MHA SAYS TRAVELLERS COMING IN BY YACHT ENJOY FLEXIBILITY IN CLEARING IMMIGRATION?

Review of security measures at Raffles Marina

WE REFER to Mr Francis Cheng’s letter (“Breach raises serious questions”; last Saturday).

Crew and passengers arriving in Singapore by pleasure craft and yachts are required to seek immigration clearance at one of two gazetted immigration anchorages – either the Western Quarantine and Immigration Anchorage (WQIA) or the Changi General Purpose Anchorage (CGPA).

These two anchorages are operational round the clock. Crew and passengers are required to notify the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in advance and provide passenger and crew information by facsimile. ICA officers will then facilitate immigration clearance at the anchorages.

Alternatively, they may seek immigration clearance at Raffles Marina, which is a gazetted landing and departing point for pleasure craft and yachts, and operates from 9am to 5pm.

Crew and passengers on pleasure craft and yachts entering Singapore via Raffles Marina during the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine operating hours are required to inform Raffles Marina of their arrival in advance. Thereafter, Raffles Marina will notify the ICA, for officers to conduct immigration clearance at the vessel’s expected arrival time. The same process applies for craft departing Singapore from Raffles Marina. Outside of the operating hours, they have to seek immigration clearance at WQIA or CGPA.

The ICA and Police Coast Guard work closely with other government agencies, such as the Republic of Singapore Navy and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, to safeguard our maritime security. Joint operations are conducted regularly to check on vessels. Persons who attempt to breach our border security will be dealt with severely under our laws.

Last year, 2,890 vessels were detected and deterred from entering Singapore’s territorial waters. Most of them had strayed off course and complied with instructions when duly advised. Thirty-two people were arrested for entering Singapore waters illegally or attempting to land illegally by sea.

Under the law, all authorised landing/departing points must put in place the necessary security measures to maintain the integrity of our border security and prevent unauthorised entry into or out of Singapore from their premises.

The ICA and Singapore Police Force are working with Raffles Marina to review the security measures and identify areas for improvement.

Yap Neng Jye
Director, Corporate Relations Division
Ministry of Home Affairs

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