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Singapore - Customs and Import Duties


For information regarding customs, visit: http://www.customs.gov.sg

If you are moving to Singapore to become a permanent resident, then you’re allowed a certain amount of relief on your personal effects, pets, and household items under the Goods and Services Tax (Imports Relief) Order. When you reach Customs, you will need to clarify that you are changing your residence to Singapore and prove that you are the owner of your items. You will also need to state that your personal effects have been in your possession and used for a period of not less than 3 months.

In addition, GST relief may be granted on a case-by-case basis for consignment imported by road. Multiple importations are generally not allowed and customs duty and GST are levied on the import of liquors, tobacco products and motor vehicles. To get the GST relief, you must have resided in a foreign country for more than 6 months and be a returning citizen or permanent resident.

You must also abide by AVA's import license and pets quarantine requirements. For more information, please refer to their website at http://www.ava.gov.sg/AnimalsPetSector/ImportExportTransOfAnimalRelatedPrd/PetsPersonal/

When you are notified of the arrival of your personal effects, including your pets, you must arrange with a local freight forwarding agent to submit a "Declaration of Facts.” When it is approved, the freight forwarding agent can prepare a Customs In-Non-Payment (GST Relief) declaration. This is lodged electronically through the TradeNet® System.

The owner should then prove his transfer of residence to Singapore by submitting the “Declaration of Facts” with a copy of their employment pass, passport, entry permit, and bill of landing or air.

All documents submitted for GST relief may be submitted either by hand to Singapore Customs, Procedures & Systems Branch, 55 Newton Road, 7th Storey, Revenue House, Singapore 307987 or by fax at No. 6250-9605. These documents should be submitted for processing before the Customs In-Non-Payment (GST Relief) declaration is submitted through the TradeNet® System.

GST relief does not include liquors, tobacco products and motor vehicles. If these are included, the owner must inform the forwarding agent who is preparing the import declaration. There are some items that are not allowed to be imported into Singapore at all. These include:

· Firecrackers
· Chewing tobacco
· Cigarette lighters shaped like pistols
· Controlled drugs and psychotropic substances
· Endangered species of wildlife and their by-products
· Treasonable material
· Pornography
· Reproduction of copyright publications, video tapes, video compact discs, laser discs, records or cassettes

To simply enter Singapore (not as a returning permanent resident) the rules are slightly different. You must declare the goods in your possession, including any goods you are carrying for someone else, to the checking officer at the Red Channel or pay the taxes at Singapore Customs Tax Payment Office or the self-service Tax Payment Kiosk. For more information on Customs clearance procedure see http://www.customs.gov.sg/leftNav/trav/Customs+Clearance+Procedure.htm

Duty-free concession is available for liquors products and Goods and Services Tax (GST) relief on goods meant for your personal use or consumption subject to fulfillment of the stipulated conditions.

If you’re entering the country by sea, train, air, or bus then you will see the Red Channel signs in the Arrival Hall at the checkpoints. These are overseen by Immigration & Checkpoint Authority (ICA). You should proceed to the Red Channel if you have prohibited goods, dutiable or taxable goods that exceed your duty-free concessions, or any controlled or restricted goods.

At the Red Channel, you will produce the controlled goods with your permit or authorization and inform the officer of any of the goods that you are carrying. You must have a Customs permit for clearance if you have:

· more than 0.4 kilogrammes of cigarettes or other tobacco products;
· more than 10 litres of liquor products;
· more than 10 litres of petroleum in a spare container of a motor vehicle;
· more than 0.5 kilogrammes of investment precious metals for personal use;
· goods for trade, commercial or business use the Goods & Services Tax (GST) on which exceeds $300; or
· goods clearly marked as trade samples (excluding liquor and tobacco products) the value of which exceeds $400


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