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Chewing gum in Singapore

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jpatokal
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Postby jpatokal » Fri, 30 Jan 2009 12:11 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:You can bring in gum for personal use. If you bring a lot, think about opening the cartons before you pack them so it's obvious that you're not trying to sell them, since sellers prefer to leave the packaging intact.

Actually, you're all wrong. :P Straight from the horse's mouth:

A common misconception among citizens is that personal use quantities of chewing gum are allowed into Singapore. However, according to the set of Regulations, "importing" means to "bring or cause to be brought into Singapore by land, water or air from any place which is outside Singapore ..." any goods, even if they are not for purposes of trade. The set of Regulations also does not make any provisions for personal use quantities to be brought into Singapore. Therefore, bringing chewing gum into Singapore, even small quantities for whatever purpose, is technically prohibited.


Note the word "technically" -- in practice, as you say, they have better things to do. But it's not legal.
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 30 Jan 2009 11:16 am

jpatokal wrote:
Wind In My Hair wrote:You can bring in gum for personal use. If you bring a lot, think about opening the cartons before you pack them so it's obvious that you're not trying to sell them, since sellers prefer to leave the packaging intact.

Actually, you're all wrong. :P Straight from the horse's mouth:

A common misconception among citizens is that personal use quantities of chewing gum are allowed into Singapore. However, according to the set of Regulations, "importing" means to "bring or cause to be brought into Singapore by land, water or air from any place which is outside Singapore ..." any goods, even if they are not for purposes of trade. The set of Regulations also does not make any provisions for personal use quantities to be brought into Singapore. Therefore, bringing chewing gum into Singapore, even small quantities for whatever purpose, is technically prohibited.


Note the word "technically" -- in practice, as you say, they have better things to do. But it's not legal.


Actually, YOU are all wrong. Your "horse" is Wikipedia? Impressive. Especially considering that the reference given for the paragraph you quoted is an email sent by a Phua Ree Kee to a Wei Zhong Goh. Since when do personal emails constitute national law?

I prefer my horse, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority Act (Cap 5), which states very clearly that it is only selling chewing gum that is prohibited. Google it or buy a printed version of the Singapore Government Statutes. I'll sneak you a little preview:

SALE OF FOOD ACT
(CHAPTER 283, SECTION 56(1))
SALE OF FOOD (PROHIBITION OF CHEWING GUM) REGULATIONS
1 January 2004

2. Sale or advertisement for sale of chewing gum prohibited
(1) Except as provided by paragraph (2), the sale or advertisement for sale of any chewing gum is prohibited.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the sale or advertisement of any chewing gum in respect of which a product licence has been granted under the Medicines Act (Cap 176).

(3) In this regulation, "chewing gum" means the substance usually known as chewing gum, bubble gum or dental chewing gum, or any like substance prepared from a gum base of vegetable or synthetic origin and intended for chewing.

3. Penalty
Any person who contravenes regulation 2 shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.

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Postby yoongf » Sat, 31 Jan 2009 9:40 am

Regulation of Imports and Exports Act (Chapter 272A)

http://www.customs.gov.sg/topNav/leg/ac ... ts+Act.htm

Bullet No. 3

The issue is really about enforcement.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sat, 31 Jan 2009 5:10 pm

Hi Yoong,

Thanks for the link. References are good to have.

The issue is more applicability than enforcement. The Regulation of Imports and Exports Act is meant to regulate traders rather than individuals like us. Although I suppose the law could be twisted to be applied on an individual they really wanted to get into trouble (SMS, I know what you're going to say - don't!) it was not written for that purpose, and it would be an extremely obtuse or corrupt judge who would ever use that on ordinary citizens or expat workers.

I am not a lawyer, but consider the following points and see what common sense tells you:

1. Part 1 paragraph 2(1) puts this Act under the jurisdiction of IE Singapore which is the statutory board overseeing foreign trade:

"Board means the International Enterprise Singapore Board"


2. Part II paragraph 3(2)(b) specifies who the regulations are meant to apply to, which are generally those in the trading business:

"importers, exporters, agents, forwarding agents, common carriers, consignors or consignees of goods or on owners, agents, masters or persons in charge of a conveyance..."


3. Section 3, specifically on chewing gum, states the penalty which is obviously in the range applied to businesses and companies and not to individuals.

"on the first conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both; and on the second or subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding $200,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both"


Gosh, this is tiring me out, and bordering on the absurd. If anyone here wants to scare yourself silly with a law written for a different express purpose, be my guest. Don't forget to shout loudly when you're coming through Changi Airport "I'm an IMPORTER!" to make sure they know which law to use on you.

:roll: :lol:

[note to self: gotta get a life and stop reading the boring penal code...]

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 31 Jan 2009 7:28 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:Although I suppose the law could be twisted to be applied on an individual they really wanted to get into trouble (SMS, I know what you're going to say - don't!) it was not written for that purpose,
:roll: :lol:

[note to self: gotta get a life and stop reading the boring penal code...]


Who? ME? :lol:

If you keep reading too much of that thing, you'll spend the rest of your life looking back over your shoulder! :P

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Postby Vaucluse » Sat, 31 Jan 2009 8:46 pm

My years in the US made me have an aversion to seeing women chewing gum like cows chew cud . . . Yuck, and very un-feminine.

Hi Sierra! Ok, nicotine-related medicinal reasons are of course acceptable . . . an as far as my habist go . . . why do you think I move to different countries all the time?! :-|
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sat, 31 Jan 2009 11:07 pm

Vaucluse, what's a habist? Is it like a haggis? Or a sadist? Or maybe a fetish? :lol:

sundaymorningstaple wrote:If you keep reading too much of that thing, you'll spend the rest of your life looking back over your shoulder! :P

Too much of what thing? Your posts? :P

Oh, the penal code. Hey I didn't start it. All I said was "You can bring gum in" and then other people quoted legal-sounding snippets trying to scare poor innocent readers into thinking it's illegal to bring gum in for personal use... and I couldn't sit by and let all this misleading information pass as true. It's the people NOT reading the penal code and just guessing at the law who are looking back over their shoulders. Living in fear when there's absolutely no need to - what a way to live.

Anyway, I can't stand people telling me I'm wrong when I'm not. Well I can't stand them telling me I'm wrong when I am either but that's another story. :D

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Postby jpatokal » Mon, 02 Feb 2009 4:54 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:Actually, YOU are all wrong. Your "horse" is Wikipedia? Impressive. Especially considering that the reference given for the paragraph you quoted is an email sent by a Phua Ree Kee to a Wei Zhong Goh. Since when do personal emails constitute national law?

They do when Phua Ree Kee is a Senior Corporate Communications Officer at the Corporate Communications Branch of Singapore Customs...

I prefer my horse, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority Act (Cap 5), which states very clearly that it is only selling chewing gum that is prohibited.

Yes, your act states very clearly that selling chewing gum is prohibited. It says nothing at all about importing chewing gum.

A few more sources just to hammer home the point:

http://www.customs.gov.sg/leftNav/trav/ ... +Goods.htm

Prohibited Goods

The following items are NOT allowed to be imported into Singapore:

* Chewing gum (except oral dental and medicated gum)


http://www.visitsingapore.com/publish/s ... .html#0007
Will I be able to bring chewing gum into Singapore?

Except for chewing gum with therapeutic value, the importation into Singapore of any chewing gum is prohibited under the Regulation of Imports and Exports (Chewing Gum) Regulations. The prohibition on the import of chewing gum except for those of therapeutic value is absolute. Therefore, no allowance is given for any person to import them for personal consumption. Under the same regulation, when goods are brought or caused to be brought into Singapore from any place which is outside Singapore, they are deemed to be imported. This is regardless whether the goods are for commercial or trade purposes.


Now, as we all agree, this particular law is not enforced. But it's still unequivocally the law.
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Postby road.not.taken » Mon, 02 Feb 2009 5:49 pm

Perhaps the law is purposely written to create the illusion of banning, while not prohibiting it outright. It was always my impression that bringing it in for personal consumption (not sure this constitutes 'importing' in the legal sense) was fine, and that selling it was prohibited outright.

Considering I've brought gobs and gobs of it in my luggage 15 or 20 times, my guess is this is not something they enforce even a little bit.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 02 Feb 2009 7:37 pm

JP,

Those were much better sources than Wikipedia. Okay, you win. I can't argue with official websites. Together with the gay laws that aren't enforced (so it's illegal but allowed), I guess that means we are a society of blatant law-breakers. And people say Singaporeans are an unimaginative and obedient lot!

Still, it doesn't change my original advice to the OP: "You can bring in chewing gum" is still correct. :wink:

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Postby jamesjo » Tue, 03 Feb 2009 3:52 pm

i hate its. :mad:
I love kaspersky

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Postby Vaucluse » Wed, 04 Feb 2009 6:48 pm

jamesjo wrote:i hate its. :mad:


I find its to be quite tasty with a béchamel sauce.

Chewing gum, on the other hand is a filthy habit. (Habits are slaves of Hobits, WIMH)



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Postby heatht » Wed, 26 Aug 2009 4:14 pm

It has always been a funny law, but it does make sense.

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Postby Mr Bond » Wed, 26 Aug 2009 4:49 pm

You can buy chewing gum at any 'Guardian' or 'Watsons' at the pharmacy counter

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Postby Plavt » Wed, 26 Aug 2009 4:52 pm

Vaucluse wrote:It's a nasty, unhygenic and filthy habit . . . allow the state to help you kick it!


Agreed wholeheartedly, as for it being a 'funny law' I am not sure. I remember reading somewhere the reason the government banned it was the yobs that live in Singapore were sticking it on the doors of the metro trains causing serivice delays and presumably other places.


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