Longer waiting times at checkpoints over Chinese New Year due to tighter security: ICA

Outgoing traffic through the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints is expected to build up from Saturday to next Thursday, the eve of Chinese New Year.
Outgoing traffic through the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints is expected to build up from Saturday to next Thursday, the eve of Chinese New Year.PHOTO: BH FILE

SINGAPORE - Those making a trip across the Causeway over the Chinese New Year holiday should expect longer than usual waiting times at the checkpoints due to tighter security checks, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Tuesday (Feb 6).

Outgoing traffic through the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints is expected to build up from Saturday to next Thursday, the eve of Chinese New Year.

ICA said the checkpoints would also see heavy traffic in both directions from Feb 16 - the first day of Chinese New Year - to Feb 20.

"Security at our checkpoints remains the ICA's top priority against any potential threats to Singapore," it said in a statement.

The BioScreen system, which captures the thumbprints of arriving and departing travellers, has been implemented progressively at all checkpoints.

"With security checks, traffic build-up is inevitable, especially when a large number of travellers use the checkpoints at the same time," ICA said. "Travellers are advised to adjust their travel plans if possible."

It also reminded travellers that they should not bring in prohibited items, such as firecrackers.

Controlled items such as bak kwa, eggs and potted plants will be subjected to the travellers' allowance only from approved countries. Travellers can check the ICA website www.ica.gov.sg for details.

They should also ensure that they are using their own passports, with a remaining validity of six months or more, before going on their trip.

"There have been instances of Singaporeans presenting wrong passports or passports which have been reported lost for immigration clearance," the statement said. "Such cases will lead to delays and cause inconvenience to the passport holders and other checkpoints users."

All goods imported into Singapore are subjected to goods and services tax (GST). However, GST for goods valued below $150 is not applicable for travellers who are out of Singapore for less than 48 hours. For those who are away for more than 48 hours, GST is exempt for goods valued up to $600.

There is no GST relief for liquor, tobacco products, petroleum and goods imported for commercial purposes.

In addition, motorists are advised to check the traffic situation at Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints through the Land Transport Authority's One Motoring website, or via the Expressway Monitoring and Advisory System.