While you are traveling in Brunei, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but are still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods, which are prevalent in Brunei. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Brunei, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
If you violate Brunei laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use of, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Brunei are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences, heavy fines, and, possibly, death. Brunei has a mandatory death penalty for many narcotics offenses. Under the current law, possession of heroin, ecstasy, and morphine derivatives of more than 15 grams, Cocaine of more than 30 grams, Cannabis of more than 500 grams, Syabu (Methamphetamine) of more than 50 grams, or Opium of more than 1.2 kg., carries the death penalty. Possession of lesser amounts can result in a minimum twenty-year jail term and caning. Importation of firearms is prohibited; the illegal possession of firearms or explosives and drug use/possession carry severe penalties, including the possibility of the death penalty. Any attempts to circumvent alcohol controls can result in arrest and criminal prosecution. Gambling in Brunei is illegal.
Prostitution is illegal and harsh penalties can result from engaging in the solicitation of prostitution. In addition, due to the conservative Muslim culture, any extramarital relations between a Muslim and non-Muslim, from simple acts such as holding hands or public displays of affection to sexual activity may be considered a crime in Brunei.
If you are arrested in Brunei, authorities of Brunei are required to alert the U.S. Embassy of your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police to notify the closest U.S. Embassy of your arrest.
You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, and health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.