Singapore

ICA: Expect to wait longer at checkpoints during CNY

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

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 starting their journey.

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 a day, ICA revealed.

Among the more recent cases 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.

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 was discovered in the boot of a Malaysia-registered car.

FIRECRACKERS

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

ICA also reminded travellers to ensure that 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 land checkpoints. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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