Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on sand imports (3 Nov)

Nov 3, 2021

Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what are Singapore's source countries for sand imports; (b) what is the Ministry’s estimate of the size of the Singapore sand smuggling market; (c) whether there is a risk of countries banning sand sales to Singapore because there is significant smuggling or environmental damage from sand mining; and (d) whether the Government is considering not permitting commercial entities to import sand from jurisdictions with rampant illicit activity.


The import of sand for construction and reclamation purposes is done on a commercial basis, and sand is imported from various sources.

We do not condone any illegal trade or extraction of sand that breaches the source countries’ laws and regulations. Importers are expected to abide by the laws and regulations of the source countries. These include sourcing from legally permissible areas, and obtaining the proper export documentation and permits from relevant authorities in the source countries. Government contracts to import sand also include clauses mandating that contractors must comply with the laws and regulations of the source countries.

Thus far, we do not have evidence of illegal smuggling of sand into Singapore. The authorities will investigate all reports of illegal smuggling of sand, and take enforcement action against errant importers as necessary.