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Woodlands checkpoint during pick hour (Photo by Nashriq Mohd from Shutterstock.com)

Commuters to Malaysia asked to plan journey for holiday season

Traffic is expected to be particularly heavy on weekends throughout the holiday period as the year-end school holiday approaches, warned  the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in a press release on Monday (12 November).

The authority noted that travellers using the land checkpoints during this period can expect delays and should take note of this advisory.

ICA stressed that security at the checkpoints remains its top priority against any potential threats to Singapore. With security checks, traffic build-up is inevitable, especially when large number of travellers use the checkpoints at the same time and travellers are advised to adjust their travel plans where necessary.

The authority also reminded travellers are reminded not to bring in prohibited items such as ‘Pop-Pop” and chewing gum.

If travellers bring in dutiable or controlled items such as eggs, meat products and potted plants, ICA siad that they should proactively make declarations to the officers prior to checks. Travellers are advised to visit the ICA website for more details.

ICA also reminded travellers to check and ensure that they are using their own passports with a remaining validity of six months or more before setting off on their journey. There have been instances of Singaporeans presenting wrong passports or passports which have been reported lost for immigration clearance. Such cases will lead to delays and cause inconvenience to the passport holders and other checkpoints users. These passports can no longer be used for travelling even if they are found subsequently.

ICA stressed that these passports will be cancelled by ICA, and any attempt to use them is an offence under the Passports Act and may be punished by a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment of up to 10 years, or both.  Passports that have been recovered must be surrendered to ICA within 14 days. Failure to surrender the recovered passport is an offence under the Passports Regulations and may be punished by a fine of up to $3,000 or imprisonment for up to 2 years, or both.

The authority also reminded travellers that all goods imported into Singapore are subjected to Goods and Services Tax (GST). Travellers (non-pass holders) will be given GST relief on new articles, souvenirs, gifts and food preparations (excluding intoxicating liquors, tobacco and petroleum products) meant for their personal use up to the following value of the goods.

For greater convenience, travellers may also use the [email protected] mobile app to declare and pay duty and GST before arriving at the checkpoint in Singapore and travellers can visit CustomSG website for more information.

ICA also advised motorists to check the traffic situation before embarking on the journey at Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints through One Motoring website or via the Expressway Monitoring & Advisory System (EMAS) installed along the BKE and AYE respectively.