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Events Highlights
Event Highlights Jan - Jun 2008
Event Highlights Jan - Jun 2007
Action against Duty-unpaid Cigarettes

Do NOT buy, sell or smoke
duty-unpaid cigarettes

Singapore Customs warns that buying, selling, conveying, delivering, storing, keeping, having in possession or dealing with duty unpaid cigarettes are serious offences under the Customs and GST Acts. 

Customs Suppression Teams are conducting island-wide patrols and inspections daily to clamp down on buyers and illegal peddlers. With the enhanced enforcement, there is a high chance of getting caught and the penalties are severe.  Smokers are strongly advised not to be tempted the next time a illegal peddler approaches.  Singapore Customs will continue to clamp down on buyers - if we can curb the demand for contraband cigarettes, there will be less incentive for smuggling.

Offenders Stand to face Severe Penalties.   On conviction by the court, offenders can be jailed or fined or both. The vehicles used in the commission of the offence are also liable to forfeiture. 

The public are also urged not to buy duty-unpaid cigarettes. Under the Customs Act, buyers stand to face hefty composition sums of up to $5,000 for the offence or prosecution in court.

Singapore Customs takes a serious view of smuggling, no matter how petty.  Returning Singaporeans and other visitors are strongly advised not to be tempted by the little savings that they can obtain from evading tobacco duties and taxes.  When found, offenders will be severly dealt with.

To avoid committing customs offences, travellers and members of the public need to comply with Customs rules and regulations. Those found committing customs offences may be offered the following composition amounts. For more information, please click here.

Say NO to Duty-unpaid Cigarettes.  While Singapore Customs has stepped up enforcement efforts to bring smuggling syndicates to task, our actions will become futile if consumers continue to buy contraband cigarettes from illegal peddlers. Members of the public can play an important role to help keep contraband cigarettes at bay. However, those who choose to run foul of the law stand to face severe consequences.

Report Cigarette Smuggling Activities. 
To enhance effectiveness, we need the co-operation of the public to be our ‘eyes and ears’.  With the public on our side, smugglers will have to deal not only with Customs officers but also with the public who are ever willing to supply us with information. 

Members of the public with information on any illegal activities involving duty-unpaid cigarettes may contact the Singapore Customs hotline on 1800-2330000 or email  Please contact us if you know of any persons dealing in duty-unpaid cigarettes, either as distributors or sellers, or if you have been approached by people who claim that they have cheaper cigarettes for sale.

Public tip-offs have led to many cases detected. For example, one such tip-off resulted in the seizure of 22,470 packets of contraband cigarettes. The man who had used the rented flat as an illegal store was arrested and sentenced to two years' jail.

Thanks to a public-spirited citizen, these illegal cigarettes were intercepted before they can hit the streets.

Reaching Out to the Public
Singapore Customs has launched a public education programme to complement enforcement efforts.  Regular talks and roads shows are conducted to spread the anti-contraband cigarettes message reaching out to foreign workers, youth, community groups. Taxi drivers have also been roped in to be the 'eyes and ears' on the ground. Posters and brochures printed in various foreign languages have been distributed for display at workers’ dormitories, factories, shipyards, housing estates and retail outlets. These printed materials explain the consequences of selling or consuming contraband cigarettes and invite tip-offs from the public. 


We have also launched advertisements on buses to warn the public against buying duty-unpaid cigarettes, and to emphasise the consequences offenders stand to face.

Publicity Materials
Singapore Customs has produced a series of a public communications materials to spread the anti-contraband cigarettes message.

Should you wish to have these advisory materials, please contact our hotline at 1800-2330000 or email

Offence Highlights
Singapore Customs has stepped up enforcement against buyers and sellers of duty-unpaid cigarettes. This is part of our total enforcement strategy to control cigarette smuggling. For more information on our enforcement achievements, please click the following - Offence Highlights and Press Releases.

Join us in our fight by not buying duty-unpaid cigarettes from illegal sellers. You can play a part to keep Singapore free from contrabands and the resultant problems.

Last reviewed on 15 April 2014
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