Safety and Security
Noting several past anti-Western terrorist bombings in Indonesia, the Department of State continues to be concerned that terrorist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) have the capability to carry out terrorist attacks throughout the region. U.S. citizens in Brunei should be vigilant with regard to their personal security, maintain a low profile, vary times and routes during their daily routines, and report any suspicious activity to the local police or to the U.S. Embassy.
Brunei adheres to conservative Islamic social values, and U.S. citizens are advised to learn and respect local customs and traditions. Typically non-Muslims are not expected to follow the same customs enforced on practicing Muslims. Persons violating Brunei’s laws, even unknowingly, may be deported, arrested, or imprisoned. Any public criticism of His Majesty the Sultan or other members of the Royal Family is strongly discouraged. Alcohol cannot be purchased legally in Brunei; however, two liters of spirits/wine and 12 cans of beer may be imported per border entry by non-Muslim adults for personal consumption in privacy. Importing more than the allowed amount of alcohol per border entry will result in arrest. The Royal Brunei Police Force is generally professional and courteous. Most officers speak English but some, especially from the reserve units, have limited to no English speaking capability. Travelers are strongly urged to carry a copy of their passport as police will most always ask for identification for all parties involved in any type of incident. In the event of police detention, U.S. citizens should request to contact the U.S. Embassy. The Embassy local guard force operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and all guards speak English. The 24-hour number of the Embassy is 673-238-4616 and the Duty Officer is 673-873-0691. The emergency number for the police is 993.
Natural disasters, earthquakes and typhoons are not major concerns in Brunei. Brunei has not been affected by industrial accidents and kidnappings are not common.