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I am German, living in Germany. I want to propose to my girlfriend, who is living in Singapore. For that purpose I want to bring an engagement ring with me. The plan is that she will move to Germany in the beginning of next year, where she will bring back the engagement ring of course.

The Singapore Customs website gives a lot of information...too much information for me. However, related to that situation, I can not find any clear information.

What are the implications of this plan with regard to customs in Singapore?

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In practice, none. Singapore Customs concentrates almost exclusively on contraband (drugs, cigarettes, etc) and a ring will not be of interest, even if its purchase value theoretically exceeds the duty free threshold (S$600). If you want to play it really safe you could always declare it at the red channel, but I suspect that unless your ring has the Cullinan diamond attached, you'll be waved on even if you do.

You may get some questions about how long you're planning to stay in Singapore and support yourself, but if you have a return ticket and strong reasons to return to Germany (job etc), this shouldn't be a problem either.

  • I would argue that it is beyond "play[ing] it really safe" to declare the ring at the red channel. It is smuggling if you don't declare the ring. It is up to the customs officer to decide if import duties and taxes will apply, not to the person requesting admission into the country. – Jim MacKenzie Oct 15 '17 at 15:36
  • @JimMacKenzie I've gone through Singapore Customs literally hundreds of times (lived there for 8 years, traveled weekly). The way it works is that travelers are watched long before they get to the exit (Changi airport bristles with CCTV) and they pick out the people/bags they're interested in. If you're picked, sure, declare the ring; if not, why bother? – jpatokal Oct 15 '17 at 20:00

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