80% fewer travellers cleared in Singapore in 2020: ICA

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·1 min read
The number of low-value goods cleared at the checkpoints doubled last year. (GRAPHIC: ICA)
The number of low-value goods cleared at the checkpoints doubled last year. (GRAPHIC: ICA)

SINGAPORE — Amid border restrictions due to the pandemic, there were 42.19 million travellers cleared at Singapore’s checkpoints last year, less than a fifth of the figure for 2019, according to figures released by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Monday (8 February).

And as more turned to online shopping, the number of low-value goods cleared at the air cargo checkpoints doubled to 21.2 million last year, up from 10.5 million in 2019.

But contraband cases detected through low-value goods also increased more than five-fold. There were 4,000 such cases last year, compared with 610 in 2019. Examples of contraband detected include sexual enhancement drugs, drug paraphernalia and airsoft guns.

“ICA is monitoring this trend closely, given the increasing volume of low-value goods with the rise of e-commerce,” said ICA as it released its annual statistics for 2020.

Low value goods are subjected to GST relief when they are imported by air and do not require permits and have a total Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) not exceeding $400.

ICA said the total number of cargoes – containers, consignments and parcels – it cleared last year was 11.76 million, up from 11.35 million in 2019.

Meanwhile, the total number of contraband cases detected was 41,000 last year, less than half of the 92,000 cases in 2019.

ICA’s annual statistics 2020 can be found online.

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