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So you know the obvious. Chewing gum is prohibited and so are electronic cigarettes.

But what about seafood? egg? Or maybe a nice tray of prosciutto you found in Italy, perfect for your Christmas charcuterie board?

The fun of vacation shopping is taking it home and prolonging the holiday spirit. Here’s what you need to know about what you can bring back from abroad as you wander the aisles of supermarkets, malls and liquor stores around the world.

The guidelines below refer to items for your own consumption.


Travelers may bring up to 2 liters of duty-free liquor, including spirits, wine and beer. Photo: AFP

If you have been abroad for more than 48 hours outside Malaysia, you can bring in 2 liters of alcoholic beverages such as spirits, wine and beer duty free. All alcoholic beverages you carry, whether purchased in Singapore or abroad, count toward your duty-free quota.

Be careful what category your drink falls into. For example, sake constitutes wine and shochu is considered a distilled liquor.

For more information,

want more? You can bring in up to 10 liters of alcohol duty-free without requiring a customs permit. To do this, open the Customs @ SG web application (, you can also do it overseas.

You do not need to declare it again when you return to Singapore, but please keep a copy of the downloaded receipt to show to customs officials if requested.

Use this formula to calculate the amount you have to pay in customs duty: Multiply the total amount in liters by the customs and/or sales tax rate and multiply by the percentage of alcohol content. For example, you would have to pay $12.32 for a 1 liter bottle of wine with 14% alcohol.

For a list of tariff rates,


Each traveler is allowed 5kg of meat products from approved countries. Photo: AFP

You can bring 5 kg of meat products per person, including prepared foods containing meat, only from approved countries. For the full list,

However, Malaysia, like Southeast Asian destinations such as Thailand and Indonesia, is not on the list of approved countries for meat products, so it does not bring bak wah (roasted sweet meat) from across the causeway. please


If you buy live or frozen oysters, they must come from one of the eight approved countries.Photo: Pixel

Up to 5kg of seafood is allowed on board, including frozen cooked crab meat and frozen cooked shrimp meat up to 2kg. These can come from any country.

However, if you buy live or frozen oysters, they must come from one of eight countries, including New Zealand, Australia and the United States. For the full list,

eggs, fruits, vegetables etc.

Grapes from Yamamoto Tourist Orchard in Yoichi, Hokkaido, Japan. ST PHOTO: Eunice Quek

Up to 30 chicken eggs can be brought in from multiple locations per person (, including West Malaysia.

For fresh fruits and vegetables, a hand-carrying bag or box constitutes a “small and reasonable quantity” as permitted by the Food Authority of Singapore. These can come from any country.

All other foods such as cheese, snacks, and powdered milk fall under the processed foods category. You can carry a maximum of 5kg or 5 liters as long as the value does not exceed $100. The only exception is the bird’s nest – up to 1kg is allowed and there is no limit on the value.


GST applies even if you pay foreign sales tax abroad. May also apply to gifts.Photo: Reuters

Goods and Services Tax (GST) must be paid on items that exceed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) exemption. $500 for more than 48 hours abroad, $100 for less than 48 hours.

This includes luxury items such as designer bags. For example, if from Singapore he travels for 2 weeks and buys a $15,000 bag, on $14,500 he will have to pay his GST at 7%.

of GST will be increased to 8% January 1.

It may also apply to foreign consumption tax paid overseas or to gift items. In the absence of a receipt, the value will be based on the price of identical or similar goods from the same country or the price of the goods when sold for export to Singapore (including shipping and insurance).

Similar to alcohol tax, you can pay GST abroad via the Customs @ SG web application or at the customs tax office upon arrival in Singapore.

For more travel articles, From bak kwa to designer bags: what you can (and can’t) bring into Singapore from your international travels, the latest travel news

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