ABOUT SINGAPORE - CUSTOM LAWS AND PROCEDURES

 

All dutiable goods imported into Singapore are subject to customs duties by the Customs and Excise Department. Dutiable goods in Singapore fall into the broad categories of: intoxicating liquors, tobacco products, motor vehicles and petroleum products.

Two types of duty rates are applied: an ad valorem rate or a specific rate. An ad valorem rate, which is most commonly applied, is a percentage of the assessed value of the imported goods (e.g. 41 per cent ad valorem). A specific rate is a specified amount per unit of weight or other quantity (e.g. $60 per kg). A complete list of dutiable items and their duty rates is available at the Singapore Customs website

You can bring in alcohol if you can show the customs that it is for personal consumption i.e. not too much of a single type. The law applied here is 6 bottles. However it can be negotiated. The tax for alcohol less than 15% in content is S$ 9.00 per litre.

In addition, all goods on import are subject to a 5 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST). Goods exported from Singapore are not subject to customs duty or GST.

For more information on customs duties, please visit www.customs.gov.sg

 

TRANSFER OF RESIDENCE


Eligibility for GST Relief
This section provides a guide to returning Singaporeans and persons transferring residence to Singapore on how to declare and clear their used household articles and personal effects imported in consignments.

These effects, other than liquors, tobacco products and motor vehicles, may be exempted from payment of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) upon importation. Customs duty and GST are leviable on the import of liquors, tobacco products and motor vehicles.

Under the Goods and Services Tax (Imports Relief) Order 1994, a person transferring residence to Singapore may be granted GST relief on his used household articles and personal effects (excluding liquors, tobacco products and motor vehicles) subject to the following conditions:

 

A. that such person satisfies Customs that:

  • he is changing his place of residence from outside Singapore;

  • he is the owner of the articles and effects imported; and

  • the articles and effects have been in his possession and used for a period of not less than 3 months;

B. that the articles and effects are imported within 6 months of his first arrival in Singapore; and

 

c. that such person gives an undertaking not to dispose of the articles and effects within 3 months from the date of importation of such articles and effects.
For returning Singaporeans, they must have resided in a foreign country for not less than 6 months to qualify for GST relief on their used household articles and personal effects.

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Documentation
Upon being notified of the arrival of the household and personal effects by the shipping, airline or forwarding agent, the owner will have to arrange with a local freight forwarding agent to prepare a joint TDB Inward/Customs GST Relief Declaration on his behalf.

The declaration is lodged electronically through the TradeNet System. The forwarding agent will normally need the bill of lading/air waybill and packing list to prepare the declaration.

To prove his transfer of residence to Singapore, the owner should submit a completed ‘Declaration of Facts’, together with photocopies of the following supporting documents -

  • extract of passport particulars;

  • employment pass;

  • entry permit; and

  • bill of lading/air waybill.

However, if the employment pass is still being processed by the Immigration Department, Customs will accept a copy of the application for employment pass duly received by Immigration. Alternatively, the owner may furnish a letter from his employer confirming his employment together with the undertaking from his employer to pay Customs the GST involved in the event that the employment pass is not approved or that the employment is not been taken up.

In the event that the owner is not in Singapore, his employer or next-of-kin could also give a letter of undertaking to Customs to pay GST if the owner is subsequently established to be not eligible for GST relief. The owner should complete the "Declaration of Facts" and submit it together with the supporting documents to Customs for subsequent verification on his arrival.


Submission Of Supporting Documents
All documents in support of the application for GST relief including the completed "Declaration of Facts" may be submitted either by hand to the Singapore Customs, Procedures & Processing Branch, 55 Newton Road, 7th Storey, Revenue House, Singapore 307987 or by fax at No. 2509606. These documents should be submitted for processing before the import declaration is submitted through the TradeNet System.


Dutiable Items
GST relief is not extended to liquors, tobacco products and motor vehicles. If such items are included in the consignment of personal effects, the owner must inform the forwarding agent who is preparing the import declaration. This can be done by including detailed description of the items in the packing list.

Import of cigarettes and tobacco products exceeding 400 gm must be covered by a relevant Customs permit applied via the TradeNet System


Prohibited Items
The following items are NOT allowed to be brought into Singapore:

  • Intoxicating liquors and cigarettes must not be marked with the words "SINGAPORE DUTY NOT PAID" on the labels, cartons or packets

  • Cigarettes with the prefix "E" printed on the packets

  • Chewing gum

  • Chewing tobacco and imitation tobacco products

  • Cigarette lighters of pistol or revolver shape

  • Controlled drugs and psychotropic substances

  • Endangered species of wildlife and their by-products

  • Firecrackers

  • Obscene articles, publications, video tapes/discs and software

  • Reproduction of copyright publications, video tapes, video compact discs, laser discs, records or cassettes
    Seditious and treasonable materials
     

Taking Delivery Of The Goods
After obtaining the approved Customs permit and GST Relief Certificate, the owner may then take delivery of his goods.

The owner may engage a local forwarding agent to collect the goods on his behalf. Goods imported by sea will be collected from the PSA port area while those coming in by air, from the Changi Air Freight Centre.

At the entry point, the owner or his representative must produce the goods, the permit and GST Relief Certificate and supporting documents to Customs for clearance.


Importing a Motor Vehicles
 

Duty and Goods & Services Tax (GST)
Any person wishing to import motor vehicles for local use has to apply for a duty and GST payment permit. Duty on a motor car is levied at 20% of the Customs assessed value whilst for a motorcycle or scooter, it is levied at 12% of the Customs assessed value. The 5% GST is computed based on the CIF value (cost, insurance & freight) plus the duty payable.

Assessment of value on motor vehicles
The value of motor vehicles is assessed by Customs taking into account the purchase price, freight, insurance, handling and all other charges incidental to the sale and delivery of the vehicle in Singapore. Incidental charges include the inspection and documentation fees, cost of registration and de-registration, internal taxes, costs of accessories, commission etc, which have been paid on the said vehicle. For the purpose of duty assessment, please submit your declaration together with the following documents to Documentation Specialists Branch, Singapore Customs, 55 Newton Road, Level 7 Revenue House, Singapore 307987.

  1. Original Purchase Invoice,

  2. Freight and Insurance Papers,

  3. Bills/Receipts relating to other incidental charges,

  4. Documents relating to exhaust emission test, windscreen test, etc

  5. Vehicle Data Card,

  6. Vehicle's registration and/or de-registration documents (if previously registered), and

  7. A manufacturer's letter confirming the date of manufacture of the vehicle.

Important Note
You are advised to check with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) at Tel: 1800-2255582 or visit their website @ http://www.lta.gov.sg for their latest requirement before you import your vehicle


Controlled and Restricted Items
Certain goods are allowed entry into Singapore only when you produce the import permit or authorisation from the relevant authorities. If you do not have the import permit or authorisation, the item will be detained and referred it to the relevant authority for approval. For information on controlled or restricted items, please click here.

Useful Contacts

Animal, Meat and Seafood Regulatory Branch
Food and Veterinary Administration Department
Agri-food And Veterinary Authority
5 Maxwell Road #02-00
Tower Block MND Complex
Singapore 069110
Tel : +65 6227 0670
Fax : +65 6227 6305
Website : www.ava.gov.sg

Centre for Animal Welfare and Control
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Division
Agri-food And Veterinary Authority
75 Pasir Panjang Road
Singapore 118507
Tel : +65 1800 476 1600 / +65 6471 9987
Fax : +65 6472 6157
E-mail : ava_cawc@ava.gov.sg
Website : www.ava.gov.sg

Petmovers (S) Pte Ltd
No. 4 Pasir Ris Farmway II
Singapore 519318
Tel : +65 6581 3688
Fax : +65 6581 3735
Email : lee@petmovers.com.sg

Agri-food And Veterinary Authority
5 Maxwell Road #03-00
Tower Block MND Complex
Singapore 069110
Tel : +65 6227 0670
Fax : +65 6220 6068
Website : www.ava.gov.sg

Films & Publication Department
45 Maxwell Road
#07-11/12 URA Centre
East Wing
Singapore 069118
Tel : +65 6372 2800
Fax : +65 6221 0340

Singapore Customs
Director-General of Singapore Customs
#10-01, 55 Newton Road
Revenue House
Singapore 307987
Tel : +65 63552000
Fax : +65 6250 8663
E-Mail : customs_feedback@customs.gov.sg
Website : http://www.customs.gov.sg/

Airports Customs
Duty Office Terminal 1

Tel : +65 6545 8784
Duty Office Terminal 2
Tel: +65 6545 7159
Email : customs_airports@customs.gov.sg

Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
8 Temasek Boulevard, #14-00
Suntec Tower Three
Singapore 038988
Tel : +65 6211 0888
Fax : +65 6538 0402
Email : info@ida.gov.sg
Website : www.ida.gov.sg

Singapore Police Force
Arms & Explosives Branch
Block J, 3 Ladyhill Road
Singapore 258672
Tel : +65 6838 1764/5
Fax : +65 6734 0531
Website : www.spinet.gov.sg

Health Sciences Authority
11 Outram Road Singapore 169078
Tel : +65 1800 - 223 1816

Division of Manufacturing and Quality Audit
Centre For Pharmaceutical Administration
Health Sciences Authority
No. 2 Jalan Bukit Merah,
Singapore 169547
Fax: +65 63255594, Tel: +65 63255650
Email : hsa_info@hsa.gov.sg


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