BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Brunei is preparing to reopen its land and sea borders with Malaysia tomorrow (August 1) after banning non-essential travel for more than two years.
Although the country restarted air travel in April, authorities have waited to reopen the land border until it could safely monitor the huge influx of travellers expected daily.
More than 4.1 million international visitor arrivals were recorded by land and sea in 2019, compared to 333,244 by air.
The Department of Immigration and National Registration has rolled out a new border control system with biometric data such as fingerprint and facial recognition, while the Royal Customs and Excise Department will introduce a new $3 levy on all cross-border travellers.
The Prime Minister’s Office said land and sea checkpoints will open from 6am to 6pm daily in the initial stages of reopening.
However, for foreign commercial vehicles the cutoff time for entry through the Kuala Lurah and Sungai Tujuh will be at 3pm. Meanwhile, the cutoff time for entry via Labu and Ujung Jalan in Temburong will be at 4pm.
Introduction of ‘CaP’
Every traveller, including pedestrians and bus passengers, is required to pay a $3 service charge, called “CaP”, before exiting or entering Brunei. A return trip across the border would cost $6 per person.
The CaP can be paid online via the Exit and Entry System portal. Payments must be made before arriving at the border checkpoint and a QR code will be issued to each traveller.
For bus passengers, it is the responsibility of the bus operator and driver to ensure that all passengers have made the CaP payment.
What documents do I need before I cross the border?
Here’s a handy checklist:
• Passport/travel document. Make sure your passport is in good condition and valid for at least six months before your date of travel. It should have at leas 3-4 blank pages for an immigration chop.
• Vaccination record. Download it from the BruHealth app or bring along your yellow vaccination booklet. All foreign nationals entering Brunei must have at least two doses of a COVID vaccine, while Bruneian citizens and permanent residents must be boosted i.e. taken at least three doses of a COVID vaccine.
• Travel insurance. Any traveller entering Brunei must obtain travel insurance with minimum coverage of $20,000. This applies to both foreigners and Bruneian citizens and residents — even if you’re just going to Miri for a day trip you must have travel insurance.
• Exit and Entry System (EES) QR code. This code is issued once you pay the $3 service charge (CaP) online at this portal. A kiosk will also be set up at each control post for those who need assistance.
• Declare taxable goods. And don’t forget, if you’re bringing dutiable goods back to Brunei you need to declare them and make payment at the customs checkpoint using cash or debit/credit card.