Longer waiting time at checkpoints during CNY; travellers reminded not to bring in prohibited items

Traffic at the Causeway on March 27, 2016.
Traffic at the Causeway on March 27, 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - As the busy Chinese New Year period approaches, traffic at the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints is expected to be heavy, especially from Thursday (Jan 26) to next Tuesday, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said in a release on Tuesday (Jan 24).

The number of travellers using the checkpoints is expected to increase from 400,000 to 430,000 during this peak period, ICA said.

"Travellers should expect a longer than usual waiting time as there will be tight security checks at the checkpoints," it added.

Motorists are advised to check the traffic situation before embarking on their journeys.

ICA also reminded travellers not to bring in prohibited items such as firecrackers, while controlled items such as bak kwa, eggs and potted plants are subject to travellers' allowance from approved countries. Travellers can check the ICA website for more details.

More than 46,000 cases of contraband items were detected at Singapore's land checkpoints last year. This works out to an average of 126 cases per day, ICA revealed.                

Among the more recent cases detected at Woodlands Checkpoint include the Jan 18 seizure of 3,998 cartons and 40 packets of duty-unpaid cigarettes among a consignment declared to be fruits, vegetables and flowers.

Duty-unpaid cigarettes and illegal firecrackers were among the recent items seized at Woodlands checkpoint. PHOTOS: ICA 

The potential duty and GST amounted to about $312,880 and $31,410 respectively.

Another case on Jan 17 saw a box of fireworks that were discovered in the boot of a Malaysia-registered car.

Last Sunday, a 62-year-old Singaporean woman attempting to bring 15 boxes of "Pop-Pop" brand firecrackers into Singapore was also stopped at the checkpoint.

ICA also reminded travellers to check and ensure they use their own passports with a remaining validity of six months or more.

Last year, about 800 cases of Singaporeans using wrong passports or passports earlier reported as lost or stolen were detected at the land checkpoints.