Customs regulations for your trip to Brunei

Last modified: July 26, 2023
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Customs Regulations

Brunei’s customs legislation was amended to harmonize its tariff nomenclature, make customs-related information more readily available to traders and the public, align its laws with WTO agreements and intellectual property protections, and streamline appeals procedures. All imports into Brunei must be accompanied by:

  • A bill of lading/delivery order or airway bill;
  • Packing list;
  • Commercial invoice;
  • Three copies of the customs declaration form, which include the number of individual packages;
  • Detailed description of the goods being imported;
  • Gross and net weights or quantities of packages;
  • Value (both ‘free on board’ and ‘cost, insurance and freight’);
  • Place of shipment and destination;
  • Country of origin.

The import of all goods into Brunei is monitored by the Royal Customs and Excise Department. Importers must register with the port of entry. Determination of duty classification is based on Excise Duty Orders 2012 and 2007. Import permits are required for some products. Licenses for import are available from the relevant government agencies. Non-prohibited goods can be imported under an open general license.

Completed customs declaration forms must be submitted via the Brunei Darussalam National Single Window website with supporting documentation such as invoices, freight and insurance slips, airway bills, and packing lists.

Additional documentation that may be required includes certificates of origin and analysis, approval permits, import licenses, and other documentation as deemed necessary by the Customs and Excise Department.

Click here to view : Import requirements and documentation

Documents Required

  • Copy of passport
  • Residence visa
  • Detailed, valued inventory
  • Letter of employment
  • Original bill of lading (OBL) / telex release / air waybill (AWB)
  • Diplomatic franchise (diplomats)

Specific Information

  • Used household goods and personal effects can be imported duty-free.
    • Shipment is subject to the payment of Customs duties if new items are found.
  • Fumigation is not required for shipments into Brunei Darussalam.

Local laws reflect the fact that Brunei is an Islamic country. You should dress modestly and respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, or if you intend to visit religious buildings.

His Majesty The Sultan and other members of the Bruneian Royal Family are highly revered and public criticism of them would cause great offence.

There may be serious penalties for doing something that might not be illegal in the UK. If you’re planning to visit or live in Brunei, you’re strongly advised to familiarise yourself with local laws and customs.

In 2014, Brunei began the introduction of a Sharia Penal Code, to run in parallel with the Common Law. The final phase was introduced on 3 April 2019. It specifies severe punishments for certain crimes, including some that are not illegal in the UK.

Most laws under Common Law and the Sharia Penal Code apply to all people in Brunei, regardless of nationality or religion.

Adultery and close proximity in private between an unmarried man and woman is illegal if one party is a Muslim.

Possession of pornographic material is illegal.

Homosexual activity is illegal. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

It is an offence to criticise Islam, and for any person to consume food, drink or tobacco in public during the fasting hours of the holy month of Ramadan. For information on travelling during Ramadan, see Travelling during Ramadan.

There are severe penalties for drug offences in Brunei including, in some cases, the death penalty. Other crimes may attract caning and lengthy prison sentences.

The sale of alcohol and tobacco in Brunei is prohibited. Non-Muslims over 17 years of age may import a limited amount of alcohol, but must declare it to the customs authorities on arrival, and must consume it in private. A list of other prohibited and restricted items is available on the Royal Customs and Excise Department’s website.

Smoking is prohibited in certain public places, including shopping and eating areas, bus stops and stations, car parks and near buildings.

Places of business and offices including shops and restaurants shut between 12 noon and 2pm every Friday.

Dutiable Items

Brunei generally has very low tariffs. The Customs Import and Excise Duty Amendment Order 2017 was created with the aim of facilitating trade, attracting FDI, and fulfilling commitments under existing Free Trade Agreements. Import and excise duties on industrial machinery and spare parts for heavy vehicles and heavy machinery were reduced. Taxes were placed upon foodstuffs with high sugar content. There was also an increase in excise duties for plastic products.  Tax rates on luxury items such as mobile phones, leather products, and video games were also increased by 5%.

Click here to view : Import requirements and documentation

  • Firearms and explosives being imported into the country will need permission from the Royal Brunei Police force.
  • Plants, fruits and vegetables will require a special permit from the Agriculture Department before being granted entry into the country.
  • All cats, dogs and other animals being imported will need a special import licence from the Agriculture Department and a veterinarian health certificate clearing the creatures of any infectious diseases. An additional rabies inoculation certificate issued less than 60 days prior to arrival will also be required.
  • 180 days quarantine is applicable to all cats and dogs imported from countries other than Australia, Ireland (Rep. of), New Zealand, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
  • All travellers over two years of age will be required to pay an additional 12BND Passenger Service Tax when leaving the country. Travellers returning to Indonesia, Malaysia or other Philippines East Asia countries will only need to pay a 5BND charge.

Prohibited Items

  • Guns, explosives and ammunition
  • Knives and deadly weapons
  • Fire crackers
  • Cigarettes without health warnings written on the packages
  • Domestic pigs exported from Thailand
  • Plant and plant products – unless authorised
  • Meat and meat products –unless authorised
  • Pets and other animals – unless authorised
  • Radioactive and hazardous materials
  • Pin schedule, fruit machines, slot machines and any other schedule or machines of a like nature whether involving an element of change or not.
  • Counterfeit money and coins
  • Pornographic material

Miscellaneous (Pets, Motors, and others.)

Food Import Requirements

The Department of Health Services under the Ministry of Health ensures food imported and distributed in Brunei is safe for human consumption. Food importers are required to comply with the Public Health (Food) Act (Chapter 182) and Public Health (Food) Regulations 2000. Food importers are required to comply with the provisions of food legislation and import requirements. Importers are required to submit customs declaration forms along with the relevant export health certificates from the countries of origin.

Other requirements include provision of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certificates, samples of all items to be imported to Brunei, lists of all ingredients and additives used, and other valid documentation or certification as determined by the Ministry of Health. Imported food products are mainly halal, for the consumption of the majority Muslim population. Halal food cannot contain alcohol or derivatives from non-halal animal products.

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Approval letter from Brunei Land Transport Department
  • Approval from Brunei Customs
  • Invoice
  • Copy of owner of the goods’ passport

Specific Information

  • Only Bruneian / permanent residents that are working / studying abroad are allowed to import used vehicles into Brunei.
  • The vehicle must be under the owner of the goods’ name for at least 12 months.
  • The vehicle must not exceed 5 years old at time of importation.
  • The owner of the goods must be in Brunei at time of importation.
  • Owner of the goods must notify the Brunei Customs and seek approval for duty exemption before importation.
    • Once approval is obtained, the owner of the goods must have an approval permit issued by Customs before time of importation.
  • Duty exemption will only be given once.
  • After the importation of the vehicle, the owner of the goods is not allowed to change the ownership within four years from the date of approval given.
    • Only diplomats are exempted from this regulation prior to approvals from their local embassies.

Pets

Documents Required

  • Vaccination record
  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Import permit issued by Brunei Agriculture Department
  • Export permit issued by origin country
  • Invoice (for Customs purposes only)

Specific Information

  • All pets are subject to quarantine.
    • The length of time varies and depends on the country from which the animal is imported.
  • All pets are subject to approval for import from the Brunei Agriculture Department
  • The import permit and documents required must be obtained prior to import.

Currency

Currency Import regulations:

Local currency (Brunei Dollar-BND): no restrictions.
Foreign currencies:

  • Banknotes of Singapore: up to the equivalent of BND 1,000.- no restrictions between Brunei Darussalam/Singapore on direct import/export of currency.
  • Banknotes of India: Prohibited;
  • Other foreign currencies: no restrictions.

Arms and Ammunition regulations:

Import and export of firearms must be supported by a permit. An import permit should be obtained from the country of destination and an export permit from the country of departure.
Passengers must inform their carrier office of their intention to transport the weapon at the time of reservation, and details of the weapon must be provided at least 2 weeks prior to departure.
These requirements apply also to weapons transiting Brunei Darussalam.

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