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Traders  & Businesses Masthead

Certificates of Origin / Rules of Origin

Ordinary Certificate of Origin
Preferential Certificate of Origin
Certification of Origin
Rules of Origin
Other Related Information on Rules of Origin
Applying for a Certificate of Origin with Singapore Customs
Other Administrative Information on CO Application with Singapore Customs
Other Related Certificates e.g. Certificate of Free Sales / Certificate of Non-Manipulation
Errors and Offences
Best practices


Certificates of Origin can be broadly classified into two types, namely Ordinary Certificate of Origin and Preferential Certificate of Origin.

Ordinary Certificate of Origin

An Ordinary Certificate of Origin is a document that can be used to satisfy your buyers that the products exported are wholly obtained, produced or manufactured in Singapore, depending on the Rules of Origin.

Beside Singapore Customs there are 5 Authorised Organisations (AOs) to issue Ordinary COs. The AOs are as follows:

These organisations issue the Certificates not only for locally manufactured or processed products, but also for products from other countries which are re-exported from Singapore. However, they do not issue the Ordinary CO for the export of Singapore-origin textiles and textile products to EU and the USA.

Preferential Certificate of Origin

A Preferential Certificate of Origin is a document that can help improve the competitive edge of your exports by enabling your buyers to claim preferential tariff treatment when importing your products under one of the Free Trade Agreements or Schemes of Preferences.

Free Trade Agreements
The Ministry of Trade & Industry has negotiated and concluded several Free Trade Agreements with various countries. These Agreements are either bilateral agreements, e.g. Singapore and Korea, or multi-lateral, e.g. ASEAN (where Singapore is a member) and China. Information on the Free Trade Agreements Singapore has signed and in the process negotiations can be found at IE Singapore’s FTA website,

Update on Free Trade Agreement
The Gulf Cooperation Council - Singapore Free Trade Agreement (GSFTA) entered into force on 1 September 2013. Exporters whose goods qualify for the preferential tariff treatment for import into Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and would like to claim preferential tariff status may apply for a Preferential Certificate of Origin from Singapore Customs.

Do note that the procedural requirements for claiming preferential tariff treatment is still not yet finalised. Nonetheless exporters whose goods meet the Rules of Origin requirements of the GSFTA can still choose to apply for a Preferential Certificate of Origin. Exporters must however be aware of the risk that you may encounter potential operational issues such as rejection of the Preferential Certificate of Origin when claiming preferential tariff rates with the GCC customs authorities. Exporters who face such issues are advised to keep all records of such trade and to share the relevant details with 
International Enterprise Singapore at, or Singapore Customs at This will help us work more effectively with our GCC counterparts to resolve these issues as soon as possible.

Instructions for the application of GSFTA preferential certificate of origin via
TradeNet® (DOC)

Schemes of Preferences

When exporting a locally manufactured product into the importing country, the product is subjected to import tariffs. To encourage the economic growth of various countries in the world, countries participate in various Schemes of Preferences which grants participating countries' exports lower import tariffs when imported into countries offering the scheme. Countries also sign Free Trade Agreements with each other to encourage economic growth through investments and increased trade flow between them through lowering of import tariffs.

More information on the type of Schemes of Preferences are available here

Certification of Origin

Depending on the regulatory authority of the importing country, the certification of origin for a product can be made in the form of self-certification by the importer/exporter on the products' commercial invoice or by an official letter by the importer/exporter. The certification of origin can also be made through the application of a Certificate of Origin with the authorised authority in the exporting country. The application procedures with Singapore Customs can be found below.

Exporters must check the certification arrangements required in the various Schemes of Preference and Free Trade Arrangements and make the appropriate mode of origin certification for their exports.

Rules of Origin

In determining whether a product is of Singapore origin, an Ordinary Certificate of Origin or a Preferential Certificate of Origin can be issued if they meet the relevant criteria of being locally manufactured under the various Schemes of Preference and Free Trade Agreement. This criterion is known as the Rules of Origin.

To qualify a Singapore product for as wholly obtained, produced for Singapore for an Ordinary or Preferential Certificate of Origin, it must be either:

  • wholly obtained in Singapore, ie, wholly grown in Singapore or produced in Singapore without any imported materials as stipulated here ( DOC 20kb ) or in the relevant Free Trade Agreement; or
  • manufactured in Singapore from materials and parts, which are either wholly or partly imported, according to the appropriate rules of origin and must not be made through a simple or minimal operations as stipulated here ( DOC 21kb ) or in the relevant Free Trade Agreement.
Depending on the Free Trade Agreement or preferential scheme, for manufactured product, the rule of origin is by both or either one of the following criteria:
  1. The process criterion
    Under the process criterion, the imported materials must have undergone substantial transformation. This result in the final product qualifying to be classified under a different tariff classification, as distinct from those classified for the imported materials. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule.
  2. The value-added or percentage criterion
    For this criterion, the origin is determined by the percentage of either the imported materials or the local materials plus the direct processing cost in relation to the ex-factory cost or ex-factory price of the product.

The following guides provides a quick overview of the various Rules of Origin that
Singapore exporters need to meet in order to qualify for an Ordinary CO and a
Preferential CO under the various Schemes of Preference and Free Trade Agreements

           a) Ordinary CO and other Schemes (eg. GSTP)  (DOC 93kb)

            b) Regional Free Trade Agreements (DOC 100kb)

            c) Bilateral Free Trade Agreements (DOC 100kb)

Other Related Information on Rules of Origin

Under the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement, raw materials which cannot be manufactured in either Singapore or Australia, and are imported, can be considered as a local raw material under the DMRM scheme. The latest list of products approved under DMRM can be downloaded here ( DOC 26kb ).

The application for the DMRM can be downloaded here ( DOC 76kb ). Explanatory notes are downloadable here ( DOC 36kb ).

Applying for a Certificate of Origin with Singapore Customs

Singapore Customs issues Ordinary COs and is the authorised agency to issue Preferential COs under Schemes of Preferences and Free Trade Agreements. To apply for a CO with Customs, the procedure is as such:

Step 1: Register their Factory/Manufacturing Premises
The application can be made through the Manufacturer's Application Form ( DOC 344kb ).

A Customs officer will arrange to inspect the factory to see that it has the machinery and manpower to manufacture the product and that it keeps proper books and records of its operations.

Upon successful application, the manufacturer will receive a letter of approval from Singapore Customs together with a registration number.

Step 2: Submit the Manufacturing Cost Statement
Upon successful factory registration, the manufacturer can proceed to submit the manufacturing cost statement of their product to Customs for verification that the goods in question meet the necessary rules of origin. The submission should be made in the respective formats for the application of a CO under the various Schemes of Preferences and Free Trade Agreements.
  • AFTA - ATIGA Form D ( DOC 71kb )

  • Commonwealth Preference (CPC) Scheme of Mauritius ( DOC 72kb )

  • Commonwealth Preference Scheme (Other than Mauritius) ( DOC 74kb )

  • Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Australia (SAFTA) ( DOC 54kb )

  • FTA with ASEAN-Australia New Zealand (AANZFTA) ( DOC 82kb )

  • FTA with ASEAN-China (ACFTA) ( DOC 80kb )

  • FTA with ASEAN-India (AIFTA) ( DOC 80kb )

  • FTA with ASEAN-Japan (AJCEP) ( DOC 80kb )

  • FTA with ASEAN-Korea (AKFTA) (DOC 76kb )

  • FTA with China (CSFTA) ( DOC 76kb )

  • FTA with Gulf Cooperation Council (GSFTA) ( DOC 78kb )

  • FTA with India (CECA) ( DOC 79kb )

  • FTA with Japan (JSEPA) (DOC 94kb )

  • FTA with Jordan ( DOC 96kb )

  • FTA with Peru ( DOC 96kb )

  • FTA with South Korea ( DOC 96kb )

  • FTA with US - Garment Exports for Originating Goods ( DOC 61kb )

  • Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Scheme of Canada ( DOC 78kb )

  • GSP Scheme of EU ( DOC 83kb )
    - Only for shipments made before 1 Jan 2014

  • GSP Scheme of Russia ( DOC 77kb )

  • Global Systems of Trade Preferences (GSTP) ( DOC 78kb )

  • Ordinary (Non-preferential) Certificate of Origin Scheme ( DOC 77kb )

Step 3: Application for CO through TradeNet®
Upon successful verification of the Manufacturing Cost Statement by Customs, the statement is valid for one year. The manufacturer is authorised to apply for a CO for his export under the respective Schemes of Preference or Free Trade Agreement his product qualified for through the TradeNet®.

Step 4: Collection of CO
The approved CO can be collected from the CrimsonLogic Service Bureau, 133 New Bridge Road, #19-01/02 Chinatown Point Singapore 059413 (Tel: 6339 0798). For applications approved by our Airport Outpost, please collect the CO from SAAA, Room 107, Ground Floor, SATS Airfreight Terminal 3, Core H, Changi Airfreight Centre. The CO can be collected between 2 to 4 working hours upon approval of its application.

The declarant or his representative must present a copy of the Letter of Authorisation and the exporter's invoice for each CO. Upon receipt of the CO, the accuracy of the CO should be checked and the authorised signatory of the exporter must duly sign the appropriate box of the CO. Unsigned COs will not be accepted by the overseas Customs authority.

A specimen of the Letter of Authorisation is found here ( DOC 35kb )and the specimen letter for applications approved by our Airport Outpost can be found here ( DOC 35kb ).

Note: Information kit for manufacturers applying for Preferential CO available for
         download here   ( DOC 45kb)
          A more detailed procedure guide is available for download here ( DOC 55kb ).

Other Administrative Information on CO Application with Singapore Customs

Back-to-Back Application of Certificate of Origin
Back-to-Back preferential Certificate of Origin (CO) is applicable for Asean Trade in Goods Agreement for the Asean Free Trade Area (AFTA) and some Asean-plus FTA agreements. Please refer to the legal text of each FTA Agreements ( for the specific details of its Back-to-Back CO applications. 

Back-to-Back preferential Certificate of Origin (CO)
means a preferential Certificate of Origin issued by Singapore Customs for the exports of goods, based on the Certificate of Origin issued by the first exporting Party.  Applications for Back-to-Back CO are submitted
through TradeNet®.  The exporter must complete the application for each consignment and fax the required supporting documents as indicated in the Guidelines of Supporting Documents required to apply for the Back-to-Back Certificate of Origin (DOC).

Manual Submission of CO Application
All Certificate applications should be made through TradeNet®. However, in exceptional cases where the Certificates cannot be applied through TradeNet®, the exporter must complete the required documents as indicated in List of Required Documents ( DOC 26kb ) for every consignment of products when making a manual application.

Details on how to complete the Certificates can be found in the "Guide to Completing the COs" ( DOC 796kb ).

Exporter who is not a Manufacturer
An exporter who is not the manufacturer of the goods may still apply for an Ordinary or Preferential CO provided that the exporter has obtained the necessary documentary evidence from the manufacturer to prove that the goods satisfy the Rules of Origin for the CO that the exporter wishes to apply for. The exporter will indicate the manufacturer's name, contact person and number in the Trader's Remark field in his/her TradeNet® application.

Amendments and Cancellations
Amendments on a Certificate of Origin must be endorsed by the Singapore Customs. The trader must inform Singapore Customs in writing within 2 weeks from the date of approval of any such amendments. If the consignment is not exported within a month from the date of approval, the documents are to be returned to Singapore Customs for cancellation.

Certified True Copies
If the Certificate of Origin sent to the exporter's buyer is lost, stolen or destroyed, he can apply for a certified true copy from the Singapore Customs. The following documents must be submitted with the written request:

  • 3 copies of Certificate of Origin (At the point of submission, a processing fee of $4 is payable via NETS, cash card or credit card)
  • 1 copy of Duplicate copy of approved Certificate of Origin

Renewal of Manufacturing Cost Statement Validity
To renew an approved Cost Statement, the manufacturer can submit a fresh Manufacturing Cost Statement for verification by Singapore Customs or he may submit a Letter of Undertaking (LU) ( DOC 41kb ), declaring that the product for all models still qualify at the prevailing origin criteria of the relevant tariff preferential/non-preferential Scheme which was previously approved. The application can also be made via the E-services portal.

Fairs & Exhibitions
Under the GSP and most Free Trade Agreements, preferential treatment can be claimed if the product sent from Singapore for exhibition in any of the GSP donor countries, ASEAN country or FTA partner countries is sold after the exhibition in that country.

This is on the condition that the appropriate Customs authority is satisfied that:

  • the product has met the Rules of Origin under the appropriate scheme or FTA;
  • the product was consigned by a Singapore manufacturer to that country where the exhibition was held and exhibited it at the specified destination;
  • the product was sold during or immediately after the exhibition to the buyer in that country to which it was sent for exhibition;
  • the product has not been used for any purpose other than for demonstration or exhibition.

The usual application procedure for the preferential CO applies. The exporter will have to indicate the name and address of the exhibitor on the form.

Retention Period of Documents
Documents relating to the production and shipment of exports accompanied by any of the Certificates described in this guide should be kept for the stated period of time for post-verification by the Singapore Customs or by the overseas Customs' authorities.

Types of CO Scheme Retention Period
AIFTA, GSP, CPC, CECA and Ordinary CO At least 2-year period. In the case of GSP Form As for shipments made under the EU GSP scheme, the said documents for exports must be kept for at least three years.
AANZFTA, ACFTA, AJCEP, AKFTA, AFTA, CSFTA, FTAs with EFTA States, Japan, Jordan and Trans-Pacific SEP with Brunei  New Zealand and Panama
At least 3 years
FTA with New Zealand At least 4 years
FTAs with Australia, US and Korea At least 5 years

Other Related Certificates

Certificate of Free Sale
Singapore Customs issues the Certificate of Free Sale (CFS) for exports of goods which are sold locally. Application Procedures and Application Form are provided here ( DOC 883kb ).

For products not sold locally, the CFS application may be approved on a case-by-case basis. In this regard, a different application Form will be used. The Form is obtainable from Tariffs and Trade Services Branch.

Certificate of Non-Manipulation
Singapore Customs issues a Certificate of Non-Manipulation to goods transshipped through Singapore, between the goods origin and destination, which serves as a document to indicate that the goods were not manipulated in any way.

Conditions/ Application Procedures and the Application Form are provided here DOC 872kb ).

Useful Links on FTA matters

Errors and Offences

The key offences and corresponding penalties under the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act (RIEA) and the Regulation of Imports and Exports Regulations (RIER) relating to Rules of Origin are as follows:


Penalty Upon Conviction

Section 28(1)(a) of the RIEA:

Making a false declaration


A fine not exceeding $10,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or both.

Section 28A(1)(a) of the RIEA:

Incorrect trade descriptions


First conviction:  

A fine not exceeding $100,000 or 3 times the value of the goods, whichever is greater, or imprisonment not exceeding 2 years; or both.


Second or subsequent conviction: 

A fine not exceeding $200,000 or 4 times the value of the goods, whichever is greater, or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years; or both.


Regulation 24B(4) of the RIER:

Failure to comply with requirements of the Director-General (DG) for the issue of Preferential CO

In lieu of prosecution, Singapore Customs may compound the abovementioned offences for a sum not exceeding $5,000 per offence.

Below are examples of past errors and offences committed by traders and their declaring agents:

Deliberate False Declaration of Country of Origin
Company A re-exported textile products that it had imported from China to the US, but deliberately declared the textiles to be of Indonesian origin. An offence was committed under Section 28(1)(a) of the RIEA and the company was prosecuted.

Buying Non-Singapore Origin Materials from Local Suppliers
Company B neglected to verify if food items sourced from a local supplier were of Singapore origin and thus qualified for preferential tariff treatment.  The final product did not meet the rules of origin and the company was compounded under Section 28(1)(a) of the RIEA. 

Affixing False Labels 
Company C imported textile products from China and pasted stickers stating “Made in Singapore” on the products. An offence was committed under Section 28A(1)(a) of the RIEA and the company was prosecuted.

Failure to Retain Documents for Minimum Retention Period 
Company D which utilized preferential tariff treatment for its exports to the US disposed its supporting documents as it wrongly assumed that the retention period was 3 years. The minimum retention period is actually 5 years under the US-Singapore FTA. The company was compounded under Regulation 24B(4) of the RIER.

Best Practices

You are encouraged to follow the following Dos and Don’ts as well as the checklist to help you to be compliant with the Rules of Origin requirements.


ü         Familiarise yourself with the origin qualifying criteria for your products (Note: the criteria could vary across different FTAs).

 ü        Ensure that Manufacturing Cost Statements submitted to Singapore Customs are accurate and up-to-date. Should any of your production methods or raw materials change, inform Singapore Customs.

 ü        Attend Singapore Customs Academy Courses, particularly SC103 (Rules of Origin / Free Trade Agreements) and OP002 (Outreach for Newly Registered Manufacturers) and also disseminate the information to the rest of your company staff.

 ü        Ensure retention of copies of Preferential CO and all supporting documents according to the time period stipulated in the respective FTAs.

 ü        Maintain updated production records of your products.

 ü        Promptly accede to requests for documentation checks by Singapore Customs and allow access to your production facility by Singapore Customs officers upon our request.

 ü        Implement clear working procedures for notifying Singapore Customs upon discovery of a possible error in origin declaration.

 Do Not:

r        Make an origin declaration without ensuring that the product meets the origin qualifying criteria.

r         Accede to requests from customers to make incorrect origin declaration.

r         Re-label the country of origin on a product or its packaging.


You may refer to the following checklist to assess your internal systems and processes, to avoid being non-compliant with the Rules of Origin requirements:

  • Registration

          §  Have you applied to be a registered manufacturer with Singapore 
             Customs for production of goods?

  • Rules of Origin Requirements

          §  Are the goods, for which preferential tariff treatment is to be claimed, 
             actually manufactured in Singapore? (especially in  the case of 
             materials bought from local suppliers)
 §  Does your product meet the origin qualifying criteria?
§  Does the CO cover all the items for which preferential tariff treatment is to 
             be claimed?

  •  Accuracy of Manufacturing Cost statements
    §  Have you changed anything in the manufacturing process without 
       infoming Singapore Customs?
    §  Have you renewed your Manufacturing Cost Statement 2 months prior to 
       the expiry date?
  • Retention of Documents    

   §  Are you aware of the minimum record retention period for the FTA that your 
            products are claiming preferential tariff treatment?

Frequently Asked Questions

For FAQs on customs matters, click here.

Customs Circulars

For Circulars on customs matters, click here.

E-Learning Courseware

For e-learning to the ‘Guide to Customs Procedures’, click here.

Last reviewed on 15 April 2014
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