ICA, HTX introducing automated immigration clearance for cars at S'pore's land checkpoints

Could help reduce jams.

Keyla Supharta | February 27, 2023, 04:29 PM

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Travellers crossing the Singapore-Malaysia land border by car will soon be able to enjoy a contactless, automated immigration clearance.

At the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)'s Community of Supply debate on Feb. 27, 2023, Second Minister for Home Affairs of Singapore Josephine Teo spoke about the automated clearance system, which will make things faster and more secure for car travellers.

Teo pointed out that automated clearance is familiar to travellers going through Changi Airport. It has also been implemented for 100 per cent of motorcyclists at Singapore's land checkpoints since January 2017.

Successful trial

The new Automated Passenger In-Car Clearance System (APICS) was on trial from July to October last year.

According to ICA, a total of 408 cars with over 700 passengers participated in the trial.

Following the success of the trial, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the

Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) are working to implement APICS for car travellers.

How it works

Cars using APICS have to first check their vehicle registration and declare the total number of passengers inside the vehicle at a self-help kiosk.

Declaring the total number of passengers. Image via ICA

The driver would need to scan the passports of all passengers in the car before going through facial and iris scanning.

Scanning of passport. Image via ICA.

Presenting Biometrics. Image via ICA.

As there are four facial and iris recognition devices set up for each of the car's windows, drivers and passengers can simultaneously present their biometrics to complete their immigration clearance. Driver and passengers do not need to alight throughout the process.

Four facial and iris recognition devices. Image via ICA.

According to CNA, only cars with a maximum of four people, aged six and above were allowed for the trial run conducted for APICS.

Teo said, "With automated clearance, we expect overall faster and more secure clearance for car travellers. It also reduces the manpower demand, which can be deployed to meet other needs."

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Top image via ICA.