Money and duty free for Singapore
Currency and Money
Singapore Dollar (SGD; symbol S$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of S$10,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 2. Coins are in denominations of S$1, and 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 cents.
The currency of Brunei is also legal tender, although coins may not be accepted; 1 Brunei Dollar = 1 Singapore Dollar.
US Dollars, Australian Dollars, Yen and Pounds Sterling are also accepted at many major shopping centres in Singapore.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted, although cheaper eateries are likely to accept only cash.
ATMs are widespread and many will accept cards from overseas banks.
To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers from the UK are advised to take traveller's cheques in Pounds Sterling. A passport is required when cashing traveller's cheques.
Mon-Fri 0930-1500, Sat 0930-1230 (some are open later). Branches of certain major banks on Orchard Road open Sun 0930-1500.
There is no limit to the import and export of local or foreign currency, but amounts exceeding S$20,000 (or equivalent) should be declared on arrival.
Foreign currencies, traveller's cheques and cheques can be changed at most banks and licensed money changers, the latter generally offering slightly better rates. They can be found throughout the city, particularly on Orchard Road and in Little India. Some banks do not offer this service on Saturdays.
Singapore duty free
The following goods may be imported into Singapore by travellers aged 18 years and older without incurring customs duty:
• 1L of spirits.
• 1L of wine.
• 1L of beer.
• Goods to the value of S$600 (if out of the country for more than 48 hours) or S$150 (if out of the country for less than 48 hours).
There is no duty-free allowance for cigarettes and tobacco products.
These allowances do not apply if arriving from Malaysia or if you've spent less than 48 hours out of Singapore. If you don't use your allowance of spirits, then you may import an additional 1L of either wine or beer without incurring customs duty. Alcohol is expensive in Singapore, so bringing in duty-free drinks within these limits is a popular way to save a little money. You can find further information on the Singapore Customs website (www.customs.gov.sg).
Chewing gum, chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes and other ‘imitation tobacco products’, cigarette lighters of revolver or pistol shape, controlled drugs or psychotrophic substances, firecrackers, endangered species of wildlife and their byproducts, all pornographic films and literature, reproduction of copyright material, and seditious or treasonous material. The penalties for possession of narcotics are severe and visitors not complying with drug regulations do so at the risk of death.
A permit is required in order to import various restricted items. These include animals and their byproducts, meat, fruit, vegetables, fish, arms, explosives, bullet-proof clothing, toy guns, weapons, films, videos, video games, publications, audio records, pharmaceuticals, poisons, telecommunication and radio communication equipment and radioactive materials.
Export permits are required for items including arms, ammunition, explosives, animals, telecommunications equipment, film, videotapes and discs, precious metals and stones, and drugs and poisons.