Seven things you need to know before moving to Singapore

5min. leestijd

Planning on moving to Singapore to live and/or work there for a longer period of time? Then it’s good to know that Singapore is quite westernised. Especially when you compare it to other Asian countries. The working language is English and there is relatively little delay at customs (especially compared to moving to America). This makes it the most popular Asian country to emigrate to among our customers. In this blog we share 7 tips to ensure your move is a success and that your stay in Singapore is even better.

1. Your transport to Singapore

As with any move, it is important that you start planning on time. The way you transport your household contents is an important aspect of this planning. Your household contents have to be imported into Singapore within 6 months after the first arrival of their owner. If you’re using a personal container, you should take into account a shipping time of about 6 weeks. And in the case of groupage transport (sharing a container with several families), it could even take between 10 to 14 weeks, depending on the country of origin.

2. Required documentation

The documentation you need to have with you when you move to Singapore is fairly standard compared to moving to other countries. You’ll find a list of all the necessary documentation on Singapore Country Guido on .

3. Chewing gum, alcohol and other things you should leave at home

An interesting product you should not take to Singapore is chewing gum. They don’t like it at all! It was even banned in the 1980s by the country’s first prime minister after independence, Lee Kuan Yew. Europeans and Americans are often amazed by the lack of rubbish on the streets. Even the pavements are spotless. But this is perhaps less of a surprise when you consider that there are severe fines and penalties imposed on those who still leave chewing gum or other rubbish on the street.

Besides chewing gum, tobacco and alcohol are also high on the list of prohibited items. If you want to import these products anyway, you have to declare them at customs and pay substantial duties. A full list of prohibited articles can be found in the Singapore Country Guido on

4. Book a shuttle service for your container

Where in the United States, Switzerland or New Zealand the transported container with all its contents is often unloaded on your doorstep, or at least on the street in front of your new home, this is almost impossible in Singapore. The city is not that big and is completely full of high-rise buildings. That’s why all our customers who move to Singapore always book a shuttle service with their transport. This service transports your belongings from the container in the harbour to your apartment. Our Move Managers will gladly tell you more about the possibilities and costs.

5. Public transport is the most efficient (and cheapest) means of transport

Because of its small size, Singapore has invested heavily in a public transport infrastructure. The trains, in particular, are cheap and efficient. Delays are rare, so you can get from a to b quickly. Buying a car is also much more expensive than you’re used to in Europe. To be allowed to drive your own car you have to pay the government for a Certificate of Entitlement (COE), which is almost as expensive as the car itself!

6. Leave your winter clothes at home – or donate them to charity-

Singapore has a hot tropical climate. With temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, winter clothing is unnecessary. If you’ll also be traveling through other Asian countries, where temperatures are much lower, you could consider bringing a few warm clothes with you. Otherwise, it’s a waste of (suitcase) space.

7. Enjoy the many cultures and the delicious food

Once you’re unpacked and settled in in Singapore, it’s time to get to know the city. Visit the city’s tourist attractions and order Laksa or Hainanese Chicken Rice at a local snack bar. This will help you quickly discover that Singapore isn’t as expensive as you might think.

If you have any questions about this blog, or if would you like more information about our services for a carefree move to Singapore, please contact us. OUR MOVE MANAGERS will be happy to help you!

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