have information on prohibited items in the specific country represented by the embassy.
Import Restrictions in Singapore
Singapore is a country which attracts many tourists from all over the world. Just as is the case in any other country, Singapore has import restrictions which are imposed on Singaporeans and foreigners alike. There are various items which are subject to import restrictions in Singapore. Such items include food items such as meat, meat products, fruits, vegetables, fish, and seafood products; pornographic videos, video games, and audio recordings; guns and ammunition; prescribed and non-prescribed medication; plants; poisonous substances; and animals.
Information on Importing Restricted Items in Singapore
Singapore allows the importation of all food products for its citizens and tourists. However, a person who imports such food items into Singapore must first obtain a license from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) as well as the Food Control Department. The importation of fresh fruits and vegetables is governed by the Plants Act which regulates that all packages for fresh fruits and vegetables are to be labeled accordingly. Regarding processed foods, the AVA demands a certificate of produced and manufactured products to ensure the safety of such products. Regulation of meat and seafood imports is done under the authority of the Wholesome Meat and Fish Act. All seafood products can be imported or exported into the country as long as they are chilled, frozen, or canned to an acceptable degree in the view relevant authorities. Food importation into Singapore requires approval to ensure that the foods being imported are safe for consumption so as to protect the health of the citizens.
The Media Development Authority (MDA) oversees the importation of all videos, audio recordings, and video games. The MDA may sometimes require a sample of the videos or audios imported. Singaporean laws stipulate that all media imported into the country must not contain any prohibited or obscene acts. The MDA provides an import permit after approval. Before one may import videos for commercial purposes into Singapore, the person must receive a facilitating custom clearance permit from the MDA upon importation. This permit provides information on the type of videos imported and is valid for one year upon renewal. However, it does not cover prohibited videos.
Guns and ammunition are cleared customs. The license related to importation of guns and ammunition is the Arms and Explosive License which is supplied by the Singapore Police Force. There is a licensing fee which is of a value dependent on the type of guns and ammunition imported. All licenses are issued on the condition that the person who will use the guns and ammunition is of sound mind; these licenses may be cancelled at any time if such is deemed necessary.
A person is allowed to import prescribed medication into Singapore if the quantity of the medicine is at least three months’ supply. To introduce the registered drugs into Singapore, importers require an Import License. Those seeking to sell the registered medication should apply for a Wholesale Dealers’ License with a copy of the pharmacy name before attempting to import the medication.
The AVA inspects all plants and plant products which enter Singapore; those which comply with the AVA’s requirements are given a custom clearance permit upon arrival. Those visiting Singapore while carrying plants are advised to find out what plants and plant products are to be brought into Singapore before doing so. They should also have a certification from the country of origin of the plants.
The importation of imported poisons which are meant for local sales will require the importer to first receive a Poison License. Applicants who are not operating a pharmacy, are visitors, or both are required to attend a brief training session before their license is approved. This training session is mandated by the Poison Act.
According to Singapore’s Animals and Birds Act, an import license must be obtained from the AVA one month before importation. For those who plan to import animals or birds for sale purposes, a fee must be paid in order to acquire a permit. Permits are available at no cost with regard to the importation of domestic animals.
The Regulation of Imports and Exports Acts under the Customs Act governs what may and may not be imported by visitors or citizens into the country. It is therefore crucial to be aware of the restrictions of a country and abide by their rules. Singaporean law requires one to pay for the required permits for specified time periods.
Those who import poisonous substances into Singapore require either a Form A Poison License by either an importer or company planning to import poisons either for retail or wholesale purposes. It costs an importer anywhere from S$100 to S$300 yearly.
Different license fees for the importation of food items apply in Singapore. The importation of fish, fish products, fresh fruits, and vegetables costs S$3 per batch; frozen meat and meat products, S$5 per kilogram; and canned meat, S$80 per quantity. A health certificate for each imported consignment is also to be obtained from the exporting country.
All licenses provided by the AVA for the importation of animals and birds are valid for one year upon renewal. Each license costs S$250; however, permits for domestic animals and birds permits are free.
Singapore is known to have strict regulations regarding firearms and ammunition. Therefore, receiving a license from the Police Licensing and Regulatory Department is not easy. Different licenses with different fees are available for each variety of guns and ammunition. In most cases, the import license fee is S$22 for two weeks per consignment. The same amount applies to explosives.
Plants and plant products which are imported into Singapore are subject to thorough inspection and subsequently, certification once approved. A permit for plants and products is paid per consignment; each payment costs S$32.
An Import License which may be obtained from the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is available to any importer who is not licensed to import such products. Any unregistered medicine in Singapore may be authorized by the HSA. For a new applicant, the fee is S$400. Licenses are renewed yearly at S$300. Should an importer lose a license, the importer is to pay S$60 for replacement.
Process of Acquiring Restricted Items After Approval
Regulation of the importation of all goods into Singapore is done according to the Singapore Customs Act, the Goods and Services Tax Act, and the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act. Therefore, payments for all imported goods apart from those which are duty-free have already been made. Permits account for all the imported goods as well as the tax payment for each. Once the authorities have given their approval, the importer must be willing to undergo a thorough search of all the imported goods or consignments upon arrival. Certificates from relevant authorities should also be available to provide evidence of the country of origin or show if the goods imported fulfill Singapore’s customs laws. If an importer does not comply with the importation laws of Singapore, fines, imprisonment, or both will follow.
Singapore’s laws on import restrictions are not likely to change even though it has an open economy and its borders and port are open to importation. Despite this fact, all controlled items can be imported into Singapore if all the necessary licenses are provided to the authorities and all rules and regulations are followed. However, that does not mean that Singapore’s laws on import restrictions will ever be ignored.
Singapore Import Restrictions FAQs
Why is it important to restrict the importation of certain items into a country?Tiwi2020-07-03T15:29:57+08:00
Countries have import restrictions to protect the safety and health of all citizens and foreigners living there. When a government senses danger which may be caused by the importation of an item, it may choose to ban or restrict the importation of such an item. If the imported items may threaten the economic condition of a country, a government may place restrictions which may be made through the trade authorities of both countries involved.
What products are subject to import control in Singapore?Tiwi2020-07-03T15:28:55+08:00
Some imported goods are duty-free, while certain others are subject to import control upon their arrival in Singapore. Chewing gum which is neither medicated nor approved by the Health Science Authority of Singapore (HSA) is prohibited. Singapore also restricts the entry of tobacco or any tobacco products into the country. Although all food items are allowed to brought into Singapore, food for human consumption from certain countries of origin can be restricted.
These, among other controlled goods, should be declared by an importer at the immigration checkpoint upon arrival in Singapore.