Singapore Airport: Taking Wine Meant for Onward Journey Through Customs

by Reto
(South Australia / Gawler East)

I am traveling to Singapore and staying with some relatives for 3 days. Then I continue my trip to Switzerland.

My question is: how can I avoid tax on wine which I like to take to Switzerland but have to carry through Singapore customs? Do I declare it or is there any thing else I could do to avoid any complications???

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Singapore Airport: Taking Wine Meant for Onward Journey Through Customs

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Oct 09, 2008
Singapore Customs - Wine for Onward Journey
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Reto

1. If you are taking 1 litre of wine (or less) through Singapore customs, they won't bother you.

Each passenger may take up to 1 litre of wine into Singapore duty-free, providing she/he

a. is at least 18 years old, and

b. has been out of Singapore for more than 48 hours.

2. If you are taking more than 1 litre - and I know South Australia produces great wines - it's probably a little more tricky.

This question has been asked a few times. Let me find out the answer from the Singapore Airport Information Service and get back to you...

Oct 09, 2008
Taking Wine From Australia Through Singapore Customs
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Reto

here's what I gathered from the CAAS staff at Singapore Airport:

1. Wine bought outside the airport in Australia won't be allowed into the cabin!

a. If you've bought your wine from any where outside the airport, it won't get beyond Australia.

Why? Because of this international aviation rule: airline passengers may not hand-carry liquids in containers larger than 100 ml. So you can't take a 750 ml bottle of wine into the aircraft's cabin.

b. But here's an exception to this rule. If you clear the airport customs in Australia and buy your wine from the duty-free shops in the restricted passenger area, you may take it into the cabin. These bottles of wine will be packed in specially certified bags, which customs officers will allow through.

You should also verify with the Australian airport authorities that your wine can be taken onto the flight from Singapore to Switzerland.

2. What to do at Singapore Airport

Upon arrival at Singapore Airport, you may leave your wine at the left-luggage facility located in the Transit Mall area. You should do this BEFORE you clear customs.

However, the left-luggage facility carries a charge, which ranges from $3 to $11 per 24-hour slot depending on the size of your items. This might not be necessary if you are taking less than 1 litre of wine (refer to my post above).

Before you fly off to Switzerland, you collect your wine from the left-luggage counter in the Transit Mall. In this way, you need not take your wine through Singapore customs at all.

The transit zones of all terminals at Singapore Airport are inter-linked. So even if you are departing from a different terminal, you may collect your left-luggage (your wine) for the onward journey. Please check your air-ticket to ascertain this.

(This preceeding paragraph revised 15 July 09.)

3. What if you checked in your wine?

In the unlikely scenario that you checked in your wine, the customs officer would still impose duty/tax on the wine when she/he checks your luggage.

But you must be quite brave to trust airport baggage handlers with bottles of wine ;-)

4. Least-hassle suggestion!

Why not buy your wine at the duty-free shops on your way out of Singapore Airport?

I hope this helps you plan your trip, as well as other passengers hoping to take wine or other alcoholic drinks through Singapore.

Jul 15, 2009
Duty free alcohol from New Zealand
by: Gretchen

Will I be allowed to take my duty free alcohol on board when I leave Singapore Airport? I will be in transit for about five hours. We have great bargain alcohol prices at NZ duty free shops. I can pick them up after clearing NZ security checks. Please advise as soon as possible.

Thank you.

Jul 15, 2009
Duty Free Alcohol Through Singapore Airport (Transit Passengers)
by: Gabriel Tan

Hi Gretchen

I believe (but am not absolutely sure) that there's an understanding among airports to allow duty-free alcohol bought in one airport to be allowed on an onward flight in a transit airport.

You should verify this with the sales staff at the NZ Airport duty-free shop - but be prepared that they may not know.

Does any one know the facts pertinent to Gretchen's case?

Jun 09, 2010
Wine Bought Outside the Airport
by: Jacky


I bought 2 bottles of cocktails (700mls each) from a local alcohol shop (Bribane-Australia). I would like to ask a question: am I able to bring these bottles from Brisbane to Vietnam (transit at Singapore Airport)? I plan to packback them into my luggage.

Many thanks,

Hi Jacky

1) If your wine is bought outside the airport, the only way you can get it up the plane is to store it safely in your checked in luggage. (Please verify this with your airline, which might have more stringent criteria.)

If your airline then automatically transfers your luggage onto your Singapore-Vietnam flight, there shouldn't be any issue.

2) You cannot take any 700ml-bottle of wine into the plane's cabin, if it's bought from outside the airport. They'll only allow wine bought from approved duty-free shops within the airport's restricted area. And these must have been packed in specially sealed, untampered see-through plastic bags - as per international aviation regulations.

Gabriel Tan

Aug 15, 2010
Is the information still valid?
by: Den


I want to bring 6 bottles of red wine from Australia to HK. However, I need to stop Singapore for 6 days on business. If I leave the wines in Singapore airport baggage services counter, will Singapore custom still impose tax on the wine? Is the information mentioned above still valid? Thanks.


Hi Den

Are you taking the wines in as cabin luggage or checked-in luggage?

Gabriel Tan

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